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Billy W. French v. County of Calaveras

November 2, 2012

BILLY W. FRENCH, PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
COUNTY OF CALAVERAS, DEFENDANT AND RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. 11CV37510)

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

French v. County of Calaveras

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Billy W. French sued Calaveras County (County) in 2011 on a theory of inverse condemnation to recover compensation for a 50-foot wide roadway easement across his property. The County successfully demurred to the first amended complaint on the grounds French failed to state a cause of action and his claims are barred by the statutes of limitation.

French brings this pro se appeal from the subsequent judgment of dismissal. He argues that the trial court erred by concluding that the first amended complaint does not state facts sufficient to state a cause of action for inverse condemnation. He also argues that, in sustaining the demurrer, the trial court erred in finding his claim time-barred because the County first asserted a fee interest to the disputed property in a memorandum dated April 21, 2008, and he timely filed his complaint on April 7, 2011.

We find the trial court did not err in concluding there were insufficient facts to constitute a cause of action for inverse condemnation and defendant's 2011 complaint was untimely. We affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

Because this is an appeal following a successful demurrer, we accept as true all facts properly pled in French's complaint, and also incorporate any facts of which we may take judicial notice. (Gu v. BMW of North America, LLC (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 195, 200.)

In 1975, as part of a realignment and relocation of New Hogan Dam Road and "to obtain the underlying fee on certain portions of said Road," the County acquired from the Bank of Stockton, via property exchange, a 50-foot wide strip of land along the existing Hogan Dam Road. To accomplish the exchange, the Bank of Stockton executed a quitclaim deed of "[a]ll [r]ight, [t]itle & [i]nterest" to a strip of land on either side of Hogan Dam Road, and not less than 50 feet wide.

In 1977, French*fn1 and others (co-owners) purchased a parcel of property on the west side of Hogan Dam Road from the Bank of Stockton. The grant deed transferred parcels 9 and 13 as they appeared on the 1975 parcel map "save and excepting therefrom all that fractional portion of said parcel 13 as was conveyed to the County" by the 1975 quitclaim deed. Following litigation with the Bank of Stockton over the property's boundary, the co-owners executed a grant deed in favor of French to the "adjusted parcel 13."

French later sought to subdivide and develop his properties. His tentative parcel map was approved by the County Planning Department in April 2008, but with conditions (among others) requiring French to delineate and dedicate access control rights to the County along Hogan Dam Road (described as "a County maintained minor collector road"), and requiring that he dedicate an additional seven feet for a right of way for the improvement of that portion of Hogan Dam Road on his property. In May 2008, French appealed this conditional approval. Arguing for the removal of the conditions at the hearing on his appeal, French asserted he "feels the County does not own anything and [he] wants the road to stay in the present location." The appeal was denied. French did not challenge the denial of his appeal by writ.

French filed the original "Complaint in Inverse Condemnation" on April 7, 2011, claiming damages to his property of $560,772. French alleged the County's 2008 imposition of conditions on its approval of his proposed development constituted a taking of his property for public use because the County (1) "claimed [f]ee [t]itle" to the disputed 50-foot wide strip along Hogan Dam Road ...


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