City Hall has obtained an injunction against a local property manager accused of harassing a disabled tenant.
The City Attorney’s Office filed the tenant harassment suit in 2016 against the owners of a local property and their property manager Kathy Golshani.
The lawsuit alleges that landlords Cecil McNabb and Golshani tried to disrupt the already-challenging daily routine of a mother taking care of her severely developmentally disabled daughter.
“The daughter is quadriplegic with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, and requires special care in the transfer of herself and her wheelchair in a ramp-equipped van,” said the City Attorney’s Office. “The lawsuit claims the owners tried to force the mother and daughter out of their longtime rent-controlled home by stopping them from using the carport to transfer the daughter to the accessible van. The complaint also alleges that the owner caused the tenant’s hot water to be shut off for four days.”
The City received a temporary restraining order (TRO) in January of this year that limited Golshani’s actions and the TRO was extended this week based on allegations Golshani has continued to harass the tenants.
“As the City showed in its January 27, 2017 Application for Temporary Restraining Order, Defendant Kathy Golshani is a landlord who has proven since she took over the building that she simply can’t help herself when it comes to harassing tenants Martha and Julia Browning,” said the city’s application. “Since that January 27 hearing, Golshani has proven this again but to a deeper level: Even after a court-brokered on-the-record settlement agreement that she will leave the Brownings alone, she herself has been at the building personally snapping photographs of a Browning guest, and then on a separate day, she personally blocked their parking spot — the same parking that is at the heart of the City’s reasonable accommodation and harassment case. Golshani has also attempted to barrage the Brownings — including Julia who has intractable epilepsy with which stress causes seizures — with workers climbing on her balcony.”
The city accused Golshani of sending workers to the Browning home without any notice and accessing the home without the tenant’s knowledge, a direct violation of the January settlement. They also said blocking access to parking is especially troubling given the nature of Julia’s severe disability. She is blind, nonverbal, quadriplegic and stress can trigger seizures.
The January settlement also prohibits Golshani from harassing guests of the Brownings but on at least one incident Golshani photographed a guest leaving the building.
In court documents, Deputy City Attorney Gary Rhoades said the city was compelled to file additional requests for injunctive relief against Golshani to protect the family.
“It is one of the most egregious harassment campaigns by an owner that the City Attorney’s Office (CAO) has seen in years, and, given Julia’s profound disabilities, the most egregious treatment of a tenant with a disability and her caregiver mother,” he said in the documents.
Rhoades said the ongoing violations combined with an offer of $10,000 to vacate the unit clearly shows the defendants are attempting to force the Brownings out of a home they have lived in for 16 years.
The court notified the city this week of its decision and extended the terms of the TRO for the duration of the case. According to the order, Golshani is prohibited from entering the unit except in an emergency, cannot send workers to the unit without 24-hour notice to Browning, her attorneys and the City (except in an emergency), cannot block Browning’s parking nor take photographs of Browning, her family or guests and no eviction cases may be filed while the case is pending without court approval.
According to the order, the judge made the determination after Golshani fired her attorney mid-hearing and chose to finish the oral arguments herself.
Rhoades said the merits of the case has been focused on violations of the city’s fair housing rules and the defendants attempts to harass the tenants after denying reasonable accommodation for the disabled tenant. He said the most recent order will preserve the Browning’s quality of life while the case progresses
“The protections in the TROs had already brought peace back to the tenants’ home and this new court order extends those protections until trial,” he said.