On Tuesday, the Antioch City Council voted 5-0 to extend its moratorium on evictions and rent increases for residential and commercial renters in Antioch until July 15 with the goal to match the County’s current ordinance. After July 15, renters will have 120-days per month to pay back their back rent—this extensions does not relieve a tenant of the obligation to pay rent and does not restrict an owners ability to recover rent due.
In response, Antioch resident Mark Jordan issued the following comment and provided this comment in the form of a Letter to the Editor.
Mayor and Council,
For the citizens of the City of Antioch, let me bring you up to speed.
I am a Plaintiff in a lawsuit against the City of Antioch concerning the Urgency Ordinance passed on March 31, 2020 No: 2182-C-S. The case number of my suit at the Superior Court of California, County of Contra Costa is MSC20-00976.
Why am I suing the City of Antioch? Because when they passed the Ordinance they violated the Constitution of the United States and also the Constitution of the State of California. They violated your rights.
I noticed them that in passing the Ordinance they were making a mistake but they pressed forward. I demanded they rescind the Ordinance. They did nothing. The Courts opened and I filed.
Just so you know when an elected official violates the Constitution they are violating their oath of office and are therefore in a position where they may be held criminally liable and where qualified immunity may not protect them. Not a good place to be Mr. Mayor, Council Members.
It is not that tenants did not need protection initially because of the pandemic. They did, but when the City created a 90 day repayment period for each month a tenant was not paying rent, that was too far.
Miss a year’s rent, get 1080 days to catch up. That is almost three years. Nonsense.
This is governmental interference in private contracts and there is case law all the way back to the beginning of the Republic. You do not pass the general legal three point test to validate your action.
So, why did the City Council do this? Because; the City Attorney, Mr. Smith is providing very poor council. And, although Mr. Smith has an excellent legal education he has little time in the practice of law.
Advice to Counsel Smith, wisdom comes with age. You are over your head.
The City now is attempting to sunset the Ordinance stating tenants have other protectors. True, but the real reason is that the City Attorney is trying to create a situation in which he can file a response and claim the matter is moot (over). It is not. Constitutional violations remain past a sunset. And, I will press the matter.
Antioch, also know this. I called the City Attorney last Friday after reviewing Agenda item 9. There has been NO return call. I talked with Mayor Wright yesterday stating I had reviewed the information and was prepared to sit and work out a settlement and informed him that there has been no response from Mr. Smith.
Since that discussion there has been NO response to my offer from the City of Antioch, Mayor, Manager or Counsel Smith. When any citizen cannot get a return phone call, government is failing. You are failing City Council.
Therefore; Antioch be informed that your City government, our City government, my City government is prepared to spend our money on a matter they will not win and should be anxious to conclude.
Did Mr. Smith miss the class at Harvard on settlement? What exactly are you trying to achieve City Council?
This is not my first run in with the City of Antioch. The first was about Religious Freedom and I had to bring in legal counsel to explain the U.S. Constitution. I prevailed. A church was able to obtain their sanctuary.
The second was a suit in which the City violated the California Constitution, Prop 218 over a number of years and agreed to return nearly a million dollars to Antioch Enterprise Funds. Police don’t patrol or protect sewer lines.
City Council, you really want to go to court? Really?
If you do, know I’m all in. I will press my rights and the rights of every other property owner in Antioch. Not to the detriment of tenants but to the equality of the law, due process and our, everyone’s Constitutional rights.
My phone works just fine. You have to dial the seven digits. It’s a local call.