Jul 012017
 

L.A. City Attorney Urges Revisions To Travel Ban

 

A travel ban separating grandparents from their grandchildren is inhumane and unconscionable. Keeping America safe shouldn’t rip families apart or penalize refugees from extreme Islamism.

 

Calling the revised travel ban interpretation of bona fide relationships arbitrary, inhumane and unlawful, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer today issued a letter to the U.S. State Department seeking a revision to the criteria being used to determine entry into the United States. Currently grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and other extended family members are not considered to be close relationships, according to the new guidelines.

“I urge the State Department immediately to redefine bona fide relationships pursuant to the Supreme Court’s ruling,” said Feuer, who expressed particular concern over the impact of the Department’s action on Los Angeles’s significant Iranian-American community. “The State Department already has reversed course on allowing fiances entry, but the Department should go further. It’s stunning that the Department deems grandparents, grandkids and other close relatives as having merely ‘extended’ relationships with their families.”

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer – who has been at LAX on the day the new version of President Trump’s travel ban treated into effect – in a letter addressed to the U.S. State Department and the Secretary of State, Rex W. Tillerson requests that the new version of travel ban be revised to reflect American values.

In the letter, L.A. City Attorney points to the fact that a large segment of Los Angeles population originates from the six predominantly Muslim countries singled out by the travel ban. He goes on explaining that L.A. is also the home to the largest – outside of Iran – Iranian population which formed following the Islamic revolution of 1979. The foundation of the Iranian immigrant population in Los Angeles are refugees from extreme Islamism.

In many cultures – Islamic and our own! – grandparents are considered an immediate, NOT extended family. Grandparents are widely considered the heads of households and often serve as substitute parents for their grandchildren. A law separating grandparents from their grandchildren and vice versa is inhumane and unconscionable. Keeping America safe shouldn’t come at a price of ripping families apart.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine whole-heartedly supports the request of Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer. Presidents come and go. Respect of human rights is the bedrock of American values and was always a constant. Let America stay true to its founding principles!

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

 

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Dec 212016
 

L.A. City Attorney Won’t Tolerate Criminal Gang Activity

CITY ATTORNEY TAKES ON CRIMINAL GANG ACTIVITY AT SOUTH LOS ANGELES STRIP MALL

Hyde Park Shopping Center Allegedly the Epicenter for Drugs, Guns, Assaults, Shootings

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office is taking action against the owner of a South Los Angeles strip mall, and also one of the business owners, in order to curb blatant criminal activity by the Rollin’ 60s Neighborhood Crips. Crimes at the location have increased in number and intensity including last year’s brutal gang homicide of a 19-year old who made the fatal mistake of wearing the wrong colored shoes.

“For too long, residents and business patrons of this community have been held hostage by the rampant gang activity we allege at this shopping center,” said Feuer. “Enough is enough. My office will continue to fight to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns, drugs and gang conduct that have a devastating impact on our communities.”

The lawsuit names Diamond Property Management, Inc., the owner of a strip mall in the South LA neighborhood of Hyde Park, as well as Mohammad Mansour, the owner of African Tobacco, a tenant business. The property includes a car wash, associated auto businesses, a tobacco shop/convenience store, and a burger stand located at 3312 W. Florence Avenue, near Crenshaw Avenue, and within one mile of four schools, three parks and three churches.

Law enforcement officers have responded to an escalating series of crimes at the property including drive-by shootings, robberies, batteries, and assaults. In the spring of 2015 a teenage boy at the car wash with his mother was confronted and fatally shot multiple times by gang members for allegedly wearing the wrong color shoes. Recent criminal activity includes:

  • In May 2016, LAPD Officers recovered a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun from a backpack near the tobacco shop. One week later, two alleged members of the Rollin’ 60s Crips were arrested after recovering a fully loaded .357 Smith & Wesson revolver from a paper bag near the burger stand.
  • In August 2016, Narcotics Enforcement Officers arrested three individuals, including a documented member of the Rollin’ 60s Crips, after selling crack cocaine to a law enforcement informant at the property.
  • On Thanksgiving Day 2016, one of the property’s business owners was assaulted in the parking lot of the property resulting in his tooth being knocked out.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction prohibiting gang and criminal activity on the property, physical and managerial improvements to the property including: an internet-connected video monitoring system covering all public areas at the property; improved lighting; secure gating and fencing; improved tenant screening and lease enforcement procedures including earlier closure times for businesses; and armed, licensed security guards.

Since July, 2013, City Attorney Feuer’s Federal and Local Special Abatement Operations Unit has filed 45 actions similar to these and obtained 56 injunctions requiring comprehensive physical and managerial improvements to nuisance properties. In this same time period, the office has also successfully secured the closure of six gang/narcotics locations and recovered over $400,000 in costs and fees.

Feuer also recently established an easy-to-use online method through which residents may report properties with gang and / or narcotics activity in their neighborhoods. He’s asking residents to report these properties by calling his office at (213) 978-8340 or visiting the City Attorney’s website: www.lacityattorney.org. All reports may be made anonymously.

 

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Dec 092016
 

Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer

CITY ATTORNEY MIKE FEUER SUES FOUR MAJOR NATIONAL RETAILERS, ALLEGING “FALSE REFERENCE PRICING”

J.C. Penney, Kohl’s, Macy’s and Sears Allegedly Misled Customers With Pricing Schemes to Increase Sales

 

With consumers across the nation striving to get the most for their holiday shopping dollar, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer announced that his office has sued national retail giants J.C. Penney, Sears, Kohl’s and Macy’s, alleging that to increase sales, each of the companies used “false reference pricing” schemes to mislead customers into believing items were being sold at significant discounts.

“Customers have the right to be told the truth about the prices they’re paying and to know if a bargain is really a bargain,” said Feuer. “My office will fight to hold retailers responsible for their practices and to ensure consumers can make informed choices when spending their hard-earned money.”

Four separate lawsuits name as defendants: J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc., Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc., Macy’s, Inc., and Sears Holdings Management Corporation and Sears, Roebuck & Co. These lawsuits allege the defendant retailers employ “false reference pricing” by falsely claiming their merchandise previously sold at far higher “Original,” “Regular,” or “List” prices in order to create a false sense of value and to persuade customers to purchase the merchandise at an allegedly reduced “sale” price. The lawsuits allege that misleading and deceptive false price advertising schemes play a major role in the companies’ overall marketing and business strategies.

Under California Law, retailers are not permitted to advertise an alleged former price of an item unless the alleged former price was the prevailing market price within three months of the advertisement, or unless the date when the alleged former price did prevail is clearly, exactly and conspicuously stated in the advertisement. The lawsuits allege that thousands of “sale” items were advertised at false reference prices.

The lawsuits cite multiple alleged examples, including:

• In February, 2016, J.C. Penney’s website allegedly first advertised a maternity swim top with an “original” price of $46 and a “sale” price of $31.99, an alleged 30% discount. However, the purported “original” price of $46 allegedly was a false reference price. J.C. Penney allegedly did not offer the item for sale online for any more than $31.99.
• In January, 2016, Kohl’s allegedly first offered for online sale Belted Cargo Shorts, an exclusive in-house product, for a reduced price of $35.99 from an “original” price of $60. However, the purported “original” price of $60 allegedly was a false reference price. Kohl’s allegedly did not offer the item for sale online for more than $35.99, even though the website consistently showed a purported “original” price of $60 for the item.
• In May, 2016, Macy’s allegedly first offered for sale online a “Giani Bernini Large Cross Pendant Necklace in Sterling Silver,” with an “original” price of $120 and a “sale” price of $30. However, the purported “original” price of $120 allegedly was a false reference price. Macy’s allegedly did not offer the item for sale online for more than $30, even though the item allegedly was consistently advertised with a purported “original” price of $120.
• In April, 2016, Sears allegedly first advertised online a Kenmore washing machine with a “regular” price of $1,179.99 and a “sale” price of $999.99. However, the purported “regular” price of $1,179.99 allegedly was a false reference price. Sears allegedly did not offer the item for sale online for more than $999.99, even though the website allegedly consistently showed a purported “regular” price of $1,179.99 for the item.

Both J.C. Penney and Kohl’s were previously the subject of class action lawsuits alleging similar deceptive business practices. In November, 2015 and April, 2016, JC Penney and Kohl’s respectively represented to the United States District Court in Los Angeles in separate matters that they agreed not engage in the practice. Despite these representations, the companies allegedly continue to engage in misleading and deceptive pricing practices.

The City Attorney’s lawsuits seek injunctions prohibiting the defendants from further use of false reference pricing business practices. The lawsuits also seek civil penalties up to $2,500 for each violation.

Chief Deputy Jim Clark, Chief Assistant City Attorney Thomas Peters, Assistant City Attorney Michael Bostrom, and Deputy City Attorneys Jennifer Lam and Steven Son are handling the litigation.

A copy of the lawsuits can be found on the City Attorney’s Website.

From Anything L.A. Magazine’s editor: The lawsuits remind us of the one against Wells Fargo in which L.A. City Attorney Mike Feuer prevailed over the banking giant. His victory resulted in Wells Fargo changing its high-pressure sales practices and led to fairer treatment of the bank’s customers nationwide.

A success in the latest lawsuits against leading national retailers who prosper thanks to misleading sales prices would go a long way toward restoring consumers’ trust.

It’s good to know that Los Angeles has a City Attorney who is also a consumers’ advocate. Mike Feuer doesn’t hesitate to expose deceptive business practices that take advantage of consumers and fights for consumers’ rights. Let’s hope that in these cases too, his efforts will benefit all U.S. consumers.

 

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