Here’s CWNevius in 2015:
“San Francisco hitting up graffiti vandals with costly civil suits“
“In an innovative and clever legal maneuver, the city attorney’s office is asking the courts to treat the city like any other property owner and allow it to sue for damages to pay for graffiti cleanup.”
And that process ended up with a six-figure judgment, mostly for attorney fees that we spent in order to get the six figure judgment:
“The total bill — $217,831.64 — payable to San Francisco on Feb. 15, 2016.”
The problem with this that graffiti tagger Terry Cozy is never going to pay us back for all the attorney fees, obviously not before the now-passed February 2016 “deadline” but, equally obviously, not after either.
The amount of effort spent to collect on this uncollectable person is astounding. Check for yourself here. How about $149K in attorney fees, so far, as of January 2016, creating documents such as this:
So this declaration proves up that the San Francisco Examiner had to pay $100-something to repair a graffiti’ed ‘Xam newsbox. Man, this looks like a lot of work, on a fruitless task. JMO.
Anyway, here’s where Nevius was wrong with his mindless cheerleading:
This kind of action isn’t “innovative” since it’s been done in the past. Let’s check back on the case of Carlos Rivera from a decade ago, back when SFGov was only half as big. It’s the exact same same approach – let’s sock it to these taggers with a huge judgment, that will show them! Or, in the words of Chuck: “Put that in your spray can.”
This kind of action isn’t necessarily “clever” since we’re spending a ton of money to run up the score on a defendant who’s never going to pay us back five figures, much less six figures. Does this make sense? $66,167.64 of PRINCIPAL but with $149,067.00 in ATTORNEY FEES?
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