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Kiran Rawat, As Trustee, Etc v. Robert Newton et al

March 12, 2013

KIRAN RAWAT, AS TRUSTEE, ETC., PLAINTIFF AND APPELLANT,
v.
ROBERT NEWTON ET AL., DEFENDANTS AND RESPONDENTS.



(Super. Ct. No. 06AS03195)

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

Rawat v. Newton

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NOT TO BE PUBLISHED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 This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.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 this action for breach of contract and fraud involving a 2001 purchase of seven-plus acres of vacant land for residential development, plaintiff the Krishna Living Trust (the Trust) appeals from a defense verdict following a jury trial.*fn1

On appeal, the Trust contends the trial court erred (1) in refusing to instruct the jury as to the disclosure requirements of Health and Safety Code section 25359.7;*fn2 and (2) in admitting evidence involving unrelated lawsuits previously filed by Raghvendra Singh (who negotiated the purchase of the property, and who is a beneficiary of the Trust).

We disagree with the Trust's contentions, and shall affirm the judgment.

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

This is the second time we have seen this case. In a prior unpublished opinion, we reversed a summary judgment in favor of defendants; we found that the Trust had standing to maintain this action and had met the statute of limitations, and that res judicata (based on a prior dismissed complaint in this matter) did not apply. As a consequence, we also reversed an order denying the Trust leave to file its first amended complaint (which is the operative complaint before us now).*fn3

On September 26, 2001, Raghvendra ("Ron or Raj") Singh (hereafter Singh) executed a written "Land Purchase Agreement" (the Agreement) with defendants Robert Newton and Houston Tuel, the owners of defendant Coburg Properties (collectively, defendants), to buy four parcels of real property (the Property) for $275,000. The Property comprises seven-plus acres at the corner of 65th Expressway and Elder Creek Road in south Sacramento. Under the Agreement, defendants were to provide "all the reports and writings in their possession, and all information they possess related to [the] Property at the time of closing."

Singh and his wife, Kiran Rawat, as trustees, created the Trust on October 15, 2001.

Two weeks after the Trust was created, on October 29, 2001, the Agreement was modified to provide, among other things, that defendants would provide "all the disclosures including the physical boundary of the [P]roperty to Buyer [Singh]." The Property was known to partly encompass a former landfill. As defendant Tuel explained in his deposition, he "told [Singh] you couldn't build on the dump site, but the rest of the land was buildable." Singh intended to build a residence for himself and his wife on the Property, and to residentially develop the remaining buildable part.

The terms of the $275,000 purchase were $100,000 down, with the balance covered by a promissory note, due December 31, 2003, and secured by the Property. As part of the purchase process, the Trust signed a promissory note to defendant Coburg Properties for the balance of the purchase price; and Coburg deeded the Property ...


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