April 2014 Updates

Updates of Court of Appeals decisions relevant to land use, zoning, and planning are available via the @sammartinolaw twitter account, which you can also access via the widget on the front page of this site. Follow @sammartinolaw for news about community events and public works equally as gripping as this story

Here is a recap:

  • Division One of the Arizona Court of Appeals clarified and moderately extended the circumstances in which a government entity waives its notice-of-claim defense by participating in the litigation of the merits of a claim against it in Ponce v. Parker Fire District. This is important to property owners because litigation against government entities is often necessary to vindicate property rights, and the notice-of-claim statute can be a dangerous sword for the government to defeat solid claims on what amounts to a technicality.
  • Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals issued an opinion of great relevance to other professionals intimately entwined with legal-land-use issues: real estate appraisers. In Southwest Non-Profit Housing Corp. v. Nowak, the court held that appraisers owe no duty of care to the seller of property in appraising the property for lending purposes. This, I am sure, is a huge relief to appraisers who are between the Scylla of heavier government regulations and the Charybdis of impatient buyers and sellers.

In legislative news, HB2477 is making its way through the Arizona legislature, which would bring relief to property owners whose HOAs are charging them document fees for transferring their properties into the ownership of corporate entities for tax purposes. That would certainly help this person. Also, a minor amendment contained in HB2091 will slightly strengthen Proposition 207, known as the Private Property Rights Protection Act.