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Ryland Mews Homeowners Association v. Munoz

California Court of Appeals, Sixth District

January 29, 2015

RYLAND MEWS HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
RUBEN MUNOZ, Defendant and Appellant.

Superior Court of Santa Clara County, No. 112CV228260 Hon. Peter H. Kirwan Judge

Page 706

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 707

COUNSEL

Plastiras & Terrizzi Michael Patrick Terrizzi; and Mariam Smairat for Plaintiffs and Respondents.

Ruben Munoz, in pro. per.; and John M. Wadsworth for Defendant and Appellant.

OPINION

ELIA, Acting P. J.

In this dispute between defendant Ruben Munoz and plaintiff Ryland Mews Homeowners Association (HOA or Association), plaintiff obtained a preliminary injunction requiring Munoz to remedy the unauthorized modification of the flooring in his upstairs condominium unit to reduce the transmission of noise to the unit below. Defendant contends that the superior court improperly balanced the prospective harm to each party and erroneously concluded that plaintiff would prevail at trial. We find no abuse of discretion and will therefore affirm the order.

Background

When defendant and his wife moved into unit No. 322 of the subject property in February 2011, he replaced the carpets with hardwood floors to accommodate his wife’s severe dust allergy. After the installation, Resty Cruz and David Yborra, occupants of the unit below, began to experience “sound transfer” through the floor. Before defendant’s occupancy Cruz and Yborra had never had any problems with sound transmission from above. But after February 2011 the noise from upstairs at all hours of the day and night became “greatly amplified” and “intolerable, ” so that Cruz and Yborra found it difficult to relax, read a book, watch television, or sleep.

On November 28, 2011, Susan Hoffman, an employee of the firm that provided property management services for the Association, wrote to defendant, notifying him that his alteration of the flooring appeared to have been made without prior approval of the HOA. Hoffman requested a copy of the written approval in the event that the property management files were incomplete. Defendant did not respond within the 30 days Hoffman had given him, so on January 31, 2012, with authorization from the HOA board of directors, Hoffman wrote to defendant again, this time requesting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) under the Davis-Stirling Common Interest Development Act, Civil Code former section 1369.530 (now Civ. Code, § 5935).[1]

Page 708

Included in the letter was the text of former section 1369.530, which expressly allowed defendant 30 days in which to accept or reject ADR; after that period, the request was to be deemed rejected. (Former ยง ...


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