Cases & Deals

Family day care is saved from eviction

Clients Aguirre, Amalia

Referred to Jones Day by Public Counsel, a tenant operated a home-based family day care center in her apartment. Under California state law, neither local ordinance nor rental contracts are permitted to interfere with a license granted by the State to someone operating a small family child care center (with only 6-8 children, including those of the operator). Despite this, a landlord tried to evict the tenant on the grounds her lease did not permit the operation of a business and that she lacked a City of Los Angeles business license. In addition, the property had been placed into a City of Los Angeles housing department program that, because of code violations at the property, collected discounted rents directly from tenants and held them in escrow until the code violations were addressed. In light of the defenses disclosed in our trial brief, the landlord dismissed his eviction action on the eve of trial. As a result, the client was able to remain in her rent-controlled apartment and continue to operate her child care program. Based on post-dismissal filings, the trial court expressly found the eviction attempt was retaliatory, and awarded over $11,000 in costs and attorneys' fees to the defense. After covering all out-of-pocket costs, Jones Day committed the remaining $8,500 in settlement funds to Public Counsel's ongoing mission to deliver "equal justice" in Los Angeles County.

Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No.: 08U05583