Town Square

Post a New Topic

Mobile home residents file appeal

Original post made on May 10, 2019

Despite a setback, Mountain View's mobile home residents are pressing forward with their demand to be included under the city's rent control law. On Monday, attorneys representing two Santiago Villa residents filed a suit in the Sixth District Court of Appeal seeking to overturn an unfavorable lower court decision issued last year.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2019, 12:00 AM

Comments (7)

8 people like this
Posted by Here we go again
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 10, 2019 at 10:25 am

Here we go again. Lucky the MH group has a pro bono lawyer to file their appeal. No cost to lose another appeal. The Voice needs to clarify that the CA and staff RHC lawyers did not offer a legal opinion, merely a personal opinion. As the measure states, property is defined as structures and not land. The RHS is allowed legislative prerogative to make their own decision as Judge Pierce states. In fact he went even further to state the measure is so poorly written and confusing that no reasonable person would conclude MH are covered. I wonder if that covers the city lawyers?


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 12:11 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

Lets look at the claims here:

“Here we go again. Lucky the MH group has a pro bono lawyer to file their appeal. No cost to lose another appeal.”

That might be correct but it went on to say:

“The Voice needs to clarify that the CA and staff RHC lawyers did not offer a legal opinion, merely a personal opinion.”

That is proven to be incorrect if you read the Staff report found here Web Link, there was no “personal opinion” it was a legal analysis. There was no mention of any personal opinions. The Same with regards to this staff report found here Web Link. This claim simply is proven by the public record is false. You went on to say:

“As the measure states, property is defined as structures and not land.”

That was not the conclusions made by the legal counsel reports. All you have to do is read them. You also said:

“The RHS is allowed legislative prerogative to make their own decision as Judge Pierce states.”

I believe the language that was used stated:

s. Consequently, the Court's review of RHC's determination as to the scope of the CSFRA is limited to an inquiry into whether the foregoing determination was arbitrary, capricious, or entirely lacking in evidentiary support. (See Walker v. City of San Clemente (2015) 239 Cal.App.4th 1350, 1369.) When reasonable minds can differ as to the wisdom of an agency's action, the court must uphold its determination. (Marlton Recovery Partners, LLC v. County of Los Angeles (2015) 242 Cal.App.4th 510, 517. Consequently, as respondents RHC and the City of Mountain View maintain, Petitioners cannot succeed on their petition merely by offering a reasonable alternative interpretation of the CSFRA. Instead, they must demonstrate that RHC's interpretation is so fundamentally flawed that it is "palpably unreasonable and arbitrary." (San Francisco v. Boyd (l 943) 22 Cal.2d 685, 690.) Here, they fail to do so, and the Court finds that RH C's interpretation of the CSFRA as not applying to mobile home renters is reasonable, based on review of the plain language of the Act (particularly its definition of "Rental Units"), the absence of express references therein to mobile home renters and conflicts between portions of the Act and California Mobilehome Residence Law. Accordingly, there is no basis to award Petitioners the relief they seek and their petition is denied."

In other words, if the appeals court finds that this court erred in the fact that there was evidence presented that the foregoing determination was arbitrary, capricious, or entirely lacking in evidentiary support. And if the lower court’s decision regarding that RHC’s decision is so fundamentally flawed, the court can use that basis to overturn the lower court. There are good cause to have the appeals court to overturn the lower court. You went on to say:

“In fact he went even further to state the measure is so poorly written and confusing that no reasonable person would conclude MH are covered.”

That language was not in the case decision at all if you read this Web Link. The only statement made in relation to this one was “The Court agrees with Respondents that whether the CSFRA applies to mobile home and mobile home lots is, based on the text of the Act, at best ambiguous.”

That simply is not a claim that the measure was poorly written, and not stating is was so confusing that no reasonable person would conclude MH are covered. Why did you make a statement that could be demonstrated to be so inaccurate?

Simply put, the appeal could completely reverse the court’s decision based on evidence that was provided to the lower court, but the court did not properly consider. I would claim that based on your interpretation of the situation, there is plenty of basis for the decision to be overturned.


Like this comment
Posted by here we go again
a resident of North Whisman
on May 11, 2019 at 12:59 pm

RHC staff reports are signed by lawyers and planning staff. They are not legal opinions in the normal sense. They fail to cite court cases in most of their writing. If you you listen to the recording of the meeting, some RHC members asked if there was a precedent or other court decisions that supported their interpretation. The answer was no , so it appears that this was a typical personal opinion offered by staff that included some non lawyers. The RHC staff has offered their personal opinions on other staff reports. Fortunately some RHS members work in the real estate industry, have rented out property and know the law and some economics and have pointed out these shortcomings of staff advice. As you state the judge agreed with the RHC and by implication agreed that their interpretation was reasonable. Courts have imposed a high hurdle to overturn a legislative body's decision.

The staff report purposely did not mention the section that defined property as structures but focused on another section. Their interpretation suggests that land located on land is subject to rent control. pretty silly


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 2:08 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Here We Go Again you said:

“RHC staff reports are signed by lawyers and planning staff. They are not legal opinions in the normal sense.”

Your first claim was they were personal opinions and NOT legal analysis. No you are arguing they are not “legal opinions”. Nice try in trying to change your history. But that in effect admits that the “legal analysis” is based on expert researchers. You said:

“They fail to cite court cases in most of their writing.”

They were not instructed to do so if you read the orders given by the RHC. That was intentional because if they had, there would be mention Daniel GUGGENHEIM; v CITY OF GOLETA, a municipal corporation (582 F.3d 996 (2009) United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. This case establishes that:

Daniel Guggenheim and others bring a facial challenge to the City of Goleta's mobile home rent control ordinance. Guggenheim argues that the ordinance, which effects a transfer of nearly 90 percent of the property value from mobile home park owners to mobile home tenants, constitutes a regulatory taking under Penn Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104, 98 S.Ct. 2646, 57 L.Ed.2d 631 (1978). We have fielded such challenges before, but have never reached the merits of the takings claim. See, e.g., Equity Lifestyle Props., Inc. v. County of San Luis Obispo ("Equity Lifestyle"), 548 F.3d 1184, 1190 n. 11 (9th Cir.2008); Carson Harbor Vill. Ltd., v. City of Carson, 37 F.3d 468, 475-77 (9th Cir.1994), overruled on other grounds by WMX Techs., Inc. v. Miller, 104 F.3d 1133, 1136 (9th Cir.1997) (en banc); Levald, Inc. v. City of Palm Desert, 998 F.2d 680, 686-89 (9th Cir. 1993); Sierra Lake Reserve v. City of Rocklin, 938 F.2d 951, 955 (9th Cir.1991), vacated, 506 U.S. 802, 113 S.Ct. 31, 121 L.Ed.2d 4 (1992).

To determine whether a taking has occurred we must decide several issues. We must first determine whether the mobile home park owners have standing to bring this case. Additionally, we must consider whether this case is ripe under Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172, 105 S.Ct. 3108, 87 L.Ed.2d 126 (1985). If so, then we must determine whether the city ordinance constitutes a regulatory taking under Penn Central. We also address challenges to the ordinance under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses.

The district court did not address either the standing or ripeness questions due to the unusual procedural history of the case, but implicitly found the case was properly brought. The district court found that no taking had occurred. For the reasons explained below, we agree with the district court that this case is properly brought and ripe for decision, BUT WE DISAGREE WITH THE DISTRICT COURT ON THE MERITS OF THE TAKINGS CLAIM. BECAUSE WE FIND THAT A TAKING HAS OCCURRED, WE REVERSE AND REMAND TO THE DISTRICT COURT TO DETERMINE WHAT COMPENSATION IS DUE. We affirm the district court's judgment on the due process and equal protection claims.”

Another case ensued found here Daniel GUGGENHEIM; v CITY OF GOLETA, a municipal corporation (638 F.3d 1111 (2010) United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. This case establishes that:

The case went through a complex procedural course, but the complexities are of no importance here. First the case in federal court was stayed pursuant to Pullman[11] abstention while the Guggenheims pursued claims in state court. They and the City settled the state case. RETURNING TO FEDERAL COURT, THE GUGGENHEIMS WON SUMMARY JUDGMENT, AND THE CITY APPEALED. While the appeal was pending, THE SUPREME COURT DECIDED LINGLE V. CHEVRON U.S.A. INC.,[12] AND THE GUGGENHEIMS AND THE CITY AGREED THAT LINGLE SO UNDERMINED THE DISTRICT COURT JUDGMENT THAT THEY STIPULATED TO DISMISS THE APPEAL AND THEY REOPENED THE LITIGATION IN DISTRICT COURT. THIS TIME THE CITY WON SUMMARY JUDGMENT, and the Guggenheims appeal. THE DISTRICT COURT OBSERVED THAT THE GUGGENHEIMS "GOT EXACTLY WHAT THEY BARGAINED FOR WHEN THEY PURCHASED THE PARK — A MOBILE-HOME PARK SUBJECT TO A DETAILED RENT-CONTROL ORDINANCE." WE REVERSED,[13] BUT DECIDED TO REHEAR THE CASE EN BANC,[14] AND NOW VACATE OUR EARLIER DECISION AND AFFIRM.”

So there was a direct case that applies to this situation, where rent control is constitutionally applicable to mobile home parks in California, granted it originally looked like it would not, the federal court vacated the takings decision and affirmed the fact that rent control does apply to mobile home parks.

So there was case precedence. The RHC carefully instructed their attorneys to only address the statute and not research past decisions. If they had this would have been disclosed and the RHC’s actions would be clearly demonstrated as arbitrary, capricious and without merit. You went on to say:

“If you you listen to the recording of the meeting, some RHC members asked if there was a precedent or other court decisions that supported their interpretation. The answer was no , so it appears that this was a typical personal opinion offered by staff that included some non lawyers.”

I just proved that your information was incomplete and was designed to avoid being notified of the history of rent control and its application to mobile home parks. In fact there was a case directly on point. The fact it was not discovered in my opinion was proof of poor legal practice, since all I had to do is google cases. You said:

“The RHC staff has offered their personal opinions on other staff reports.”

Again what statement can you offer on the written record can you use to prove this. I already disclosed the fact that your statement was inaccurate. You said:

“Fortunately some RHS members work in the real estate industry, have rented out property and know the law and some economics and have pointed out these shortcomings of staff advice.”

What evidence can you provide that is not tainted by conflict of interest to prove your claim. Ever since 2012 when the American Economist Association revised requirements of disclosure regarding conflict of interest, it appears not one involving this situation has complied with the new requirements. That was the result of a documentary called “Inside Job” which discussed the conflict of interests shaping the economist research that lead to the 2006-2008 Great recession. And the older ones upon this revision have in effect been disqualified because they also did not disclose any conflict of interest. Simply put, the RHC member were acting out on their own best financial interests or those they have financial or personal ties with, and you know that. You said:

“As you state the judge agreed with the RHC and by implication agreed that their interpretation was reasonable. Courts have imposed a high hurdle to overturn a legislative body's decision.”

I did not say that either, I just pointed out that the lower court ruling is subject to reversal if the appeals court can find this court erred in the fact that there was evidence presented that the foregoing determination was arbitrary, capricious, or entirely lacking in evidentiary support. And if the lower court’s decision regarding that RHC’s decision is so fundamentally flawed, the court can use that basis to overturn the lower court. There are good cause to have the appeals court to overturn the lower court.

I find it amazing how much you try to change the narrative when others demonstrate that it was inaccurate. I suppose you have a relationship perhaps with Tom Means, who retired before having any comprehensive investigation regarding his conflict of interest being a RHC board member while being paid to act against rent control as a consultant.

This fact can be brought up regarding the Appeal because he was still in office and not caught until after the decision he made. He resigned in August 2018 many months after his interference in making the proper decision in the RHC which occurred in February, 2018. The original case was heard and decided on practically the same day Tom Means resigned. So this evidence was probably not presented in the first case. If this is presented in the appeal, this swings the case strongly in favor of the Mobile Home owners that rent the spaces. You said:

“The staff report purposely did not mention the section that defined property as structures but focused on another section. Their interpretation suggests that land located on land is subject to rent control. pretty silly”

As I pointed out in a Federal Court, you have been proven inaccurate.


Like this comment
Posted by Here we go again
a resident of North Bayshore
on May 11, 2019 at 4:52 pm

Most of what u say doesn’t make sense. As I stated, there is a high hurdle for a judge to overturn a legislative decision that was supported by a reasonable decision. That’s why judges rarely overturn political decisions. Nothing in your reply disputes that fact.


Like this comment
Posted by The Business Man
a resident of Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on May 11, 2019 at 5:36 pm

The Business Man is a registered user.

In response to Here we go again you said:

“Most of what u say doesn’t make sense.”

But it is documented history. So you can try to make it sound like I am responsible. But I am not, this IS simple history. Trying to criticize me for it is simply a poor reaction. You said:

“As I stated, there is a high hurdle for a judge to overturn a legislative decision that was supported by a reasonable decision.”

Simply put, if the lower court subjects Mountain View citizen with unequal treatment under the courts that is all that is necessary to overturn any court. Since the citizens of Goleta have the rights to rent control on mobile home land, under the California Constitution Article 1 Section 7 which states:

“A person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law or denied equal protection of the laws;  PROVIDED, THAT NOTHING CONTAINED HEREIN OR ELSEWHERE IN THIS CONSTITUTION IMPOSES UPON THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA OR ANY PUBLIC ENTITY, BOARD, OR OFFICIAL ANY OBLIGATIONS OR RESPONSIBILITIES WHICH EXCEED THOSE IMPOSED BY THE EQUAL PROTECTION CLAUSE OF THE 14TH AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION with respect to the use of pupil school assignment or pupil transportation.”

At the same time the Federal Constitution has the 14th Amendment which states:

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; NOR DENY TO ANY PERSON WITHIN ITS JURISDICTION THE EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAWS.”

In effect the Federal Court case dictates that every citizen in California must be provided the same treatment under law as those in the Golleta case. Thus, the lower court made a serious unconstitutional decision, which the Appeals court will be required to solve. I am surprised you did not understand this. You further stated:

“That’s why judges rarely overturn political decisions. Nothing in your reply disputes that fact.”

But if my observation is correct, the courts must not allow a city from withholding equal protection of the laws to it’s citizens. The fact that the Santa Clara court did so surprises me. How did the Judge not understand the previous case was applicable. This is in effect the perfect case for a court to enforce the equal protection of the laws on the City of Mountain View. You simply do not see the entire picture.

In effect my reply was directly on target. But you don’t seem to understand the “big” picture regarding case precedence and its requirement of lower courts to comply with them.


8 people like this
Posted by RonTT
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 11, 2019 at 5:37 pm

"Here we go again", instead you're simply defending what you say.

Skepticism is fine, but the court has ruled that judges are more likely to uphold legislative decisions which are "reasonable".

That is very difficult to prove on an empirical basis, but is a reasonable statement. Is "reasonable" an acceptable standard?

It is not. This would be a hard legal question, one that is ripe for abuse. And I could find no law in the U.S. that would forbid this. My view, and your view, does not support the current ruling.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 47 comments | 13,974 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 25 comments | 1,672 views

Eat Your Values – August 15
By Laura Stec | 1 comment | 1,175 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 0 comments | 935 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 534 views

 

3 days left of Early Bird pricing!

On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun, Aug 18.

Register now