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County Line Holdings, LLC v. McClanahan

California Court of Appeals, Second District, Sixth Division

May 2, 2018

COUNTY LINE HOLDINGS, LLC, Plaintiff and Respondent,
v.
JANICE M. McCLANAHAN, Defendant and Appellant.

          Superior Court County of Ventura No. 56-2013-00444799-CU-OR-VTA Henry J. Walsh, Judge

          Law Offices of Thomas P. Cacciatore, Thomas P. Cacciatore; Benedon & Serlin, LLP, Douglas G. Benedon, Gerald M. Serlin; Sottile Baltaxe, Timothy B. Sottile for Defendant and Appellant.

          Antoni Albus, LLP, John Antoni, Kevin Tredway for Plaintiff and Respondent.

          GILBERT, P. J.

         A cause of action survives one year after the death of a debtor. But not a judgment lien. Judgment liens have longevity.

         A judgment debtor dies. A contest over the priority of two judgment liens ensues. Both liens were established prior to the judgment debtor's death. After the judgment debtor died, plaintiff purchased one judgment lien at the execution sale of the junior lien. Plaintiff then brought this action to quiet title against defendant's senior lien. The trial court gave judgment to plaintiff. The court concluded that enforcement of defendant's senior lien was barred by Code of Civil Procedure section 366.2 for failure to enforce the lien within one year of the judgment debtor's death.[1]

         We reverse. Section 366.2 limits the time to bring a cause of action, not the time to enforce a judgment.

         FACTS

         Harold Mansdorf, as trustee for the Mansdorf Family Trust (hereafter “Mansdorf”), owned a parcel of property in Ventura County near the Pacific Coast Highway. The parties refer to the parcel as the “Malibu Property.”

         In January 2008, Janice M. McClanahan obtained a $12 million judgment against Mansdorf. McClanahan recorded an abstract of judgment in May 2008.

         In January 2012, John Torjisen obtained a $2 million judgment against Mansdorf. Torjisen recorded an abstract of judgment in April 2012.

         The recordation of an abstract of judgment places a judgment lien against all real property of the judgment debtor. (§ 697.310.)

         Mansdorf died in August 2012. The trustee of his trust did not initiate the Probate Code claims procedure. (Prob. Code, § 19000 et seq.)

         In April 2013, Torjisen enforced his judgment lien on the Malibu Properly by sheriff's sale. County Line Holdings, LLC (County Line) submitted the winning bid ...


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