423 E 7th street (RM 528)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
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Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Complaint for damages – Intentional Misrepresentations (made in the context of the delivery of social services by public employees guilty of corruption and malice, and involving a risk of physical harm);
Pierre Genevier (Plaintiff) |
VS | Complaint For Damages:
| [Amount demanded $ 1 060 000
State of California, | Exceeds $25 000]
Department of Social Services (defendant) | Unlimited Case
Jury Trial Demanded
MPP Stand for Manual of Policies and Procedures.
The document contains the complaint (28 pages including the list of exhibits) and 4 exhibits (25 pages).
Causes of action.
Deceit (intentional misrepresentations), and negligence
By Pierre Genevier (plaintiff)
Against The State of California, Department of Social Services (CADSS).
Defendant State of California, Department of Social Services, is, and all times herein mentioned was, a public entity existing under the laws of the State of California with its principal place of business in Sacramento, California. [(CA DSS, 744 P Street, Sacramento, CA 95814) (DSS Los Angeles office, State Hearing Division, 811 Wilshire Blvd, 11 floor Room 1118, Los Angeles, CA 90012)]
2) Defendants’ responsibilities.
Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that (defendants) Judge Mendozza, Judge Castello, and Mr. Robert C. Campbell who made the representations alleged under section 5,9,13, are the Presiding Judge of the LA DSS Administrative Court, the Chief Administrative Law Judge of CADSS, and the Assistant General Counsel of the CADSS, and, at all time of the making of the representations herein alleged and all times herein mentioned were acting within the course and scope of their employment and authority for the defendant California Department of Social Services.
3) Background facts.
3.1_Plaintiff is a native citizen of France who entered the United States on April 16, 2002, on the visa waiver program, then applied for political asylum to obtain the protection guaranteed to refugees (and to obtain indirectly a legal decision from the US justice that could help him to obtain justice against France). On September 5, 2002, plaintiff applied for Los Angeles County General Relief benefits, and as part of the application was directed to the INS office to obtain a verification of his immigration status. The ‘INS’ status verifier, Mr. Mahoney, identified plaintiff as a ‘refugee’, which entitled him to reside in the United States for an indefinite period of time (Exh. 1).
3.2_On September 25, 2002, plaintiff applied for Refugee Cash Assistance benefits. And his application was approved, effective the same day, but (1) certain refugee benefits denied, (2) the cash benefit and Medical protection were eventually and incorrectly terminated 2 months later on 11/30/02, and (3) the DPSS pretended that the plaintiff was not a refugee anymore on 12/01/02! The plaintiff contested the denial and early termination of the benefits, and the allegations concerning his refugee status in a request for hearing at the administrative court and obtained an administrative law judge decision mostly in his favor confirming his refugee status (Exh. 2.2).
3.3_The DPSS refused to comply with Judge Tolentino’s decision, so plaintiff asked defendants to force the DPSS to comply but they refused. The plaintiff alleges that defendants (1) misrepresented the facts, laws and procedures to avoid asking the DPSS to comply with the administrative law judge decision and to prevent the payment of the benefits plaintiff was entitled to receive; (2) were negligent when they did not follow several MPP regulation articles and procedures, and violated federal statutes (18 USC 1546,); and (3) obstructed justice when they used an INS altered document to pretend that plaintiff was not a refugee anymore, and refuse to force the DPSS to present its critics at he LA Superior Court.
4) Statement of the case.
4.1_This new complaint follows an initial complaint for money damages for intentional misrepresentations (filed on February 4 2004) against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Los Angeles County, DPSS, and the California Department of Social Services that was removed to the Federal Court that dismissed with prejudice the claim against the State of California because of the 11th amendment immunity.
4.2_The appeal court asked the District Court to change the dismissal with prejudice to give the possibility to plaintiff to re-file his complaint at the State Court.
Count 1. Intentional misrepresentation (GC 815.2, 822.2).
Misrepresentations made by Judge Mendoza.
5) On or about May 2 2003 (and before) defendant, Judge Mendoza, pretended (suggested as a fact) in his letter (exh. 4.1):
5.1_ That the plaintiff had not already contacted the LACDPSS to discuss the problems of compliance, and that, if the plaintiff did not agree with the LACDPSS compliance report, the appropriate procedure was to contact the county.
5.2_ That the ‘INS’ ‘had issued a notice saying that the plaintiff was not refugee’, and therefore that the altered document was a reliable document to indicate that the plaintiff refugee status had been changed; that the appropriate procedure for the county was to criticize the decision in its compliance report; that if the plaintiff wanted to dispute this finding (the new INS document), he should contact the ‘INS’, and therefore that the plaintiff had not already contacted the INS appropriate office.
6) The representations made by defendant, Judge Mendoza, were in fact false. The true facts were:
6.1_ The plaintiff had already contacted the LACDPSS several times to complain about their dishonest compliance with the administrative decision (exh. 2.2). And after these different contacts with the LACDPSS, the plaintiff had contacted Mr. Ceja from the compliance unit at the Administrative Court. Mr. Ceja had inquired about the issues raised by the plaintiff and presented the documents to Judge Mendoza who had decided to handle the matter personally.
The regulation does not say that the victim must contact the county several times to discuss the compliance problems. In fact, the regulation says that the county must explain on its compliance report that the plaintiff can contact the Department if he/she does not agree with the compliance (art 22.078.22 of the MPP), which the LACDPSS did not do of course (see exh. 3.1, 3.2). The regulation also stipulates that the Department (CADSS) should evaluate the compliance report and produce a notice or notification explaining, if the compliance is appropriate or not, and if it is not appropriate what are the appropriate steps that must be taken to comply fully (art. 22.078.3, 22-078.6 .61, .62 of the MPP).
6.2_ The ‘INS’ did not issue a notice saying that plaintiff did not have the refugee status [or never terminated the plaintiff refugee status with 8 CFR 209 as required by law]. The status verifier issued an altered verification of status (same initial verification of status where the word refugee had been erased and the date of the plaintiff’s employment authorization had been added exh. 3.3), which is a crime (the INS Director never terminated plaintiff refugee status with 8 CFR 207.9). Moreover, the LA County should have presented its new evidence in a rehearing request or in a petition at the superior court. And the plaintiff had already contacted the ‘INS’ office of Internal Audit to denounce the employees misconduct and the fraud on this pretended change of status.
7) When defendant, Judge Mendoza, made these representations, he knew them to be false, because:
7.1_ The plaintiff had explained him and Mr. Ceja that the LACDPSS refused to comply and even refused to give him the altered document sent by the ‘INS’; and as Presiding judge, he could not ignore that the regulation says that the plaintiff can contact the ‘Department’, if he does not agree with the compliance and that the ‘Department’ must evaluate the compliance and establish a notice or notification about the compliance to say, if it is or not appropriate! Especially after plaintiff reminded him these regulation articles verbally and in writing. He could not ignore also that time is an important factor (for claimants and) in the regulation since the regulation gives time limits to counties to perform certain actions (30 day to produce the compliance report, delay that they did not respect, art. 22.078.2 of MPP,).
7.2_ The defendant could not ignore that the altered verification of status issued by the same status verifier was not a reliable document on a matter as important as the change of a refugee status, a matter of life and death, and was not different than a phone call that his colleague, the Deputy Presiding Judge, Mr. Tolentino, had judged not trustworthy. He also could not ignore that his deputy, Judge Tolentino, had confirmed the validity of the initial verification of status and had ‘certified’, in some way, that the plaintiff had the refugee status (when he wrote in his decision that the LACDPSS should help the plaintiff to ‘get the date his asylum was granted’). And he could not ignore that the LA County should present its new evidence at the superior court.
Finally Judge Mendoza perfectly knew that the plaintiff had followed the appropriate procedure at the ‘INS’ to denounce the employees misconduct and the misrepresentation made on his status, because the plaintiff presented him a copy of the complaint sent to the ‘INS’ office of internal audit, which proved also that plaintiff had given exactly the same information about the fraud to the administrative judge and to the ‘INS’ office of internal audit.
8) Judge Mendoza made these representations with the intention to deceive and defraud plaintiff and to induce plaintiff (and of course the LAC DPSS) to act in reliance on these representations in the manner hereafter alleged, or with the expectation that plaintiff (and LAC PDSS) would so act. He did not want plaintiff to obtain the benefits granted by Judge Tolentino, and he wanted that plaintiff presents a new complaint (on this same issue, the validity of the initial verification of status listing the plaintiff as a refugee) to win time and to change Judge Tolentino’s decision without having to follow the appropriate procedure to cover the errors made by the LACDPSS.
He wanted to hurt the plaintiff as much as possible by pretending he had not been granted the refugee status (in a previous meeting he had told the plaintiff: ‘we are going to send you back to France’), and by keeping him in the street. He also did not want to write the appropriate notice on the compliance, because he knew he was wrong and did not want to give a written proof of his dishonesty that plaintiff could have used in a
court of law.
Misrepresentations made by Judge Castello.
9) On May 28 2003, defendant, Judge Castello made the following representations (exh. 4.2) to plaintiff:
9.1_ ‘It appears from the information contained in your file, Los Angeles (LA) has now decided to challenge the designation of your refugee status as the result of the INS informing them of their initial mistake.’ and ‘Judge Tolentino initial determination that you were a refugee, is not binding on LA County subsequent actions as they relate to the federal governments re-determination of your refugee status’.
9.2_ ‘A new notice of action (NOA) dated April 2, 2003 mailed to you confirms that the county has substantially complied with judge Tolentino’s decision Order…’, and ‘since the NOA states that you are not eligible for the last month of RCA benefits because of the new INS re-determination of your immigration status and that you are not eligible for housing assistance, you have the right to request a new hearing to challenge the county’s representation that the federal government did indeed change your immigration to a non refugee status, the judge at the hearing has no authority to modify a federal government determination.’
9.3_ ‘The county has the burden of proof to submit evidence to support their determination of your immigration status and the appropriate regulations and laws that determine your ineligibility for housing assistance and /or other social services benefits’.
9.4_ ‘The regulations and the order cited by judge Tolentino correctly state that recipients of RCA benefits are not entitled to homeless assistance.’
10) The representations made by defendant, Judge Castello, were in fact false. The true facts were:
10.1_ The LACDPSS had already decided to challenge the designation of plaintiff refugee status as the result of the ‘INS’ status verifier informing them over the phone (on December 1 2002) of their ‘pretended’ initial mistake during the first hearing, because the LACDPSS had presented a note from Mr. Lemons (exh. 2.1) saying that he had called the INS status verifier who had acknowledged that the refugee status had been ‘imputed incorrectly’ (meaning the error, if there were really an error, was not made by the status verifier).
And Judge Tolentino initial determination that the plaintiff was a refugee, is binding on LACDPSS ‘subsequent actions as they relate to the federal governments re-determination of the plaintiff refugee status’, because the LACDPSS had already made reference to this re-determination of the plaintiff refugee status during the first hearing (the validity of the initial verification of status was a compliance issue), because Judge Tolentino (who has the authority to evaluate the existing documents to determine the status of an alien) had not given any credit to the phone call made by Mr. Lemons to the status verifier office, and because the decision states that if the parties want to present new evidences, they must present them to the rehearing unit or the superior court, and explain why these evidences were not presented earlier and how they can change the decision.
Moreover the procedure is not to call ten times or hundred times the status verifier office to know, if the verification of status is valid or not, there is a special procedure which allows the counties to submit a G845S or supplement form to obtain a confirmation of the validity of the document and additional information like the date a status is granted, the LACDPSS did not follow this procedure on purpose to steal plaintiff several months of RCA benefits as we have seen already.
10.2_ The notice of action does not confirm anything, it only gives a report of the compliance by the county, it is the job of the Department to confirm or not if the compliance is appropriate. The regulation does not say that it is OK to comply ‘substantially’, especially when ‘substantially’ incorrectly means not paying 8 months of RCA benefits, and not giving a room and medical protection to a homeless! In the regulation either the compliance is appropriate or it is not appropriate.
There has been no re-determination of plaintiff’s immigration status by the ‘INS’ (see exh. 1.2 plaintiff recent refugee employment authorization), the ‘INS’ management never gave any response to the plaintiff’s complaint at the office of Internal Audit and has never given any document saying that the initial verification was in fact incorrect (although they had the tool 8 CFR 207.9). There were only misrepresentations of actual facts that plaintiff denounced to Judge Tolentino during the first hearing and the Judge has determined that based on the document he had the initial verification of status is valid!
If the County does not agree with the order, it must file a complaint either at the rehearing unit or the superior court, particularly if it thinks it has as new ‘proof’ (not presented at the hearing), an altered document. And the plaintiff has no right for a new hearing on a compliance issue as the regulation stipulates it art. 22.078.31 of the MPP. The issue of the pretended INS error on the plaintiff’s status had been discussed during the first hearing and therefore was a compliance issue.
10.3_ The LACDPSS had the burden of proof to submit evidences to support their determination of plaintiff immigration status and the appropriate regulations and laws that determine his ineligibility for housing assistance and /or other social services benefits. Based on the proofs it presented, the Judge explained that plaintiff had the refugee status and that the evidences showed that he was eligible for permanent housing assistance.
10.4_ The decision of Judge Tolentino says on one page that the plaintiff is not eligible for homeless assistance and the additional 400 $ it requested, but it also says on the last page that the plaintiff is eligible for this 400$, so the order does not just state that the plaintiff is not eligible for this homeless assistance, there is an apparent ‘contradiction’, which is explainable. The regulation, which says that a refugee is not eligible for homeless assistance, also says that if the volag or sponsor is unable or unwilling to provide the refugee benefits, cash benefit can be granted according to the Calwork standard (art. 69-203.27, 28 of MPP). Moreover the issue was not just about the homeless assistance, but also about the permanent housing assistance.
11) When the defendant, Judge Castello, made these representations (and immediately after), he knew them to be false, because these issues were precisely the issues that plaintiff had raised in his complaint about judge Mendoza’s appreciation of his case and had underlined again in his letter of complaint dated July 11 2003. Moreover he could not ignore that the altered document presented by the INS was a fraud and did not prove anything about the reality of plaintiff refugee status or an eventual re-determination of plaintiff refugee status (especially after plaintiff had sent a complaint to the ‘INS’ office of internal audit).
He could not ignore that plaintiff had followed the appropriate procedure at the ‘INS’, since he had and used (for his letter, see page 1) a copy of the complaint sent to the ‘INS’ office of internal audit. If the initial verification of status had been a mistake, the ‘INS’ office of internal audit would have mentioned it immediately. Finally Judge Castello can be considered as an expert in administrative law and cannot pretend that he does not know the difference between a compliance issue and a compliance related issue. The plaintiff had stressed this particular point in his letter of complaint. And he cannot pretend either that he does not know the appropriate procedure to criticize administrative decisions since he reminded plaintiff of it at the beginning of his letter (see exh. 4.2).
12) Judge Castello made these representations with the intention to deceive and defraud plaintiff and to induce plaintiff (and LAC DPSS) to act in reliance on these representations in the manner hereafter alleged, or with the expectation that plaintiff (LAC DPSS) would so act. He wanted to use his status of expert in administrative law to try to discourage plaintiff from denouncing again the outrageous behavior of the LACDPSS and of Judge Mendoza. He wanted to encourage plaintiff to present a new complaint at the state hearing division to make him loose both time and the benefits granted by Judge Tolentino, and to put the burden of a new complaint on plaintiff who he knew was living in extremely difficult conditions and could not do it easily.
He used the term ‘substantially’ to try minimize the fact that the LACDPSS deliberately refused to ‘credit’ the (7) months of RCA that had been paid already as judge Tolentino had ordered it, and to pay any permanent housing assistance, which was critical for plaintiff, and to try to minimize judge Mendoza mistake. And he promoted the system, which consists (for counties) in criticizing the decision in the notice of action, compliance report, instead of with the appropriate procedure, and with the help of the presiding judge and the time, in having the decision of justice unfairly changed. This system is very dishonest, but seems to be widely used to rob the poor from the benefits they obtain through the state hearing process, and to cover the grave errors (or frauds) of counties.
Misrepresentations made by Mr. Campbell.
13) On October 2 2003, defendant, Mr. Campbell, intentionally misrepresented the important issues raised by plaintiff, intentionally misrepresented the order of the decision, and intentionally misrepresented the facts. He writes in exh. 4.3:
13.1_ ‘In this case though the county apparently did not disagree with the decision (a) as it understood it and took steps to comply with it. The Department had no reason to review the county compliance statement in detail until you first complained. The process the Department then followed was appropriate (b). The Department did not ignore or change the decision of the administrative law judge. The department reviewed the decision to determine if the county correctly complied with it and its initial determination was that the county had complied with the provisions of the decision (c). After much effort on your part, the Department ultimately agreed with your complaint on the issue of whether the county should have provided Refugee Cash assistance benefits for April 2003. Unfortunately, it took time for the department to make the correct determination on that issue.’ (exh. 4.3 page 1)
The order of the decision:
13.2_ The number of RCA months to be paid (d). ’ It appears from your statement that you believe your are entitled to 8 months of payment in addition to any aid paid pending that you received prior to the decision. That is not how the Department interprets the order of the administrative judge. …’, ‘... The county could ‘credit’ meaning subtract, that amount from the eight months in determining how much you were still to be paid…’ (exh. 4.3 page 2, 3).
13.3_ The permanent housing assistance and homeless assistance (e). ‘The second issue concerns your illegibility for homeless assistance…’, ‘the judge is clear that you are not eligible for homeless assistance…’ (page 3), ‘In you letter of September 8 you assert that the judge did not state that you were not eligible for housing assistance. In support …’ ‘ You then quote the order from page 6 of the decision which state that ‘Los Angeles county shall reevaluate the claimant’s eligibility fro permanent housing assistance, effective November 21, 2002, and issue such benefits , as otherwise eligible. You assert that the judge would not have made such an order if had thought that you were not eligible for housing assistance…’. (exh. 4.3 page 3)
The issues raised by plaintiff:
13.4_ ‘ You (the plaintiff) contend that the administrative law judge in his decision determined your correct immigration status and appear to assert that it can only be changed by order of the superior court even if the INS has subsequently re-determined your status (f). The Department views this issue somewhat differently.’, ‘ it appears that the administrative law judge appropriately refused to consider testimony from the county at the hearing to show that he INS had re-determined your refugee status. The testimony was not supported by any documentary evidence from the INS. However, that does not mean that the county would be precluded in the future from acting on reliable documentation (g) from the INS that your status has changed’. ‘Judge Castello is correct (h) that only the INS can make the determination concerning the immigration status…’ (exh. 4.3 page 4).
14) The representations made by defendants, Mr. Campbell, were in fact false. The true facts were:
14.1_The LACDPSS did not agree with the decision (a), because its first action was to ask plaintiff to present a new verification of status, although there is a G845S form that allows the county to inquire about the validity of a document and about the date a status has been granted. Moreover, plaintiff had explained in writing and at the hearing that the status verifier had told him on November 13 2002 that they could not give him the date his asylum was granted, because the LACDPSS had to ask for it in writing.
‘The process the Department then followed’ was not appropriate (b), because plaintiff first complaint was at the end of March 03 when he contacted Mr. Ceja of the compliance unit at the administrative court, and because after this first complaint the Department, the presiding judge (on May 2, exh. 4.1), did not determine if the compliance was appropriate as the law requires him to do, and to do rapidly. The ‘time’ is an important element of the regulation, which is perfectly understandable when one knows the very difficult condition in which the (poor) victims of administrative errors may live in. The regulation says ‘upon receipt of the compliance report the Department must determine if the compliance is appropriate or not’, but it does not say that the Department must send again the claimant to talk to the county, as Judge Mendoza did.
The Department’s initial determination was not that the Department thought the county had complied with the provisions of the decision (c), because Judge Mendoza never clearly wrote it (and neither did Judge Castello), au contraire he asked plaintiff to go back and talk to the county, which means that he knew they were wrong, so he should have explained the county the appropriate steps to follow to comply fully with the decision. The Presiding Judge wrote that the county had sent a report saying that it had complied with the decision, but this does not means that the Department thinks that the compliance is appropriate.
Then Judge Castello, did exactly the same thing, he mentioned that a new notice of action confirm that the county has ‘substantially’ complied with the judge’s order. The regulation does not say that the county must comply ‘substantially’ (especially when the difference between ‘substantially’ and ‘fully’ or ‘honestly’ is 8 or 7 months of RCA, a room and medical protection for a homeless), it say that the county must comply with the decision, and if this compliance is not correct or complete the Department must explain the county what steps must be taken to comply (fully). And again the regulation does not say that the victim must present a new complaint on exactly the same issue, au contraire, the regulation says exactly the opposite as already mentioned (art. 22.078.31 of MPP). So it is obvious that the Presiding judge and the Chief Administrative Law judge have lied, have used imprecise language, have not done their compliance evaluation job properly, and have recommended improper steps to be taken on purpose ‘or intentionally’.
On the order of the decision.
14. 2_ The number of RCA months to be paid (d), the true fact is that ‘credit’ does not mean ‘substract’, as Mr. Campbell explains it, but add. According to the Random House Dictionary ‘credit’ means: ’10. a sum of money due to a person, anything valuable standing on the credit side of an account, 13. a deposit or sum of money against which a person may draw’. And this is very understandable too. The RCA cash assistance of 330$ is significant, if all the other benefits of the RCA program (like housing assistance, medical assistance) are given at the same time. If the refugee does not get the housing assistance, he must pay for a room somewhere, and in LA the cheapest room one can find is 135$/week, so after paying the hotel for two weeks, he is again in the street, and has no stability, security, etc. to start his resettlement in the US (the plaintiff has applied everywhere for a low cost room, SRO, housing authority, etc., but all his applications were denied).
Judge Tolentino knew that perfectly, and he knew that the regulation cannot possibly accept that a refugee be left in the street when he just has been granted his refugee status (refugees most of the time have to go through extremely difficult living condition like plaintiff had for years. Moreover a refugee should not have to complain several times or every two months to the justice to obtain his 8 months of RCA, because while the refugee writes the complaint, he cannot look for a job, especially if he has to live in the street and carry his bags all around. And finally these 8 months should give some perspective to organize the resettlement, it is not ok to give 2 then 5 months, while waiting for the result of a complaint and one month several months later!
14.3_ The housing assistance (e). The second issue is not (or not just) about the homeless assistance, but about permanent housing assistance. No, Judge Tolentiono is not clear that ‘you (the plaintiff) are not eligible for homeless assistance’ (see below). Yes, the judge would never have written the decision as he did, if he did not think that plaintiff was not eligible for permanent housing assistance and for the additional $400 of once in a life time homeless assistance (the LA County even agrees with plaintiff on this point, because it wrote in its first notice of action, exh. 2.2, ‘since your permanent status has not been established, LA county is not able to approve permanent housing assistance payments…’, meaning a refugee is eligible as Judge Tolentino suggested it).
Mr. Campbell never mentioned, for example, that if the judge did write on page 2 and 5 that refugee were not eligible for homeless assistance (and the remaining 400$ of the once in a lifetime assistance), he also wrote at the end of the decision on page 6 exactly the opposite, since he wrote that the plaintiff was eligible to get this remaining 400 $ homeless assistance. What should we think? Should we think that Judge Tolentino, the deputy presiding judge, has a disturb mind, and this is why on page 2 and 5 he writes something and on page 6 he writes exactly the opposite? Or should we think that he has a certain expertise in administrative law, and he is trying to explain a detail of the regulation to the LA County, and the plaintiff?
The plaintiff explained in his rehearing request that this apparent ‘contradiction’ can be explained. At first, plaintiff was not eligible because the initial housing assistance is usually the responsibility of the volag under the RCA program (art. 69.203.01). Now if the volag cannot (or does not want to) help the refugee with housing, he should not be left in the street, an honest regulation would not allow that, and as the plaintiff mentioned in his rehearing request, there is an article of the regulation (art. 69.203.27, 28) that plans for this eventuality and that allows the counties to pay certain cash assistance to the refugee (the volag did not pay) according to Calwork standard. So at first the plaintiff was not eligible for housing assistance, but after the volag had refused to give him this housing assistance, he became eligible for the Calwork permanent housing assistance and homeless assistance benefits on November 21 02 when the problem was addressed. (This is at least a logical explanation to Judge Tolentino’ decision, certainly a more honest one than saying it ok to let a refugee sleep in the street).
On the issue raised by the plaintiff:
14.4_ It is not just plaintiff who asserts that only the superior court or the rehearing unit can change the order of the decision (f), it is also the Chief Administrative Law Judge, Mr. Castello, in his letter dated May 28 2003. Moreover, plaintiff does not say that the pretended re-determination took place after the decision of Judge Tolentino, since he repeated over and over that the validity of the initial verification of status was an issue raised in the first hearing, and was therefore a compliance issue. And again the ‘INS’ never re-determined the refugee status of plaintiff (with 8 CFR207.9 and instead issued a refugee employment authorization, exh. 1.2). The status verifier presented an altered document that is all. Mr. Campbell also knew that asking for social benefits should not affect the alien immigration status.
‘Acting on reliable document’ or the reliability of the altered verification of status, (g), was one of the first issues raised by plaintiff with the authority to say that an error was made in the July 11 2003 letter (but Mr. Campbell omit to talk about that). An altered document presented by the same person who is accused to have done a mistake and did not recognize his mistake, cannot be considered as a reliable document, and it is a crime to issue and use an altered immigration (viol. 18 USC 1546, 1512). And this document does not say that plaintiff’s status has changed, it only says that plaintiff has an employment authorization, which is true like many or all the refugees have before they get their permanent resident card. Judge Castello is not correct that only INS can make a determination on the plaintiff immigration status (h), because the plaintiff presented the ‘INS’ internet page on this subject which says ‘what can states do to verify status before the BCIS issues a final new regulation on the new verification system’, Answer: The law does not address this issue; states can decide whether to rely on self certification, document review, or contacting the BCIS…’.
15) When the defendants made these representations, he knew them to be false, because plaintiff had underlined all these important points in his letter dated July 11 2003, that Mr. Campbell, Mr. Bolton, and Mrs. Saenz received. Moreover, Mr. Campbell knows he is lying when he writes: ‘the county apparently did not disagree with the decision as it understood it…’ (a). If the order says, help plaintiff get the date his asylum was granted, and the county asks plaintiff to present a new verification of status, it obviously disagrees with the order, particularly if it writes on its notice of action that it is not the county that determines the date the asylum is granted.
The decision never said that it was the county that determines the date the asylum is granted, it only said that the county should help the plaintiff get the date his asylum was granted with the G845 form for example, or with a letter to the ‘INS’ management to have some clarification about the contradictory information sent by the status verifier or finally with a petition to the superior court to ask which verification of status is valid and when the refugee status was granted! Mr. Campbell perfectly knew that the Department did not follow the appropriate procedure (b), because the plaintiff had described precisely the article of law referring to the compliance process, and it was obvious that neither Judge Mendoza nor judge Castello had written that the county had properly complied since one sent back the plaintiff toward the county and the other talked about ‘substantial’ compliance (c).
‘Credit’ never means ‘subtract’, Mr. Campbell perfectly knows that (d), just as he knows that the refugee should not have to sent a complaint every two months to get his RCA benefits. And the refugee resettlement program gives refugees housing assistance (e), cash benefits, and medical protection, Mr. Cambpell knows that also. Plaintiff had also explained the detail of the housing assistance issue and of the difficulties he had with the volag in his rehearing request, so Mr. Campbell who studied the rehearing request could not ignore this point either and the fact that Judge Tolentino is not ‘clear’ on the homeless assistance issue.
Mr. Campbell also knew that an altered verification of status was not a reliable document (g) (especially when a formal complaint for employee misconduct has been sent to the appropriate ‘INS’ office), that the pretended re-determination of the plaintiff refugee status had been discussed during the first hearing and that Judge Tolentino had not given any credit to this pretended change of status, and that the LA County should present its new evidence to the superior court or the rehearing unit (f). And Mr. Campbell could not ignore the INS directive on the SAVE verification system, because plaintiff had presented the ‘INS’ internet page on this issue in his letter dated July 11 2003; he knew that Judge Castello was not correct on this issue (h).
16) The defendant, Mr. Campbell, made these representations with the intention to deceive and defraud plaintiff and to induce plaintiff (and LAC DPSS) to act in reliance on these representations in the manner hereafter alleged, or with the expectation that plaintiff (and LAC DPSS) would so act. Mr. Campbell wanted to cover the dishonest appreciation of the case made by his two colleagues, Judge Castello, and judge Mendoza, and to cover the many grave errors made by the LACDPSS. He says that ‘credit’ means ‘subtract’ to minimize the error made on plaintiff status (if ‘credit’ means ‘add’, as it does, the CADSS is stealing 8 months of RCA to plaintiff, a homeless!). He even recommends to plaintiff to present a petition for judicial review at the superior court, because he knows that this procedure cannot lead to any compensatory damage and any punitive damage, and therefore that even if the superior court did give reason to plaintiff, he and his colleagues would not risk anything or any punition for their dishonest behavior.
He also knew that plaintiff was in such a difficult situation that the probability that he presents any complaint for compensatory damages at the justice was very low, because no lawyer or legal help association would help anyone that does not have any money on this kind of case (to prepare this complaint required the plaintiff more than 7 weeks of work without counting the necessary research time spent on the previous complaint). Mr. Campbell like his colleagues wanted to hurt plaintiff as much as they could (and to keep him in the street with nothing) for having denounced their outrageous behavior toward him and the poor in general. The different defendants demonstrated that they absolutely don’t care about what the regulation says (even when someone brings the exact article that refers to his case). And if a poor dares to complain, they steal him/her his/her benefits, and force him/her to complain over and over, because they know that the time is on their side and that the claimants don’t have the money or the living condition to complain properly, and that if they do succeed, they do not risk anything under the normal complaint process (rehearing and judicial review)!
17) Actual and justifiable actions taken by plaintiff and LACDPSS.
Plaintiff, at the time of the misrepresentations, had to rely on the CADSS management or governor office capacity to resolve the problems and therefore he had to send new complaints to the DSS director and to the governor to try to stop this nonsense. The governor office ‘recommended’ to plaintiff to present a complaint at the Commission on Judicial Performance, which he did, but this office refused to study the complain saying that it did not have the jurisdiction to study the case. Plaintiff wrote again to the governor, but no appropriate response was made, so this complaint at the civil court becomes the only way to obtain justice.
The LAC DPSS followed the compliance instruction given by the defendant, CA DSS, which caused plaintiff damages.
18.1 As a proximate result of the fraudulent conduct of defendants as herein alleged, plaintiff was sent in the street or forced to change shelters more than 16 times since September 5 2002, he was forced to sleep in the street several nights, and to live in homeless shelters for several months with a great risk of catching the tuberculosis or other serious diseases, of being robed or even being killed (the plaintiff was threatened to be killed by another homeless for refusing to buy a small bottle of water for 25 cents!).
18.2 He also was not able to cook or to store food since 09/2002, and therefore could not nourish himself properly and suffered health problems on a regular basis; he became sick every month or more [chronicle bronchitis, stomach aches, heart problems (chest pain and frequent severe headaches since 10/04) due to the high stress, etc., a recent blood test confirmed plaintiff obvious cardiovascular problems and high risk of heart attack]. And he was forced to complain constantly to defend his rights and to spend a lot of time writing the complaints and finding the article of law that referred to his case, and never received a document confirming that he suffered a grave prejudice in France, by reason of which plaintiff has been damaged in the sum of $1 060 000. Subdivided as follow:
1_ Wage loss, estimated at $660 000 (from November 02 to now, 33 months) and increasing by $20 000 (- any salary or benefits plaintiff may receive) every month until the dispute is resolved.
2_ Loss of years of life expectancy. Plaintiff was put in extremely difficult living condition that caused him health problems and great stress, which means that his life expectancy will be reduced significantly (according to different statistics the life expectancy of people who are exposed to great stress, difficult living condition and long unemployment is greatly lowered). The damage is $380 000.
3_ ‘Psychological’ damage. The damage is estimated at $20 000.
19) Other elements (malice, oppression, corruption,), liability.
19.1 The aforementioned conduct of the defendant was an intentional misrepresentation, deceit, or
concealment of a material fact known to the defendants with the intention on the part of the defendant or thereby depriving plaintiff of property or legal rights or otherwise causing injury, and was despicable conduct that subjected plaintiff to a cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of plaintiff’s right and safety.
19.2 Defendants were guilty of corruption and malice, and therefore do not enjoy the immunity given by GC 822.2 [Schonfeld v. City of Vallejo (1974) 50 cal App. 3d 401, 404 411, 123 Cal. Rptr. 669], and the CADSS is liable pursuant to 815.2, and do not enjoy the immunity given by GC 818.8 because the misrepresentation were made in the context of the delivery of social services [Michael J. V. Los Angeles County, Dept. Of adoption (app. 2 Dist 1988) 247 Cal. Rptr.. ‘Jopson v. Feather River Air Quality Mgmt. Dist., [133 Cal. Rptr. 2d 506, 507 (Cal. Ct. App. 2003)], and they involved a risk of physical harm [Johnson v. State of California (1968) 69 cal. 2d 782.., Garcia v. Superior Court (1990) (citing Johnson; case remanded to permit plaintiff leave to amend complaint to state cause of action for negligent misrepresentation involving risk of physical harm…].
19.3 And because defendants were legal experts they are liable for misrepresentation of laws [Exceptions. The rule precluding liability for misrepresentation of law has several exceptions. An exception also exists when the party expressing the opinion purports to have (or is reasonably believe by the other party to have) expert knowledge concerning the matter.’ CAC. of pleading practice].
Wherefore, plaintiff prays judgment as follows:
1) For general damages in the sum of $ 660 000 increasing by $20 000 (- any possible salary or benefit plaintiff may receive) every month until the dispute is resolved.
2) For special damages for loss of years of life expectancy, and psychological damage in the sum of $ 400 000; For Cost of suits incurred herein; and For such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.
Count 2. Negligence.
20. Plaintiff repeats and realleges and incorporates by references the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 19 above with the same force and effect as if herein set forth.
21. Defendant (State for California, DSS) owed a duty to review
administrative wrongdoings honestly and promptly, and to encourage social services to comply with administrative decisions, it was created for this purpose (helping the poor).
22. Defendant (State of California, DSS) owed a duty to act according to the standard of ordinary care [civ. Code 1714 (a)], and DSS management to supervise and control the work of its employees. Defendants must follow and respect the various regulations, procedures, and statutes (MPP, California Manual of Policies and Procedures, civil and criminal statutes).
23_ The California Supreme Court identified a number of factors that courts should consider in determining whether or not an exception to the general duty to exercise ordinary care [Civ. Code 1714(a)] should be made, and here the facts described in the complaint clearly confirmed that this case is not an exception. They confirm the existence of defendants duty (1).
(1) 1_The forseability of harm to plaintiff was obvious; not only the refugee is matter of life and death, but it is associated with the most basic social benefits necessary to survive, so it was obvious that by depriving plaintiff of these basics benefits he would be (physically) hurt and put in extremely difficult situation even life threatening situation after the many years of persecution he suffered.
2_The degree of certainty that plaintiff has been injured is also obvious; plaintiff has been sent in the street more than 16 times, was forced to sleep in the street or in indecent shelters for months and could not find an appropriate job as the result of the negligence.
3_The connection between the defendants conduct and the injury suffered is also obvious since the lies on plaintiff status, the violation of the regulation and state and federal statute resulted in the immediate termination of plaintiff benefits and created all plaintiff difficulties;
4_The moral blame attached to defendants conduct is also obvious since it is there responsibility to prevent such problem the regulation were made precisely to prevent these problems. And here there was an obvious intent to deceive plaintiff and to harm injured him in his business, their conduct was despicable and must be discourage.
5_It is important to try to prevent future similar harm by pointing out defendants obvious violations of laws and regulation.
6_The extend of the burden on the defendants caused by the imposition of a duty to exercise care is insignificant because again the regulation was made to prevent these problems and it is the role of the CADSS to review the compliance with administrative decision.
24. Defendants’ presumption of negligence arises mostly out from violations of statutes (violation of the regulations, procedures and state and federal statues). Moreover the harm resulted from type of occurrences these statutes were designed to prevent, and plaintiff was a member of class (poor, asylum seekers, refugees) these statutes were designed to protect.
25. Defendants (Mendoza, Castello, Campbell) were negligent when:
(a) they misrepresented the facts, the MPP regulation and procedures, and plaintiff immigration status (viol. GC 822.2),
(b) they did not follow the MPP regulation, and refused to force the DPSS to comply with
administrative law judge Tolentino’s decision or to write a notice stating why the compliance was correct (MPP art.22.078.3, 22.078.6 –61, 62) and they asked plaintiff to file a new complaint on a compliance issue, which is forbidden by the MPP regulation art. 22.078.31;
(c) they ‘accepted’ and ‘used’ an altered document (altered verification of status) ‘knowing it to be altered’ to justify that plaintiff refugee status had been re-determined (viol. 18 USC 1546)
(d) they interfered in an immigration proceeding and obstructed justice when they refused to force the DPSS to criticize administrative law judge Tolentino’s decision in the superior court as required by civil code 1094.5 (viol. Pc 182, 18 USC 1512).
26._ Defendant management (Bolton, Governor,) were negligent when they refused to addressed plaintiff case issues, they had the responsibility to encourage their employees and the DPSS to follow the procedure; and when they referred him to the wrong authority (commission on judicial performance).
27. As the result of those breaches and negligence from defendants, which were the proximate causes of Pierre Genevier harm and damages see no. 18.
28. This claim and complaint for negligence are timely for several reasons: (a) According to the discovery rule the 2 years statue of limitation accrues when plaintiff is aware of the critical facts; here the critical facts is the issuance by the INS Nebraska refugee center of plaintiff refugee employment authorization card in December 15 2004, and for some wrongdoings, the final status of Judge Tolentino’s decision in February 2004 (less than 2 years from today).
Wherefore, plaintiff prays judgment as follows:
1) For general damages in the sum of $ 660 000 increasing by $20 000 (- any possible salary or benefit received by plaintiff every month until the dispute is resolved.
2) For special damages for loss of years of life expectancy, and psychological damage in the sum of $ 400 000; for Cost of suits incurred herein; and for such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.
I, Pierre Genevier, am the plaintiff in this action. I have read the foregoing complaint and know the contents thereof. The same is true of my own knowledge, except as to those matters which are therein stated on information and belief, and as to those matters, I believe to be true. I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the state of California that the foregoing is true and correct.
September 30, 2005.
Exh. 1: Verification of status listing the plaintiff as a refugee (1 page double sided), valid refugee employment authorization (1.2, 1 p.).
Exh. 2: Note from Mr. Lemons (2.1, 1 page), decision of Judge Tolentino dated February 5 2003 (2.2, 6 pages), letter sent by the rehearing unit to confirm the validity of the decision of Judge Tolentino (2.3, 1 page).
Exh. 3: Notice of action dated 03/13/03 (3.1, 1 page), notices of action dated 04/02/03 and terminating GR (3.2, 2 page), altered verification of status sent at the end of March (3.3, 3 pages).
Exh. 4: Letter sent by Judge Mendoza (4.1, 1 page), letter sent by Judge Castello (4.2, 2 pages), and letter sent by Mr. Campbell (4.3, 5 pages).