Real Property - Landlord and Tenant

DAILY JOURNAL VERDICTS & SETTLEMENTS

September 12, 2008

REAL PROPERTY
Landlord and Tenant

Negligent Maintenance, Trespass

BENCH DECISION: Eviction.

CASE/NUMBER: Matthew M. Bovee, Linda T. Bovee, Trustees of the Bovee Family Trust dated March 28, 1997 v. Alex Kodnegah / RIC455471.

COURT/DATE: Riverside Superior / August 26, 2008.

JUDGE: Hon. Craig G. Riemer.

ATTORNEYS: Plaintiff - Mark B. Wilson (Klein & Wilson, Newport Beach).

Defendant - Michael J. Bartlett (Law Offices of Michael J. Bartlett, Corona); William B. Hanley (Law Office of William B. Hanley, Newport Beach); Keyvan Samini (Naso & Samini, Irvine).

TECHNICAL EXPERTS: Plaintiff - Karl T. Blaufuss, PE, IC, asphalt and necessary repairs, Lake Elsinore.

Defendant - Esomchi Enenwali, asphalt and necessary repairs; Sid Siddiqui, civil engineer, Orange.

FACTS: The defendant's lease required him to maintain the asphalt on the leased premises, purchase insurance for himself, as well as the property owner, and comply with all laws.

PLAINTIFF'S CONTENTIONS: The plaintiff contended that the defendant failed to properly maintain the asphalt and failed to purchase insurance. The defendant trespassed onto neighboring property by parking cars on it without permission.

DEFENDANT'S CONTENTIONS: The defendant contended the asphalt was in poor condition when the lease began, and he had no obligation to maintain it. The defendant admitted he did not timely purchase the insurance but should be forgiven because he ultimately acquired it. The defendant admitted parking cars on neighboring property but contended this conduct did not constitute a breach of the lease.

RESULT: Eviction judgment for plaintiffs and the court awarded plaintiffs $163,464 in attorneys' fees plus $7,903 in costs.

OTHER INFORMATION: The defendant filed a motion for relief from default, which the court denied.

FILING DATE: August 23, 2008.