This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/07/2019 at 01:04:06 (UTC).

JEFFREY JANGER ET AL VS ASHLEY WACHSMAN ET AL

Case Summary

On 04/11/2016 JEFFREY JANGER filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against ASHLEY WACHSMAN. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****6540

  • Filing Date:

    04/11/2016

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

JANGER JEFFREY

DAVIDSON RACHEL

Respondents and Defendants

ONE DAY TREE SERVICE

CHAVEZ JOSE JR.

NIMNI ELIZABETH

WACHSMAN ASHLEY

DOES 1-100

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

NAGLER & ASSOCIATES

MICHAIL MAUREEN MIRA

Defendant Attorneys

LAZARAN MARY ANNE

DUPLANTIER ANGELO ANTHONY III

MARCUS DAVID MORRIS ESQ.

 

Court Documents

NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS TO CEDARS-SINAI HEART INSTITUTE; ETC.

1/10/2018: NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS TO CEDARS-SINAI HEART INSTITUTE; ETC.

NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE AND CONSOLIDATION OF MOTIONS TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS REGARDING DEFENDANT ELIZABETH NIMNI

1/16/2018: NOTICE OF CONTINUANCE AND CONSOLIDATION OF MOTIONS TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS REGARDING DEFENDANT ELIZABETH NIMNI

DECLARATION OF DAVID M. MARCUS RE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE/STATUS CONFERENCE

1/31/2018: DECLARATION OF DAVID M. MARCUS RE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE/STATUS CONFERENCE

REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS OF CEDARS-SINAI HEART INSTITUTE, ELISA NEWMAN, M.D., AND DANA KEISEL,

2/21/2018: REPLY TO PLAINTIFFS' OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO QUASH PLAINTIFFS' DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS OF CEDARS-SINAI HEART INSTITUTE, ELISA NEWMAN, M.D., AND DANA KEISEL,

NOTICE OF COURT'S RULING AND TRIAL SETTING

3/2/2018: NOTICE OF COURT'S RULING AND TRIAL SETTING

Minute Order

5/23/2018: Minute Order

COMPLAINT FOR: 1. TRESPASS TO TIMBER; ETC

4/11/2016: COMPLAINT FOR: 1. TRESPASS TO TIMBER; ETC

CROSS-COMPLAINT: 1) TO ABATE A NUISANCE AND FOR DAMAGES; 2) FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF; 3) FOR TRESPASS TO REAL PROPERTY

6/20/2016: CROSS-COMPLAINT: 1) TO ABATE A NUISANCE AND FOR DAMAGES; 2) FOR DECLARATORY RELIEF; 3) FOR TRESPASS TO REAL PROPERTY

Minute Order

6/22/2016: Minute Order

CAUSE OF ACTION-COMMON COUNTS

6/24/2016: CAUSE OF ACTION-COMMON COUNTS

Unknown

7/26/2016: Unknown

NOTICE OF POSTING ADVANCE JURY FEES

8/3/2016: NOTICE OF POSTING ADVANCE JURY FEES

Minute Order

10/18/2016: Minute Order

NOTICE OF MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

7/13/2017: NOTICE OF MANDATORY SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE

Minute Order

9/27/2017: Minute Order

MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT, ETC

10/10/2017: MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED CROSS-COMPLAINT, ETC

DECLARATION OF DAVID M. MARCUS RE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCEIFINAL STATUS CONFERENCE REGARDING INABILITY TO PROCEED BECAUSE OF: (1) DEFENDANT'S HEALTH, ETC

12/4/2017: DECLARATION OF DAVID M. MARCUS RE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCEIFINAL STATUS CONFERENCE REGARDING INABILITY TO PROCEED BECAUSE OF: (1) DEFENDANT'S HEALTH, ETC

Minute Order

12/8/2017: Minute Order

82 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/13/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 58; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/10/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 58; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 05/07/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 58; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/25/2019
  • at 09:30 AM in Department 58; Status Conference - Held

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  • 04/25/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/19/2019
  • Notice (Status Conference Statement); Filed by Ashley Wachsman (Defendant); Elizabeth Nimni (Defendant)

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  • 03/20/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 58; Post-Mediation Status Conference - Held

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  • 03/20/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 58; Status Conference - Held - Continued

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  • 03/20/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Status Conference; Post-Mediation Status Conference)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/04/2019
  • at 09:00 AM in Department 58; Jury Trial - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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189 More Docket Entries
  • 05/19/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 05/19/2016
  • PROOF OF SERVICE OF SUMMONS

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  • 05/19/2016
  • Proof-Service/Summons; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 04/12/2016
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 04/12/2016
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/12/2016
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/12/2016
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 04/11/2016
  • Complaint; Filed by Jeffrey Janger (Plaintiff); Rachel Davidson (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/11/2016
  • SUMMONS

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  • 04/11/2016
  • COMPLAINT FOR: 1. TRESPASS TO TIMBER; ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC616540    Hearing Date: May 18, 2021    Dept: 58

Judge John P. Doyle

Department 58


Hearing Date: May 18, 2021

Case Name: Janger, et al. v. Wachsman, et al.

Case No.: BC616540

Matter: Motion for Summary Adjudication

Moving Party: Defendants Ashley Wachsman and Elizabeth Nimni

Responding Party: Plaintiffs Jeffrey Janger and Rachel Davidson


Tentative Ruling: The Motion is denied.


On April 11, 2016, Plaintiffs Jeffrey Janger and Rachel Davidson filed the operative Complaint for (1) trespass to timber, (2) IIED, (3) trespass to real property, (4) quiet title, and (5) declaratory relief. The Complaint alleges Defendants Ashley Wachsman and Elizabeth Nimni unlawfully cut a eucalyptus tree on the boundary of the parties’ properties.

Defendants Ashley Wachsman and Elizabeth Nimni move for summary adjudication as to the first cause of action, the claim for double or treble damages for the first cause of action, the second cause of action, and the claim for punitive damages for the first and second causes of action. Defendants primarily argue there was no trespass to timber or extreme and outrageous conduct for the purposes of the IIED claim because (1) Defendants are permitted to cut parts of the subject tree that extend over their property, so long as it does not cause damage to the tree; (2) Defendants only cut tree limbs over their property which did not cause damage to the tree; and (3) Defendants did not intentionally enter upon Plaintiffs’ property to damage the tree.

“Line trees are ‘trees whose trunks stand partly on the land of two or more coterminous owners,’ and ‘belong to them in common.’ Civ.Code, § 834; 28 Am. & Eng.Ency. of Law (2d Ed.) p. 538. . . . If the tree stand[s] so nearly upon the dividing line between the lands that portions of its body extend into each, the same is the property, in common, of the landowners. And neither of them is at liberty to cut the tree without the consent of the other, nor to cut away the part which extends into his land, if he thereby injures the common property in the tree. Washburn on Real Property (3d Ed.) § 7a.” (Scarborough v. Woodill (1907) 7 Cal.App. 39, 40.)

For the purposes of the trespass to timber claim, “Civil Code section 3346 and Code of Civil Procedure section 733 both require a trespass. (Id. at p. 1103, 258 Cal.Rptr.3d 812, 458 P.3d 860.) It went on to hold, however, that not just any common law trespass will do. (Id. at pp. 1104-1105, 1110-1112, 258 Cal.Rptr.3d 812, 458 P.3d 860.) Rather, these statutes ‘refer not to the common law action of trespass but rather the kind of acts long thought of as “timber trespass” or “timber misappropriation” — essentially, intentionally severing or removing timber from another's land without the owner's consent. [Citations.]’ (Id. at p. 1104, 258 Cal.Rptr.3d 812, 458 P.3d 860; see also id. at p. 1105, 258 Cal.Rptr.3d 812, 458 P.3d 860.) Their ‘purpose ... is “ ‘to educate blunderers (persons who mistake location of boundary lines) and to discourage rogues (persons who ignore boundary lines), to protect timber from being cut by others than the owner.’ ” [Citations.]’ (Id. at p. 1110, 258 Cal.Rptr.3d 812, 458 P.3d 860.) Thus, they ‘address[ ] situations where a person intentionally enters the land in question, either personally or through some agent or instrumentality, to cause direct, intentional injury to timber, trees, or underwood.’ (Ibid.)” (Russell v. Man (2020) 58 Cal.App.5th 530, 536–37.)

Here, the issue as to injury to the subject tree is disputed. (Mellinger Decl. ¶¶ 24-25.)

The issue as to trespass is somewhat tricky. The Complaint and discovery responses make clear that Defendants only cut tree limbs over their property. On the other hand, Plaintiffs’ evidence supports that Defendants intentionally climbed portions of the subject tree that were over Plaintiffs’ property line in order to cut the limbs over Defendants’ property. (Chavez Decl. ¶ 14 [“In order to get to the part of the tree that Ms. Nimni directed us to cut, I observed my laborer climb up the main trunk so he was on the portion of the tree that was on the neighbors' side of the wooden fence between the two properties, but I did not worry because Nimni told us that she had her neighbors' permission.”].)

In Russell v. Man (2020) 58 Cal.App.5th 530 there was a tree 80% on the property of “A” and 20% on the property of “B”. B killed the tree by doing construction on his land. During the construction, B entered A’s land to cut dead branches and also to drive “a single nail into the Russells' house, and tie[] a string to it (probably as a guideline for the foundations).” The Court found that there was no trespass to timber claim because “[t]he facts here do not show an intentional entry across a boundary line. The tree died as a result of acts by [B’s] workers on [B’s] own land. [B’s] workers did enter [A’s] land twice, once to trim branches and once to drive a nail, but it is undisputed that those trespasses did not kill the tree; they were not the timber trespasses for which [A] [was] seeking treble damages.” (Russell, supra, 58 Cal.App.5th at p. 537.)

Here, in contrast to Russell, Plaintiffs have presented evidence that the act which damaged the subject tree occurred via a trespass upon Plaintiffs’ property. (Chavez Decl. ¶ 14.) Further, there is evidence that “workers had climbed the tree with spikes damaging the main trunk . . . .” (Mellinger Decl. ¶ 24.) The Court believes this is sufficient to assert a trespass to timber claim.

Defendants’ arguments as to the IIED claim and punitive damages are essentially duplicative of those made in support of the trespass to timber claim. (MSA at p. 14 [“Since the Subject Trimming was an act that defendants were legally entitled to do, it cannot be considered to be ‘extreme and outrageous’ as to exceed the bounds of decency . . . . For the same reasons discussed above, defendants cannot be liable for punitive damages for performing a lawful act.”].) Accordingly, the Motion for Summary Adjudication is denied. The objections are overruled.

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