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Consumer Protection Unit


March 27, 2014
Contact: Gary Rhoades, Deputy City Attorney (310) 458-4928

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge has found Santa Monica landlord Isaac Gabriel in contempt of court for violating a prior court injunction.  The injunction prohibited Gabriel from coming within ten yards of his tenants and required him to hire a property management company to manage his two apartment buildings.

Judge Lisa Hart Cole made the ruling Tuesday after hearing testimony from two tenants that Gabriel was actively managing the properties and was in frequent contact with his tenants. One tenant testified that Gabriel attacked him with a baseball bat in October 2013. Another tenant documented 36 times in the past several months that Gabriel came within ten yards of him, in violation of the court order.

The court fined Gabriel $24,000 for the contempt and ordered him to serve five days in County Jail.  Gabriel can avoid the jail time if he proves that he no longer manages the properties.

The original court order, from November 2010, came after a trial in which the City Attorney's Office proved that Gabriel had broken the law in his capacity as landlord, by committing:

  • sexual harassment of a female tenant;

  • repeated illegal entries into tenants’ units; and

  • illegal renting of uninhabitable space.

The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit brought the motion for contempt and will continue to monitor Gabriel’s compliance with the injunction.

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