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Continental Central Credit, Inc v. Paul Atkinson

October 24, 2012

CONTINENTAL CENTRAL CREDIT, INC., PLAINTIFF AND RESPONDENT,
v.
PAUL ATKINSON, DEFENDANT AND APPELLANT.



(Super. Ct. No. SC20100183)

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

Continental Central Credit v. Atkinson 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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Paul A. Atkinson (Paul A.)*fn1 appeals from a judgment in favor of plaintiff Continental Central Credit, Inc. (CCC) on its collection suit to recover unpaid assessments on seven timeshare properties. Paul A.'s defense to the lawsuit and his claim on appeal is that he is not the owner of the properties, rather, his (now-deceased) father Paul G. Atkinson (Paul G.) owned them. Paul A. contends there was insufficient evidence that he owned the properties. He further contends the trial court erred in relying on a 2005 judgment for earlier unpaid assessments, which was satisfied by garnishment of his wages, because he was never served with the complaint in that case. Finally, he contends the court erred in denying his motion for a new trial.

These contentions fail to persuade us. Accordingly, we shall affirm.

FACTS

The Atkinsons

Before his death in 2009, Paul G. was a farmer, teacher and lawyer in Atwater. He was married to Ellen and had two children, Paul A. and Rosalie. He lived on West Sunset Drive in Atwater and kept his law offices at 703 W. 23rd Street in Merced; his children owned the latter property.

Paul A. worked at Smith Chevrolet in Turlock for 20 years. After Paul G. died, Paul A. moved to the family home in Atwater. Rosalie worked for Paul G. as a paralegal until 2004. By the time of trial, she was on disability.

Purchase of Timeshare Properties

Some time prior to 2003, Paul G. purchased timeshare properties at Tahoe Seasons Resort. In 1990, Paul G. and Ellen brought suit against Tahoe Seasons Resort, seeking damages or a deed of reconveyance. Due to the reference to a deed of reconveyance, it appears the lawsuit was related to the purchase of property.

Subsequently, Paul G. was invited to bid at a tax sale on several other timeshare properties at Tahoe Seasons Resort. Seven of those properties were purchased in 2003. The tax deed shows the purchaser as "Atkinson Paul, Atkinson Rosalie, Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship." The deeds state that tax statements were to be mailed to Paul G.'s 23rd Street office address in Merced. Checks for the purchases were drawn on the account of "Paul Atkinson." The signature and bar number on the checks matched those of Paul G.

Paul G. paid taxes on the properties; after he died, Rosalie paid them. The tax bills for the 2010-2011 tax year, which were admitted at trial, were sent to a post office box in Atwater. These tax bills showed the owners of the properties as "Atkinson Paul" and "Atkinson Rosalie." In contrast, the tax bills for two other properties at Tahoe Seasons Resort showed the owners as "Atkinson Paul G" and "Atkinson Ellen B" or "Atkinson Paul G" and "Atkinson Rosalie."

In 2005, CCC, as assignee of Tahoe Seasons Resort, filed suit against "Paul Atkinson" and Rosalie for past due assessments for 2004 and 2005 and obtained a default judgment for $21,536.54. The judgment was satisfied in full ...


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