Mark Alpert, one of Hart, King & Coldren’s Manufactured Housing Industry Group leaders, has been appointed as an advisor to the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association’s (WMA) Committee to Save Property Rights (CSPR). The mission of the CSPR is to recommend and oversee the pursuit of strategies designed to strengthen, protect and preserve the basic constitutional property rights of mobilehome park and manufactured housing community owners and operators. Mark has been very involved in the issues that affect these communities and is honored to have the opportunity to assist WMA as an advisor to the Committee to Save Property Rights.
News and Events
HKC Legal Briefing
Doubletree Club, 7 Hutton Centre, Santa Ana, CA 92707
June 18, 2013
8:30 am. – Registration
9:00 am. – 11:00 a.m. – Program
Clients – Free / Non-clients – $35
This is an interactive forum. Our Manufactured Housing Industry Group leaders will discuss the following topics:
- The Safe Act
- Long-Term Leases – Why Bother?
- Arbitration/Mediation – Is it Still a Viable Alternative to Litigation?
- Should You Buy Homes in Your Park?
- ADA/FHA Issues
- Subdivisions and Closures
- Rule Violations – To Evict or Enjoin
- Insurance – Maximize Your Coverage / Minimize Your Cost
- Property Rights Protection
California Mobilehome Parkowners Alliance (CMPA) Symposium
Treasure Island Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, NV
June 2-3, 2013
HKC is a Silver Sponsor of CMPA’s 2013 Parkowner Symposium. This event is specifically targeted to the manufactured housing industry, and will cover a wide range of topics such as: Dealing with Changing Resident Demographics / Insurance Issues – Obamacare and its Impact on Your Business / Interesting Lawsuits / Financial Issues – Practical Solutions / Utility Issues.
Hart, King & Coldren is a proud sponsor, exhibitor and presenter at the upcoming MHI 2013 National Congress & Expo at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, NV from April 16-18. This trade show was specifically created for the factory built housing industry and is considered to be the largest gathering of industry leaders. We hope you will stop by and visit us at Booth No. 200.
Thursday, April 18, 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. “Ask the Attorneys” – Prominent industry attorneys will offer their best advice on issues affecting community owners, retailers and others in the industry. Bring your questions regarding compliance with new regulations and your business operations. This workshop is designed to help you understand your legal obligations and minimize risk in your business. HKC Partner, John Pentecost is a panelist.
As you may know, the MHI National Communities Council (NCC) represents the interests of manufactured home community owners, operators, managers, developers, lenders and suppliers. The NCC Forum is a daylong seminar that serves with an intense focus on manufactured home community issues – it is all about communities, communities, communities! This Forum is held on Tuesday, April 16–the day before the actual Congress & Expo begins. The fee to attend the NCC Forum is $150, a tremendous value when you see the session descriptions and the caliber of participants. There is something for every size community owner or operator.
Click here for a link to the 2013 Congress & Expo event page.
Hart, King & Coldren Partner John Pentecost is participating as an industry expert at CalARVC’s “Ask The Expert” Roundtable on February 26, 2013.
Please visit this link for additional information: http://lnkd.in/FVwjXG.
Huntington Beach Mayor and City Council Members and City Attorney Face Trial For Contempt of Court For Continuing to Fight Mobilehome Conversion
The City of Huntington Beach has relentlessly fought the effort of the owners of Pacific Mobile Home Park to convert from a rental mobile home park to resident ownership, but their latest action in ignoring a court order has resulted in the City Council Members and City Attorney facing a trial on criminal contempt charges. On December 10, 2012, Orange County Superior Court Judge Luis Rodriguez issued an order barring the City of Huntington Beach from reconsidering the conversion, but a week later, six of seven City Council members voted to affirm a prior vote authorizing reconsideration, with the encouragement and support of elected City Attorney Jennifer McGrath. Only City Councilman Matthew Harper voted against reconsideration. As a result of that vote, on January 8, 2013, Judge Rodriguez granted Pacific’s application to set a trial on contempt charges against the City, McGrath and Mayor Connie Boardman, and City Council members Joe Carchio, Jill Hardy, Jim Katapodis, Joe Shaw and Dave Sullivan.
“Ordering a contempt trial is extremely rare, particularly against public officials” stated Pacific’s attorney, Mark Alpert, a partner with the law firm of Hart, King & Coldren, “but Judge Luis Rodriguez apparently felt he had no choice where elected City Officials were disregarding a court order.” Judge Rodriguez, who has served as a city attorney in the past, indicated it was a separation of powers issue — elected officials, cannot ignore court orders.
The City’s actions are the latest in a series of questionable tactics undertaken by the City in an effort to block the conversion of the subdivision. The City initially sought to block the conversion because of the existence of an unused sidewalk right of way that had been recorded decades ago, with the City never taking any steps to actually build a sidewalk. Despite this, the City filed a cross-complaint seeking to immediately physically eject the residents who owned homes in the claimed right of way. Judge Rodriguez reversed the City’s decision to deny the tentative tract map based on the right of way, but the City persists in seeking ejectment of the residents, apparently believing the threat of residents losing their homes gave them some kind of bargaining leverage with the park owner.
The reason for the City’s opposition to this conversion is not clear and Pacific is continuing a legal use of the property and the conversion is supported by a strong majority of residents who would like to own the property under their home. It is disturbing to see this kind of heavy handed abuse of power by elected officials, who have such broad authority to impact the rights of private property owners. This case demonstrates the important role of the courts in curbing such abuses.
On February 8, 2013, the City of Huntington Beach Council members and City Attorney, will have to answer to the Court for their disregard of a duly issued Court Order.
Hart, King & Coldren announced today that Boyd Hill has been admitted to the firm as a Partner. Mr. Hill, who has been with the firm since 2008, has wide-ranging litigation experience in the areas of real property, land use and environmental, including CEQA, water, eminent domain and commercial law.
Mr. Hill has represented developers, entertainment companies, property owners, waste haulers, retail supermarkets, trucking companies, private lakes, investors, hospital groups, cities, water agencies and other special districts. He routinely appears in California state and Federal courts and has represented clients in numerous administrative hearings before California state and local agencies.
“Boyd is a strong addition to our team and we are pleased to welcome him as our Partner” said Senior Partner, William Hart.
2012 Award Recipients Announced for
Manufactured Housing Community Owners
June 3rd & June 4th
Bellagio, Las Vegas
Robert Coldren, Hart, King & Coldren
“Advocacy Fighter Award”
“This is well deserved for all the time you personally have put in on behalf of your clients and the industry. Without your efforts over the years, this business would not be what it is today- THANKS!!” Richard Bessire
Richard Bessire, Bessire & Casenhiser
“Freedom Fighter Award”
“Dick and I have worked together for 30 years, ever since he was a property manager for Fox and Carscadden. He is a true treasure to our industry. This award is a terrific acknowledgement of Dick’s efforts and hard work.” – Robert Coldren
Earlier this month, a Hart, King & Coldren client received good news! A five-day trial concerning a claim of a party seeking specific performance for the purchase of a mobile home park was decided in favor of Hart, King & Coldren’s client.
Our client, a park owner, owned one of his parks subject to a long term ground lease in favor of the park operator/plaintiff. Our client had been sued by the park operator, claiming it had a right to purchase the mobilehome park for approximately $2.5 million pursuant to an option agreement. The property is worth at least $8.0 million.
Hart, King & Coldren demonstrated that the position of the plaintiff was at odds with the intent and understanding of the signatories to the long term lease that contained the option to purchase. The court voided the demanded $2.5 million sale and released HKC’s client from any obligation to sell the park to the plaintiff for $2.5 million, saving the ground lessor (our client) at least $5.5 million dollars.
Congratulations to our client its client for this hard fought victory and to my partner, trial attorney Bill Dahlin, and the rest of the Hart, King & Coldren staff for a job well done.
In January, the Fourth District of the California Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s ruling that the residents of a Huntington Beach mobilehome park did not meet the legal requirements to bring a class action for a myriad of alleged violations against the current and prior owners of the park.
The plaintiffs sought damages resulting from the growth of mushrooms, standing water, insomnia, falls, backed up plumbing, soft spots in the floor and even “extreme rhinitis” experienced by a household dog. Faced with such disparate claims, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Superior Court had correctly denied the residents’ request that the claims be tried in a class action. The plaintiffs then filed their unsuccessful appeal.
The Court of Appeal upheld the arguments made by HKC at the trial court level that the individual plaintiffs bringing the lawsuit lacked the requisite elements of a community of interest, numerosity and a commonality of claims. The Court further found that common issues of fact did not predominate over individual claims of property damage, personal injury and emotional distress, adding that there was no likelihood that the Court or the parties would substantially benefit from proceeding with the case as a class action.
In California, class certification is governed by the Code of Civil Procedure, Section 382 which provides, in part, ‘[W]hen the question is one of a common or general interest, of many persons, or when the parties are numerous, and it is impracticable to bring them all before the court, one or many may sue…for the benefit of all.’ (See, Arenas v. El Torito Restaurants, Inc. (2010) 183 Cal. App. 4th, 723, 731.
The Court of Appeal followed Fireside Bank v. Superior Court (2007) 40 Cal. 4th 1069, 1089, which held that “Class certification requires proof (1) of a sufficiently numerous, ascertainable class, (2) of a well-defined community of interest, and (3) that certification will provide substantial benefits to litigants and the courts, i.e., that proceeding as a class is superior to other methods. …In turn, the ‘community of interest requirement embodies three factors: (1) predominant questions of law or fact; (2) class representatives with claims or defenses typical of the class; and (3) class representatives who can adequately represent the class.”
The result for the HKC client is that instead of facing a class action that could have included potentially hundreds of residents with a wide-ranging array of claims, the park owners now can defend against the specific claims of a handful of individual plaintiffs.
Brentwood Mobilehome Park has achieved final victory and success in pursuing its Rent Increase Application before the City of Chula Vista. On January 19, 2012, the City’s Rent Review Commission adopted a new resolution, upon remand from the San Diego County Superior Court, approving a permanent $78.00 per month per space rent increase.
The rent increase that had previously been granted, and challenged in Court, was for $45.00 per month spread over three (3) years. Brentwood contended, rightfully so, that the increase was less than 50% of what had been requested and the actions of the City’s Rent Review Commission were arbitrary and capricious. The San Diego Superior Court agreed with Brentwood and judgment was entered in favor of the park. A writ of administrative mandamus was issued compelling the City to rehear the rent increase application and provide a rent increase that was in compliance with the evidence provided at the hearing.
The Application of Brentwood was officially submitted in January 2010. Thus, over the course of two (2) years, Brentwood has expended significant time, money and attorneys’ fees seeking a reasonable rent increase. The Resolution adopted on January 19, 2012 finally accomplishes that goal. Ironically, the Rent Increase Application may well be the last discretionary Rent Increase Application that will be presented to the City’s Rent Review Commission. In 2011, the City of Chula Vista, in one of its more rational moments, amended its rent control Ordinance to provide for full vacancy decontrol. In simple terms, each time there is a change in tenancy at any mobilehome park within the City, the park owner is permitted to adjust the rent at that space to market. This author is unaware of any park owner throughout California that would not utilize that ability to adjust rents in the park on a gradual basis as tenants come and go. Because most mobilehome parks have a turnover rate of 8-10 percent per year, most parks should be able to adjust rents over time in a fashion that allows net operating income to keep pace with inflation, increases in costs and provide a reasonable rate of return. The ability to adjust rents to market on turnover is, ordinarily, a sufficient disincentive for park owners to undertake the tremendous amount of time and expense needed to pursue a Rent Increase Application.
Congratulations Brentwood on your success!! The park’s tenants are dramatically better off since the improvements were made to the park. The capital invested to upgrade the park was the basis of the Rent Increase Application. A renewed clubhouse, an entirely new and upgraded/reinforced utility system and improved amenities throughout the park are dramatic evidence of how efficient park operators keep up their park which are, of course, dependant upon reasonable revenue streams.
C. William Dahlin handled the Rent Increase Application and subsequent litigation which was finally concluded in January 2012.
The 2012 National Congress & Expo for Manufactured and Modular Housing will be held April 10-12, 2012 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. HK&C partners, Rob Coldren and Bill Dahlin will be returning again this year to present at this national trade show created specifically for the factory build housing industry and considered to be the largest gathering of industry leaders.
Both partners have been asked to participate in two educational programs:
Tuesday, April 10, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. “Key Legal Issues for Communities”
Find out about the simple steps you can take now to protect your community from potential legal liability problems as panelists provide guidance on a number of key community legal issues. Come join this session to get answers to your most pressing questions.
Thursday, April 12, 11:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. “Fair Housing/2012″
Presented by Rob Coldren and Bill Dahlin of HK&C, this workshop will cover the changing landscape of Fair Housing rules and enforcement faced by manufactured housing communities today. Changing a manufactured housing community from “55 and older” to “all age” is a critical and ongoing compliance and “cost of doing business” concern. Come hear the experts discuss the pros and cons of keeping or changing a communities “age based” designation and the questions you should consider. We will also cover issues presented by “testers” and what can be viewed as housing discrimination. Learn about and explore the overlap and distinctions between ADA and Fair Housing compliance for the manufactured housing industry and short-term rental RV parks which are increasingly facing issues that were traditionally long-term residency issues.
For more information, please contact Hart, King & Coldren at 714-432-8700 or visit show website at www.congressandexpo.com.
Hart, King & Coldren is pleased to announce Justus Britt has recently joined the firm as an associate in the manufactured housing group where he will assist with unlawful detainer actions, abandonment proceedings and warehouse liens, among other real estate-related issues.
Mr. Britt specializes in real estate, land use and environmental law. Prior to joining Hart, King & Coldren, Mr. Britt worked for another Southern California firm where he primarily practiced Environmental Litigation and helped participate in a successful defense of a lawsuit by a Fortune 500 company that alleged ground contamination under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act. Mr. Britt has also spent approximately two years working as an attorney for the National Rifle Association, helping to protect the use of traditional lead-based ammunition.
Cavalier Mobile Estates is one of 18 mobilehome parks in the City of Oceanside. The mobile home park owners in Oceanside, including Cavalier, have been suffering under a confiscatory regime of rent control, whereby space rents are half of fair market value.
Cavalier filed an application for a subdivision map so the park could convert to resident ownership. A subdivision allows the park owners to sell the lots to the tenants at fair market value. The law also allows for rents to be raised to market value over time on lots which have not yet sold.
These “conversions” are protected by state law which limits the scope of the local governments’ review of such applications. Sadly, state law has not stopped cities that are politically motivated from attempting to block subdivisions. The Oceanside City Council voted to deny the applications because a majority of residents opposed the subdivision.
Cavalier filed suit in San Diego County Superior Court, challenging the City’s decision. On November 4, 2011, Superior Court Judge Stern reversed the City’s decision and held that the City could not deny the subdivision application based on resident opposition and that the City had to comply with government code.
Cavalier is owned by a large group of family investors, managed by Brian Alex with support of Lillian Chang. These long-time owners will hopefully very soon be able to realize the value of their investment and, in the process, help other owners in Oceanside do the same.
Lillian kindly expressed her appreciation for the work of Mark Alpert and the guidance of Rob Coldren. We appreciate their confidence in Hart, King & Coldren. However, there have been “bumps in the road” to get to this point. We know that progress is only made because park owners are willing to risk precious, limited resources in an effort to protect their property rights. The next time you see Brian or Lillian at an industry meeting, be sure to congratulate them and thank them for their efforts!
Hart, King & Coldren is pleased to announce their successful representation of a local property owner involved in an eminent domain proceeding. In this proceeding, HK&C was able to obtain a resolution that provided slightly more than a 28% increase in value for the property owner. The offer from condemning agency was 3.5 million – the final resolution was 4.3 million!
The final resolution, once agreed upon, was concluded in less than one month. Congratulations to this property owner for a successful resolution.
Last night, October 13, 2011, in a victory for property rights and good government, the City of Capitola City Council voted 3-2 to repeal its rent control ordinance. Park residents simply could not accept the loss of what they apparently believed was an entitlement to space rents of under $300 a month for a space perched on the beautiful Santa Cruz coastline. In the end, the City recognized that repeal was the only way to serve the interests of the community as a whole. Councilman Sam Story explained “I’d like to point out that the council and staff have an obligation to the entire city and have to look¬out for the well-being of the entire city.”
Most importantly, the repeal is a victory for the Reed family that owns the park. After learning of the decision to repeal, Ron Reed said, “This has been extremely hard on the Reed family for the past 30 years. When we bought the property, we didn’t ask for rent control. I feel like the Reed family finally got their good name back. We were made to look like villains in the media, even though we treated our tenants very well. We were not the worst people. I can’t say enough about Rob Coldren, Mark Alpert, Bill Dahlin and John Pentecost and the whole team at Hart, King & Coldren. Their skills were instrumental in obtaining this victory for us and I hope it paves the way for other park owners in the same dilemma.”
The real credit belongs to Ron and Randy Reed and family, who have persevered through years of battles with the City of Capitola. Ron Reed helped build Surf and Sand Mobilehome Park decades before rent control was adopted, only to have his property confiscated in the name of affordable housing. We don’t believe for a minute that the politicians who have politically exploited rent control for votes will simply go away, but the example of Capitola demonstrates how those decisions can backfire politically and economically.
Surf and Sand Mobilehome Park is represented by Rob Coldren and Mark Alpert of Hart, King & Coldren.
In keeping with the firm’s thirty-year tradition to protect the interests of our clients and industry friends, and provide cost-effective solutions, we will now provide complimentary Unlawful Detainer forms that apply to California manufactured housing communities and will assist park owners and managers with the process of evicting a tenant.
The Unlawful Detainer forms can be found on the firm’s website at http://www.hkclaw.com/publications/unlawful-detainer-forms/
The Annual Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in San Diego is quickly approaching on August 28-30, 2011!
Whether you are a new, small or multi-unit restaurant owner, you will not want to miss this invaluable complimentary legal advice! Come join HK&C attorney Andrew Kienle as he presents “Seven Key Legal Ingredients to Succeed as a Restaurant Owner” on Monday, August 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the San Diego Convention Center.
MHI Annual Meeting – Las Vegas, NV
October 2-4, 2011
Hart, King & Coldren is proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the Manufactured Housing Institute’s (MHI) Annual Meeting to be held October 2-4, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona at the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Resort.
The MHI Annual meeting is the largest member meeting of the year of all sectors of the manufactured housing industry, providing excellent networking opportunities and sharing of ideas. This year’s highlights will include discussions of topics of utmost importance to the industry, and will feature educational panels and informative general session speakers including Rob Coldren who will be presenting an update on the Guggenheim case and its impact on the industry.
For more information on attending MHI’s Annual Meeting please visit:
WMA Convention & Expo – Las Vegas, Nevada
October 11-13, 2011
“Evictions, Injunctions and Beyond” will be presented by noted mobilehome community lawyer, Rob Coldren of Hart, King & Coldren at the Annual WMA Convention & Expo on
Tuesday, October 11th from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the South Point Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Rob’s seminar will demonstrate a step-by-step, hands-on, results oriented use of forms and techniques to get your rent, get rid of or stop the “bad apple” tenants, and protect your rights against mobilehome lien holders that abandon their mobilehomes after the tenant leaves. Learn how to do it the right way, the easy way and with minimal use of lawyers. A must attend seminar for managers, hands-on park owners and management companies. Rob Coldren has been an Industry “go to” lawyer for 30 years. His firm represents community owners throughout the western states. Try to find a community legal issue Rob has not dealt with! For more information, please visit www.wma.org.
Dot Fulfillment – Santa Ana, CA
If you miss the HK&C Webinar on June 22, 2011 – now is your chance to hear the information presented in person!
Attorney David Baker will speak on the topic of “Intellectual Property Disasters” to the Orange County Marketing & Advertising Association’s monthly “Lunch and Learn” seminar on Wednesday, August 17th from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Dot Fulfillment. Come learn about case studies and highly useful tips on how you can effectively market your goods and services without setting yourself up for a marketing disaster.
Mr. Baker is a Partner with the firm whose practice includes litigation and transactional work with an emphasis on intellectual property including trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.
The Dot Fulfillment is located at 1801 S. Standard Avenue in Santa Ana. A boxed lunch will be served. There is no cost to attend this event however space is limited to the first 50 pre-registered attendees.
Annual Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo – San Diego, CA
HK&C Attorney Andrew Kienle has been selected once again to speak at the Annual Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo to be held on August 28-30, 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center. Mr. Kienle will present “Seven Key Legal Ingredients to Succeed as a Restaurant Owner” on Monday, August 29, 2011 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will share his perspectives on critical legal issues that restaurant owners face.
In his seminar, Mr. Kienle will discuss issues relating to different types of business entities, copyrights and trademarks, landlord/tenant relationships, employment agreements, ADA compliance and litigation, franchising and the pro’s and con’s of investors. Whether you are a new, small or multi-unit restaurant owner, you will not want to miss this invaluable legal advice!
Need a Speaker?
Hart, King & Coldren believes that giving seminars is an effective communication tool designed to keep you informed about new laws or legal trends that impact you or your business.
Our no-cost educational seminars are offered in-house, at convenient meeting locations or directly at our client’s offices. Depending on your need, our attorneys are available to present on various general topics or more customized topics for client’s with distinct needs. We have dynamic, knowledgeable speakers that will provide you with invaluable legal information. After all, HK&C is in the business of protecting the future of our client’s business.
Our practice areas include:
- Business Litigation
- Real Estate Litigation
- Business & Real Estate Transactions
- Manufactured Housing
- Professional Design & Construction
- Intellectual Property
- Automotive Aftermarket
- Securities Litigation
- Probate Litigation
If you are interested in obtaining a speaker for your next event, please contact Karen Koenes at 714-432-8700 or email email@example.com for more information