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Mixed bag of applicants for rent control committee

Original post made on Jan 11, 2019

Mountain View City Council members will have their choice of seven candidates, a mix of professionals and property owners, vying for the three available seats on the city's Rental Housing Committee.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

Comments (3)

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Posted by Landlords and Putin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 11, 2019 at 4:12 am

Stacking the committee with anti-rent control operatives surely is part of the plan to undermine Measure V preliminary to its "sneaky" repeal in March of 2020. Rents in affected units could DOUBLE. There appears now to be only ONE supporter of Measure V on the City Council: Lucas Raminez. We get it.

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Posted by Landlords and Putin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jan 11, 2019 at 10:48 am

Looking online at the City's website under future agenda items, I see the plan for the City Council on Tuesday, January 15 to interview Rental Housing Committee applicants in a "study session" and then select three of them at the Council meeting that would immediately follow. Tenant rights advocates should show up and speak up. The actual agenda for the January 15 City Council meeting will be posted online today (Friday January 11) before City Hall closes.

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Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2019 at 3:56 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

THE RHC MEMBERS ARE GONG TO BE SUBJECT TO CONDUCT SCRUTINY. The Document Found here (Web Link) by the League of California Cities called “Common Issues in Quasi-Judicial Hearings”:

“II. Quasi-Judicial Hearings.

In both case law and statutes, the terms “quasi-judicial hearing” and “administrative hearing” are used interchangeably. See, e.g., CCP §1094.5; Witt Home Ranch, Inc. v. County of Sonoma (2008) 165 Cal.App.4th 543, 565; LOCC Due Process Committee Report, September 2009, ft. nt. 2.

As the 2009 Ad Hoc Due Process Committee Report explained, an “administrative hearing” occurs when: (a) a hearing is held to apply a rule or standard; (b) to an individual person, project or circumstance; (c) it involves the taking of evidence; (d) it results in the rendering of a written decision issued by the hearing officer or tribunal (including the adoption of findings); and (e) the written decision is based on the facts and arguments submitted at the hearing. 2009 Committee Report, ft. nt. 2.

Quasi-judicial proceedings are distinguishable from legislative proceedings. Legislative actions formulate rules to be applied to all future cases. J.D. Patterson v. Central Coast Regional Coastal Zone Conserv. Comm’n (1976) 58 Cal.App.3d 833, 840. Legislative actions include, but are not limited to, adoption and amendments to municipal codes, general plans, zoning codes and personnel regulations. Whereas legislative actions establish public policy and rules applicable to groups of property or people, quasi-judicial proceedings affect individual properties or parties. Quasijudicial proceedings involve the application of established standards to individual facts to determine specific rights or to take specific actions under existing law. Lindgren and Mattas, CEB California Land Use Practice, §1.49; Arnel Dev. Co. v. City of Costa Mesa (1980) 28 Cal.3d 511, 519; 20th Century Ins. Co. v. Garamendi (1994) 8 Cal.4th 216, 273; Mountain Defense League v. Board of Supervisors of San Diego County (1977) 55 Cal.App.3d 723, 729.

Quasi-judicial proceedings are also different from ministerial proceedings. To be ministerial, a decision must be one the decision maker itself is forced to follow. Friends of Westwood, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles (1987) 191 Cal.App.3d 259, 278; CEB California Land Use Practice, §1.51.

Ministerial decisions cannot be a rule or standard established by the decision maker itself; i.e., they cannot be a result reached by the decision maker’s exercise of its own discretion, or that the decision maker would have the authority to change. Friends of Westwood, Inc., supra, 191 Cal.App.3d at 278.

Common examples of quasi-judicial hearings to which we will refer in this paper include:

nuisance abatement, civil service, discipline, land use permits, and license revocation hearings.

III. Laws Applicable to Quasi-Judicial Hearings.

Quasi-judicial hearings are subject to federal and state due process, the fair hearing requirement of Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5, and additional requirements applicable to particular hearings. Relying on these authorities, California courts have held that administrative hearings must be fair and that administrative decision makers must be impartial. “The Federal Due Process Clause imposes constraints on governmental decisions that deprive individuals of ‘liberty’ or ‘property’ interests within the meaning of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.” Mathews v. Eldridge (1976) 424 US 319, 331.

The California Constitution’s due process safeguards are in Article 1 §7. California due process includes a liberty interest in “freedom from arbitrary adjudicative procedures.” People v. Ramirez (1979) 25 Cal.3d 260, 268-69; accord Saleeby v. State Bar of California, (1985) 39 Cal.3d 547, 563-64. Thus, the fairness of all administrative hearing procedures may be judged under California due process, irrespective of whether the hearings involve deprivation of a property or liberty interest. LOCC, “Due Process in Local Administrative Hearings,” Manuela Albuquerque, Spring 2009.

Code of Civil Procedure section 1094.5(b) creates a statutory right to a fair hearing, which must be conducted before an impartial tribunal. Clark v. City of Hermosa Beach (1996) 48 Cal.App.4th 1152. Under section 1094.5, quasi-judicial proceedings are subject to review in administrative mandamus. Topanga Ass’n for a Scenic Community v. County of Los Angeles (1974) 11 Cal.3d 506, 514.

In administrative mandamus, courts apply either the independent judgment rule or the substantial evidence test. Mountain Defense League v. Board of Supervisors of San Diego County (1977) 65 Cal.App.3d 723, 727. If the substantial evidence test applies, both trial and appellate courts limit their review to the question of whether the agency’s findings were supported by substantial evidence in light of the whole record. CCP §1094.5.

Also noteworthy is the California Administrative Procedures Act (the “APA”), which provides detailed requirements that apply to adjudicative proceedings of state agencies. Govt C §§11400, et seq.) Although the APA is expressly inapplicable to cities and other local agencies unless its provisions have been adopted by the local jurisdiction, courts have looked to the APA for guidance in analyzing quasi-judicial issues involving cities that have not adopted it. Govt C §11410.30(b); See, e.g., Nightlife Partners Ltd. v. City of Beverly Hills (2003) 108 Cal.App.4th 81, 92 (discussing the APA’s requirement to separate administrative functions in Govt C §11425.30). Govt C §§11410.20(a), 11410.60. Under the APA, adjudicative proceedings are evidentiary hearings to determine facts and issue a decision regarding a legal right, duty, privilege, immunity or other legal interest of a particular person. Govt C §§11405.20 and 11405.50

A Fair Tribunal

“When … an administrative agency conducts adjudicative proceedings, the constitutional guarantee of due process of law requires a fair tribunal.” Morongo, supra, 45 Cal.4th at 737 citing Withrow v. Larkin (1975) 421 US 35, 46. “A fair tribunal is one in which the judge or other decision maker is free of bias for or against a party.” (Id.)

When they have no financial interest in the outcome of the hearing, adjudicators are presumed to be impartial. Morongo, supra, 45 Cal.4th at 737, citing Haas v. County of San Bernardino, supra, 27 Cal.4th at p. 1025, and Withrow v. Larkin, supra, 421 US at 47.

In Morongo, the Supreme Court laid out the test for rebutting the presumption: “In the absence of financial or other personal interest, and when rules mandating an agency’s internal separation of functions and prohibiting ex parte communications are observed, the presumption of impartiality can be overcome only by specific evidence demonstrating actual bias or a particular combination of circumstances creating an unacceptable risk of bias.” Morongo, supra, 45 Cal.4th at 740. This evidence can consist of a combination of circumstances “‘in which experience teaches that the probability of actual bias on the part of the judge or decision maker is too high to be constitutionally tolerable.’” (Id., citing Withrow v. Larkin, 421 US at 47.)”

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