Monday, September 28, 2015

A Public Records Act Request for Jeff and Taryn Hildreth

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(Mod: I received the following e-mail from Taryn Hildreth a few days ago. I get a lot of requests for updates regarding the Hildreth's legal conflicts with the City of Sierra Madre, and there is no better source than Taryn. I will be filing a California Public Records Act request today for the information the Hildreths have been trying to get from City Hall. We'll see if I have any better luck. By law the city would be required to cough this information up, so we'll have to see how this goes. I will keep you updated. And by the way, I'd do the same thing for you. Just so you know.)

Hi John. Hope all is well with you. We wanted to give you an update. We were scheduled to start trial on September 28; however, the courtroom is dark that day. Our trial has been rescheduled to start October 19th.

Unfortunately, our attorney passed away 2 weeks ago. He was a wonderful man with incredible integrity, who wanted to right a wrong from the City's lies. He was able to save our house from the wrecking ball so that we have the evidence in court that our property is not a "public nuisance", that there are no code violations, and that we have valid permits. We will be forever grateful to him.

The City's attorneys expected that we would have no choice but to represent ourselves again in pro per. Fortunately, we have an attorney who is willing to help us continue our fight and has substituted in. We did ask the court for a 90 day extension, so that the attorney could be brought up to speed. The 5 year statute is up December 1st and the City would not stipulate to an extension. Therefore, we must be prepared for trial on October 19th. I am 99.9% sure that the date will not be changed again.

On another note, we are hoping for a little help in finding information pertaining to how much money the City has paid in legal fees regarding our case. We feel that you will have better luck, as the City has continuously ignored our requests. It is our understanding that it is against the law for the City's attorneys of record to represent the City on a contingency basis. We believe that is why they are not providing a response to the multiple requests for Public Records that we have submitted.

The following is what we have requested and the City has chosen to ignore. Obviously we are currently involved in trial prep and will not have time to pursue the matter until after the trial. We think the City is violating the law or they would have provided all of the information we requested. We think the City stopped paying the Dapeer law firm in 2013.

The following is the timeframe regarding our Public Records Acts requests:

February 17, 2015: We submitted a request for Public Records asking for copies of all invoices from Dapeer law firm regarding the property and/or Hildreths from June 1, 2009 thru January 31, 2015.

February 27, 2015: we received a letter from the City stating that "Most files specific to our request were located offsite. We will respond to your request on March 23, 2015."

March 27, 2015: I paid for and picked up copies of the Dapeer invoices; however, the invoices provided were only thru April 2013.

April 7, 2015: We requested confirmation as to whether the invoices given were complete or incomplete. We stated that no invoices were provided dated after April 30, 2013.

May 12, 2015: We sent a re-request for all invoices whether paid or unpaid from the Dapeer law firm for services provided between April 1, 2013 and April 30, 2015.

July 2, 2015: We e-mailed a letter to the City stating that a response had not been received.

July 13, 2015: The City sent a letter stating that all Requests for Public Records had been responded to. (This is not true. They have ignored the requests and re-request for information pertaining to Dapeer law firm and payments made between April 1, 2013-April 30, 2015).

Between July 13 and August 13: The City sent an email stating that the City no longer had to provide a response to our Request for Public Records regarding invoices, stating attorney/client priviledge.

August 13, 2015: We refined our request asking for the following:

1. Any form of compensation whether check, warrant, I.O.U. or other, made by the City of Sierra Madre to Dapeer,  Rosenblit, Litvak LLP or any of its employees or affiliated entities, between January 1, 2013 and July 31, 2015 for services related directly or indirectly to 187 East Montecito Ave., Jeff Hildreth, or Taryn Hildreth.

2. Accounts payable reports by month for vendor to Dapeer, Rosenblit, Litvak LLP and any affiliated entities or employees, for calendar years 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, for a total of six individual reports with reports for 2010-2014 containing data by month for Jan-Dec of the specific year and 2015 containing Data by month for Jan-July.

To date, we have still have had no response.

John, you have moxie, so thank you,

Jeff and Taryn  Hildreth

sierramadretattler.blogspot.com

59 comments:

  1. The City is wasting taxpayer money by not settling with the Hildreth's. This is a bureaucracy run amok with taxpayers money.

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    1. I agree! Another taxpayer loss. Wait until we get hit for not meeting our state water number$.

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    2. Here is a source of some info:
      https://sterlingoak.wordpress.com/

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    3. If the City wins, the Hildreths should pay court costs and vice versa.

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  2. The City is not used to anyone standing up for their rights. Most citizens would have caved long ago. Let's put that money in legal fees toward fighting real threats to Sierra Madre like the One Carter developers and not towards fighting our own residents. That makes no sense to me.

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  3. Nice picture. Too bad the Hildreth's haven't torn down the illegal balcony (in the picture) that they constructed over the City's sidewalk. That just pisses me off every time I walk by there.

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    1. That it pisses you off makes it seem even better to me. Plus it will make a nice rain shelter when El Nino hits.

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    2. 6.48 Your rude comment has been addressed several times already.It was the City who refused them a Permit to remove it !

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    3. Not feeling the love here. Point is that it's still there. Taking it down with or without a permit would be a good idea.

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    4. You don't need a permit to remove the illegal balcony just a chainsaw.

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    5. Where do you live again? I'd like you to give a demonstration.

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    6. No, you need a demolition permit.If you demolish w/o a Demo Permit ,you get fined and more.
      Please read and understand the law before you embarrass yourself again.

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    7. I agree It should not be there no matter about the other issues the over the sidewalk part is not right and should be taken down

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    8. 1:53 where do you live? We can have the balcony demolition dropped off in your front yard.

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    9. @12:17 You do not need a permit to remove/demo a deck/patio.

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    10. Stop the madness!

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    11. Clearly neither party is innocent in this instance.

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    12. The city took a big gamble with the taxpayers' money.

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    13. That porch overhang is a nice place to get out of the sun on a hot summer day. I only wish we had more like them.

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    14. Any idiot would know that you can not build your structure to encroach into the public right of way. What were they thinking. this case may show the city is being a bully but these people deserve what they get.

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    15. Not what the case is about. Is this is a new topic for you?

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    16. Quite right 6:46, but I think the point is that the city won't allow them to take it down.
      Never should have been built in the first place? Agreed.
      City stupid to not let them take it down? Yep.
      Again, as with all things Hildrethian, lots of mistakes on all sides.

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  4. This shadow boxing game concerning 'public records requests' are nothing new for City Managers & City Attorneys to play with reminds me of what a monkey does with a football, those a for mentioned will do any and everything to hide documents from the public and rightful records sequesters. Document any communications with Sierra Madre city hall it will bod better if you communications were letters or emails, I know of a local lawyer that strikes fear in every city managers or city attorneys heart.

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    1. "I know of a local lawyer that strikes fear in every city managers or city attorneys heart. "
      No decent person should fear the law,much less a lawyer.
      But the name you hint at should be discreetly passed to Mr.Crawford. We Tattlers are rather vulnerable to legal harassment by City Hall.

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  5. Go get them, Mr. Mod. Maybe 10 of us should go and request the info. Mayor? If you're reading this, take a look at what your beloved city manager is doing!

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  6. The people of Sierra Madre are fully within their rights when they ask for the Dapeer payment numbers.

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  7. This should have been settled long ago. The city refused to negotiate and God only knows how much money was spent. Hey Mayor Capoccia! Do we really need a 12% UUT Tax? Is this so there will be money enough to spend with Dapeer? You know, so residents can be persecuted for years over a code violation?

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  8. Mr mayor, is the reason for the 12% UUT tax ... Because city hall is ringing up legal cost which city hall can not afford to pay? These legal cost to defend and future money judgements paid to hildreaths should be costs borne by city hall not the residents! The CAPPS guy

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  9. Attorneys are required to have engagement letters and the letters aren't privileged. Ask the city for that. It will contain the terms.

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  10. The cost should be Aguilar's resignation.
    I am ashamed that my tax money is being wasted in this way.
    Most code/permit disputes are quickly resolved. They are quickly resolved because there is a clear body of law. But if the City looses key documents,it has a weak case.In this case the bungling,obfuscation and obstruction by the City means they will loose the case.They know this. But they continue to rack up legal fees that we tax payers fund. Why? Just spite and incompetence.And the City Council is complicit in this.They could have stopped the loss on this case and come to an amicable agreement years ago - it is called Management - we have none in City Hall. And this case is a glaring example of their ineptitude.

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    1. The problem started with a big lie by the city. Building inspector at the time mishandled paper work and Lied, City manager Lied to cover bad hire and continued to lie to this date. Get rid of this bad manager and her staff. By the way where is building inspector now, oh I forgot we contract that out now.

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    2. Same little freak who illegally approved the Congregational Church's New Life Center. Why didn't they sic Dapeer on them?

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    3. Why? Joe Mosca and John Buchanan, of course. They saw votes in it.

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  11. I used to have some misgivings about Jeff's project. But after some of the things that have come out the last few years, my thoughts have changed.

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    1. I don't think any of the facts matter anymore. The residents of Sierra Madre will be setting up the Hildreths for the rest of their lives, just like the city staff. Loss for us, win for the Hildreths and the city staff.

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    2. I've heard about how stable and well built it is, and conversely, how unstable and poorly built it is. Haven't a clue what the truth is.

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    3. The rule is the unhappy sod that keeps bringing that overhanging porch up is wrong.

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    4. Or so you say, 1:45.

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    5. Repititious, too. Like somebody's half-senile old grandad.

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    6. 3:24 needs his daily dose of medicinal marijuana.

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    7. I hope 3:24 does it soon because he is driving everyone else to drink.

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  12. There must be someone who can run against Capoccia and Harabedian! I think we'll all pitch in and help beat the union rats.I had hope for Capoccia until I read about the guy he put on the revenue committee. Stack the deck much, Mayor?

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    1. The Great Tax Fighter seems to have had a change of heart.

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    2. Who exactly are you thinking of running against him?

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    3. An angry housewife with a rolling pin should give him a good run. And a couple of lumps on his noggin should she catch him.

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    4. I am supporting Capoccia.

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    5. What promises will The Great Tax Fighter be breaking in this campaign do you think?

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    6. Any politician that breaks his word on things as important as taxes can never be trusted again.

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    7. I also support Capoccia. He's been great on development issues. He changed his mind on the taxes. I think it's okay for representatives to change their minds. I'm voting NO on the UUT, but I'll vote for him again.

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    8. Lied about the UUT in 2012. Lying now. Can't be trusted. I am also very troubled by the nasty remarks he directed at Denise and Rachelle at the last City Council meeting. We can do better.

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  13. If you would like to take this off line to present this to those who have been afflicted by Sierra Madre's city manager & city attorney's disrespect of California's Open Records or Public Records laws and requests. This form has an impressive track record in court. http://www.robertsilversteinlaw.com/

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    1. What?
      A firm that has an impressive record?
      Did you see the Tattler rates for advertising?

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    2. The Tattler's ad rates are designed to discourage advertisers. Very successfully too, I might add.

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  14. You the complainer about ads, didn't you get it? The site manager finds ads to be a bigger problem then whats brewing iniside Sierra Madre city hall.

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