March 19, 2013

Topic: Tenant Rights

Court Fails to Rule on “Hubbing”

After two days of arguments, a Federal Judge dismissed a request for a restraining order to stop LA County Superior Court from “hubbing” eviction cases heard in its jurisdiction. The judge’s decision was based on the doctrine of “abstention,” — basically, the idea that the Federal court shouldn’t tell the state courts how to conduct business. The plaintiffs, POWER, Coalition for Economic Survival, the Independent Living Center of Southern California, and Union de Vecinos are disappointed by the decision, but we’re not giving up.

There’s too much at stake to stop fighting.  “Hubbing” is an extremely damaging policy, and it asks too much from low-income communities—especially their members who are disabled, elderly, or single mothers—to pay for budget cuts caused by the rich and their corporations. We are meeting with our allies and legal team now to figure out what next steps look like.

“Hubbing” means that eviction cases will only be heard in 5 courts in LA County, instead of the 26 that are currently open. That’s going to mean longer trips at greater expense for defendants, longer waits for people to have their day in court, and it will open the door to more abuses by corrupt landlords who want to intimidate tenants who organize for their rights.  At the end of the day, the court’s new policy doesn’t help landlords or tenants, but will lead to more people living on the streets.