Temporary Restraining Order Issued Against Skid Row Hotel ~ Elderly, Disabled Tenants

LOS ANGELES - March 30, 2016 - PRLog -- Temporary Restraining Order Issued in Ongoing Lawsuit Against Skid Row Hotel


Lisa Dulyea, Inner City Law Center, 213-891-3234, ldulyea@innercitylaw.org

Franke Santos, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, 323-801-7981, fsantos@lafla.org

Eric Ares, Los Angeles Community Action Network, 213-228-0024, erica@cangress.org

LOS ANGELES, March 24, 2016 - To add stop ongoing harassment by management and address long-standing habitability issues, 16 low-income residents of the Madison Hotel in downtown L.A., many of them elderly, disabled, and military veterans, Inner City Law Center (ICLC), Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation (LAFLA) and Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), a tenant-organizing group, have filed suit against the hotel's owners and management. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and Inner City Law Center.

The Madison Hotel, at 423 E. 7th Street, is a residential hotel and one of the last affordable housing options in the downtown area. Many of the tenants, some of L.A.'s most vulnerable residents, have called the building home for decades. Since June when it bought the building, 423 E. 7th Street, LLC, and its management company, William Holdings, LLC, have engaged in a range of illegal and deplorable tactics apparently aimed at getting tenants to leave their home, including cutting essential services, ridiculing individuals for their disabilities, age, and sexual orientation, issuing invalid 24-hour notices to enter, and threatening to forcibly remove tenants from their units. Tenants, most of whom cannot afford to leave, have no way to escape this harassment and the resulting emotional harm and fear. Many tenants also suffer from management's failure to keep the hotel in a livable condition. Roaches run freely throughout the building, particularly now that management has ceased regular trash collection, and a long-standing bed bug infestation has exploded due to management's ineffective treatments. The building's only elevator was out of order for several days in August and nearly a week in October, forcing tenants who are elderly and disabled to climb as many as four flights of stairs to their rooms. Further, the current owners and managers have cut or reduced building services, and changed building rules without tenants' consent. Plaintiffs' rent has always covered a number of services, including cleaning and linen services, which new management ended. It has banned guests, including LA CAN, which tried to organize residents. Management stripped the lobby and TV room of furniture and prohibited residents from socializing in those spaces, further isolating tenants. All of this was done in violation of state and local law.

Most recently, Management company William Holdings, LLC and owner 423 E. 7th Street LLC, through its principal Kameron Segal, tried to ban building residents from hosting visitors, including legal counsel, tenant organizers. Inner City Law Center attorneys, Genevieve Jenkins, Dianne Prado and Amanda Goad have been working in collaboration with Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles' attorney, Jeanne Nishimoto, and Los Angles Community Action Network tenant organizer, Ariana Alcaraz, to stop the harassment of Madison Hotel tenants. "Turning off the heat and attempting to isolate tenants who are elderly and disabled by refusing to fix the elevator, was bad enough, but the management company trying prevent residents from having visitors is unbelievable," said Jenkins. William Holdings, LLC bullied residents by telling them that they were not allowed visitors and tried on many occasions to have Jenkins, Nishimoto and Alcaraz forcibly removed from the property by calling the police and using verbal and physical intimidation tactics. Since Jenkins began work on the case she has been yelled at, harassed and intimidated by members of the Madison's on-site management team. Diaz was physically assulted by being pushed off the stairs.

The Honorable James C. Chalfant granted a temporary restraining order requiring William Holdings, 423 E. 7th Street LLC, and Kameron Segal to respect tenants' right to host guests and to permit tenants' rights organizers to enter the building to meet with residents. The judge called William Holdings attempted to prohibit visitors "outrageous."


Lisa Dulyea (Communications Manager)
Inner City Law Center
Tags:Slum Lord, Social Justice, Human Rights
Location:Los Angeles - California - United States
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