423 East 7th Street (RM 528)
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Ph.: (213) 622-1508
Superior Court of California
County of Los Angeles
Pierre Genevier (Plaintiff) | Civil Action
VS | No:_____________
| Complaint for money damages
| (Amount demanded = $2 840 000)
Los Angeles County | Unlimited amount
(Defendant) | Jury Trial demanded
This action arises out of some of Los Angeles County’s employees gross negligence. The cause of action brought is negligence.
1. The LA Superior court has jurisdiction for common law tort complaint whose facts took place in LA.
2. Plaintiff, Pierre Genevier, who resides at 423 E 7th street (RM 528),
Los Angeles, CA 90014
3. Defendant, Los Angeles County: [500 West Temple street, Los Angeles CA 90012].
Los Angeles County (LAC) employees mentioned
4. Defendant’s employee, Mr. Brice Yokomizo, Director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Social Services (DPSS). [PA: Department of Public Social Services, 12860 Crossroads, Park Way south, City of Industry, CA 91746].
5. Defendant’s employee, Mrs. Becerra, Director of Wilshire Special District (at the time of the facts). [PA: DPSS Metro North District, 2601 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90057].
6. Defendant’s employee, Mr. Lemons, Supervisor at DPSS Metro North District. [PA: DPSS Metro North District, 2601 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90057].
7. Defendant’s employee, Mrs. Monique Nollner, Rancho Park Deputy Director (at the time of the facts). [PA: Gain Program Division, 3220 Rosemead Bld, El Monte, CA 91731].
8. Defendant’s employee, Mrs. Silvia Diaz, Director of the State Hearing unit. [PA: DPSS State Hearing Section, 3833 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles CA 90037]
9. Defendant’s employee, Mrs. Pauline Riley, DPSS compliance unit head (at the time of the facts). [Retired, employer (DPSS) refused to give her personal address].
10. Defendant’s employee, Mrs. Roza Mirzoyan, DPSS eligibility worker (at the time of the facts). [PA: DPSS Metro North District, 2601 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90057].
11. Defendant’s employee, Dr. Kathy Alston, doctor at Hubert Humphrey Health Center. [PA: Hubert Humphrey Health Center, 5850 S. Main Street, Los Angeles CA 90003]. [12-14 reserved]
15. Plaintiff is a native citizen of France who entered the United States on April 16, 2002, on the visa waiver program, and 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).
Facts related to the delivery of social services (refugee benefits RCA,)
From 9/5/02 to 2/4/03.
16. 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. On the same day, satus verifier, Mahoney, identified plaintiff as a ‘refugee’, which entitled plaintiff to reside in the US for an indefinite period of time (exh. 1.1).
17. On September 25, 2002, plaintiff applied for Refugee Cash Assistance
benefits and his application was approved effective the same day, but (a) certain benefits associated with the refugee status were denied, (b) the DPSS did not follow the procedure set up with the INS to ask and obtain the date the refugee status was granted (form G845), (c) the cash benefit and medical protection were eventually and incorrectly terminated 2 months later on 11/30/02, and (d) the DPSS pretended that plaintiff was not a refugee anymore on 12/01/02 (exh. 2).
18. On November 14 2002, one day after several status verifiers confirmed verbally the validity of the initial verification of status (exh. 1.1), plaintiff contested the denial and early termination of the refugee benefits and soon after the allegations concerning the termination of his refugee status in a request for hearing at the administrative court.
19.On or about February 4 2003, administrative law judge Tolentino rendered a decision mostly in plaintiff favor confirming (certifying) his refugee status (exh. 3.1), and granting various additional refugee benefits (cash benefits, housing assistance,). [The INS Refugee center also accepted plaintiff documents (verification of status, administrative decision certifying the refugee status,) as evidences of his refugee status, to issue a refugee (A03) employment authorization card on December 15 2004 (exh. 1.2).]
Facts related to the compliance with Judge Tolentino’s decision
from 02/04/03 to 08/25/03.
25. On or about March 1 2003, defendant (Los Angeles County) DPSS
employees refused to fully comply with judge Tolentino’s decision dated
February 4 2003 and again pretended that plaintiff was not a refugee.
26. On or about March 2 2003, plaintiff filed a rehearing request at the
CA DSS rehearing unit to ask for a confirmation that administrative law judge Tolentino’s decision was correct when it certified plaintiff refugee status (and also to contest the judge’s opinion on the opening of homeless letters issue). On April 17 2004, the rehearing unit (defendant Campbell) confirmed that the administrative decision was conformed to the law (exh. 3.2).
27. At the end of March 2003, status verifier, Mahoney, issued –at the request of LA County DPSS, it appears - an altered verification of status where the word ‘refugee’ had been erased and the employment authorization date had been added (exh. 4.4).
28. Between March 1 and May 02 2003, the DPSS issued 2 ‘late’ notices of action (compliance report, exh. 4.1, 4.2) denying most of the benefits granted in Judge Tolentino’s decision, refused to file a petition at the superior court as required by law (ccp. 1094.5,), accepted and used the altered verification of status to support its allegations that plaintiff was not a refugee (viol. 18 USC 1546), and asked plaintiff to file a new request for hearing on the same immigration status issue [which is forbidden (MPP art. 22.078.31)].
29. On July 2 2003, defendant (Becerra, Wislshire Special District Director)
terminated plaintiff General Relief supposedly because he was not an ‘eligible alien’ (exh. 4.3).
Facts related to the opening and stealing of letters at the DPSS and others difficulties with the DPSS from 09/05/02 to 04/31/05 and the health related problems.
30. From September 2002 to October 2003, the DPSS Civic Center opened and stole several of plaintiff letters. According to the clerk handing the letters to the homeless (and to what plaintiff could see), almost all the homeless letters were opened.
31. In November 2002, plaintiff complained about the opening and stealing
of his letters in his request for hearing, but judge Tolentino refused to address this issue in his 02/04/03 decision because he thought he did not have any jurisdiction for this problem (exh. 3.1).
32. From October 2003 to January 2005, the DPSS Rancho Park District stole and delayed the delivery of several of plaintiff letters. After plaintiff complained about this problem, DPSS told plaintiff that they would investigate the problem, but he never received any response concerning the investigation or any apology.
33_In August 2004 plaintiff GR was terminated on the computer, but no written explanation was given until defendant (Yokomizo) pretended in January 05 that the GR computer termination was due to the lack of recertification (plaintiff never received the recertification document as the previous year and was not asked to fill them out before August 24 2004).
34_ In November 2004, defendant (Nollner) threatened plaintiff to terminate his GR if did not participate in a vocational assessment although plaintiff job search plan had been accepted by the Work Source; and although the DPSS contractor did not have the competence to evaluate plaintiff qualification. She also threatened plaintiff to deduct dollar for dollar the housing assistance the Work Source started paying in 08/2004 (about $75/ month). Plaintiff GR was eventually diminished by about $20 on January 2005.
35_ In January 2005, defendant (Yokomizo) responded to plaintiff complaint letter, but he lied about what happen at the Rancho Park district and ignored the important issues addressed in plaintiff letters. Then on January 27, 05, he used an inappropriate MPP regulation article to threaten plaintiff and force him to participate in the vocational assessment.
36. In early March 2005, plaintiff became very sick and was put on disability by the DPSS Doctor, but the GROW workers ignored this disability to try to force plaintiff to attend a Grow appointment and try to terminate his GR for missing the appointment. The problem was corrected on April 28 2005 after Plaintiff wrote several letters to the Board of supervisors and filed a criminal complaint to the FBI, US Attorney ...
37. On July 5 2005, defendant’s employee (Alston) misrepresented plaintiff serious symptoms, was negligent and ignored his blood test results and the urgency of his situation to prevent him from being treated rapidly by an appropriate doctor.
Facts related to the civil complaints from 02/04/04 to 10/05/06.
38. On February 4 2004, plaintiff filed a complaint for damages (for intentional misrepresentations and suppression of fact) at the LA Superior Court against the USCIS (or DHS), the LA County DPSS, and the California Department of Social Services.
39. The district court dismissed the claim for ‘Deceit, misrepresentation, suppression of facts and punitive damage’ because of immunity for misrepresentation [under GC 818.8 and 28 USC 2860 (h)] against the LACDPSS on a FRCP 12 (6) motion to dismiss (not a summary judgment), and against the DHS on a FRCP 12 (1) motion do dismiss. And because of the 11th amendment against the DSS, the Appeal Court gave plaintiff the possibility to re-file his complaint against the State of California at the State Court.
40. On October 19 2005, plaintiff filed a new complaint against the LA County for deprivation of civil rights and negligence at the federal court, but the District Court dismissed the civil rights claims and denied supplemental jurisdiction for the negligence cause of action on December 28 2006.
41_ As a result of the wrongdoings (described in the facts no 15-44 and explanations 45-54), plaintiff suffered the following prejudice and injury:
(a) He lost several months of basic social benefits necessary to survive (including housing assistance, cash benefits, medical protection,); he was sent in the street more than 17 times since 08/2002; he was forced to sleep in the street and in indecent homeless shelters for many months [with a great risk of catching the tuberculosis or other serious diseases, of being robed or even being killed (plaintiff was threatened to be killed by another homeless for refusing to buy a small bottle of water for 25 cents!)]; his food stamp were unfairly terminated 3 weeks in September 2003; he lost $70 in September 2004 (because of the computer termination of his GR) and almost lost his room [the rent was due on the 4th, the date he usually received his GR]; his GR was unfairly diminished by about $21 in January 2005 [again the lowering of plaintiff GR by about $21 created him great problems, particularly when at the same time the Work Source stopped paying the housing assistance without notice and valid reason in early February 2005(his GR is $220 and his rent is $260, any GR decrease makes it difficult to stay in his room)];
(b) He had no place to cook and to store food since 08/2002 and became sick regularly (he also started having chest pain and frequent severe headaches and nausea in October 2004; he eventually was put on disability from March 2005 to May 2007, his blood test pointed out obvious cardiovascular problems and serious risks of heart attack, and he had great difficulties to see the doctors to be treated rapidly); he was unfairly threatened constantly to see his benefits terminated (to be sent in the street) and to see his refugee status changed, and constantly harassed while his case was pending at the court. The resulting problems even continue today since the SSA administration recently denied the SSI benefits to plaintiff, which is a direct consequence of LA County negligence.
(c) These various problems also made it impossible for plaintiff to find an appropriate job and to resettle in the US, and forced him to complain over and over again to try to clarify the situation (problems with his refugee status that is a matter of life an death), to denounce the dishonest behavior of the different civil servants, and to avoid being sent in the street [estimated damages: wages loss $1 040 000, loss of years of life expectancy $780 000, and psychological damages $20 000]. Finally, he never obtained a legal decision stating his grant of asylum that could have helped him to obtain justice against France for the persecutions he suffered there (the estimated damages he suffered in France is $1 000 000). [42-44 reser.].
Count for negligence
(claim filed on 9/19/05, see 53)
45. Plaintiff repeats and realleges and incorporates by references the allegations in paragraphs 1 through 41 above with the same force and effect as if herein set forth.
46. Defendant, Los Angeles County, owed a duty to obey legislative enactment [the Court in Ramos v. County of Madera (1971) 4 Cal. 3d 685, 94 Cal. Rptr. 421, 484 P 2d 93 found on page 696 that ‘(12) public entities have, inter alia, a mandatory duty to obey legislatives enactment…’ in reference to the Welfare legislation], and therefore has a mandatory duty to deliver honestly and promptly all social services or benefits to eligible clients and to follow the procedures as described in the MPP (and of course not to violate civil and criminal statutes). The DPSS was created for this purpose (helping the poor), and the County health facilities to treat patient honestly. GC 815.6 makes the LA County directly liable for negligence (violation of enactments,); and GC 815.2 and CC 1714 (a) make the LA County vicariously liable for the negligence of its employees.
47. Defendant (Los Angeles County) employees owed a duty to act according to the standard of ordinary care [civ. Code 1714 (a) (applying to anyone including immigration employees, social workers)], LA county managers owed a duty to supervise and control the work of its employees, and to conduct proper investigations on its employees obvious wrongdoings.
48_ 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 confirm that this case is not an exception since they confirm the existence of defendants duty (16).
(16) (a) The forseability of harm to plaintiff was obvious; not only the refugee status is matter of life and death, but it creates an entitlement (right) for 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 a life threatening situation after the many years of persecution he suffered.
(b) The degree of certainty that plaintiff has been injured is also obvious; plaintiff has been sent in the street more than 16 times since 09/02, was forced to sleep in the street or in indecent shelters for months, could not find an appropriate job and became sick regularly, and the SSI benefits are now denied also because of the negligence.
(c ) 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 termination of plaintiff benefits and created all plaintiff difficulties;
(d) The moral blame attached to defendant conduct is also obvious since it is defendants’ responsibility to prevent such problem. The regulations 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’ (life), their conduct was despicable and must be discouraged.
(e) It is important to try to prevent future similar harm by pointing out of defendants obvious violations of laws and regulation.
(f) The extend of the burden on the defendants caused by the imposition of a duty to exercise care is insignificant because again the regulations were made to prevent these problems and it is the role of the USCIS and the DPSS to follow these regulation and to respect the law.
49. Defendant’s presumption of negligence arises mostly out of violations of statutes (violation of the MPP regulations and procedures and state and federal statutes). Moreover, the harm resulted from types of occurrences these statutes were designed to prevent, and plaintiff was a member of class (poor, refugees,) these statutes were designed to protect (so GC 815.6 applies here also).
50_ Defendant (Los Angeles County) employees constantly and repeatedly violated articles described in the MPP regulation and federal statues, and refused to follow the MPP and civ. code procedures:
(a) They did not follow the procedure requiring them to ask the INS status verifiers office for the date the refugee status was granted (form G845).
(b) They did not pay the appropriate number of months of RCA benefits as Judge Tolentino pointed out. And after the volag refused to give the housing assistance it should have given according to MPP art. 69.203.01, they did not correct the problem as they should have done according to MPP. Art. 69.203.27 and 28 (and to the judge decision).
(c) They did not issue the compliance report within the 30 days limit period (violation of MPP art. 22.078.2), and did not fully comply with the decision (viol. MPP art. 22.069.123).
(d) They did not point out on their compliance report that plaintiff had the possibility to complain about the compliance at the CADSS if he did not agree (violation of MPP art. 22.078.22).
(e) They refused to follow the appropriate procedure to criticize judge Tolentino ‘s decision (violation of code of civil procedure 1094.5) and asked plaintiff to file a new complaint on a compliance issue which is in violation of MPP 22.078.31). And therefore they obstructed justice in an administrative and immigration proceeding (viol. PC 182, 18 USC 1512).
(f) They accepted and used an altered verification knowing it to be altered (viol. 18 USC 1546); and misrepresented plaintiff immigration status and various facts (viol. GC822.2).
(g) They incorrectly pretended that the Work Source payments (for housing assistance) should be deducted dollars for dollars and did manipulate the computer to deduct about $20 from 01 to 03/05 although the regulation explains that these payments should not be counted as income and not deducted (violation of MPP art. 44-111.454).
(h) They used an inappropriate regulation article (41-414.2) and threatened plaintiff to force him to attend the vocational assessment (degrading treatment).
(i) They violated criminal statutes (18 USC 1702, 03 and 08) when they opened (or delay of the delivery of letters), or stole plaintiff and other homeless letters.
(j) Dr. Alston misrepresented plaintiff symptoms and reasons for coming for a consultation when she stated that he came for headaches to prevent him from being treated rapidly by an appropriate doctor for his cardiovascular problems.
(k) They threatened and harassed plaintiff constantly while his case was pending at the civil court (viol. 18 USC 1513), and this with the total support of the LA County management (Legal Department, Board of Supervisor,).
(l) Yokomizo neglected to prevent the wrongdoings and deprivation of civil rights (viol. 42 USC 1986).
51. As the result of those breaches and negligence from defendant, LA County, which were the proximate causes of Pierre Genevier harm and damages, the plaintiff suffered a grave prejudice see no 41.
52. This action for negligence is timely for the following reasons:
(a) According to the discovery rule, the 2 years statute of limitation [code civ proc. 335.1] accrues when plaintiff is aware of the critical facts; here the critical facts are (for the early wrongdoings related to the administrative decision) the final status (for res juridicata purpose) of the administrative decision February 2004 (less than 2 years before October 2005) [see. California Forms of Pleading and Practice section 474.15 or page 474.38.12 (6): ‘An agency decision is not final for purpose of res juridicata and collateral estoppel until the statute of limitations for filing judicial challenges to the decision has expired (Long Beach unified school dist. V. State of California (1990) 225 Cal. App. 3d 155, 170, 275 Cal. Rptr. 449)] or even the issuance by the INS Nebraska refugee center of plaintiff refugee employment authorization card in December 15 2004;
(b) the ‘continuing violation theory’ allows plaintiff to seek relief for event outside of the limitation period (recent wrongdoings at the Rancho Park District were clearly the continuation of earlier ones at the end of 2002); moreover, as the result of the problems described here, plaintiff continues to have difficulties to obtain the SSI disability benefits;
(c) 28 USC 1367 giving supplemental jurisdiction to federal court also tolls the period of limitation during which the federal court review the case [28 USC 1367: ‘(d) The period of limitations for any claim asserted under subsection (a), and for any other claim in the same action that is voluntarily dismissed at the same time as or after the dismissal of the claim under subsection (a), shall be tolled while the claim is pending and for a period of 30 days after it is dismissed unless State law provides for a longer tolling period.]. The District court denied supplemental jurisdiction and authorized the re-filing of this complaint on December 28 2006.
(d)Collateral estoppel theory tolls the statute of limitation during plaintiff disability (plaintiff was put on disability from June 2004 to October 2004 after he was ran into by a car, and from March 2005 to May 2007 for cardiovascular and various other problems).
53. Plaintiff filed a claim on 9-19-05 at the Los Angeles County that was denied by the LA County 9-29-05 and by the county’s legal adviser and claim administrator (Carl Warren firm) on 11-22-05.
Wherefore, plaintiff prays judgment for negligence against Los Angeles County: 1) for general damages (wage losses,) in the sum of $ 1 040 000 increasing by $20 000 (- any benefit or salary plaintiff may receive) every month until the dispute is resolved; 2) for special damages for loss of earning capacity, loss of years of life expectancy, and psychological damage in the sum of $1 800 000; 3) for Cost of suits incurred herein; or such other and further relief as the court may deem proper.
Dated: January , 2007
Exhibits. (17 pages)
Exh. 1: Verification of status listing the plaintiff as a refugee (1.1, 1 page double sided, 2 pages), refugee employment authorization card issued on December 15 2004 (1.2, 1 p). Exh. 2: note from Mr. Lemons dated December 2 2002 (2.3,1 p.). Exh. 3: Decision of Judge Tolentino dated February 5 2003 (3.1, 6 p.), rehearing unit decision dated April 17 2003 (3.2, 1 p.). Exh. 4: Notice of action dated 03/13/03 (4.1, 1 p.), notice of action dated 04/02/03 (4.2, 1 p.), notice of action terminating GR (4.3, 1 p.), altered verification of status sent at the end of March (4.4, 3 p.).