SOURCE: Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP

February 27, 2015 14:20 ET

Court Order Finds Lack of Evidence in Lawsuit Against Hillside Apartment Owners

OAKLAND, CA--(Marketwired - Feb 27, 2015) - Residential property developer Alvernaz Partners LLC, owners of the Hillside Apartment Complex at 8603 and 8701 Hillside Street in Oakland, Calif., have won an order granting their motion to expunge a lis pendens that the City of Oakland recorded against their property, striking a serious blow against the case filed by the City on Aug. 15, 2014 (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda; Case #RG14737036). The motion was granted by Judge Dennis Hayashi of the Alameda County Superior Court and recorded on Feb. 25. The City and the owners of the Hillside Apartment Complex reached a settlement agreement shortly after the court issued its initial tentative ruling on the motion.

"We feel vindicated," said Douglas Moore of Alvernaz Partners. "When we acquired these units in 2010, we quickly cleaned them up and enhanced tenant safety, and we have since worked with our property managers to maintain them in good repair and a safe condition. We have also actively worked with the City to address any concerns and to fulfill our commitments to our tenants. It is a relief to know that the Court shared our views regarding the merits of the City's alleged causes of action."

In his order, Judge Hayashi notes that the City failed to submit admissible evidence of any crime occurring on the property or that any crimes have been committed by residents of the property. Also at issue in the lawsuit were YouTube videos that were alleged to include property residents. The court concluded based on the evidence that the subjects of the video postings were not, in fact, residents of the complex. It was also noted in the order that the City submitted no admissible evidence that "Defendants 'allowed' illegal activity to occur on their property, or that there were any reasonable measures that Defendants failed to take to try to control any criminal activity or other activities giving rise to a nuisance on the property."

Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP Partner Mark Epstein represented the defendants.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Mark D. Epstein
    Attorney
    Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP
    510.834.6600
    mepstein@wendel.com