LOS ANGELES -- City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell announced this week that a lawsuit was filed which aims to remove tenants of three homes that police say have served as drug houses.
Feuer filed narcotics and nuisance abatement lawsuits against the owners of two Hollywood properties -- 5655 and 5657 Lexington Avenue-- in an effort to mitigate crime within those properties and surrounding areas. A third property is located in South Los Angeles.
"As we've seen today, a single property can endanger an entire neighborhood. Each property owner is responsible for maintaining their stake in our community," said City Attorney Mike Feuer. "If they fail to fulfill that obligation--ignoring criminal activity, for example, that jeopardizes neighborhood safety--my office will hold them accountable."
The Lexington Avenue property consists of two neighboring single family residences. According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the homes have become infested with criminal activity because the property owner continues to allow persons with extensive criminal histories to remain at the homes.
Community members regard this location as where methamphetamines are regularly available and where prostitutes, transients, probationers and parolees can come and go without restrictions. Since July 2013, there have been more than 15 arrests made at the Lexington Avenue property.
“I want to commend the City Attorney’s office and the Los Angeles Police Department, Hollywood Division, for the abatements in my district. This is how you make neighborhoods better, and reach a positive tipping point that has a lasting benefit for families. I would urge anyone who witnesses the destructive presence of drug sales, gangs, and prostitution to alert law enforcement, and work with my office so that we can collaborate with the City Attorney to enhance our communities. Through these efforts, we will restore the quality of life in neighborhoods where crime is present.”
The civil abatement action seeks to restrict who may be on the properties and to require the owner, a known street gang member, from being on the property for any reason, at any time. The legal action aims to prohibit the property owner and known associates from unlawfully selling, manufacturing or storing controlled substances on the Lexington Avenue property. The proposed injunction also seeks to require any current tenants or occupants to move out of the property be prohibited from returning, and be required to stay 1,000 feet away
A separate criminal case has also been filed against the property owner by Neighborhood Prosecutor Jackie Lawson for multiple code violations.
A Bureau of Justice Assistance grant under the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation program assisted the City Attorney’s work at this property.