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Marianne Newman-Deurloo et al v. Beverly Atheleen Beall

March 16, 2011

MARIANNE NEWMAN-DEURLOO ET AL., PLAINTIFFS AND RESPONDENTS,
v.
BEVERLY ATHELEEN BEALL, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. 135831)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hull, J.

Newman-Deurloo v. Beall

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

In a nuisance action, defendant Beverly Atheleen Beall and plaintiffs John Deurloo and Marianne Newman-Deurloo stipulated to the entry of judgment in plaintiffs' favor requiring defendant to sell her house in Paradise and move out of the neighborhood. Defendant appeals from an order granting plaintiffs' motion to appoint a receiver to enforce the stipulated judgment. She asserts that the trial court abused its discretion by employing the "drastic" and "extraordinary" remedy of receivership. She further asserts that the trial court erred by requiring her to post an appeal bond.

As we shall explain, the issue concerning the appeal bond is not properly before this court. With respect to the order appointing a receiver, defendant has failed to demonstrate an abuse of the trial court's discretion. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs and defendant are next door neighbors in Paradise. The thrust of plaintiffs' nuisance lawsuit was that defendant's operation of a drug house constituted a nuisance that would continue unabated unless the trial court intervened.

In February 2006, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint alleging that defendant continuously accepted visitors "at all times of the night and day," and that many of these visitors would stay roughly five to 10 minutes before "'peeling out'" and accelerating rapidly down the street. Plaintiffs complained of car doors slamming, bright vehicle lights, and loud voices that often used "foul and vulgar language" and asked defendant whether she was "'open for business.'" Plaintiffs also complained that these visitors had attempted to intimidate them by making "threatening gestures." Plaintiffs further alleged that defendant was responsible for certain incidents of prowling in and around their property, including the shining of a flashlight into their home, that she allowed her pit bull to bark loudly at night and wander freely in the neighborhood, and that she was also responsible for, among other things, breaking a window on their camper shell, tampering with their tires and mailbox, throwing trash and leaving cigarette butts in their yard, and stealing one "'DRUG FREE ZONE' sign" that was put up in the neighborhood and vandalizing another such sign. Plaintiffs sought an injunction restraining defendant from continuing these activities as well as compensatory and punitive damages.

In September 2007, defendant filed a cross-complaint alleging that plaintiffs invaded her privacy by intercepting certain cordless phone conversations. In February 2008, summary judgment was entered in favor of plaintiffs on the cross-complaint.

In April 2008, the nuisance action settled. Defendant agreed to list her property for sale with a specified realtor within seven days, to "actively market the property and utilize her best efforts to sell the property" to a "non-related third party," and to move out of the neighborhood. The realtor would be made available to plaintiffs' attorney to ensure that defendant was "making legitimate efforts to get [the property] sold in this market for the best possible price with the best possible terms, with the understanding that she [was] marketing the property to get it sold." Plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the lawsuit with prejudice as soon as the property was sold and defendant had moved out of the neighborhood.

In November 2008, a stipulated judgment was entered ordering defendant to "actively and continually" market her property, and to "utilize her best efforts to sell the property on the best price and terms that can be achieved on a bona fide sale to a third party purchaser." The judgment ordered the specified realtor to be made "periodically available for consultation" with plaintiffs' attorney, and further ordered: "The property shall be listed and sold at fair market value. Defendant shall continue making legitimate efforts to sell the property for the best possible price on the best possible terms that can be obtained, under the existing market conditions. Defendant shall be required to market the property and get it sold." The trial court "retain[ed] jurisdiction over the price and terms of the sale of the subject property to ensure that it is sold within a reasonable time at a reasonable price and terms."

In May 2009, over a year after defendant agreed to sell her property and move out of the neighborhood, and nearly 7.5 months after the property was actually placed on the market, plaintiffs moved the trial court to appoint a receiver to enforce the stipulated judgment. Plaintiffs asked the court to "appoint a receiver to take possession and control of [defendant's] [p]roperty, to assure the prompt sale accordingly," and further asked the court to order that "the receiver shall be permitted to ...


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