U.A. Local 342 Joint Labor-Management Committee et al v. Roeber's Inc. et al

Filing 41

ORDER DENYING 38 PLAINTIFFS' "ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION FOR APPLICATION FOR ORDER FOR SALE OF DWELLING." Signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on 11/8/2013.(lblc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/8/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 Northern District of California 10 San Francisco Division UA LOCAL 342 JOINT LABORMANAGEMENT COMMITTEE, et al., No. C 11-04225 LB 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS’ “ADMINISTRATIVE MOTION FOR APPLICATION FOR ORDER FOR SALE OF DWELLING” Plaintiffs, 13 v. 14 ROEBER’S, INC, et al., [Re: ECF No. 38] 15 16 Defendants. _____________________________________/ 17 INTRODUCTION 18 Plaintiffs sued Defendants to collect unpaid contributions found owing to a multi-employer 19 benefit plan. Pursuant to the parties’ stipulation, the court entered judgment against one of the 20 defendants. Plaintiffs now ask the court to issue an order allowing that defendant’s real property to 21 be forcibly sold to cover the remaining amount he owes on the judgment. For the reasons stated 22 below, the court DENIES Plaintiffs’ Application. STATEMENT 23 24 On August 26, 2011, Plaintiffs filed in this court an ERISA action against Defendants Roeber’s, 25 Inc. and John Roeber. Complaint, ECF No. 1. The parties agreed to settle the action during a 26 settlement conference on May 21, 2012, Minute Entry, ECF No. 27, and a few days later the court 27 entered the parties’ stipulated judgment and closed the case, Entered Stipulated Judgment, ECF No. 28 29. The stipulated judgment was in favor of Plaintiffs and against Mr. Roeber in the amount of C 11-04225 LB ORDER 1 $170,000. Id. 2 On October 1, 2013, Plaintiffs filed in this court an “Administrative Motion for Application for 3 Order for Sale of Dwelling.” Application, ECF No. 38. In short, Plaintiffs would like an order from 4 this court allowing Mr. Roeber’s real property to be forcibly sold to cover the approximately 5 $83,000 (plus daily interest) that he apparently still owes on the judgment against him. See 6 generally id. Defendants oppose the application, arguing that California’s “homestead exemption” 7 applies and that, even if the real property is sold, Plaintiffs will not receive any money from the sale 8 because at its present market value only lienholders senior to Plaintiffs would be paid. Opposition, 9 ECF No. 39. 10 No. 38 at 2. Tahoe Vista, California is located in Placer County, California. 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 The real property at issue is a dwelling located in Tahoe Vista, California. See Application, ECF 13 ANALYSIS I. LEGAL STANDARD 14 Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 69, a money judgment must be enforced by a writ of 15 execution. Fed. R. Civ. P. 69(a)(1). The writ process is governed by the law of the state where the 16 presiding court is located. Id. 17 In California, once a court has entered a money judgment, the court clerk must issue a writ of 18 execution upon application of the judgment creditor. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 699.510(a). In 19 most cases, the issuance of the writ is a ministerial act which the clerk has no discretion to refuse. 20 See In re Marriage of Farner, 216 Cal. App. 3d 1370, 1376 (1989). Judicial action is only required 21 if the judgment is conditional, or if there is some question regarding the value of the judgment. See 22 id. 23 Special rules apply when the judgment creditor seeks the forced sale of a dwelling. See AHART, 24 CAL. PRAC. GUIDE: ENFORCING JUDGMENTS AND DEBTS §§ 6:756-6:810 (The Rutter Group 2013). 25 Under the so-called homestead exemption, the judgment creditor must obtain a writ of execution and 26 have it executed by the appropriate levying officer. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 704.750(a). Only 27 then may the creditor move for a court-ordered sale. Id.; see also In re Marriage of Schenck, 228 28 Cal. App. 3d 1474, 1477-78 (1991). The motion for sale must be heard in the county where the C 11-04225 LB ORDER 2 1 dwelling is located. See Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 704.750(b)(1). 2 II. APPLICATION 3 Plaintiffs have failed to follow the proper procedure for obtaining the court-ordered sale of a 4 dwelling. Although it appears that Plaintiffs have obtained a valid writ of execution, this 5 court—sitting in the Northern District of California—lacks jurisdiction over property located in 6 Placer County. See Xu v. Ip, No. CV-91-01178-DLJ, 2008 WL 4534276, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 7, 7 2008) (denying application for an order for the sale of real property located in Los Angeles County). 8 As stated above, California Civil Procedure Code § 704.750(b)(1) requires Plaintiffs to “apply to the 9 superior court of the county where the dwelling is located” for a motion for sale. See also AHART, means that this court is not the proper venue to engage in argument about whether the homestead 12 For the Northern District of California CAL. PRAC. GUIDE: ENFORCING JUDGMENTS AND DEBTS § 6:764 (The Rutter Group 2013). This also 11 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 10 exception applies to the real property at issue or whether its sale may be completed in light of the 13 senior liens on it. See id. 14 CONCLUSION 15 For the foregoing reasons, the court DENIES Plaintiffs’ Application. 16 IT IS SO ORDERED. 17 Dated: November 8, 2013 _______________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 C 11-04225 LB ORDER 3

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