City of Long Beach is Stopped From Bulldozing Client's 2 Houses

The Clients became the owners of two properties with homes constructed on each of them which were nearly complete.  In order to complete construction, certain permits and easements had to be obtained.  At first, the clients were held up on getting the needed easements because they only owned 94.5% of the property and the other 5.5% was held by an individual who refused to accede to the easements unless he was paid.  Clients believed the amount he sought was unreasonable given his minority interest in the properties.  The Clients then filed suit for partition (a type of lawsuit that allows for the division of the property).  One year later it settled and Clients obtained the remaining 5.5% interest and could then establish the requisite easements.

The City of Long Beach sued claiming the houses were a nuisance as they have been sitting in an unfinished state, boarded up, for many years.  They sought to have the two homes removed which appeared to be politically motiviated as a local politician expressed his discontent with the homes and stated:"To me, the best solution is to scrape the houses off of the face of the Earth."

The parties tried to resolve matters and the City allowed time for Clients to get the necessary permits.  But the property adjoins the City of Signal Hill and obtaining the cooperation of that city and the necessary approvals from 5 different utilities (sewer, water, electric, etc.) became increasingly difficult.  Just before trial in April 2014, the Clients and the City stipulated to a judgment where Clients had 3 deadlines to get things accomplished:  June 30th to meet certain requirements, August 31st to obtain all permits, and January 31, 2015 to complete all construction.  If any of the deadlines were missed, the City could bulldoze the homes.

While the Clients met the June 30th deadline, they could not meet the August 31st deadline. The City then went to Court to obtain an order allowing them to bulldoze the two houses in accordance with the judgment.  Mr. Leonardo defended the Clients and a mini-trial took place.  The judge then ruled that the City could not have its order to demolish the properties at this time and extended the August 31st deadline to January 31, 2015, where all permits and all construction must be completed.

Address: 25019 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90265