Orange County Team Prevails in Unique Commercial Landlord-Tenant Case

May.21.2013

​After nearly two years of contentious litigation, our Orange County team has succeeded in obtaining a favorable settlement on behalf of our client in a unique commercial landlord-tenant case.

Referred to us from the Public Law Center in October 2011, our client—a single mother of Iranian descent, who owned and operated an Italian restaurant in Westminster, California—was allegedly sexually harassed, wrongfully evicted, and then deprived of her personal property by her landlord.

In 2007, the client's ex-husband was deported from the country, leaving the restaurant in the hands of our client and her two sons. Shortly thereafter, the landlord began making unwanted advances toward our client, followed by demands for "back payments" and a refusal to maintain the property in a usable and habitable condition. Finally, the landlord evicted the client, sold the restaurant equipment rightfully owned by our client, and found a new tenant for the property.

In November 2011, our team filed suit in Orange County Superior Court on behalf of the client against the landlord and his new tenant. On multiple occasions, the defendants unsuccessfully moved to have the case dismissed on demurrer. The case remained contentious throughout discovery with the defendant landlord refusing to produce key financial documents.

Recently, with the help of a mediator, we were able to obtain a sizable and favorable settlement from the landlord and the new tenant.

Our Orange County team that worked on this matter included Mark Wine, Tom Gray, Glen Liu, Michael Chow and Will Melehani. Cheryl Watson, Sally Hartwell and Jodie Davis also made invaluable contributions to the successful outcome.