The City Attorney and the Disposable Homeless Man’s Day in Court. Will things get better under Trutanich?

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 West Valley, who informed me he had had a sit down meeting with the neighborhood City Attorney and who he also forwarded all the parcel documents and maps regarding the County Land Jimmy was lodging on versus the Union Pacific allegation that Jimmy was on railroad property.

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 Chatsworth Court, and he had a new date to appear.

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 San Fernando courthouse by 1:30, the judge would issue a bench warrant.

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 San Fernando courthouse and arranged a new court date there for Jimmy.

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.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for being for Jimmy!!

Yes! I'm so glad that this reporter is so supportive of Jimmy. How evil that the court just bounces this poor human being around. Totally want to break him down and humiliate him, needlessly. Unconscionable!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for keeping us posted on this. I am certainly one who is praying for you, this dear man, and his dear, sweet little innocent four-footed friends. I am so glad the whole city is going to be hearing about this shameless treatment of helpless, homeless people and animals.

Ed Muzika said...

You're an amazing person, Ed., and I can think of no one else who would be willing to follow up the way that you did. The court system's reaction to Jimmy as a homeless person is shocking. The receptionist at the very least should have been reprimanded.

As for Greigg Smith's office, I have received wrong information for them on more than one occasion or simply told that there was nothing to be done. In these cases, I found out that this was wrong. Smith was under Berman and I was assured by his vote campaign that he knew how to run an office. His people answering the phones appear not to know this.

Ed Muzika said...

Good show by you, Jimmy and Patrick yesterday. That Deputy City Attorney who refused ti identify himself is so typical of their ilk. When I received letters from their office they were always unsigned and not even a typed name of an author. It reminds me of the executioners who wear black hoods so nobody knows who is performing the dirty deeds. All of these people need to be outed. The cat people have fear and so do the executioners. Fear seems to be the driving force of an awful lot of all this.

Ed Muzika said...

How sad. What's even worse is all the money the city, county, railroad is wasting on this case. It'd be cheaper to find him a place to stay. Maybe they can find some little area away from the mall where no one would bother him.