A Day in Court for Lincoln Place

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By C.V. Beck

The Complex Court had a h#earing on October 16 in which AIMCO had filed their demurrer and Judge Carl West made it clear that we are dealing with the preliminaries at this point. It is not anticipated that anything of substance will be reached prior to the new year. At that time, seniors/disabled group will be addressed, followed by those who were “illegally evicted.” The next hearing has now been scheduled for November 7 at 1:30 p.m. and is a status conference, monthly meetings with all attorneys will be held to address discovery matters. Thirty-seven unlawful detainer cases have been transferred to this complex court and are now being reviewed by Judge West. There is a motion pending for attorneys fees and a motion for restitution after appeal asking that these tenants be restored to their apartments immediately. It is anticipated that a hearing date will be set for these motions then. In the Bernard Mass Action Case, the judge denied AIMCO’s motion as to all causes of action, a positive for us. He also ruled the “locked out residents” who dropped their appeals, could not be restored to their apartments; that restitution for these would be limited to money damages only. Lincoln Place residents attorneys are reviewing how best to deal with this decision. Also, the plaintiffs are given the right to file for additional claims for money damages for abuse of process. We also are considering filing a claim for elder abuse on behalf of tenants over 65. This amended complaint is expected to be filed on or before Nov. 14 as both sides continue with the discovery process. 

I can’t help but remark on how unused to members of the public this complex court seems to be. In the court room, there are only a few benches for the public, and parts of this is being used as some kind of temporary storage for boxes. Acoustically, this courtroom, along with all the others I have been to, are not adequate for anyone such as myself with a hearing impairment. I came with my hearing “aid” and still had tremendous trouble hearing what the attorneys and the judge were saying, even though there are microphones in use. There is paneling in the courtroom which seems to muffle vocal sounds. It would be very interesting for someone to do a study of the acoustics in all Los Angelescourtrooms. I believe this would reveal how inadequate they are for the public to be able to hear with clarity what is being discussed by the “insiders.” 

Locking Gates Replacing Board Ups 

At Lincoln Place, board-ups are being replaced by very ugly locking iron gates. (See photo). I am not sure this is any kind of an improvement save for curb appeal” as people drive by. Functionally, it seems to me that more trash and debris will blow into the hallways and this then will not be reachable except with a key. We are still waiting for the chain-link fences to be removed and are definitely looking forward to this. It is my opinion that this “gating” of the entrances is a first step in an attempt to create a “gated community” here at Lincoln Place. It is unfortunate that with hundreds of difference, attractive models for wrought iron security doors, that the one chosen seems to be the most “jail-like”, with vertical iron bars.

One of my neighbors caught the exterminator in the act of cleaning the insecticides from his equipment into the grounds here. This neighbor has told me this has been happening for a long time, despite best efforts to get the on site manager to request the exterminator to desist from this toxic and probably illegal activity. 

Recently, one of our neighbors to the north passed by, walking dogs with the right stuff. (That is, of course, sanitation materials and leashes…) and stopped to chat with her neighbor, visiting with me. What came up in the conversation was that the first neighbor had been challenged by one of the security guards, saying…”no pee-pee, no pee-pee.” Neighbor was walking dogs on the sidewalk at the time. She said this was the first time anything like this had happened to her here at Lincoln Place. A few days later, on Penmar, signs once again appeared which say “no trespassing.” At this time I observed three security guards on Penmar alone…

We still have incidents of security breaches, where locked apartment doors are suddenly found to be unlocked and open despite the presence of security.

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