Wednesday, May 28, 2008

More on my favorite landlords: Mr. and Mrs. Macy

So in one of the posts below, an anonymous poster left an address to a site where someone kindly posted a copy of a declaration from a private investigator. This text document may or may not have been used in the bail hearing last week which resulted in the lowering of bail for Mr. and Mrs. Macy.

The anonymous poster (aka IP address 24.80.10) went on to say that the document proved that the victim-witness was indeed untrustworthy. Now, I will admit. I have a bias in favor of tenants. This bias comes to me honestly: I represent a lot of them when they are facing landlords in eviction proceedings.

So I started looking through the alleged declaration (since I have no way of confirming whether this is the final version which was submitted to the court). The document lays out the alleged history fo the building, including what was described in it as "the cheapest sex (club) in the city."

It tells how Scott Morrow is a long-term tenant who seems to get most of his income from public assistance, which makes it possible for him to afford the low rent. There is also mention of a probate case which I missed in my perusal of the online records for the San Francisco Superior Court where Morrow made a claim against the estate of a previous owner. (However, if you look at the description of what happened, it seems like there was something very odd going on in the relationship between the ownership of 744-746 Clementina and the tenants residing there.) Now the claim was rejected, but that was probably correct given that the proper avenue for that claim was a civil action... which Morrow did file and did prevail on in the form of a settlement when the Estate and other defendnats in the suit.

Next, the document starts to refer to each of the complaints made to DBI concerning the 744-746 Clementina. Complaint
200455752 found that the heater did not work, that the thermostat was hanging by a wire, and that a light fixture was also hanging by a wire; 200558238 states again that the heat was not working (tho this time due to PG&E); 200563396, the inspector found that there was no heat, mold, holes in the ceiling, and other code violations; 200563950, the heater not working; 200564814 plumbing work being done without a permit and other work being done with an expired permit; 200564808 refers to the water being cutoff (it was for work which the landlords had failed to give proper notice of); 100564844 (although this appears to be a type and should be 200564844) found that the owners were doing work without a permit and had turned off the water to do it; 200672987 found that there was unpermitted demolition work going on in the building; 200673688 was a complaint that resulted in a notice of violation for a boarded up fire door and missing fire extinguishers; 20067575, and 200795995 are numbers which do not correspond to on-line records; 200676707 complaint records how the building inspector found that the gas to Mr. Morrow's unit had been shut off and could not be turned back on; 200791172 is a little weird, it deals with possibly improperly done work that appears to have been done without a permit; 200795056 appears to have never been fully investigated because the person never met with the inspector; 200795656 deals with more work being done to the building (originally reported as a wall being demolished) without a permit; 200702242 shows a complaint over electrical work being done but does not show any investigation being done beyond opening a file; 200702241 indicates that there was more plumbing work being done without a permit; and complaint 200702930 shows that the Macy's were doing more work at the address, this time with an expired permit.

Complaint 200676878 is my personal favorite. In it, the building inspector writes "Posted NOV at building. Also, Fire, Police and PG&E were there. Viewed unit #2; took photos of cut joists in north west room, saw gas valve in kitchen - it was not capped, and shutoff valve was broken, PG&E capped the pipe." Nine months later, the problems still remained unresolved.

Complaints 200564808, 200673688, 200676878 and 200676707 are the ones which can be directly attributed to Mr. Morrow. All four of these complaints were confirmed by observations of the San Francisco building inspectors.

As for the final portion of the document, the hearsay statements attributed to a Mr. John Larkin, I cannot comment on them. All I can say is that they are unsurprising given that Mr. Larkin was an heir who was presumably caught up in the unlawful eviction case. People tend to not look favorably on people who file suit against their interests.

So let's see. Mr. Morrow has successfully defended suits against him trying to evict him. He has successfully pursued his rights in an affirmative case. Of the complaints made to the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection , all four have resulted in Notices of Violation being issued to the owners of the property. In fact, one of them seems to substantiate the claim that the landlord's were cutting away the support joists which held up the floor to his apartment! The worst that can be said about this person is that his former landlord's do not like him and that he lives on public assistance.

So how does that make him, of the four tenants who are victims in this case, somehow uncredible? Oh, that's right, he did have one suit against the Salvation Army which did not result in him being the prevailing party. Therefore, all the documentary evidence, in addition to the photographs taken by DBI should count for nothing because one of the victims filed a lawsuit in which he did not prevail.

Please, if you are going to smear the victims and give "evidence" of the untrustworthiness of the victim, let's have something better than this.

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