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					 1   Denise McGranahan, Esq. (SBN 130623)
     LEGAL AID FOUNDATION OF LOS ANGELES
 2   1640 5th St., #124,
     Santa Monica, CA 90401
 3   Phone: 310-899-6200 Fax: 310-899-6208

 4   Gary W. Rhoades, Esq. (SBN 166149)
     LAW OFFICES OF GARY RHOADES
 5   P.O. Box 360465,
     Los Angeles, CA 90036
 6   Phone: (323) 937-7095 Fax: (775) 640-2274
 7
     Catherine M. Bishop (SBN 59150)
 8   NATIONAL HOUSING LAW PROJECT
     614 Grand Ave.,Suite 320,
 9   Oakland, CA 94610
     Phone: (510) 251-9400 (x105) Fax: (510) 451-2300
10
     Christopher Brancart, Esq. (SBN 128475)
11   BRANCART & BRANCART
     P.O. Box 686,
12
     Pescadero CA 94060
13   Phone: (650) 879-0141 Fax: (626) 793-5542

14
15                       SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

16                                FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

17                                    CENTRAL DISTRICT-UNLIMITED

18
19                                      )            Case No.:
     ELISHEBA SABI, individually and on )
20   behalf of the GENERAL PUBLIC,      )            COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES,
                                        )            DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE
21                                      )            RELIEF.
                   Plaintiff,           )
22                                      )
            vs.                         )            1. Violation of California Unruh Civil Rights Act
                                        )            2. Violation of California Fair Employment and
23
     THE DONALD T. STERLING             )               Housing Act (Source of Income)
     CORPORATION; DONALD T.             )            3. Violation of California Fair Employment and
24                                                      Housing Act (Disability)
     STERLING; DONALD T. STERLING )                  4. Violation of California Civil Code §54.1
25   FAMILY TRUST; and Does 1 through ) )            5. Violation of California Unfair Business
26   50 inclusive                       )               Practices Act
                                        )            6. Negligenc e
27                 Defendants.          )
                                        )
28                                      )


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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1         Now comes PLAINTIFF ELISHEBA SABI, and alleges as follows:
 2                                   I.      PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
 3         1. This is an action for declaratory and injunctive relief and damages against Donald
 4   T. Sterling, and the companies he controls, for discrimination in the rental of housing based
 5   on the source of income, disability and age of Plaintiff Elisheba Sabi (“Ms. Sabi”). Unless
 6   enjoined by this Court, Defendants’ discriminatory conduct will cause Ms. Sabi, a 70-year old
 7   disabled widow, to vacate her apartment of 17 years, the home she shared with her
 8   husband, Elyas Mashal (“Mr. Mashal”), recently deceased. This action arises under the
 9   California Unruh Civil Rights Act, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the
10   Unfair Business Practices Act, and other related state laws. Ms. Sabi brings this case on
11   her own behalf and on behalf of the general public.
12                                                  II. Parties
13         2.   At all times mentioned and relevant herein, Ms. Sabi was and is a resident of the
14   County of Los Angeles, State of California.
15         3. Ms. Sabi is a recently widowed 70-year old woman, who has been a tenant at the
16   “Santa Monica Promenade” located at 930 5 th St., #203, Santa Monica, California, a
17   residential rental building (The “Subject Property”) for almost 17 years. Ms. Sabi and her
18   family are Iranian Jews who were granted political asylum in United States in the 1980’s
19   after the Iranian revolution. Ms. Sabi is extremely low-income because she is at 30% of Los
20   Angeles County’s median income, according to the Department of Housing and Urban
21   Development’s (“HUD’s) definition. Ms. Sabi is aggrieved by Defendants’ housing
22   discrimination practices. She is a handicapped person who suffers from severe depression,
23   bereavement disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, migraine headaches, lumbar disc
24   syndrome, osteoarthritis, gastritis, hearing loss, and other multiple health problems. Ms.
25   Sabi was also associated with a handicapped person, her husband, Mr. Mashal, who
26   resided in the unit with her until January 1, 2004, when he passed away from prostate
27   cancer. Ms. Sabi and Mr. Mashal became eligible to receive federal housing assistance
28   under the Section-8 program in February 2003. Ms. Sabi has been adversely affected by

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1   the Defendants’ policy and practice of not accepting Section-8 vouchers from any tenant and
 2   their refusal to accommodate her disabilities and her husband’s disability by making an
 3   exception to this policy.
 4          4. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned and relevant herein,
 5   Defendant Donald T. Sterling Corporation (“DSC”) was and is a California corporation,
 6   created at least in part, to oversee the property management and ownership of the Subject
 7   Property.
 8          5. At all times mentioned and relevant herein, Defendant Donald T. Sterling (“Mr.
 9   Sterling”) was and is an individual and a resident of the County of Los Angeles, State of
10   California, and in the business of owning, renting and managing the Subject Property as
11   well as over 120 large residential complexes, including approximately 10,000 apartment
12   units in Los Angeles County.
13          6. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned and relevant herein, The
14   Donald T. Sterling Family Trust (“Trust”) was and is an owner of the Subject Property.
15          7. Upon information and belief, at all times mentioned and relevant herein,
16   Defendant Beverly Hills Properties was and is a “Doing Business As” name or alias used by
17   Defendant DSC.
18          8. Ms. Sabi is ignorant of the true names and capacities of Defendants sued herein
19   as Does 1 through 50, inclusive, and therefore sues by such fictitious names. Ms. Sabi will
20   amend this Complaint (hereinafter “Complaint”) to allege these Defendants’ true names and
21   capacities when they are ascertained. Ms. Sabi is informed and believes, and, based
22   thereon, alleges that each of the fictitiously named Defendants is responsible in some
23   manner for the occurrences alleged herein, and that her damages as alleged herein were
24   legally and proximately caused by such acts.
25                           III.    PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTION
26          9. Ms. Sabi also brings this action as a private attorney general under Business and
27   Professions Code §17200 and thereby seeks to challenge and enjoin Defendants’ unlawful
28

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1   and discriminatory actions on behalf of Section-8 voucher holders and members of the
 2   public.
 3                                                  IV. FACTS
 4             10. Ms. Sabi began renting the two-bedroom, two-bath apartment at the Subject
 5   Property in approximately 1987. Two years later, Mr. Mashal arrived from Iran, and joined
 6   his wife. The Subject Property is subject to Santa Monica Rent Control law, Santa Monica
 7   Municipal Code, Article XVIII, (“Rent Control Law”) which requires that landlords have “just
 8   cause” to evict their tenants. The Rent Control Law also regulates how much a landlord may
 9   increase the rent each year. Until the passage of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act,
10   Cal. Civ. Code §§1954.50-1954.535, fully effective January 1, 1999, the Rent Control Law
11   also controlled rents between vacancies. With a few exceptions, inapplicable here, a Santa
12   Monica landlord may now charge market rate after a vacancy. Ms. Sabi’s monthly rent for
13   their two-bedroom, two-bath apartment, since September 2003, has been $1,133 including
14   any applicable rent control fees and surcharges.
15             11. Five years ago, Ms. Sabi and Mr. Mashal applied with the Santa Monica Housing
16   Authority (“The Housing Authority”) to participate in the Section-8 tenant-based program and
17   to receive federal housing assistance via a Housing Choice Voucher (“Section-8 voucher”).
18   (24 Code of Federal Regulations §982 et. seq. (2003)). They were placed on a waitlist for
19   five years.
20             12. The Section-8 Voucher Program is a federal housing program which primarily
21   benefits extremely low-income families. Under this program, HUD makes payments on
22   behalf of the tenant to the Housing Authority, which in turn makes payments to the landlord
23   based upon a payment standard and the tenant’s income.
24             13. The Housing Authority sets the payment standard for Santa Monica, California.
25   The current payment standards for one and two bedroom units are $1,204 and $1,667 per
26   month, respectively. The amount that the Housing Authority pays is adjusted by the amount
27   that the Section-8 tenant pays to the landlord. The Section-8 tenant pays 30% of her
28   adjusted income to the landlord.

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                      COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1         14. In December 2002, Ms. Sabi and her family learned that Mr. Mashal’s prostate
 2   cancer, originally diagnosed in 1994, had spread. His doctor estimated that he had six
 3   months to a year to live. He began receiving hospice care in his home on July 1, 2003.
 4         15. On or about February 11, 2003, Ms. Sabi and her husband were notified that they
 5   were eligible to receive a Section-8 voucher. On July 29, 2003, the Housing Authority
 6   issued them a Section-8 voucher, and informed them that they had 60 days to utilize the
 7   voucher by either obtaining Defendants’ agreement to participate in the Section-8 Program,
 8   or by finding another landlord who would accept their voucher. Ms. Sabi and her family
 9   expected that Defendants would accept the Section-8 voucher because Mr. Mashal was too
10   ill to relocate and they had been long-term tenants in good standing.
11         16. When Ms. Sabi was told that the landlord would not accept Section-8, she
12   became very anxious and worried because her husband was too ill to relocate. Her
13   depression, anxiety, and migraines worsened. In addition, she worried that the voucher
14   would expire before Mr. Mashal was expected to pass away. Ms. Sabi and her family were

15   also concerned that her income would decrease when Mr. Mashal passed and she would
16   have difficulty making ends meet without the Section-8 housing assistance.
17         17. On several occasions In late August and early September 2003, Plaintiff’s adult

18   children, Siamak (“Mak”) Mashal and Ferefhteh (“Feri”) Kohan approached Lorraine Reeves
19   (“Reeves”), the manager of the Subject Property, and inquired as to whether Defendants
20   would accept their parents’ Section-8 Voucher, explaining their father’s health problems and

21   the fact that with the voucher, Defendants would receive $1,204 per month in rent, about

22   $100 more than the amount of rent permitted by the Rent Control Law as of August 2003.
23   Reeves repeatedly refused to accept the Section-8 voucher, and stated, “This is not a

24   Section-8 building and the landlord does not accept Section-8.” Reeves also suggested to

25   Feri and Mak that their mother and father could or should just move. Ms. Sabi is informed

26   and believes and thereupon alleges that Defendants have a policy of not accepting Section-

27   vouchers at any of their 120 large apartment complexes, over 10,000 rental units.

28

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1          18. On October 6, 2003, Ms. Sabi and Mr. Mashal requested and obtained a 60-day
 2   extension to use their Section-8 voucher from the Housing Authority. They were told they
 3   had until November 29, 2003 to use the voucher, or they would lose it.
 4          19. In September 2003, Plaintiff’s son, Mak, consulted the Legal Aid Foundation of
 5   Los Angeles (“Legal Aid”), on behalf of his parents, regarding Defendants’ refusal to accept
 6   the Section-8 voucher. On September 30, 2003, attorney Denise McGranahan (“Ms.
 7   McGranahan”) wrote a letter to Mr. Sterling, informing him of Reeves’ refusal to accept the
 8   voucher and requesting that he make an exception to his policy of not accepting Section-8
 9   vouchers as a “reasonable accommodation” to Mr. Mashal’s disability. Ms. McGranahan’s
10   letter is attached to the complaint as Exhibit A, and incorporated by reference herein. Mr.
11   Sterling’s failed to respond to the letter.
12          20. On November 11, 2003, after receiving a request from Legal Aid and a letter from
13   Mr. Mashal’s doctor, the Housing Authority agreed to a third extension of the voucher until
14   January 29, 2004, as a “reasonable accommodation” to Mr. Mashal’s disability.

15          21. After spending three months in a convalescent home and the hospital, Mr.
16   Mashal passed away on January 1, 2004. Until his death, the family income from
17   Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) was $1,382. Plaintiff’s sole source of income is now

18   her own SSI in the amount of $790 per month. If the Defendants were to accept Ms. Sabi’s
19   Section- 8 voucher, her share of rent would be approximately $237 per month. However,
20   Defendants would receive $71 more than the current Maximum Allowable Rent permitted by

21   Rent Control (as of September 1, 2003), $1,133 (including fees), because the Housing

22   Authority has advised Ms. Sabi that $1,204 per month is permissible for this unit under the
23   program.

24          22. On January 23, 2004, attorney Gary W. Rhoades (“Mr. Rhoades”) sent a letter to

25   Defendants’ counsel, George Preonas, Esq. (“Mr. Preonas”) of Seyfarth Shaw, in which he

26   informed him of the sad news of Mr. Mashal’s passing and requested that, in exchange for a

27   waiver of all claims, fees and costs, Mr. Sterling agree to cooperate with the Section-8

28   program so that Ms. Sabi could keep her home and her Section-8 assistance. Mr. Rhoades


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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1   requested that Mr. Sterling consider the offer and respond by January 27, 2004 given that
 2   Ms. Sabi then had a deadline of January 29, 2004. Mr. Rhoades’ letter is attached to this
 3   complaint as Exhibit B and is incorporated herein by reference. Upon inquiry, Mr. Rhoades
 4   was informed by Mr. Preonas that his letter would be forwarded to Defendants’ in house
 5   counsel. Mr. Rhoades did not receive a ny written or oral response to his letter.
 6          23. On or about January 28, 1004, on behalf of Ms. Sabi, Legal Aid requested that
 7   the Housing Authority grant another extension of Ms. Sabi’s voucher. The Housing Authority
 8   granted her a final extension until April 5, 2004.
 9          24. On or about March 9, 2004, Ms. McGranahan wrote a letter to Mr. Sterling,
10   explaining that Ms. Sabi’s disabilities have worsened since her husband’s death and that
11   she is physically and emotionally unable to move to another apartment where she may use
12   her Section-8 voucher. Ms. McGranahan requested that he accept Ms. Sabi’s voucher as a
13   “reasonable accommodation” to her disabilities and that Mr. Sterling respond to her request
14   by March 16, 2004. The letter was sent by facsimile and by certified mail, return-receipt
15   requested. The March 9th letter is attached as Exhibit C. On March 19, 2004, Douglas L.
16   Walton (“Mr. Walton”) responded to Ms. McGranahan’s letter, stating that “Beverly Hills
17   Properties does not choose to participate in the Section 8 Program.” The letter denies the
18   request for a “reasonable accommodation”. Mr. Walton’s letter is attached as Exhibit D.
19          25. By instituting and implementing a policy of refusing Section-8 vouchers at the
20   Subject Property as well as at their other buildings, Defendants have discriminated against
21   Ms. Sabi and other existing and prospective tenants on the basis of their status as recipients
22   of Section-8 rental assistance, and have willfully and consciously disregarded their civil
23   rights. Defendants’ policy eliminates thousands of housing choices for Section-8
24   participants in a very tight affordable housing market, and it deprives disabled tenants with
25   Section-8 vouchers accessible and affordable housing opportunities.
26          26. In operating their rental properties, the Defendants have enacted, implemented
27   and enforced a policy, rule and regulation which is illegal and has a reasonably foreseeable
28   disparate impact on elderly persons and persons with disabilities.

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1           27. By intentionally and maliciously engaging in a policy and practice of refusing to
 2   accept Section-8 vouchers, even when requested as a “reasonable accommodation” to a
 3   tenant’s disability, Defendants have acted and continue to act with oppression and have
 4   damaged the rights of Ms. Sabi and other Section-8 voucher holders.
 5           28. As a result of the Defendants’ above described actions, Ms. Sabi and all
 6   Section- 8 voucher holders, have suffered, are continuing to suffer, and will in the future
 7   suffer, great and irreparable loss and injury, including, but not limited to, irreversible damage
 8   to their ability to find affordable housing, loss of their current affordable housing, deprivation
 9   of the full use and enjoyment of their tenancies, violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment,
10   invasion of the private right of occupancy, violation of their civil rights, and bodily injury
11   including severe physical and emotional distress, humiliation, embarrassment, emotional
12   distress, bodily injury such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep loss and appetite loss and
13   other special and general damages according to proof.
14           29. Ms. Sabi is 70 years old and recently widowed. Her depression, anxiety and
15   headaches will worsen and she will experience severe emotional distress, trauma, and
16   disorientation if she experiences the drastic change of being forced to move at her age from
17   the home where she has resided for seventeen years—a home full of memories of her life
18   with her husband, the only home and neighborhood she has known since she fled Iran as a
19   political refugee. Ms. Sabi has undergone multiple surgeries and hospitalizations in the
20   recent past. She lives on the second floor of this building which has an elevator. Due to
21   severe pain in her back, legs and knees, she has difficulty climbing stairs and getting
22   around. Therefore, she has in-home support services for assistance with dressing,
23   grooming, bathing, and walking. This Santa Monica apartment is especially suited to her
24   needs. Ms. Sabi cannot drive. She is in close proximity to her medical providers and her
25   daughter who also assists her with shopping and otherwise living independently. In
26   addition, Ms. Sabi has also been unable to locate a Section-8 apartment that would
27   accommodate her needs and which is in the area. She may be threatened with eviction
28   because the rent is more than she can afford. Even if she locates a unit, she cannot afford

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1   moving costs and a security deposit without financial assistance. Ms. Sabi is also at risk for
 2   admission to a skilled nursing facility or a psychiatric facility if she is forced to move.
 3           30. There now exists an actual controversy between the parties regarding
 4   Defendants’ duties under federal and state fair housing laws and other applicable law.
 5   Accordingly, Ms. Sabi is entitled to declaratory relief. Unless enjoined, Defendants will
 6   continue to engage in unlawful acts. Ms. Sabi has no adequate remedy at law. Because of
 7   Defendants’ refusal to accept Plaintiff’s Section-8 voucher, Ms. Sabi will be forced to move
 8   from the home where she has resided for many years--a home full of the memories of her

 9   life with her husband, or she will lose her Section-8 assistance. Ms. Sabi is physically

10   unable to do so. Given her age of 70 and how long she waited for this voucher, she will

11   forever lose her opportunity to have affordable housing through the Section-8 program. Ms.

12   Sabi is now suffering and will continue to suffer irreparable injury from Defendants’ acts

13   unless this Court provides relief. Accordingly, Ms. Sabi is entitled to injunctive relief.

14                                         V. CAUSES OF ACTION

15                                       FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
                                                (For Violation of
16                                     California Unruh Civil Rights Act)
17          31. Ms. Sabi re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 30 of
18   the Complaint herein.
19          32. Defendant injured Ms. Sabi and all others similarly situated in violation of
20   California Civil Code §51 et seq. by discriminating against them on the basis of their status
21   as recipients of Section-8 housing assistance and disability.
22          33. Pursuant to the Unruh Civil Rights Act, Ms. Sabi and all others similarly situated
23   are entitled to statutory damages of up to three times their actual damages as determined by
24   the trier of fact, but no less than $1,000 for each violation.
25          34. Defendants’ violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act has been intentional and
26   malicious, thereby entitling Ms. Sabi to punitive damages in an amount to be determined at
27   trial, but which amount is within the jurisdictional requirements of this court.
28

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1                                   SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
                                        (For Violation of California
 2                         Fair Employment and Housing Act-Source of Income)
 3          35. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 34 of the
 4   Complaint herein.
 5          36. Defendants injured Ms. Sabi and all others similarly situated by refusing to

 6   negotiate a new lease with her that includes the Section-8 voucher. This is refusal to rent

 7   and differential treatment based on source of income. Defendants thereby violated the

 8   California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code §§12955(a), (b), (c) (d) and

 9   (p).

10          37. Defendants’ conduct has been intentional and malicious, thereby entitling Ms.

11   Sabi to punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but which amount is within

12   the jurisdictional requirements of this court.

13
                                      THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
14                                     (For Violation of California
                           Fair Employment and Housing Act-Disability and Age)
15
16          38. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 37 of the
17   Complaint herein.
18          39. Defendants injured Ms. Sabi and all others similarly situated in violation of the
19   California Fair Employment and Housing Act by committing the following discriminatory
20   housing practices:
21                  A. Refusing to consider, or to provide, the “reasonable accommodations” that
22          Ms. Sabi and Mr. Mashal, persons with severe disabilities, needed in order to have an
23          opportunity equal to other non-disabled tenants to use and enjoy a housing unit in the
24          Subject Property in violation of California Government Code §12955(a), as defined by
25          California Government Code §12927 (c)(1).
26                  B. Discriminating in the rental, or otherwise making unavailable or denying, a
27          dwelling to any renter because of disability and age in violation of California
28          Government Code §12955(a)(c)(d) and (k).


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                      COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1          40. Defendants’ conduct has been intentional and malicious, the reby entitling Ms.
 2   Sabi to punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial, but which amount is within
 3   the jurisdictional requirements of this court.
 4
                                           FOURTH CAUSE OF ACTION
 5                                             (Violation of the
 6                                  California Civil Code §54.1-Disability)

 7          41. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 40 of the
 8   Complaint herein.
 9          42. Defendants injured Ms. Sabi in violation of California Civil Code §54.1 by
10   committing the following unlawful practices:
11                 A. Denying full and equal access to housing accommodations, in violation of
12          California Civil Code §54.1(b)(1)) and
13                 B. Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in rules, policies, practices
14          or services when those accommodations are necessary to afford individuals with
15          disabilities equal opportunity to use and enjoy housing accommodations, in violation
16          of California Civil Code 54.1(b)(3)(B).
17          43. Pursuant to California Civil Code §54.1, for each offense, Ms. Sabi is entitled to
18   her actual damages, treble damages (or statutory damages of $1,000 , whichever is greater),
19   in addition to injunctive and equitable relief.
20                                       FIFTH CAUSE OF ACTION
                                              (For Violation of
21                                California Unfair Business Practices Act)
22          44. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 43 of the
23   Complaint herein.
24          45. In acting as herein alleged, Defendants own, operate and manage over 120 large
25   residential rental properties (including the Subject Property) in Los Angeles County, a
26   business establishment that has engaged in, and continues to engage in, a pattern and
27   practice of unlawful discrimination in direct violation of California's Unruh Civil Rights Act,
28   Fair Employment and Housing Act, California Civil Code §54.1, and the Federal Fair


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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1   Housing Act. Therefore, Defendants have engaged in acts of unfair competition as
 2   proscribed by Business & Professions Code §17200. By bringing this action, Ms. Sabi is
 3   acting in the interest of herself and the general public, pursuant to California Business and
 4   Professions Code §17204.
 5          46. Ms. Sabi and the general public, have suffered, and continue to suffer,
 6   irreparable harm due to Defendants’ policy of refusing Section-8 and their conscious
 7   disregard of the civil rights of individuals who are disabled and/or elderly and who are
 8   Section-8 voucher holders.
 9          47. Pursuant to Business & Professions Code §17203, Ms. Sabi seeks to enjoin
10   Defendants from their continuing commission of the acts alleged above, that will irreparably
11   harm her and the citizens of the State of California, for which harm they have no plain,
12   speedy or adequate remedy at law.
13                                        SIXTH CAUSE OF ACTION
                                              (For Negligence)
14
15          48. Plaintiff re-alleges and incorporates by reference paragraphs 1 through 47 of the

16   Complaint herein.

17          49. Defendants owe Ms. Sabi a duty to operate their apartment buildings in a manner

18   that is free from unlawful discrimination. Defendants intentionally or negligently violated that

19   duty by discriminating against Ms. Sabi because of her status as Section-8 recipient and a

20   disabled person, by refusing to consider, or to provide, “reasonable accommodations”.

21   Defendants’ violation of that duty was either intentional or the result of negligence, including

22   but not limited to,

23                  A. Defendants’ negligent failure to train their employees, their agents and each

24          other regarding the requirements of state and federal fair housing laws;

25                  B. Defendants’ negligent failure to hire persons who were familiar with the

26          requirements of state and federal fair housing laws; and,

27                  C. Defendants’ negligent failure to discipline or terminate employees who failed

28          to comply with the requirements of state and federal fair housing laws.


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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1          50. As a legal result of Defendants’ negligent conduct, Ms. Sabi, and others similarly
 2   situated, are threatened with the loss of important housing opportunities, violation of their
 3   civil rights, deprivation of the full use and enjoyment of their tenancies, violation of the
 4   covenant of quiet enjoyment, invasion of the private right of occupancy, wrongful termination
 5   of tenancies, and bodily injury including severe physical and emotional distress.
 6         VI.     SPECIAL PROHIBITION REGARDING CLAIM FOR ATTORNEYS’ FEES
 7          51.    Under current law, the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (“LAFLA”) is
 8   prohibited from claiming, collecting and retaining attorneys’ fees on behalf of Plaintiff in this
 9   case under 45 C.F.R. §1642.3 (2002). Consequently, neither LAFLA, nor any of it attorneys,
10   will make any claim for attorneys’ fees, but will seek reimbursement for any costs and
11   expenses incurred as a result of its representation of Ms. Sabi in this litigation.
12          52.    The prohibition against collecting attorneys’ fees does not apply to privately
13   retained counsel, or to counsel from any non-profit agency which does not receive funding
14   from the Legal Services Corporation.
15                                        VII. PRAYER FOR RELIEF
16          WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays for the following relief:
17          1. That the Court enjoin Defendants and their agents, employees, and all persons
18   acting under, in concert with Defendants from refusing to accept Plaintiff's and any other
19   current or prospective tenant’s Section-8 voucher as payment for rental of the respective
20   housing accommodations, and require Defendants to take affirmative action to provide equal
21   housing opportunities to all tenants and prospective tenants regardless of source of income,
22   disability, or age.
23          2. That the Court declare that Defendants have violated the provisions of applicable
24   state fair housing laws;
25          3. That the Court award actual damages pursuant to the First, Second, Third, Fourth,
26   and Sixth causes of action, according to proof;
27          4. That the Court award punitive or exemplary damages pursuant to the First,
28   Second, and Third causes of action, according to proof;


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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
 1         5. That the Court award up to three times the amount of actual damages to Plaintiff
 2   against each Defendant for each offense pursuant to the First and Fourth causes of Action,
 3   or statutory damages, whichever is greater.
 4         6. That the Court award attorneys’ fees pursuant to California Government Code
 5   §12989.2; California Civil Code §§52, 54.3, 55; and California Code of Civil Procedure
 6   §1021.5.
 7         7. For costs of suit herein incurred including expert witness fees pursuant to California
 8   Government Code §12989.2; and
 9         8. For such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.
10   DATED: April 6, 2004           By: ___________________________
11                                         Denise McGranahan, Esq.
                                           Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles
12
13                                         Gary Rhoades, Esq.
                                           Law office of Gary Rhoades
14
                                           Catherine Bishop, Esq.
15                                         National Housing Law Project
16
                                           Christopher Brancart, Esq.
17                                         Brancart & Brancart
18                                         Attorneys for PLAINTIFF ELISHEBA SABI
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28

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                     COMPLA INT FOR DAMAGES, DE CLA RA TORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

				
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