What is a constructive trust?

Constructive Trust Defined

“A constructive trust is an equitable remedy to prevent unjust enrichment and to enforce restitution, under which one who wrongfully acquires property of another holds it involuntarily as a constructive trustee.” (Haskel Engineering & Supply Co. v. Hartford Acc. & Indem. Co. (1978) 78 Cal.App.3d 371, 375.) “The trust extends to property acquired in exchange for that wrongfully taken.” (Id.)

“A constructive trust is an equitable remedy, not a cause of action in and of itself, which can be imposed against one who wrongfully detains a thing by fraud, accident, mistake, undue influence, the violation of a trust, or other wrongful act.” (See Civ. Code, Secs. 2223 and 2224; see also Habitat Trust for Wildlife, Inc. v. City of Rancho Cucamonga (2009) 175 Cal.App.4th 1306, 1332; PCO, Inc. v. Christensen, Miller, Fink, Jacobs, Glaser, Weil & Shapiro, LLP (2007) 150 Cal.App.4th 384, 398; Meister v. Mensinger (2014) 230 Cal.App.4th 381, 399.)

Requirements for the Imposition of a Constructive Trust

“A cause of action seeking to impose a constructive trust will generally be allowed so long as it is predicated upon an underlying claim of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, or other wrongful act entitling the plaintiff to some relief.” (See Ehret v. Ichioka (1967) 247 Cal.App.2d 637, 642; see also Michaelian v. State Comp. Ins. Fund (1996) 50 Cal.App.4th 1093, 1114 stating “[a] cause of action for constructive trust is not based on the establishment of a trust, but consists of fraud, breach of fiduciary duty or other act which entitles the plaintiff to some relief. Relief, in a proper case, may be to make the defendant a constructive trustee with a duty to transfer to the plaintiff.) (Id.)

Pleading Requirements:

The required elements are:

  1. facts constituting the underlying cause of action, and
  2. specific identifiable property to which defendant has title.”.

(Id.)

Constructive Fraud as Underlying Cause Supporting Constructive Trust Remedy

Where Plaintiff asserts that the underlying wrongful act is Defendant’s alleged constructive fraud, however, Plaintiff does not allege sufficient facts to state a claim for constructive fraud: “[c]onstructive fraud is a unique species of fraud applicable only to a fiduciary or confidential relationship... [c]onstructive fraud arises on a breach of duty by one in a confidential or fiduciary relationship to another which induces justifiable reliance by the latter to his prejudice.” (Prakashpalan v. Engstrom, Lipscomb & Lack (2014) 223 Cal.App.4th 1105, 1131, internal citation and quotation marks omitted; Feeney v. Howard (1889) 79 Cal. 525, 529; Peterson Dev. Co. v. Torrey Pines Bank (1991) 233 Cal.App.3d 103, 116 stating “[i]t is essential to the operation of the doctrine of constructive fraud there exists a fiduciary or special relationship”.) Thus, [Where] [t]here are no allegations in the FAC establishing that Plaintiff and Defendant had a fiduciary or confidential relationship... [p]laintiff fails to allege sufficient facts to state a claim for constructive trust and/or constructive fraud.) (Id.)

Useful Resources for Constructive Trust

Recent Rulings on Constructive Trust

26-50 of 1882 results

WILLIAM GIPSON, ET AL. VS CRAIG GIPSON, ET AL.

These facts are sufficient to plead fraud, quiet title, constructive trust, and breach of contract.

  • Hearing

    Dec 18, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

DAVID AZIZI VS. BEHNAM RAFALIAN, ET AL.

On November 6, 2006, judgment was entered in favor of Ely and a constructive trust was imposed on Rafalian to safeguard Ely’s 50% ownership in the property. The judgment was affirmed on appeal. On February 29, 2012, Ely assigned his interest to Azizi, as trustee. On November 30, 2017, Rafalian conveyed the property to Carson LP without Azizi’s knowledge. Rafalian is a partner in Carson LP and owns a 79.20% interest. The general partner in Carson LP is Carson LLC.

  • Hearing

    Dec 17, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

  • Judge

    Maurice A. Leiter or Salvatore Sirna

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

BROOKE LETITCHEVSKI VS DYLAN SOSA

Plaintiffs Ernest Sosa and Brooke Letitchevski filed the verified SAC on January 22, 2020, alleging four causes of action for: (1) breach of fiduciary duty against Dylan Sosa and Kahn; (2) financial abuse in violation of Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.30 against all Defendants; (3) aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty against Defendants Kopstein, Bernstein, and Kahn; and (4) constructive trust against Kopstein and Kahn.

  • Hearing

    Dec 16, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

ELIAS G SHIBER VS EDWIN MOVAGHARIAN

The relief is something in the nature of a constructive trust and… ‘one cannot be held to be a constructive trustee of something he had not acquired.’ One must have acquired some money which in equity and good conscience belongs to the plaintiff or the defendant must be under a contract obligation with nothing remaining to be performed except the payment of a sum certain in money.” (Zumbrun v. University of Southern California (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 1, 14–15.)

  • Hearing

    Dec 14, 2020

  • Type

    Other

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

DRAKE KENNEDY, ET AL. VS BRIAN KENNEDY, ET AL.

On April 8, 2019, Brian filed a cross-complaint alleging ten causes of actions: (1) Breach of Fiduciary Duty; (2) Breach of Contract; (3) Declaratory Relief; (4) Removal of Drake Kennedy as Director; (5) Financial Elder Abuse; (6) Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage; (7) Negligent Interference with Economic Advantage; (8) Quantum Meruit; (9) Constructive Trust and (10) Declaratory Relief.

  • Hearing

    Dec 11, 2020

LAW OFFICES OF JACOB EMRANI, APC VS GREAT WEST CASUALTY COMPANY, ET AL.

The SAC asserts causes of action for: Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage (against Great West); Constructive Trust (against Olivo & Associates and Maalik); Breach of Contract, Quantum Meruit, and Unjust Enrichment (against Maalik); Breach of Fiduciary Duty (against Olivo & Associates); Declaratory Relief (against Olivo & Associates and Maalik; Conversion (against Olivo & Associates); Fraudulent Concealment; Intentional Misrepresentation; and Negligent Misrepresentation.

  • Hearing

    Dec 10, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

CHING FU CHANG, ET AL. VS PAN MING LEI, ET AL.

On August 8, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a complaint, asserting causes of action against Defendants and Does 1-20 for: Breach of Contract Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing Common Count Fraud Constructive Trust Unfair Business Practices Failure to Compensate for All Hours Worked in Violation of Labor Code § 1198 On October 1, 2020, judgment was filed.

  • Hearing

    Dec 09, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

CARLA CLENNEY-MARTINEZ VS EVERARDO MIRAMONTES, ET AL.

Constructive Trust A cause of action for constructive trust requires (1) existence of property or an interest in property, (2) the right of a complaining party to that property, and (3) some wrongful acquisition or detention of the property by another party not entitled to it. Communist Party v. 522 Valencia, Inc. (1995) 35 Cal.App.4th 980, 990. Under a constructive trust the “legal title holder” becomes the “constructive trustee of the property for the benefit of the defrauded equitable titleholder.”

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

MICHAEL CHIMOUNEY VS MORDECHAI MOTY SULTAN

Constructive Trust Constructive trust requires: (1) a wrongful act (underlying claim incorporated into the cause of action); (2) specific, identifiable property or property interest, or excuse for inability to describe it; (3) plaintiff’s right to the property; and (4) defendant has title thereto. (Stansfield v. Starkey (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 59, 76.)

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

TOMAS GONZALEZ VS SKY GAVEN

On August 6, 2020, Plaintiff filed a complaint, asserting cause of action against Gaven, Does 1-10 and All Persons Claiming An Interest in the Property for: Quiet Title of Real Property Partition of Real Property Accounting Breach of Fiduciary Duty Equitable Lien Constructive Trust A Case Management Conference is set for January 8, 2021. Legal Standard “A partition action may be commenced and maintained by . . .

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

MARC A. LAROCQUE VS. CHRISTINE LAROCQUE FRANZ, ET AL

Fifth (Constructive Trust), Sixth (Declaratory Relief/Quiet Title), and Tenth (Specific Performance) Causes of Action Defendant demurs to the fifth (Constructive Trust), sixth (Declaratory Relief/Quiet Title), and tenth (Specific Performance) on the grounds Defendant does not own the property nor has Defendant ever held title to the property.

  • Hearing

    Dec 08, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    other

NRN HOLDING CO., LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY VS LA BANQUETS, LLC, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY, ET AL.

., LLC commenced this action against Defendants LA Banquets, LLC, Vrej Sarkissian, and Hagop Supikian for (1) breach of written lease agreement; (2) waste; (3) specific performance; (4) fraud in the inducement; (5) fraud in factum; (6) breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (7) unjust enrichment; (8) constructive trust; (9) unfair, unlawful, and fraudulent business practices; and (10) conversion. On July 16, 2020, default was entered as to Defendant Hagop Supikian.

  • Hearing

    Dec 07, 2020

  • Type

    Real Property

  • Sub Type

    Landlord Tenant

JOHN DAVID GESSIN, ET AL. VS KENNETH R. DAVIN, ET AL.

On November 27, 2019, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint against all Defendants for the following causes of action: (1) Breach of Fiduciary Duty – against Davin alone; (2) Fraud; (3) Constructive Fraud; (4) Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing; (5) Unjust Enrichment; (6) Accounting; (7) Constructive Trust; (8) Conversion; (9) Breach of Contract; and (10) Promissory Estoppel. On January 22, 2020, Defendants Davin and Beckham filed a Demurrer with Motion to Strike.

  • Hearing

    Dec 07, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

ANTONIO A. PERALTA, TRUSTEE OF THE PERALTA FAMILY TRUST V. JOSE A.

(“WELLS FARGO”) alleging causes of action for (1) quiet title, (2) fraud, (3) declaratory relief, (4) constructive trust, and (5) breach of fiduciary duty, filed on October 24, 2019. In a nutshell, the 1AC alleges that JOSE wrongfully presented himself as sole trustee of the family trust (the “Trust”) and so conveyed to himself from the Trust certain real property (the “Property”).

  • Hearing

    Dec 07, 2020

SHAUNA PAYNE VS RICHARD BOYD

The complaint, filed December 17, 2019, alleges causes of action for: (1) breach of express contract; (2) breach of implied contract; (3) quiet title; (4) constructive trust; (5)-(9) domestic violence (counts 1 to 5); (10) IIED; and (11) declaratory relief. B. Allegations of the Cross-Complaint On January 21, 2020, Boyd filed a cross-complaint against Payne.

  • Hearing

    Dec 04, 2020

  • County

    Los Angeles County, CA

DO WOO KIM, ET AL. VS HYUN JONG HAN, ET AL.

Kim & Associates, a Professional Law Corporation, setting forth claims for 1) private nuisance; 2) negligent interference with prospective economic advantage; 3) declaratory relief; 4) conversion; 5) breach of fiduciary duty; 6) constructive fraud; 7) civil conspiracy; 8) constructive trust; 9) accounting; and 10) TRO and preliminary injunction.

  • Hearing

    Dec 04, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

KAI HOU LIANG VS JI LI

A constructive trust is imposed in favor of Plaintiff Kai Hou Liang against Defendant Ji Li on all assets and equity of Hollywood Garden, LLC acquired by Defendant Ji Li (collectively, the ‘Property’). The Property is ordered transferred to Plaintiff Kai Hou Liang effective as of the date of this Judgment. The imposition of this constructive trust is intended to prevent the unjust enrichment of Defendant Ji Li; 3.

  • Hearing

    Dec 04, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

IDRIP VAPE LLC, ET. AL. TARIK DUGUM, ET AL.

The operative First Amended Complaint contains causes of action for: (1) Conversion, (2) Accounting, (3) Breach of Fiduciary and Other Duties, (4) Establish Constructive Trust, (5) Establish Resulting Trust, (6) Fraud, (7) Negligent Misrepresentation, (8) Declaratory Relief, (9) Assault and Battery and (10) Misappropriation of Trade Secrets. Dugum filed a separate action against Plaintiffs which has been consolidated with this action.

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

BRODETSKAKAY VS COMPTON

Attorney's Fees (¶ 107) The allegations of ¶ 107 are under the Tenth Cause of Action for Constructive Trust which is pled against Defendants Martha Susan Compton and Julie Valles only. While the authorities Plaintiffs rely on allow of the award of attorney's fees to shareholders who bring successful derivative actions, Plaintiffs fail to articulate how these authorities allow for the pleading of a claim for attorney's fees directly against any of the Ardent defendants under this cause of action.

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

BRODETSKAKAY VS COMPTON

Constructive Trust Valles' demurrer is OVERRULED. The court finds the Second Amended Complaint alleges facts sufficient to support the imposition of a constructive trust against Valles – existence of a res (property or some interest in the property) [SAC ¶¶ 16, 18, 31]; Plaintiffs' right to that res [SAC ¶¶ 103]; and Valles' acquisition of the res by some wrongful act [SAC ¶¶ 102, 105].

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

BRODETSKAKAY VS COMPTON

Constructive Trust Valles' demurrer is OVERRULED. The court finds the Second Amended Complaint alleges facts sufficient to support the imposition of a constructive trust against Valles – existence of a res (property or some interest in the property) [SAC ¶¶ 16, 18, 31]; Plaintiffs' right to that res [SAC ¶¶ 103]; and Valles' acquisition of the res by some wrongful act [SAC ¶¶ 102, 105].

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

BRODETSKAKAY VS COMPTON

Attorney's Fees (¶ 107) The allegations of ¶ 107 are under the Tenth Cause of Action for Constructive Trust which is pled against Defendants Martha Susan Compton and Julie Valles only. While the authorities Plaintiffs rely on allow of the award of attorney's fees to shareholders who bring successful derivative actions, Plaintiffs fail to articulate how these authorities allow for the pleading of a claim for attorney's fees directly against any of the Ardent defendants under this cause of action.

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

  • Type

    Business

  • Sub Type

    Intellectual Property

LEONARD JUDAKEN VS ATTILA, LLC, ET AL.

Plaintiff alleges Attila continues to misappropriate funds from MSL and seeks injunctive relief and imposition of a constructive trust preventing Attila from directing MSL to make any transfer to Attila without consent of the court, the receiver or plaintiff.

  • Hearing

    Dec 03, 2020

FORD MOTOR CREDIT COMPANY VS YANIV A. KAHANER, ET AL.

On June 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed its complaint for conversion, receiving of stolen property, unjust enrichment, fraudulent conveyance, and constructive trust. On January 14, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Defendants Rebeka Shadpour and Wealth Road, Inc. On January 21, 2020, Defendants Rebeka Shadpour and Wealth Road, Inc. filed an answer to the complaint. On September 16, 2020, the clerk entered a default against Yaniv A. Kahaner aka Alex Y. Kahaner.

  • Hearing

    Dec 01, 2020

  • Type

    Personal Injury/ Tort

  • Sub Type

    Fraud

MARCUS LAUN VS JAMES PAKULIS

The Complaint asserts causes of action for (1) breach of express partnership agreement against Pakulis, (2) breach of implied partnership agreement against Pakulis, (3) breach of fiduciary duty against Pakulis, (4) constructive fraud against Pakulis, (5) constructive trust against Pakulis, (6) declaratory relief against Pakulis, (7) interference with contractual relations against Johansson, and (8) unfair competition against all Defendants. The Complaint alleges in pertinent part as follows.

  • Hearing

    Nov 30, 2020

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