Lassen County, the Stones-Bengard Community Services District and as many as 100 does named in lawsuit against the Trapghagans

Thomas T, Traphagan, a recent candidate for the District 5 seat on the Lassen County Board of Supervisors, his wife, Andrea Traphagen, Lassen County, the Stones-Bengard Community Service District and as many as 100 does are being sued in Lassen County Superior Court by LP Duedagos, LLC, a Reno, Nevada, domestic limited-liability company.

The 32-page first amended complaint, filed in Lassen County Superior Court Jan. 25, cites 10 causes of action and the demand for a jury trial. According to the court file, the defendants have not yet responded. The Lassen County Board of Supervisors held a closed session conference with legal counsel on the matter Tuesday, Feb. 21, and there was no reportable action.

The plaintiffs seek an acknowledgement of the easement for both sewer and water systems; the right to enter the Traphagen’s property to ensure such use; restitution damages; general damages; punitive damages; reasonable attorney’s fees and costs incurred; other and further relieve as the court may deem proper and just; temporary and permanent injunctions preventing the Traphagens “from interfering with the plaintiff’s quiet enjoyment and use of the property and from taking any actions tending to be deleterious to the value of the property … “

According to the first amended complaint, the causes for action include: quiet title to property for appurtenant easement; quiet title to property for prescriptive easement; quiet title to property for easement by necessity; quiet title to property for implied easement; quiet title to property for equitable easement; breach of implied contract; Unjust enrichment; trespass; declaratory relief; and temporary and permanent injunction.

According to Cal. Civ. Code § 760.020, ” … a quiet title action is a legal proceeding where a person or entity claims title to all or a portion of specific real property and asks the court for a ruling that plaintiff’s title is superior to any interest that is claimed by the defendant(s).”

In the court filing, Jacob Zamora, the attorney for LP Duedagos, LLC, alleges his client purchased property near Eagle Lake in June 2013 through a tax sale. The Traphagens purchased an adjacent property in October 2013 and offered to manage both properties. According to their agreement, the Duedagos would allow the Traphagens to use their property, including the entrance. In exchange, the Traphagens would manage both properties, collect the rents and give a specified percentage to Duedagos.

Duedagos alleges the Traphagens breached the agreement and used the Duedagos’ property “to their advantage by directing prospective customers to the Traphagen’s property … After years of losing money on the agreement, Duedagos terminated the agreement beginning with the 2021 rental season and announced they would be hiring their own park manager.”

According to the complaint, the Traphagens allegedly shut off the waterline to the Duedagos’ property, cut and tapped the public sewer line and prevented Duedagos from clearing the line and installing a new clean out. The sewer line runs though the Traphagen’s property, but use by Duedagos is controlled by an easement. In July 2021 Duedagos advised its customers not to use the sewer system due to the back-up of sewage. A plumber was unable to clear the plugged line and the Duedagos’ customers were compelled to move to the Trahagen’s property. A week later Thomas Traphagen allegedly contacted the plumber and threatened to sue the plumbing company if employees set foot on his property.

A couple of days later the plumbing company ceased its efforts to clear the line due to threats from Andrea Traphagen, shutting down the Duedagos’ business.

In August 2021, Thomas Traphagen allegedly entered the Duedagos’ property, cut the pipe and capped both ends of the public sewer line.

“The Traphagens knew cutting, plugging and capping the public sewer line would pose a health hazard and would cause undue financial hardship to plaintiff by shutting down plaintiff’s recreational vehicle park. The Traphagens’ action of shutting down plaintiff’s business enterprise was malicious and oppressive,” according to the court document.

According to the Lassen County Superior Court website, a case management conference is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 13, 2023 before Lassen County Superior Court Judge Tony Mallery.