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Sam, Attorney at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 27009
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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I live in Los Angeles County in California. I am an owner of

Customer Question

I live in Los Angeles County in California. I am an owner of a restaurant. Last weekend we had a pipe break in the restaurant that caused water and minor grease into the street.
We had a licensed company come clean up the mess within hours and everything was ok.
Someone called the Sheriff's, public works, sanitation and code enforcement told them he saw us throwing bags of toxic waste into the street. All the representatives that came out that day saw no foul play and saw the pipe was clearly the cause of the leak and not us throwing bags of grease. The city representative said that she has video evidence of us throwing bags of grease into the streets. And that we were going to receive a citation. She said she has a witness and pictures. I asked her to see the pictures and the name of the person who is claiming this false story.
I told her I have 16 security cameras at my restaurant and I can prove that was a lie. I sent her the footage to prove it was a lie but she is still issuing a citation.
She is saying she has witnesses who saw it. I told her I need to defend myself and I need to know the name of the people who are saying this because it is slander and untrue. I have camera evidence to prove they are lying. She is saying she has video evidence and statements that prove otherwise but will not provide them to me.
How can she issue a citation on a person saying so when I have footage proving this is 100% not true. I have requested her evidence many times and she failed to provide to me and refuses to provide it to me.
How can she say she has it when I know for a fact she doesn't. And how can she find us guilty without us being to defend ourselves. Is there a California law that she must provide her evidence if she is issuing a citation?
I feel this is a disgruntled person who I have had issues with in the past. Can she not disclose who made these allegations and still issue me a citation?
I looked up California Penal Code 1054.1 which states:
The prosecuting attorney shall disclose to the defendant or his or her attorney all of the following materials and information, if it is in the possession of the prosecuting attorney or if the prosecuting attorney knows it to be in the possession of the investigating agencies:
(a) The names and addresses of persons the prosecutor intends to call as witnesses at trial.
(b) Statements of all defendants.
(c) All relevant real evidence seized or obtained as a part of the investigation of the offenses charged.
(d) The existence of a felony conviction of any material witness whose credibility is likely to be critical to the outcome of the trial.
(e) Any exculpatory evidence.
(f) Relevant written or recorded statements of witnesses or reports of the statements of witnesses whom the prosecutor intends to call at the trial, including any reports or statements of experts made in conjunction with the case, including the results of physical or mental examinations, scientific tests, experiments, or comparisons which the prosecutor intends to offer in evidence at the trial.
Does this law apply to a city officer issuing a citation? Are there any applicable laws that they must disclose who is making these false allegations? How can she say I have evidence yet provide none?
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.


This is Samuel. I am sorry to hear of this matter. She does not need anything more than Probable Cause or Reasonable Suspicion to issue the citation. However, once you are served with a citation your rights kick in. And in that regard, you have a right to know who the witnesses are and Depose them. It is process called "discovery" And you also can request to see any and all evidence against you. You should do that in writing once you have been issued the citation.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

And so when you get the citation, read it carefully to determine what you need to do in order to schedule a hearing, trial in the matter, secure an appearance to represent yourself pro se or you can have a local attorney do it for you. And if this is a matter of Malicious Prosecution meaning she knows darn well there was no violation, then you can make the city pay your legal fees.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

You also want to be sure to preserve any tapes you have which will show you did not toss waste into the street and also begin to collect your witnesses as to the cause being the busted pipe.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
The restaurant next door to us has called the health department on us over a dozen times in the past 2 years. Each time try have found nothing wrong.I believe it was him who called this false report and is the "witness" to bags of grease being thrown. Which never happened.
The code enforcement officer that is issuing the citation has an employee that works in her office who is friends with the neighbor restaurantuer. Yesterday the neighbor who has been banned from our property and this city official came to our restaurant. He flashed his badge and said they were investigating the grease spill.I called his department because it didn't make sense to me that the neighbor and this city official were investigating something that happened weeks ago. The clerk that answered the phone said no the city rep was at lunch and not out on city business.This city official was part of the team to gather whatever evidence they have to issue this citation and he is friends with the person I believe made the false accusation.And he pretended to be on city business when he had no reason to be on our property and he was on lunch.I don't know what to do in this situation because I feel this city official is abusing his power to help this neighboring restaurantuer because they are friends.How do you fight someone from the city harrasing me and abusing their power
Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

I understand. And you know, you have the right to confront your accuser - but that only applies once you have been served and then when you depose your witness/accuser you can bring out the relationship with the code enforcement officer in your questioning.

And then once you can show that the official is taking advantage of or abusing the power you can file a complaint about that. But you need to take one step at a time.

I suggest with all of this going on and the continued harassment you describe it would be beneficial for you to at least consult with a local attorney to help you with this. And once you are cited the attorney can begin the Discovery process for you.

Customer: replied 3 months ago.
Sorry I feel like this needs some background explanation.The neighbor restaurant has been there for 30 years. We opened up 4 years ago right next door and our place was an instant success. We took a majority of his business. Ever since then he has been hostile towards us. He constantly calls the health department on fake claims on us. They all end up being false but now this crosses a line because he has gotten his friend who is a city official to start harassing us. This city official has been the restaurant owner next doors friend for 10+ years. This city official headed the "investigation" against us and is the one that stated the evidence showes we intenti ally threw grease into the street
Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

In the Discovery process a skilled litigation attorney will be able to connect the dots to the relationship of the next door restaurant and code enforcement officer and this corruption can be put at ease.

Expert:  Sam replied 3 months ago.

You can also consider filing Harassment charges against your neighbor restaurant. And so if these claims are all unfounded you can mail a cease and desist letter or you can have a local attorney do that for you so that it will have more impact.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a Positive rating ensures i get credit for my time.

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