I went to court today with Jimmy Nasralla who lives in a tent behind Bed and Breakfast in Northridge with 4 cats. A reporter from LA Weekly was there too, Patrick McDonald.
I had received numerous emails from Jim Dellinger, Councilmember Smith Deputy in the
However, we got to court a bit late because Jimmy got the time wrong and there were traffic problems.
When we went in we were greeted by the City Attorney in the case who refused to give his name and said he didn’t have any business cards on him. He was friendly. He took the parcel map, the letter from Mary Cummins and other documents, looked at them and appeared to agree that Jimmy was not on Union Pacific property.
I informed him that Councilmember Smith’s Deputy, Jim Dellinger, had assured me he had been in contact with the City Attorney’s Office about Jimmy’s case (95R02362). However, this City Attorney, who other lawyers called Abraham I believe, said he had heard nothing from Mr. Smith Office or from Mr. Dellinger.
He gave me a number to call, with no name, so that I could give him Mr. Dellinger’s number.
I have phoned Mr. Dellinger twice to find out what has happened, and I left two messages with Mr. Abraham.
I also told the latter that I had sent all the information to Union Pacific as well as the general City Attorney email for Delgadillo, twice, with no response.
The judge had already issued a bench warrant for Jimmy, but that was reversed, and he was re-arraigned and pled not guilty to violation of CA PC 647(j) living on private property without permission.
The trial will be on August 3.
Either Mr. Dellinger never contacted the City Attorney’s Office, or that office is more screwed up than is conceivable. For example:
Jimmy was originally given a ticket by a Union Pacific RR cop in March. It told him the time and date of his appearance which was at the Van Nuys court. He went to court there, and was told that the case had been sent to the
On that date—within walking distance of where Jimmy lives—he appeared I court and went to the court receptionist there and then was told that the venue had again been shifted to the San Fernando Courthouse near Sylmar, 14 miles away THAT SAME DAY.
Jimmy explained he was homeless and had to travel by bicycle or bus and couldn’t possibly make it by the 1:30 deadline she demanded. He asked her to call and help arrange a new date. She refused.
He asked if he could phone them. Again she refused.
She also told him unless he showed up at the
Jimmy stormed out of the court, but a sympathetic Sheriff’s Deputy followed him out, and after leaving the courthouse talked to Jimmy and called the
Jimmy went there about two weeks ago. This is when I first found out about his problem with the courts and began my investigation about Union Pacific’s claim that the County land was theirs.
All this has made it very clear to me that homeless people are not well-treated by the court system. They are bounced around from venue to venue, and even the court appointed attorney he was provided for 5 minutes the first time he went to the San Fernando Courthouse, simple told him to move away, fold his tent and go away.
Will things change under Trutanich? Probably not, but we can hope.
Stay tuned for a long article on this case from Patrick McDonald from the LA Weekly.