This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/15/2021 at 01:58:11 (UTC).

MERLE'S MANOR II, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS JOSE RAMIREZ, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 11/12/2020 MERLE'S MANOR II, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY filed an Other lawsuit against JOSE RAMIREZ. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Disposed - Other Disposed.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******3752

  • Filing Date:

    11/12/2020

  • Case Status:

    Disposed - Other Disposed

  • Case Type:

    Other

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Petitioner

MERLE'S MANOR II LLC A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY

Respondents

RAMIREZ GUADALUPE

RAMIREZ JOSE

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Respondent Attorney

KOVALSKY MARTIN STUART

Other Attorneys

BEAM GREGORY BRUCE

 

Court Documents

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing on Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs

9/30/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continued Hearing on Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs

Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging Invoices of Attorney's Fees and Costs

9/30/2021: Notice of Lodging (name extension) - Notice of Lodging Invoices of Attorney's Fees and Costs

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees) of 09/22/2021

9/22/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees) of 09/22/2021

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

9/22/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

9/14/2021: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information - Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

9/17/2021: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

9/17/2021: Proof of Personal Service - Proof of Personal Service

Order (name extension) - Order Proposed Order Granting Petition for Permanent Injunction

5/28/2021: Order (name extension) - Order Proposed Order Granting Petition for Permanent Injunction

Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

5/20/2021: Memorandum of Costs (Summary) - Memorandum of Costs (Summary)

Motion for Attorney Fees - Motion for Attorney Fees

5/21/2021: Motion for Attorney Fees - Motion for Attorney Fees

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Gregory B. Beam in Support of Petitioner's Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs

5/21/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration Declaration of Gregory B. Beam in Support of Petitioner's Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

5/5/2021: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

5/5/2021: Substitution of Attorney - Substitution of Attorney

Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

4/9/2021: Memorandum of Points & Authorities - Memorandum of Points & Authorities

Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

4/9/2021: Request for Judicial Notice - Request for Judicial Notice

Objection (name extension) - Objection to 1/29/2021 Supplemental Declaration of Trish Simpson

4/9/2021: Objection (name extension) - Objection to 1/29/2021 Supplemental Declaration of Trish Simpson

Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Martin S. Kovalsky

4/9/2021: Declaration (name extension) - Declaration of Martin S. Kovalsky

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

4/9/2021: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint) - Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

46 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 10/26/2021
  • Hearing10/26/2021 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees

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  • 09/30/2021
  • DocketNotice of Lodging Invoices of Attorney's Fees and Costs; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner)

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  • 09/30/2021
  • DocketNotice of Continued Hearing on Motion for Award of Attorney's Fees and Costs; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketHearing on Motion for Attorney Fees scheduled for 10/26/2021 at 10:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketMinute Order (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees)

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketCertificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees) of 09/22/2021; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketOn the Court's own motion, Hearing on Motion for Attorney Fees scheduled for 09/22/2021 at 10:00 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25 Held - Continued was rescheduled to 10/26/2021 10:30 AM

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  • 09/17/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Service Date: 06/11/2021; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 09/17/2021
  • DocketProof of Personal Service; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent); Service Date: 06/11/2021; Service Cost Waived: No

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  • 09/14/2021
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by: Gregory Bruce Beam (Attorney)

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61 More Docket Entries
  • 11/13/2020
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 25 Spring Street Courthouse

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  • 11/13/2020
  • DocketHearing on Petition for Permanent Injunction scheduled for 03/18/2021 at 08:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketPetition for Permanent Injunction; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Trish Simpson in Support of Petition for Permanent Injunction; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Mario Flores in Support of Petition for Permanent Injunction; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketDeclaration of Gregory B. Beam in Support of Petition for Permanent Injunction; Filed by: Merle's Manor II, LLC, a California limited liability company (Petitioner); As to: Jose Ramirez (Respondent); Guadalupe Ramirez (Respondent)

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketNotice of Hearing on Petition; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 11/12/2020
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

b"

Case Number: 20STCP03752 Hearing Date: September 22, 2021 Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION\r\nFOR AWARD OF ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS

\r\n\r\n

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MOVING PARTY: Petitioner\r\nMerle’s Manor II, LLC

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RESP. PARTY: None

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MOTION FOR ATTORNEY’S FEES

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(CCP §§ 1032, 1033.5; Civ. Code § 798.85 )

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

TENTATIVE RULING:

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC’s\r\nMotion for Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs is CONTINUED TO OCTOBER 26, 2021\r\nat 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16\r\ncourt days before the next scheduled hearing, Petitioner must file and serve supplemental\r\npapers as requested herein. Failure to do so may result in the Motion being\r\nplaced off calendar or denied.

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SERVICE: \r\n

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\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nProof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

\r\n\r\n

[X]\r\nCorrect Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

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[X]\r\n16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

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OPPOSITION: None filed as of September\r\n20, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

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REPLY: None filed as\r\nof September 20, 2021 [ ]\r\nLate [X] None

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ANALYSIS:

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I. \r\nBackground\r\n

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On November 12, 2020, Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC\r\n(“Petitioner”) filed a petition for a permanent injunction against Respondents\r\nJose Ramirez (“Jose”) and Guadalupe Ramirez (“Guadalupe”) (collectively,\r\n“Respondents”). Petitioner moved pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 for an\r\norder enjoining Respondents from violations of the rules of Petitioner’s\r\nmobilehome park located at 1000 N. Figueroa St., Wilmington, CA 90744 (the\r\n“Mobilehome Park”). (Pet., pp. 7-8, ¶¶ 2, 14-17.) Respondents did not file an opposition\r\nbefore the first hearing.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Both Petitioner and self-represented\r\nRespondents appeared at the initial January 14, 2021 hearing. (1/14/21 Minute\r\nOrder.) Respondents requested a Spanish interpreter. (Id.) After fully\r\nconsidering the parties’ oral arguments, the Court did not adopt its tentative\r\nruling, continued the hearing, and ordered the parties to meet and confer on a\r\npossible good faith settlement of the case no later than January 28, 2021. (Id.)\r\n

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Petitioner filed supplemental papers\r\non February 9. Attorney Martin Kovalsky substituted in as Respondents’ attorney\r\non March 1. That same day, Respondents filed supplemental papers.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

After hearing oral arguments from\r\nthe parties, the Court continued the hearing a second time on March 3, 2021.\r\n(3/3/21 Minute Order.) Respondents were ordered to file and serve evidence of\r\nlack of notice and of their cure of the violations identified by Petitioner. (Id.)\r\nPetitioner was permitted to respond to any supplemental papers filed by\r\nRespondents. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Finally, on May 3, the Court granted\r\nthe Petition. (5/3/21 Minute Order.) The Court signed an order pursuant to the\r\nMay 3 hearing on May 28. (5/28/21 Order.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Petitioner filed the instant Motion\r\nfor Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs (the “Motion”) on May 21, 2021. No\r\nopposition was filed.

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Respondents were personally served with the May 28 Order\r\non June 11. (9/17/21 Proofs of Service.)

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II. \r\nLegal\r\nStandard

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A prevailing party is entitled to recover costs as a matter of\r\nright. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1032, subd.\r\n(a)(4).) Attorney’s fees may be recovered as costs when authorized by contract,\r\nstatute, or law. (Code Civ. Proc., § 1033.5, subd. (a)(10).)

\r\n\r\n

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“A notice of motion to claim attorney's\r\nfees for services up to and including the rendition of judgment in the trial\r\ncourt . . . must be served and filed within the time for filing a notice of\r\nappeal under . . . rules 8.822 and 8.823 in a limited civil case.” (Cal. Rules\r\nof Court, rule 3.1702, subd. (b)(1).) In a limited civil case, a notice of\r\nappeal must be filed on or before the earliest of 30 days after service of a\r\ndocument entitled “Notice of Entry” of judgment or 90 days after the entry of\r\njudgment. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.822, subd. (a)(1).)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The fee\r\nsetting inquiry in California ordinarily begins with the “lodestar” method,\r\ni.e., the number of hours reasonably expended multiplied by the reasonable\r\nhourly rate. A computation of time spent\r\non a case and the reasonable value of that time is fundamental to a\r\ndetermination of an appropriate attorneys’ fee award. The lodestar figure may then be adjusted,\r\nbased on factors specific to the case, in order to fix the fee at the fair\r\nmarket value for the legal services provided. \r\n(Serrano v. Priest (1977) 20\r\nCal.3d 25, 49.) Such an approach anchors\r\nthe trial court’s analysis to an objective determination of the value of the\r\nattorney’s services, ensuring that the amount awarded is not arbitrary. (Id.,\r\nat p. 48, fn. 23.) After the trial court\r\nhas performed the lodestar calculations, it shall consider whether the total\r\naward so calculated under all of the circumstances of the case is more than a\r\nreasonable amount and, if so, shall reduce the section 1717 award so that it is\r\na reasonable figure. (PLCM Group v. Drexler (2000) 22 Cal.4th\r\n1084, 1095-1096.)

\r\n\r\n

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As\r\nexplained in Graciano v. Robinson Ford\r\nSales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140, 154:

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“[T]he lodestar is the basic fee for comparable legal services in the\r\ncommunity; it may be adjusted by the court based on factors including, as\r\nrelevant herein, (1) the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, (2)\r\nthe skill displayed in presenting them, (3) the extent to which the nature of\r\nthe litigation precluded other employment by the attorneys, (4) the contingent\r\nnature of the fee award. [Citation.] The purpose of such adjustment is to fix a\r\nfee at the fair market value for the particular action. In effect, the court\r\ndetermines, retrospectively, whether the litigation involved a contingent risk\r\nor required extraordinary legal skill justifying augmentation of the unadorned\r\nlodestar in order to approximate the fair market rate for such services. . . .\r\nThis approach anchors the trial court's analysis to an objective determination\r\nof the value of the attorney's services, ensuring that the amount awarded is\r\nnot arbitrary.” [Internal citations and internal quotation marks omitted.]

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(Graciano v.\r\nRobinson Ford Sales, Inc. (2006) 144 Cal.App.4th 140.) “It is well\r\nestablished that the determination of what constitutes reasonable attorney fees\r\nis committed to the discretion of the trial court, whose decision cannot be\r\nreversed in the absence of an abuse of discretion. [Citations.] The value of legal services performed in a\r\ncase is a matter in which the trial court has its own expertise. . . . The\r\ntrial court makes its determination after consideration of a number of factors,\r\nincluding the nature of the litigation, its difficulty, the amount involved,\r\nthe skill required in its handling, the skill employed, the attention given,\r\nthe success or failure, and other circumstances in the case. [Citations.]” \r\n(Melnyk v. Robledo (1976) 64\r\nCal.App.3d 618, 623-624.)

\r\n\r\n

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No\r\nspecific findings reflecting the court’s calculations are required. The record need only show that the attorney\r\nfees were awarded according to the “lodestar” or “touchstone” approach. The court’s focus in evaluating the facts\r\nshould be to provide a fee award reasonably designed to completely compensate\r\nattorneys for the services provided. The\r\nstarting point for this determination is the attorney’s time records. (Horsford v. Board of Trustees of Calif.\r\nState Univ. (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 359, 395-397 [verified time\r\nrecords entitled to credence absent clear indication they are erroneous].) However, California case law permits fee\r\nawards in the absence of detailed timesheets. (Sommers v. Erb (1992) 2\r\nCal.App.4th 1644, 1651; Dunk v. Ford\r\nMotor Co. (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1794, 1810; Nightingale v. Hyundai Motor America (1994) 31 Cal.App.4th 99,\r\n103.) An experienced trial judge is in a\r\nposition to assess the value of the professional services rendered in his or\r\nher court. (Id.; Serrano v. Priest\r\n(1977) 20 Cal.3d 25, 49; Wershba v. Apple\r\nComputer, Inc. (2001) 91 Cal.App.4th 224, 255.)

\r\n\r\n

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III. \r\nDiscussion\r\n

\r\n\r\n

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Petitioner’s Motion is timely and it is undisputed that\r\nit is the prevailing party as it achieved its litigation objective and obtained\r\na permanent injunction against Respondents.

\r\n\r\n

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Civil Code Section 798.85 provides that a prevailing\r\nparty in any action arising out of the provisions of that chapter shall be\r\nentitled to its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. Thus, Petitioner is\r\nentitled to recover its attorney’s fees and costs.

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Petitioner seeks a total of $21,790.79 based on\r\n$20,863.00 in fees and $927.79 in costs. (Mot., pp. 1-2.) Counsel explains\r\nservices rendered include drafting seven-day notices, preparing and filing the\r\npetition, communicating with witnesses, preparing and filing supplemental\r\ndeclarations, and attending several hearings on the issuance of a permanent\r\ninjunction. (Mot., Beam Decl., ¶ 6, Exh. 2.) Petitioner additionally requests\r\n$1,490.00 incurred for this Motion, which is based on 2 hours of paralegal time\r\nat $140.00, 4 hours of attorney time at $300.00, and one $90.00 filing fee. (Id.) Petitioner attaches invoices for the\r\nCourt’s review. (Id.)

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

The attached billing records,\r\nhowever, are largely redacted. For example, a February 2, 2021 entry states\r\n“Research re REDACTED” and “Draft brief re REDACTED.” (Id.) Other entries bill almost one hour each for reviewing and answering\r\nemails and for “conferences” but redact the subject matter of those emails and\r\nconferences. (Id.) With so many redactions, the\r\nCourt is having a difficult time evaluating the reasonableness of the time\r\nbilled.

\r\n\r\n

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Thus, Petitioner is ordered to\r\nsubmit unredacted copies for review. If Petitioner is concerned about\r\nattorney-client privilege, it may lodge unredacted copies with the Court.

\r\n\r\n

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IV. \r\nConclusion\r\n& Order

\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner\r\nMerle’s Manor II, LLC’s Motion for Award of Attorney’s Fees and Costs is\r\nCONTINUED TO OCTOBER 26, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING\r\nSTREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing,\r\nPetitioner must file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein. Failure\r\nto do so may result in the Motion being placed off calendar or denied.

\r\n\r\n

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Moving party is ordered to give\r\nnotice.

"

Case Number: 20STCP03752     Hearing Date: May 3, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: PETITION FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION PURSUANT TO CIVIL CODE SECTION 798.88

MOVING PARTY: Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC

RESP. PARTY: Respondents Jose Ramirez and Guadalupe Ramirez

PERMANENT INJUNCTION

(Civil Code § 798.88)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC’s Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 is GRANTED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS (1) requiring Respondents to maintain the area around their Mobilehome and shed clear of any items except for those permitted by their lease agreement and the Park Rules; (2) requiring Respondents to maintain the landscaping around their Mobilehome; (3) requiring Respondents to repair the damaged skirting and to maintain their Mobilehome and shed in good condition, including the Mobilehome and shed paint job; and (4) requiring Respondents to obtain permission from Petitioner for any new pet.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of January 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of January 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

First Set

PET. SUPP. PAPERS: Filed on February 9, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

RESP. SUPP. PAPERS: Filed on March 1, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

Second Set

PET. SUPP. PAPERS: Filed on April 9, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

RESP. SUPP. PAPERS: Filed on April 20, 2021 [ ] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On November 12, 2020, Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC (“Petitioner”) filed the instant Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 (the “Petition”) against Respondents Jose Ramirez (“Jose”) and Guadalupe Ramirez (“Guadalupe”) (collectively, “Respondents”). Petitioner moves pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 for an order enjoining Respondents from violations of the rules of Petitioner’s mobilehome park located at 1000 N. Figueroa St., Wilmington, CA 90744 (the “Mobilehome Park”). (Pet., pp. 7-8, ¶¶ 2, 14-17.) Respondents’ mobilehome occupies Space No. 2 in Defendant’s Mobilehome Park (the “Mobilehome”). (Id. at ¶ 2.) Petitioner requests that Respondents be ordered to (1) remove all items outside their Mobilehome and storage shed except outdoor patio furniture and barbecues and be prohibited from storing any items except outdoor patio furniture and barbecues outside the Mobilehome; (2) remove two unapproved, unregistered dogs; (3) trim the overgrown trees and bushes; (4) repair and/or replace the damaged skirting on the Mobilehome; and (5) paint the storage shed in a color that matches Respondents’ Mobilehome. (Pet., Prayer, ¶ 1.) Respondents did not file an opposition before the first hearing.

Both Petitioner and self-represented Respondents appeared at the initial January 14, 2021 hearing. (1/14/21 Minute Order.) Respondents requested a Spanish interpreter. (Id.) After fully considering the parties’ oral arguments, the Court did not adopt its tentative ruling, continued the hearing, and ordered the parties to meet and confer on a possible good faith settlement of the case no later than January 28, 2021. (Id.)

Petitioner filed supplemental papers on February 9. Attorney Martin Kovalsky substituted in as Respondents’ attorney on March 1. That same day, Respondents filed supplemental papers.

After hearing oral arguments from the parties, the Court continued the hearing a second time on March 3, 2021. (3/3/21 Minute Order.) Respondents were ordered to file and serve evidence of lack of notice and of their cure of the violations identified by Petitioner. (Id.) Petitioner was permitted to respond to any supplemental papers filed by Respondents. (Id.)

Respondents filed a supplemental brief on April 9 and Petitioner filed a response on April 20.

II. Request for Judicial Notice

Respondents request judicial notice of the November 15, 2019 declarations of Trish Simpson and Mario Flores filed in the case entitled Merle’s Manor II, LLC v. Domitilio Gudino, Case No. 19STCP05067. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, RJN, Exhs. A, B.) Respondents’ request is DENIED.

The declarations of Trish Simpson and Mario Flores are not relevant to whether or not Respondents committed the alleged Rules’ violations. Only relevant matters are judicially noticeable. (Aquila, Inc. v. Superior Court (2007) 148 Cal.App.4th 556, 569 (citing Mangini v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (1994) 7 Cal.4th 1057, 1063, overruled on other grounds).)

III. Objections

A. Petitioner’s Objections

Petitioner’s objections to attorney Martin Kovalsky’s April 9, 2021 declaration are SUSTAINED as to Nos. 2, 3, 8-10, 12-13 and OVERRULED as to Nos. 1, 4-7, 11. Petitioner’s objections to the declaration of Respondent Jose’s April 9, 2021 declaration are SUSTAINED as to Nos. 10-12 and OVERRULED as to Nos. 1-9, and 13-15.

B. Respondents’ Objections

Respondents’ objections to the January 29, 2021 declaration of Trish Simpson are OVERRULED as to Nos. 1, 3-7 and SUSTAINED as to No. 2. Respondents’ objections to Exhibits 1-3 attached to the Petition are OVERRULED. Respondents’ objections to the January 29, 2021 declaration of Mario Flores are OVERRULED as to 1, 2, and 4 and SUSTAINED as to No. 3.

Respondents’ objections to the evidence attached to Mario Flores’ April 20, 2021 declaration are OVERRULED.

Finally, Respondents’ objection to the April 20, 2021 declaration of Gregory Beam is SUSTAINED as to Exhibit A only and OVERRULED as to Paragraph 3.

IV. Legal Standard

The Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”) gives management an injunctive relief remedy for violations of “reasonable” park rules and regulations. (Civ. Code, § 798.88.) Specifically, management may obtain a restraining order against a continuing or recurring violation of any “reasonable rule or regulation.” (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (b); Rancho Santa Paula Mobilehome Park, Ltd. v. Evans (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 1139, 1142.) At the time of the hearing, the court shall issue the injunction if it finds by clear and convincing evidence the existence of a continuing or recurring violation of a “reasonable rule or regulation.” (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (d).) The duration of the injunction may not exceed three years. (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (d).)

V. Discussion

Petitioner personally served Respondents with the Petition on December 3, 2020. (12/8/20 Proofs of Service.)

The Petition is supported by the declarations of Trish Simpson (“Simpson”), the regional manager of the Mobilehome Park, and Mario Flores (“Flores”), the resident manager of the Mobilehome Park. Simpson states in her declaration that Petitioner is the owner of the Mobilehome Park and that Respondents entered into a written lease agreement with the Petitioner on or about October 14, 1999. (Mot., Simpson Decl., ¶ 2.) Thereafter, on or about March 15, 2020, Respondents entered into an updated lease agreement requiring, in pertinent part, that Respondents comply with all of the Mobilehome Park’s Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”). (Id., Exh. 1.) The Rules were incorporated into the new lease agreement signed on March 15, 2020. (Id.)

Petitioner’s moving papers stated the following: Prior to August 18, 2020, Flores observed Respondents violating several Mobilehome Park Rules as follows: (1) by having two unregistered dogs, tying them up outside and leaving them unattended, allowing them to roam the Mobilehome Park without a leash, and failing to clean up their feces; (2) by having numerous items stored outside of their Mobilehome and failing to maintain the Mobilehome landscaping; (3) by having damaged skirting on their Mobilehome, overgrown trees, and weeds; and (4) by failing to paint their storage shed in a color that matched Respondents’ Mobilehome. (Mot., Flores Decl., ¶ 4.) Following these violations, on August 18, 2020, Simpson issued a Seven-Day Notice to comply with the Rules. (Id., Simpson Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. 3.) Flores stated that Respondents only partially complied with the first Seven-Day Notice. (Id., Flores Decl., ¶ 4(a).) On October 8, 2020, Petitioner’s counsel issued a second Seven-Day Notice for continuous violations of the Mobilehome Park Rules. (Id., Beam Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 4.) Simpson and Flores stated Respondents were also given informal notices of their violations before the Seven-Day Notices were issued. (Id., Simpson Decl., ¶ 6; Flores Decl., ¶ 4.) Respondents failed to cure their violations. (Id. Simpson Decl., ¶ 7.) The moving papers stated that, as of the date the Petition was filed, Respondents (1) had not removed all impermissibly stored items from the Mobilehome, (2) continued to allow their two dogs to roam free in the Mobilehome Park; (3) had not painted the storage shed in a color that matched their Mobilehome; (4) had failed to maintain the landscaping; and (5) had not fixed the damaged skirting on their Mobilehome. (Id.; Flores Decl., ¶ 6.)

In their supplemental papers, both parties accused the other of not meeting and conferring in good faith as ordered by the Court. (3/3/21 Minute Order.) Petitioner’s counsel attested Respondent Jose initially discussed the matter with him without an interpreter but when counsel stated any settlement would have to include attorney’s fees, Respondent Jose became combative and demanded an in-person meeting with an interpreter. (Id.) Petitioner also raised new violations, including an unapproved gate and outdoor pizza oven. (Id.) Respondents, on the other hand, argued that Petitioner’s counsel should have provided an interpreter for the meet and confer call, that they were never provided a copy of the Park Rules in Spanish, and that they were not given adequate notice in light of their language barrier. (Id.) Most importantly, they stated, without any evidence, that the alleged violations were cured. (Id.) The Court continued the hearing one final time and ordered Respondents to file additional evidence regarding the arguments above. (Id.)

C. Most Recent Supplemental Papers

1. Adequate Notice

Respondents first argue the Petition must be denied because Petitioner failed to issue three separate seven-day notices. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, pp. 6:14-7:10.) Section 798.88, which governs injunctive relief in these cases, requires no such notice.

In pertinent part, Section 798.88 states,

“(a) In addition to any right under Article 6 (commencing with Section 798.55) to terminate the tenancy of a homeowner, any person in violation of a

(b)  may be filed by the management thereof within the limited jurisdiction of the superior court of the county in which the mobilehome park is located. At the time of filing the petition, the petitioner may obtain a temporary restraining order in accordance with subdivision (a) of Section 527 of the Code of Civil Procedure. A temporary order restraining the violation may be granted, with notice, upon the petitioner's affidavit showing to the satisfaction of the court reasonable proof of a continuing or recurring violation of a rule or regulation of the mobilehome park by the named homeowner or resident and that great or irreparable harm would result to the management or other homeowners or residents of the park from continuance or recurrence of the violation.”

[¶]

(d) Within 15 days of filing the petition for an injunction, a hearing shall be held thereon. If the court, by clear and convincing evidence, finds the existence of a continuing or recurring violation of a reasonable rule or regulation of the mobilehome park, the court shall issue an injunction prohibiting the violation. The duration of the injunction shall not exceed three years.

[¶][¶]

(g) The remedy provided by this section is nonexclusive and nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit any rights the management of a mobilehome park may have to terminate a tenancy.”

(Emphasis added.)

Unlike other subsections in the Mobilehome Residency Law, Section 798.88 includes no specific notice requirement.

For example, Section 798.61, which relates to declaring a mobilehome abandoned, specifically sets forth certain notice requirements before a petition may be granted. (Civ. Code, § 798.61, subds. (b), (c).) Similarly, Section 798.84 requires 30 days’ notice before homeowners may initiate an action against management for failure to maintain common areas and sets forth the required contents of the notice and method of service. (Civ. Code, § 798.84, subds. (a)-(c).) In addition, Section 798.56, which relates to the termination of a tenancy and not to the issuance of an injunction, requires that management give the homeowner or resident a seven-day notice of an alleged rules or regulation violation before it can be deemed a “failure to comply with [the] reasonable rule or regulation. (Civ. Code, § 798.56, subd. (d).)

Despite multiple continuances, Respondents have not cited any case law or statutory authority demonstrating Petitioner was required to comply with specific notice requirements before a permanent injunction may be issued.

Respondents also argue that the seven-day notices were defective. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, p. 7:11-19.) The Court is not persuaded. As discussed, no particular method or length of notice is required by Section 798.88.

2. Petitioner’s Burden of Proof and Choice of Remedy

Respondents correctly cite the portion of Section 798.88, subdivision (d), which states the Court shall issue an injunction if it finds the existence of a continuing or recurring violation by clear and convincing evidence. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, pp. 4:20-5:7.) (Emphasis added.)

Despite clear language in Section 798.88, Respondents argue that Petitioner must prove “great and irreparable harm.” (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, pp. 4:20-5:7.) Respondents appear to base this argument on Paragraph 14 of the Petition which states that Respondents’ violations, “unless and until enjoined and restrained by order of this Court, will cause great and irreparable harm to the Park, its homeowners and residents.” (Pet., ¶ 14.) (Emphasis added.) The fact that Petitioner included this language in its Petition does not mean it is subject to that higher standard. Indeed, a showing of great and irreparable harm is only required if a petitioner requests that a temporary restraining order be issued pending the hearing on the permanent injunction. (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (b).)

Respondents also take issue with Petitioner’s choice of remedy. Specifically, they argue that, under Civil Code section 798.36, Petitioner should have issued a notice for needed landscaping and clean-up and then billed Respondents for the actual costs. (Mot., pp. 5:21-6:13.) They further argue that, under Park Rule 24, Petitioner could have, and should have, impounded the dogs alleged to have been “running loose” in the community. (Id.) However, Section 798.88 does not require a petitioner to exhaust other remedies before seeking injunctive relief. It expressly states that an injunction under this Section is a nonexclusive remedy. (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (g).)

3. Unclean Hands & Waiver

Respondents next argue Petitioner’s misconduct bars the relief sought. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, pp. 8:2-9:5.) Specifically, Respondents state that Simpson’s statements regarding verbal notices provided to them are false and that there was “absolutely no verbal notice or warning [except for the sole exception of painting the shed which was painted]”. (Id.) In his sworn declaration, Respondent Jose states the following:

“Prior to August 18, 2020 I never had any problem with the management at [the Park] throughout my more than 20 years living there. I absolutely never had any problems and absolutely did not receive any written notice that I violated any of [the Park’s] rules until this action…I understand that I have been accused of having recurring rules violations. That is absolutely not true. If anyone says otherwise, they would not be telling the truth.

(4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, Jose Decl.., ¶ 7.) (Emphasis added.)

Petitioner demonstrates this statement is false. Flores submits with his supplemental declaration ten different letters and notices regarding violations ranging from August 24, 2000 through July 29, 2019. (4/20/21 Pet. Supp. Brief, Flores Decl., ¶ 5, Exhs. B-K.) The violations identified in these letters and notices include (1) failure to abide by occupancy limits; (2) failure to properly park vehicles; (3) garbage in the backyard; (4) failure to maintain landscaping; (5) failure to repair and replace skirting; (6) impermissible outside storage; (7) failure to paint and wash the Mobilehome; (8) failure to replace awning; and (9) failure to keep dogs indoors. (Id.) Flores states this is only a fraction of the notices regarding violations that were issued to Respondents over the years. (Id.)

Respondent Jose and counsel are admonished for making a false representation to the Court.

Respondents filed an objection to the evidence in Flores’ second supplemental declaration, arguing new evidence is not permitted in reply papers. (4/21/21 Resp. Objection, p. 3.) A trial court may consider evidence presented in its reply papers when the opposing party had notice and an opportunity to respond to the new evidence. (Jacobs v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Co. (2017) 14 Cal.App.5th 438, 449.) Respondents had notice of the new evidence but only filed an objection. In addition, Petitioner was permitted to respond to the evidence Respondents submitted in their second set of supplemental papers. The Court cannot disregard this evidence as it is directly relevant to an argument Respondents raised, i.e., that no written notice of any violation was ever provided and that enforcement of the Rules after 20 years of tenancy is now discriminatory.

Relying on Merle’s Manor II, LLC v. Domitilio Gudino, LASC Case No. 19STCP05067, Respondents argue that Petitioner discriminatorily enforces the Rules against non-English speakers. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, pp. 3:23-12.) Specifically, they argue Gudino, an English-speaking tenant, was given three seven-day notices, multiple verbal warnings, and other written notices before an action was filed. (Id.) First, Petitioner demonstrated Respondents have received numerous communications from management, largely involving the same violations, dating back to 2000. Second, that Petitioner handled this matter differently than it handled one other case does not demonstrate discrimination. Respondent Jose also includes in his declaration photographs of other mobilehomes at the Mobilehome Park that he argues are also in violation of the rules. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, Jose Decl., ¶ 20, Exh. 4.) However, Respondent Jose offers no knowledge of whether management has issued any notices of violation to those homeowners.

Respondents further argue “[t]he lengthy conduct of non-enforcement constituted a waiver of [P]etitioner’s rights to enforce the rules in non-public areas of owners where no neighbor complaints [sic].” This argument is not persuasive. Again, Petitioner demonstrated it has repeatedly notified Respondents of their violations. That no neighbors complained of Respondents’ conduct does not negate they violated the Rules.

Lastly, it is greatly disputed between the parties the extent to which Respondents speak and understand English. However, Respondents cited no authority demonstrating that failure to give them letters and notices of violations in Spanish precludes Petitioner from obtaining an injunction under Civil Code section 798.88.

D. Permanent Injunction

Respondent Jose’s declaration includes over 20 photographs purporting to show the alleged violations related to the maintenance of the Mobilehome have been cured. (4/9/21 Resp. Supp. Brief, Jose Decl., ¶ 26, Exh. 10.) He also states that, out of an abundance of caution, both dogs complained of were rehomed at the end of January, that the shed has been painted and fixed, and that the damaged skirting has been repaired. (Id. at ¶¶ 9, 11, and 25.) Respondents’ photographs, however, do not demonstrate the skirting was properly repaired. The skirting appears to remain crooked and bent. (Id. at Exh. 10.) Respondent Jose’s declaration also admits he obtained at least one new dog without Petitioner’s permission. (Id. at ¶ 9.)

The Court finds Petitioner carried its burden to show by clear and convincing evidence that Respondents have repeatedly and continually violated the Mobilehome Park Rules.

Respondents argue that Petitioner did not give notice it would seek an injunction based on a recurring violation; rather, the Petition only sought an injunction based on a continuing violation. (4/21/21 Resp. Obj., p. 3:7-25.) The Petition contains no such limitation. The Petition states that there is clear and convincing evidence of Respondents’ “continuing or recurring” violations. (Pet., p. 8, ¶ 17.) Notably, Respondents did not argue the Rules Petitioner seeks to enforce are unreasonable.

The Court’s order is limited to the violations presented in the original Petition. Thus, the Court issues a permanent injunction (1) requiring Respondents to maintain the area around their Mobilehome and shed clear of any items except for those permitted by their lease agreement and the Park Rules; (2) requiring Respondents to maintain the landscaping around their Mobilehome; (3) requiring Respondents to repair the damaged skirting and to maintain their Mobilehome and shed in good condition, including the Mobilehome and shed paint job; and (4) requiring Respondents to obtain permission from Petitioner for any new pet.

VI. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC’s Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 is GRANTED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS (1) requiring Respondents to maintain the area around their Mobilehome and shed clear of any items except for those permitted by their lease agreement and the Park Rules; (2) requiring Respondents to maintain the landscaping around their Mobilehome; (3) requiring Respondents to repair the damaged skirting and to maintain their Mobilehome and shed in good condition, including the Mobilehome and shed paint job; and (4) requiring Respondents to obtain permission from Petitioner for any new pet.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 20STCP03752    Hearing Date: January 14, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., January 14, 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Merle’s Manor II, LLC v. Ramirez, et al. PET. FILED: 11-12-20

CASE NUMBER: 20STCP03752

NOTICE: OK

PROCEEDINGS: PETITION FOR PERMANENT INJUNCTION PURSUANT TO CIVIL CODE SECTION 798.88

MOVING PARTY: Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC

RESP. PARTY: None

PERMANENT INJUNCTION

(Civil Code § 798.88)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC’s Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 is GRANTED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS. However, the request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Section 798.85 is CONTINUED TO MARCH 1, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Petitioner must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies identified herein. Failure to do so may result in the request for attorney’s fees and costs being denied.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of January 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of January 12, 2021 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC (“Petitioner”) filed the instant Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 (the “Petition”) against Respondents Jose Ramirez (“Jose”) and Guadalupe Ramirez (“Guadalupe”) (collectively, “Respondents”) on November 12, 2020. Petitioner moves pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 for an order enjoining Respondents from continuing violations of the rules of Petitioner’s mobilehome park located at 1000 N. Figueroa St., Wilmington, CA 90744 (the “Mobilehome Park”). (Pet., pp. 7-8, ¶¶ 2, 14-16.) Respondents’ mobilehome occupies Space No. 2 in Defendant’s Mobilehome Park (the “Premises”). (Id. at ¶ 2.) Petitioner requests that Respondents be immediately ordered to (1) remove all items outside their mobilehome and storage shed except outdoor patio furniture and barbecues and be prohibited from storing any items except outdoor patio furniture and barbecues outside the mobilehome; (2) remove two unapproved, unregistered dogs; (3) trim the overgrown trees and bushes; (4) repair and/or replace the damaged skirting on the mobilehome; and (5) paint the storage shed in a color that matches Respondents’ mobilehome. (Pet., Prayer, ¶ 1.)

II. Legal Standard

The Mobilehome Residency Law (“MRL”) gives management an injunctive relief remedy for violations of “reasonable” park rules and regulations. (Civ. Code, § 798.88.) Specifically, management may obtain a restraining order against a continuing or recurring violation of any “reasonable rule or regulation.” (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (b); Rancho Santa Paula Mobilehome Park, Ltd. v. Evans (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 1139, 1142.) At the time of the hearing, the court shall issue the injunction if it finds by clear and convincing evidence the existence of a continuing or recurring violation of a “reasonable rule or regulation.” (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (d).) The duration of the injunction may not exceed three years. (Civ. Code, § 798.88, subd. (d).)

III. Discussion

A. Permanent Injunction

Petitioner personally served Respondents with the Petition on December 3, 2020. (12/8/20 Proofs of Service.)

The Petition is supported by the declarations of Trish Simpson (“Simpson”), the regional manager of the Mobilehome Park, and Mario Flores (“Flores”), the resident manager of the Mobilehome Park. Simpson states in her declaration that Petitioner is the owner of the Mobilehome Park and that Respondents entered into a written lease with the Petitioner on or about October 14, 1999. (Mot., Simpson Decl., ¶ 2.) Thereafter, on or about March 15, 2020, Respondents entered into an updated lease agreement requiring, in pertinent part, that Respondents comply with all of the Mobilehome Park’s Rules and Regulations (the “Rules”). (Id., Exh. 1.) The Rules were incorporated into the new lease agreement signed on March 15, 2020. (Id.)

Prior to August 18, 2020, Flores observed Respondents violating several Mobilehome Park Rules as follows: (1) by having two unregistered dogs, tying them up outside unattended, allowing them to roam the Mobilehome Park without a leash, and failing to clean up feces; (2) by having numerous items stored outside of their mobilehome and failing to maintain the mobilehome landscaping; (3) by having damaged skirting on their mobilehome, overgrown trees and weeds; and (4) by failing to paint the storage shed in a color that matched Respondents’ mobilehome. (Mot., Flores Decl., ¶ 4.) Following these violations, on August 18, 2020, Simpson issued a Seven-Day Notice to comply with the Rules. (Mot., Simpson Decl., ¶ 3, Exh. 3.) Respondents only partially complied with the first Seven-Day Notice. (Id., Flores Decl., ¶ 4(a).) On October 8, 2020, Petitioner’s counsel issued a second Seven-Day Notice for continuous violations of the Mobilehome Park Rules. (Id., Beam Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 4.) Respondents were also given informal notices of their Rule violations prior to service of the Seven-Day Notices. (Id., Simpson Decl., ¶ 6; Flores Decl., ¶ 4.) Despite the Seven-Day Notices and informal notices, Respondents failed to cure their violations. (Id. Simpson Decl., ¶ 7.) Specifically, Respondents (1) have not removed all items from the Premises, (2) continue to allow their two dogs to roam free in the Mobilehome Park; (3) have not painted the storage shed in a color that matches their mobilehome; (4) have failed to maintain the landscaping; and (5) have not fixed the damaged skirting on their mobilehome. (Id.; Flores Decl., ¶ 6.)

Based on the foregoing evidence, which is unopposed, the Court finds that Petitioner has shown a continuing violation of its reasonable rules and regulations by clear and convincing evidence. Thus, the Petition for a Permanent Injunction against Respondents is GRANTED.

B. Attorney’s Fees and Costs

Petitioner requests its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as provided for under Civil Code section 798.85. (Pet, Prayer ¶ 1.) Civil Code section 798.85 provides that the prevailing party shall be entitled to its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.

Although requested in the Petition, no evidence was provided regarding the attorney’s fees or costs incurred. Thus, Petitioner is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers providing this information.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Petitioner Merle’s Manor II, LLC’s Petition for Permanent Injunction Pursuant to Civil Code section 798.88 is GRANTED FOR A PERIOD OF THREE YEARS. However, the request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to Section 798.85 is CONTINUED TO MARCH 1, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Petitioner must file and serve supplemental papers addressing the deficiencies identified herein. Failure to do so may result in the request for attorney’s fees and costs being denied.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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