Landlords repeatedly enter rented residence without notice, tenant claims harassment. $22,865. Los Angeles County.


Pregnant boarder claims landlords repeatedly entered her rented room without notice.

The Case

  • Case Name: Julia K. Sevier v. Mohamed Ghannoum and Samir Ghannoum
  • Court and Case Number: Los Angeles County Superior Court, Burbank Courthouse / GC050668
  • Date of Verdict or Judgment: Friday, August 15, 2014
  • Date Action was Filed: Friday, December 21, 2012
  • Type of Case: Harassment, Landlord-Tenant Issues
  • Judge or Arbitrator(s): Hon. William D. Stewart
  • Plaintiffs:
    Julia K. Sevier
  • Defendants:
    Mohamed Ghannoum
    Samir Ghannoum
  • Type of Result: Bench Verdict

The Result

  • Gross Verdict or Award: $22,865
  • Net Verdict or Award: $22,865
  • Award as to each Defendant:

    Joint and several liability. The trial court rejected all of defendants' contentions. The court awarded damages for violation of the covenant of quiet enjoyment in the sum of $11,250; statutory penalties under Civil Code section 1940.2 for fifteen violations in the sum of $7,500; $3,100 for emotional distress; and $15.00 nominal damages for trespass, for a total of $22,865. The court also found that defendants failed to engage in mediation under the terms of the rental agreement.

    Plaintiff's motion for attorney fees under the rental agreement is set for hearing on October 3, 2014.

  • Trial or Arbitration Time: Two days
  • Post Trial Motions & Post-Verdict Settlements: Motion for attorney fees pending.

The Attorneys

  • Attorney for the Plaintiff:

    Anthony A. Sears * Attorney at Law by Anthony A. Sears, Azusa.

  • Attorney for the Defendant:

    Law Offices of Zulu A. Ali by Zulu A. Ali, Riverside.

Facts and Background

  • Facts and Background:

    In March of 2012, plaintiff, Julia K. Sevier, an expectant mother, rented a room in a single family house in Pasadena owned by defendants.  She claimed that defendants entered her room without notice and she obtained temporary restraining orders against defendants on July 27, 2012. There was a three-day trial in October of 2012 on the permanent restraining order. During that trial, defendants admitted that between March of 2012 and July of 2012, they each entered the property between 20 and 30 times without giving written notice. On October 31, 2012, the court, the Honorable Mary Thornton House, ruled that plaintiff had demonstrated, by clear and convincing evidence, that defendants had engaged in a pattern of illegal harassment against plaintiff. Based on Judge House's ruling, plaintiff filed the subject action on December 21, 2012.

  • Plaintiff's Contentions:

    To secure the restraining order, plaintiff contended that defendants had a habit of entering the rented premises without first giving written notice as required by the rental agreement and the California Civil Code.

    In the instant action, plaintiff contended that defendants, based on their admissions during the restraining order trial, had committed numerous violations of landlord-tenant laws.

    Plaintiff sought damages for breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment under Civil Code section 1927, statutory damages under Civil Code section 1940.2, negligence, and trespass.

  • Defendant's Contentions:

    Defendants contended that they retained a possessory interest in the subject property and they either had permission to enter the property or had sent text messages constituting the required notice.