My appeal has been denied. And it only took a week.
The Court of Appeal had been taking four months to issue decisions which resulted in a huge backlog of cases. So they’ve started summarily rejecting anything filed by the Tenderloin Housing Clinic without review. That’s one way to handle a backlog.
But judges are people too, they have the same real estate investments as their other wealthy friends. It’s in their interest to keep this real estate bubble growing. It seems neither City Government, State Government or the Courts are willing to take on the housing affordability crisis. They know which side their bread is buttered on.
My attorney says I might have to be out of my apartment in 30 to 60 days. He’s mulling our options. I have faith in him, he’s creative and passionate about what he does. And the THC attorneys are about the only ones in town willing to fight for renters. I meet with him tomorrow.
The comments I’ve gotten from readers over the last several months have usually been along the lines of “take that picture of me down or I’ll sue.” But there have been others.
One was from a journalism student in Denver who wanted to interview me about the current rental crisis in the City. Unfortunately, I was out-of-town the week he was here. And recently there was the reader who said he and his family were interested in buying this building until he happened upon my blog.
Daniel Brett, who works in the social investing field, wrote, “I communicated to the broker that we don’t support people using the Ellis Act to flip properties. Hopefully the message was shared with the owner so they think twice before doing this again. Had I not come across your blog and learned about the owner, we might have bought the place. So kudos to you for speaking truth to power.”
In writing about my situation I tend to treat the real estate industry as a monolith of greed because it’s so much easier to deal in stereotypes than to think things through. Mr. Brett’s email made me realize that they’re not all the same and that there are still players in the game who have a sense of responsibility. Their practices should put the Andrew Zachs, Denise Leadbetters, and Vince Youngs of the world on notice that you can make money in real estate without ruining people’s lives.
With this, the 100th post to my blog, I thought it was time to introduce our mascots, Adam and Anna Mongel. They were my Great-Great Grandparents who emigrated from Germany around 1850. Family lore has it that Mary’s shoulders were slumped from years of schlepping water buckets. They were both said to be very hard workers, a trait that has since been bred from the line.
My hearing to quash the Ellis Act proceedings was on Tuesday. We are still awaiting the judge’s decision. Of the six issues that were raised, the judge was skeptical about three but seemed interested in a couple of them. And it only takes one. So we wait……
The Motion to Quash was filed yesterday and we await the Judge’s decision at next Tuesday’s hearing. The wheels of justice finally begin to turn.
When I was making the rounds a year ago seeking counsel, agencies would always ask who my landlord’s attorney was. When I said “Denise Leadbetter” there was almost a uniform “ugh.” I heard things like “not one of my favorite people” or “not easy to deal with.”
Back in those early stages I did notice a certain lack of attention to detail on Ms. Leadbetter’s part. In the original Owner Move In eviction and then again in the Ellis Notice two months later she failed to acknowledge that I was a senior. She and the landlord knew this from the Realtor Disclosure Form. But this may have been more of a legal tactic than an oversight. The burden was on me to state my protected status rather than on her to acknowledge she already knew.
In early 2014 when I was thinking of dealing with her directly we played phone tag for a couple of weeks. She finally sent me a letter asking that I call her as soon as possible. She ended it with “Tanks very much.”
Then there was also the original OMI Eviction Notice in December 2013 where she stated the building was owned by Vince Young and the “Young Family Trust D/D/T February 5, 200.” By my calculation that would place it in the Han Dynasty.
At one point she said that I needed to return the money Vince Young gave me for the OMI eviction that he later withdrew. I told her that an attorney at the Tenants Union told me it was moot and that I was not required to return it.
She shot back, “you couldn’t have spoken to an attorney at the Tenants Union. Only paralegals work as counselors there.”
I said I knew the firm he used to work for and that I would get her his bar number if she liked.
She was insistent, “you could not have spoken to an attorney there.”
At the end of the hearing she said she’d like to work with me in finding a resolution. I said that I’d been using the Tenderloin Housing Clinic and that any negotiations should be done through them. She asked who I was working with. I said Jeffrey Woo.
She pounced, “you couldn’t have spoken to Jeffrey Woo. He’s in private practice at Cooper White.”
“The attorney who did my intake was Jeffrey Woo.”
“You couldn’t have…” Well, you get the picture. I just let it drop. Sometimes it’s better not to engage.
In retrospect I’m willing to cut her some slack. In her days at Santa Clara Law School she probably skipped the course on The Law of Common Surnames.
I met with the attorney yesterday to sign papers allowing him to accept service on my behalf. He went over a rough time line of how this will all shake down. Finally, some milestones to be aware of and a general feeling for what’s going to happen.
On March 17th we will file our Motion to Quash the Unlawful Detainer. A hearing will be held on March 24th which I am not to attend. The judge may render a decision that day or a day or so later.
Depending on who prevails. either the landlord or I will probably file an appeal. The appellate process can take up to 60 days.
So I’m here at least until June. And, for the time being anyway, I don’t have to worry about the sheriff busting in and throwing my precious collectibles out on the street.
After a weekend of strangers knocking on the door, the kind of strangers whom I don’t like knocking and whom I never answer, I still have not been served. The mini-drama continues and I apologize for not giving my readers the histrionics they deserve. I had visions of the SWAT team rappelling through the bay windows.
Tomorrow I meet with the attorney to sign papers allowing him to accept service on my behalf. Seems anti-climactic after all the build up. He will then file our Motion to Quash.
Originally I planned to video the service of papers in my hallway for my readers’ viewing pleasure. Then I was advised I shouldn’t answer the front door. So the tripod came down.
I also tried to be sneaky about leaving or returning to the building, avoiding strangers. After a couple days I thought, why bother? Let’s just get served and get it over with.
A nasty cold hit over the weekend which curtailed my mobility. I barely made it off the couch. If there was a process server camped outside my building I can only hope he was charging by the hour.
Tomorrow morning I take the March rent check over to my attorney to deposit in a trust account pending the outcome of all this. Then I’m having lunch at the House of Shields with a trusted former boss cum tea leaf reader. I’ll be out and about.