Aglio v. City of San Diego case

Check here for the most recent news regarding the Aglio v. City of San Diego case (San Diego Superior Court, Case No. 37-2009-00081994-CU-EI-CTL), which concerns certain people who were homeowners and residents of the De Anza Cove mobilehome park on October 22, 2003, but were coerced by the City to sign settlement agreements, or were evicted from the Park before trial, which caused the Judge to exclude them from the De Anza Cove class action case (San Diego Superior Court, Case No. GIC 821191) and require them to pursue their claims against the City on an individual basis.

Most Recent News (Updated Jan. 19, 2016)

Great news!  On Friday, January 15, 2016, Judge Pressman of the San Diego Superior Court granted Preliminary Approval of the settlement of this Aglio Class Action. This means we are one step closer to final approval! The Court appointed our law firm, along with Thorsnes, Bartolotta & McGuire, to serve as Plaintiffs’ Class Counsel and protect the interests of the Aglio Class members. Here are the next steps that’ll be coming up in the next several weeks and months:

In about two weeks, the Court-ordered Class Notice (along with the full Settlement Agreement) will be published to all known Aglio Class members. This will be done by U.S. Mail, posted at the Park management office and clubhouse, and published on the Notice Administrator’s website. Keep an eye out in late January or early February for your copy of the Class Notice. The Final Approval and Fairness Hearing will be held in Department C-66 of the San Diego Superior Court (the Hon. Joel M. Pressman presiding) on March 18, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. If the Court grants Final Approval, then the Settlement will become the final order of the Court and everyone in the Aglio Class will receive the benefits and protections of the settlement.

We want to be sure everyone is fully informed of their rights and makes their decision based on the accurate facts and details of the settlement, not incorrect rumors or innuendo.  Please contact our office at (858) 244-5032 or email us at [email protected] if you have any questions or concerns.  For more details about the settlement itself, please read our prior Former Update from December 31, 2015 (below).

(Former Update from Dec. 31, 2015)

Congratulations are in order! In mid-December, the San Diego City Council approved settlement of this Aglio case.  We will be meeting at the De Anza Cove Bayclub Clubhouse on January 7, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. to give an update and answer questions.

As part of the settlement, the San Diego Superior Court has granted our request to convert the case from a case that originally had about 100 individually-named plaintiff households to a class action for purposes of the settlement to protect as many people as possible—approximately 225 households!  The proposed class settlement is generally intended to cover and protect the homeowners and residents of the mobilehome park who were excluded as class members of the De Anza Cove class action case. To know if you might be covered by this case, here is the proposed Aglio Class definition and subclasses:

Aglio-eligible Master Settlement Class ("Aglio Class"):

"As of October 22, 2003, and thereafter, all homeowners and/or residents—and their heirs—of the approximately 509 homes within the mobilehome park now known as Mission Bay Park and formerly known as De Anza Harbor Resort ("Park"), located at 2727 De Anza Road, San Diego, California, who were not class members within the De Anza Cove class action (San Diego Superior Court, Case No. GIC 821191)."

Subclass A ("Settlement Agreement Subclass"):

"All homeowners and/or residents within the Aglio Class who signed release agreements with the City of San Diego regarding the Park." This subclass will address the alleged unenforceability of these release agreements in light of state law prohibiting any waiver of rights under the MRL, the false pretenses under which such agreements were obtained, and the heavy-handedness with which these agreements were secured.

Subclass B ("Eviction Subclass"):

"All homeowners and/or residents within the Aglio Class who were evicted from the Park on or before September 4, 2007."

Subclass C ("Current Resident Subclass"):

"All homeowners and/or residents within the Aglio Class who currently reside at the Park (at anytime during the period from January 14, 2015 through July 1, 2016 or the revised Park Closure Date, whichever is later) and are not part of Subclass A or B." This Subclass will address what relocation benefits may or may not be owed to those homeowners and residents who currently reside at the Park, but did not reside in the Park on October 22, 2003, as would be required to be a class member within the De Anza Cove class action case.

The parties stipulate that the Aglio Class shall include those individuals who opted out of the De Anza Cove class action. However, as previously ruled by the Court in the De Anza Cove class action, DHRG and DHRG "investor" units are not part of the Aglio Class and are not eligible for compensation under this Aglio Action. Likewise, those people who entered into new settlements with the City of San Diego after trial in the De Anza Cove class action are not part of the Aglio Class and they are not eligible for compensation under this Aglio Action.

Tatro & Lopez, LLP, along with co-counsel Thorsnes Bartolotta & McGuire, will be Class Counsel and protect the rights and interests of all Aglio class members. On January 15, 2016, we will be requesting the Court’s preliminary approval of the proposed class settlement. We expect that the Court will grant preliminary approval, and very shortly thereafter the Court-appointed Notice Administrator will publish the Court’s Class Action Notice to the Aglio-eligible class members.  That Notice is expected to also include a full copy of the settlement agreement reached with the City.

The settlement agreement itself spells out the details, but here in brief is some general information and facts:

Relocation compensation calculated for the Aglio Class shall use essentially the same underlying relocation compensation components and methodology as ordered by the Court in the De Anza Cove class action, case number GIC 821191. Interest shall be calculated and paid on a pro-rata basis to Aglio Class members only after all claims are submitted and accounted for to ensure sufficient relocation compensation funds are available to the Aglio Class.  For resident Aglio Class members, said interest will begin to accrue on January 14, 2015—the date the City served its initial Notice of Park Closure and Relocation Impact Report—and will continue to accrue up through and including the date the Aglio Class member is paid in full or the revised Park Closure Date, whichever is earlier.

A Twelve-Month Park Closure Notice was already served on all residents of the mobilehome park back in January 2015, but, through the Aglio Class settlement, we’ve required the City to publish new Six-Month Park Closure Notices (along with an Amended Relocation Impact Report) for all Aglio-eligible class members who are still residing in the Park.  Those Six-Month Park Closure Notices and Amended Relocation Impact Report will be served only after the Court grants final approval of the class action settlement.  All of this means that for Aglio Class members still living in the Park, the Park will stay open until at least next July 2016 (and likely longer).

Also, like in the De Anza Cove class action case, the attorneys’ fees and costs are paid by the City in addition to the relocation benefits you’ll receive.  Nobody in the Aglio Class will have to pay any attorneys’ fees or costs!

There will be several opportunities for you to ask questions and learn more details about the settlement in the coming weeks.  We plan to provide additional updates, hold meetings at the Park (including a meeting in early January 2016 at a date and time to be determined), and have a standing open invitation for individuals to speak with us about any private questions or concerns they may have.

Congratulations again to everyone who is in the Aglio Class!

(Former Update from Feb. 11, 2015)

OPC and the City of San Diego intend to hold an informational meeting at the Bay Club Clubhouse at De Anza Cove at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2014. At our insistence, the meeting is open to all residents, whether you are a Class member in the De Anza Cove class action case or not. The final closure of De Anza Cove is not going to take place at least until January 2016.

One of the main purposes of our bringing and prosecuting the Aglio case is to try to ensure that the City is held accountable and must pay the legally required relocation benefits to all homeowners and residents of the Park. If you were a resident of the Park in January 2015, then the City served you with a 12-month Notice of Park Closure along with OPC's Relocation Impact Report. Our law firm does not believe that the City of San Diego has complied with the State's MRL as to the non-Class Members, and that the Relocation Impact Report does not provide the required information--or provide the State and locally mandated relocation benefits--to those people who are not class members. You'll notice that, on page 13 of the Relocation Impact Report, OPC correctly states our position: "Plaintiffs' Class Counsel and Counsel for the Aglio plaintiffs is of the opinion that the City of San Diego's Notices of Park Closure and Relocation Impact Report dated January 2015 applicable to Non-Class Members does not satisfy California's Mobilehome Residency Law or the San Diego local laws (including but not limited to the San Diego Housing Commission Policy applicable to mobilehome park closures) and that the relocation claims of all Non-Class Members must be lawfully resolved prior to park closure and termination of any of their tenancies in the park."

Tatro & Lopez, LLP will zealously represent our individual Aglio clients and seek justice on their behalf!

If you were not part of the De Anza Cove class action case because you signed a settlement agreement or were evicted from the Park before trial, you may still be eligible to participate as a Plaintiff in the Aglio case. Over the next few weeks, we will be sending out informational packages about the Aglio case. This package will contain important information regarding your rights and steps that you will need to take if you would like Tatro & Lopez to represent you. You can also consult with your own legal counsel about protecting your relocation rights before they become time-barred. If you want our firm to consider representing you in this Aglio case and you have not received any information from us, please use the "Contact Us" link at the top right part of this page.

This Aglio case has been stayed (or put "on hold") since 2009 by the Superior Court until the De Anza Cove class action case was resolved. Now that the De Anza Cove class action case has reached final judgment and Notices of Park Closure went out in January 2015, we will collect all remaining individuals who would like us to represent them as individual plaintiffs in this Aglio case, then ask the Court to release the stay and allow this Aglio litigation to move forward. Our expectation is that will occur in Spring 2015.