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Santa Monica Judge Delays Ruling On Fate Of Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

This is really a very interesting case, Cole said. The Regents were duplicitous.

BY BHC July 6, 2012

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lisa Hart Cole today postponed judgment on the fate of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden until July 27.

Cole directed attorneys for the heirs of Hannah Carter, who filed a preliminary injunction opposing the sale of the Kyoto-style Garden on June 13, to prepare a supplemental five-page brief on whether the UC Regents are a government entity or a charitable trust.

Cole said determining whether the University is a charitable trust or a public entity is foundational for deciding whether the University breached its contract to maintain the Garden in perpetuity by successfully petitioning a judge in Alameda Superior Court to sell the property without noticing the heirs of Hannah Carter.

This is really a very interesting case, Cole said. The Regents were duplicitous.

The 1.5-acre Garden has been at the forefront of controversy since UCLA undertook efforts to sell the zen-like retreat and adjacent residence just one year after Carter’s death. Both properties were willed to the University by former UC Regent Edward Carter and are now listed for sale by Coldwell Banker for a total of $14.7 million.

This is a case where doing the right thing is doing the only legal thing, attorney for the plaintiffs Walter Moore told the judge.

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