CLICK HERE FOR A CONSULTATION
Court upheld revocation of real estate broker's license based on conviction for fire code violations
On June 23, 2009, in Robbins v. Davi 2009 DJDAR 9167 at 9170), the Court of Appeal upheld the revocation of a real estate broker's license based upon misdemeanor convictions for local fire code violations.
The convictions were held to be substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a real estate broker under Section 490 of the California Business and Professions Code. Appellant Lance Jay Robbins was a licensed real estate broker and also an attorney. On January 23, 2001, he pled nolo contendere and was convicted of three misdemeanor violations of the fire protection and prevention provisions of the Los Angeles Municipal Code -- unlawful obstruction of buildings, failing to test a fire signal system, and failing to inspect fire extinguishers. He was fined $100 and placed on summary probation for 18 months and required to pay the fire department's investigative costs. The Department of Real Estate filed an Accusation alleging the convictions, but also alleged in aggravation that between 1986 and 1995, Robbins had been convicted of 50 municipal building code violations and was twice disciplined by the State Bar of California. An administrative law judge revoked Robbins' real estate broker's license. The Los Angeles County Superior Court denied Robbins' appeal by petition for writ of administrative mandamus (mandate). The California Court of Appeal for the Second Appellate District (Division 8) decided that the convictions are substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of a real estate broker. In its decision, the Court stated: "Robbins's convictions for municipal code violations, viewed in the context of his extensive history of previous code violations, meet this requirement, and accordingly there was no error in the revocation of Robbins's license as a real estate broker." (2009 DJDAR 9167 at 9170.) A copy of the Court's decision is attached below.