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Due diligence acquisition checklist

Plaintiff restaurant owners and defendant purchasers appealed a Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California) judgment, which denied recovery to the parties other than damages and costs to the owners in an action to quiet title to a liquor license and to require performance of whatever acts necessary to vest title in the owners. The purchasers had cross-claimed to require the owners to cause the license to be transferred to the purchasers.

The trial court had determined that the pledge of the license as security for performance under the parties' conditional sales contract was in violation of Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 24076. Thus, one of the owners could not be required to take any action to have his name removed from the liquor license in order that sole ownership be vested in one of the purchasers. On review, the purchasers contested that finding by the trial court. The owners, however, contended that there could be no pledge of a liquor license unless physical possession of the license itself was delivered to the pledgee, which did not occur in the instant case. The Due diligence acquisition checklist   noted that if the owners' position was correct, and the parties' agreement were permitted, performance of it would vest in the person to whom performance was due ownership of the license, regardless of his qualifications to be licensed. Yet, that was the result that § 24076 was designed to prevent. The court further found no merit in the contention that the law of resulting trusts had application to the transaction in question. Accordingly, the court found that the trial court had acted correctly in denying recovery, save damages and costs.

The court affirmed the judgment.

Appellant County of San Bernardino, California, sought review of the order of the Court of Appeal of California, Fourth Appellate District, granting respondent massage therapist's petition for a writ of mandate to disqualify a county-appointed hearing officer from presiding over a business license revocation matter.

A deputy sheriff reported that a massage technician exposed her breasts and proposed a sexual act. Thereafter, the county's board of supervisors revoked her license. She timely appealed the notice of revocation, and the board set the matter for hearing. The county hired its own hearing officer to conduct the hearing. The massage technician raised a this due process challenge to the manner in which some counties selected temporary administrative hearing officers. Cal. Gov't Code § 27721 authorized counties to appoint hearing officers to preside when a state law or local ordinance provided that a hearing be held or that findings of fact or conclusions of law be made by any county board, agency. On review, the appellate court found that this practice gave hearing officers an impermissible financial interest in the  of the cases they were appointed to decide, because the officers' prospects for obtaining future ad hoc appointments depended solely on the county's good will.

The decision of the court of appeal upholding the superior court's writ of mandate disqualifying the hearing officer was affirmed.

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