Proving again that vigorous legal representation can slow and even stop some Ellis evictions, the Appellate Division of the SF Superior Court granted a Petition for Writ of Mandate on August 22 quashing two Ellis act evictions at 513-519 Lombard. Theresa Flandrich, one of the tenants protected by the ruling, has become a tenant leader as a result of her eviction and a real asset to the neighborhood. A third tenant in the building will also be protected by the decision.
Steve Collier of the Tenderloin Housing Clinic (which publishes Beyond Chron) represented Flandrich and filed the successful writ. While the ruling does not prevent the landlord from initiating a new Ellis action, she must start from scratch.
Last October, Collier got an eviction quashed in the case of longterm Castro tenant Jeremy Mykaels. In March, Collier’s THC colleague Raquel Fox stopped an Ellis eviction on Lucky Street in the Mission District. These cases and others reflected increased resources for Ellis eviction defense, which is also sharply raising the costs Ellis speculators must pay their attorneys.
Last fall, Mayor Lee tripled city funding for Ellis eviction defense. He then added another $130,000 this spring when that higher amount proved insufficient to meet the rising number of cases.
When you combine this more vigorous legal defense, the Campos legislation raising Ellis relocation payments, and the potential passage of Prop G, the anti-speculation tax on the November ballot, speculator profits from Ellis evictions are being reduced.
And the courts may not be so eager to bail speculators out. On August 22, Federal District Judge Breyer denied a request by the Pacific Legal Foundation for a TRO to enjoin the Ellis relocation ordinance. It remains in effect until an October 6 hearing.
Randy Shaw is Editor of Beyond Chron and Director of THCSan Francisco News