Kahan v. City of Richmond
Facts: A city government records a special assessment lien against a property for unpaid garbage collection fees. After the property is foreclosed and sold, the city requires the new owner to pay all unpaid fees to clear the lien from title.
Claim: The owner seeks to avoid paying the fees required by the city, claiming the city’s recording of special assessment liens for garbage collection is contradicted by state law since garbage collection services are defined as “user fees” not applicable to the property itself.
Counterclaim: The city claims it is within its rights to record a lien against the property for unpaid garbage collection fees since state law defines such unpaid fees as delinquent and allows cities to record special assessment liens against properties for the collection of delinquent fees.
Holding: A California appeals court holds the city may collect delinquent garbage fees from the owner since state law authorizes special assessment liens against properties with delinquent fees. [Kahan v. City of Richmond (May 23, 2019)_CA6th_]