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National Homeowners Association v. City of Seattle

filed: May 13, 1996.

NATIONAL HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, A WASHINGTON NON-PROFIT CORPORATION, APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF SEATTLE, A WASHINGTON MUNICIPAL CORPORATION; AND R.F. KROCHALIS, OF THE CITY OF SEATTLE, DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION AND LAND USE, RESPONDENTS.



Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 95-2-08977-1-SEA. Date filed in Superior Court: 5/5/95. Superior Court Judge Signing: Liem Tuai.

Per Curiam. National Homeowners Association (NHA) appeals the superior court's order denying its motion to amend and dismissing its petition for a writ of certiorari. We accelerate review under RAP 18.12 and affirm the trial court. NHA's failure to seek joinder of Eagle was fatal and justifies dismissal of the action with prejudice.

The Marie Guimont Trust and the William Guimont Revocable Living Trust (Trust) own property in north Seattle near Aurora Avenue that is currently used as a mobile home park. Approximately 120 mobile homes are located at the park. NHA includes some of the mobile home owners.

In August 1994, the Trust entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Eagle Hardware and Garden, Inc. for purchase of the mobile home park. Eagle intends to develop the park for the site of its North Seattle store. As a result, the mobile home park will be closed.

Under the Seattle Municipal Code, an owner of a mobile home park must prepare a relocation plan and report when it intends to close a park. The relocation plan must be approved by the City's Department of Construction and Land Use (DCLU) before the park owner may serve eviction notices on the park residents.

Here, Eagle prepared the relocation plan. Also, Eagle worked with the residents interested in assistance and, as of May 1995, had relocated 26 tenants. As of that same time, Eagle had devoted time and money in obtaining feasibility, design, and engineering services in connection with the project. Eagle had also completed the first phase of design review, which included preparation of an environmental impact statement and securing building and Master Use Permits.

On March 29, 1995, DCLU approved the relocation plan.

On March 30, 1995, the mobile home residents received 12-month eviction notices.

NHA maintains that the relocation plan submitted and approved fails to satisfy the requirements of the SMC. Thus, on April 10, 1995, NHA filed a petition for writ of review naming the City of Seattle and DCLU as defendants.

The City objected to issuance of the writ, in part, because NHA failed to join indispensable parties. The City named both the Trust and Eagle as absent, necessary parties. The City further argued that the statutory writ of review could not be used to review the decisions at issue.

NHA responded by filing a motion to amend its petition to add additional causes of action (constitutional writ of review and complaint for declaratory judgment) and to add the Trust as a party. NHA failed, however, to seek joinder of Eagle.

The City moved to dismiss the petition. The City argued the petition was subject to the 15-day appeal period prescribed by the SMC. Because NHA's motion to amend was filed 28 days after DCLU's decision, the City argued that NHA's failure to join the indispensable parties and causes of action within this 15-day period warranted dismissal.

NHA's motion to amend was heard on May 5, 1995. The judge denied the motion to amend and dismissed the action with prejudice. The order states:

Plaintiffs motion to amend the petition for a writ of review must be denied. The plaintiff failed to timely join indispensable parties who were known to the plaintiff and who were of record. The motion to add a facial ...


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