NOT TO BE PUBLISHED
In this quiet title action, defendant Donald J. Selvey appeals from a summary judgment in favor of plaintiff Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLM). His opening brief purports to raise arguments under twelve separate headings. As labeled, they are: (1) the trial court erroneously exempted FHLM from complying with Code of Civil Procedure sections 437c, 761.020, 1161a and 2077,
On December 5, 2014, FHLM filed a complaint for quiet title to real property located at 43600 Sierra Center Drive, Fall River Mills, California 96028 and also known as Shasta County Assessor's Parcel No. 018-630-032 (the Property). The complaint also set forth the legal description of the Property.
On July 8, 2015, FHLM filed a motion for summary judgment on its complaint. With it, FHLM filed a separate statement of undisputed material facts that consisted of 26 allegedly undisputed facts and citations to evidentiary support. In response, Selvey stated that 14 of these facts were disputed, but offered no evidence to support this assertion. Twelve facts were undisputed, including that "[t]he Trustee's Deed Upon Sale which recorded on July 9, 2012, in favor of Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation had erroneously included too much land in its legal description." Selvey also filed a four-page "answer" to FHLM's motion but it too cites no evidence.
The trial court held a hearing on FHLM's motion for summary judgment on September 21, 2015, during which it indicated it would grant the motion. An order granting the motion was apparently entered on October 13, 2015. On December 9, 2015, the trial court issued a judgment quieting title on the Property.
The judgment described the Property using the same address, parcel number and legal description as the complaint, and then explained that Marion D. Mills became the fee title owner of the Property by a grant deed recorded on October 18, 2005. We set forth its subsequent statements in detail:
Selvey timely appealed.
A. Standard of Review
"A trial court properly grants summary judgment where no triable issue of material fact exists and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." (Merrill v. Navegar, Inc. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 465, 476; see also § 437c, subd. (c).) On appeal, we review the trial court's decision de novo. (Merrill v. Navegar, Inc., supra, at p. 476.) A plaintiff moving for summary judgment "bears the burden of persuasion that `each element of' the `cause of action' in question has been `proved,' and hence that `there is no defense' thereto." (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co. (2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850; see also § 437c, subd. (p)(1).) The plaintiff "bears an initial burden of production to make a prima facie showing of the nonexistence of any triable issue of material fact." (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., supra, at p. 850.) Once the plaintiff meets its initial burden, the burden shifts to the defendant to demonstrate the existence of a triable issue of material fact. (Id. at pp. 849-850.) "The defendant or cross-defendant shall not rely upon the allegations or denials of its pleadings to show that a triable issue of material fact exists but, instead, shall set forth the specific facts showing that a triable issue of material fact exists as to the cause of action or a defense thereto." (§ 437c, subd. (p)(1).)
"A judgment or order of a lower court is presumed to be correct on appeal, and all intendments and presumptions are indulged in favor of its correctness." (In re Marriage of Arceneaux (1990) 51 Cal.3d 1130, 1133.) The party challenging the judgment has the burden of showing reversible error by an adequate record. (Ballard v. Uribe (1986) 41 Cal.3d 564, 574.) And merely furnishing a record is not enough. He must cite to it: "`It is the duty of a party to support the arguments in its briefs by appropriate reference to the record, which includes providing exact page citations.'" (Duarte v. Chino Community Hospital (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 849, 856.) Similarly, "[t]o demonstrate error, appellant must present meaningful legal analysis supported by citations to authority and citations to facts in the record that support the claim of error. [Citations.] When a point is asserted without argument and authority for the proposition, `it is deemed to be without foundation and requires no discussion by the reviewing court.' [Citations.] Hence, conclusory claims of error will fail." (In re S.C. (2006) 138 Cal.App.4th 396, 408.)
The appellant must also "[s]tate each point under a separate heading or subheading summarizing the point." (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.204(a)(1)(B).) "This is not a mere technical requirement; it is `designed to lighten the labors of the appellate tribunals by requiring the litigants to present their cause systematically and so arranged that those upon whom the duty devolves of ascertaining the rule of law to apply may be advised, as they read, of the exact question under consideration, instead of being compelled to extricate it from the mass.'" (In re S.C., supra, 138 Cal.App.4th at p. 408.) Selvey's arguments "echo each other under their different headings in contravention of the requirements of focused briefing." (Smith v. City of Napa (2004) 120 Cal.App.4th 194, 202.) Nonetheless, we have decided the best method of identifying what questions were tendered for our consideration is to identify his arguments by their headings in the opening brief because we must begin somewhere and "[f]ailure to provide proper headings forfeits issues that may be discussed in the brief but are not clearly identified by a heading." (Pizarro v. Reynoso (2017) 10 Cal.App.5th 172, 179.) Moreover, any arguments raised or only supported by authority on reply have been waived. (People v. Baniqued (2000) 85 Cal.App.4th 13, 29.) The rules of appellate procedure apply to Selvey even though he is representing himself on appeal. (McComber v. Wells (1999) 72 Cal.App.4th 512, 523.)
B. Issues Forfeited for Lack of Any Citation to the Record Before the Trial Court
Selvey's opening brief asserts that the trial court entered an order granting summary judgment on October 13, 2015, yet he cites to several documents he filed on November 9, 2015: (1) a request for a new "trial" under section 657, (2) objections to the declaration of Charles Whitecotton and (3) a purported "amended response" to FHLM's separate statement of undisputed material facts accompanied with exhibits. The court denied the request for a new trial as procedurally improper. Selvey does not challenge this ruling on appeal. With respect to the summary judgment ruling, "[i]n reviewing the trial court's ruling, we must consider the facts before the court at the time of its ruling, and not by reference to evidence produced at a later date." (Sacramento Area Flood Control Agency v. Dhaliwal (2015) 236 Cal.App.4th 1315, 1328, fn. 5.) With this in mind, as we discuss next, the arguments made under the following headings were forfeited for lack of any citation to necessary support in the summary judgment record: (1) the trial court erroneously exempted FHLM from complying with sections 437c, 761.020, 1161a and 2077,
1. Declaration of Charles Whitecotton
Selvey's fourth argument (which also appears to be imbedded in his first and fifth arguments) is that the trial court erroneously admitted parol evidence from a declaration of Charles Whitecotton over his objection. He cites to nothing in the record indicating he objected to this declaration before the trial court granted FHLM's motion for summary judgment. Nor does he offer any citation to what he contends is the offending part of the declaration. Moreover, he does not support his assertion that the trial court relied on parol evidence contained in this document to change the legal description of the property. Accordingly, this argument is forfeited by Selvey's failure to provide necessary citations to the record. (Duarte v. Chino Community Hospital, supra, 72 Cal.App.4th at p. 856.)
Under his fifth heading, Selvey argues "[t]he legal description was unilaterally changed without a hearing by a court of competent jurisdiction as positively mandated.
2. Res Judicata
Selvey's fifth, sixth, ninth, tenth and eleventh claims regarding res judicata and the effect of prior proceedings are forfeited because Selvey cites neither any evidence of prior proceedings that were in the record at the time of the summary judgment motion nor the trial court's consideration of these issues. "The burden of proving that the requirements for application of res judicata have been met is upon the party seeking to assert it as a bar or estoppel." (Vella v. Hudgins (1977) 20 Cal.3d 251, 257.) We cannot assess Selvey's claim of error without any understanding of what was before the trial court. Again, Selvey has forfeited these arguments by failing to provide necessary citations to the record.
3. Allegation That Judgment Quiets Title to Additional Property
Selvey's seventh argument states that the trial court erroneously ordered title quieted to parcel number 018-630-031 in addition to parcel number 018-630-032 by describing more property than the complaint. We have discerned no difference between the property described in the complaint and the property described in the judgment. Nonetheless, the only support Selvey offers for his claim is an attachment to his motion for new trial. Thus, it is also forfeited by Selvey's failure to cite evidence that was submitted to the court at the time of the summary judgment motion.
B. Other Forfeited Issues
Several other arguments were superficially supported by some citation to the record, but are nonetheless also forfeited.
1. Allegation of Material Disputed Facts
Under his second argument heading, Selvey contends the trial court erred in granting summary judgment because there are material disputed facts. He alleges generally in subheadings that "No Cause of Action was specified" and "The Issues of Triable Facts, Property Identification, Deed of Trust validity, Foreclosure Process, nor Bona Fide Purchaser Were not Identified by Respondent." These arguments are not sufficiently developed or supported by citation to the record to be preserved. (In re S.C., supra, 138 Cal.App.4th at p. 408; Craddock v. Kmart Corp. (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 1300, 1307.) Selvey's only citation to the record
2. Allegation That Findings Did Not Support the Judgment
With respect to his third argument, that the trial court's findings did not support the judgment, Selvey cites only the judgment (which does contain findings). He does not cite the trial court's order granting the motion for summary judgment or any authority. His legally unsupported and conclusory argument forfeits the issue for review. (In re S.C., supra, 138 Cal.App.4th at p. 408; Craddock v. Kmart Corp., supra, 89 Cal.App.4th at p. 1307.)
3. "No Summary Judgment Is Of Record"
Under the heading "No Summary Judgment Is Of Record," Selvey's twelfth argument states in its entirety, "Ex-parte, Plaintiff prevailed upon the Honorable Judge Baker to purge the file of the Summary Judgment of Judge Anderson and issue a Judgment for Quiet Title; although Judge Baker had never heard the case in any hearing of record." Selvey cites no legal authority, nor are we certain what his claim is. The only support he offers at all is a citation to an order from the trial court denying without prejudice a proposed judgment submitted by FHLM as overbroad and exceeding the scope of the court's order granting FHLM's motion for summary judgment. It does not appear to support Selvey's argument on appeal. This argument is also forfeited.
C. "Sufficiency of the Evidence"
We will address Selvey's eighth argument — that the evidence was legally insufficient to support the findings or the judgment — on the merits. He cites section 657(6), which sets forth "[i]nsufficiency of the evidence to justify the verdict or other decision" as a ground for granting a motion for a new trial. This is not the standard for reviewing a trial court's granting of a motion for summary judgment on appeal. Moreover, Selvey's arguments are otherwise unavailing. Section 761.020, subdivision (a) requires that a complaint in a quiet title action describe the real property that is the subject of the action by both its legal description and its street address or common designation. Additionally, for a deed to be valid, its description of real property must be sufficient to enable the property to be located. (Scott v. Woodworth (1917) 34 Cal.App. 400, 409.) Selvey invokes both of these principles despite the fact that neither applies here. FHLM's 2013 deed, the complaint and the judgment contain the same address, parcel number and legal description.
The judgment is affirmed. FHLM shall recover its costs on appeal. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 8.278(a)(1) & (2).)
MAURO, Acting P. J., and HOCH, J., concurs.