Attorney Gregory Beam of Gregory Beam & Associates billed park owners Sam and Wha Kim for more than $12,000 (twelve thousand) in connection with work he said he did preparing materials to sue the elderly couple on behalf of Rancho Fullerton Mobilehome Estates in Valencia in Fullerton. In addition, the couple also received a 60-day notice to terminate (i.e. eviction). The pair are weighing their options, though the threatening letter asks the court for an additional $1,300 if they try to fight to stay.
The couple, who have never missed a monthly payment for their space, are well-liked by the neighbors, and Mr. Kim is the vice president of the community’s HOA. Living on their combined Social Security retirement income, they are now in a very dire situation with 60 days to sell and move their mobile home, plus a $12,000 bill. Added to this is the problem that mobile homes are notoriously immobile and very expensive to move, assuming there is a place to move them. If the couple found a buyer on such short notice, the new homeowner would have to be pre-approved by the park management, which could say no – which would force the couple to sell directly to the park at a very low price.
Attorney Beam’s 20-page bill, dated July 14, 2023, comes a week after the couple received the 60-day notice and a month after Judge Corey Cramin issued an order requiring construction materials on the property to be removed. Clearly, the Kim’s time-stamped photos showing those things had already been done were not seen by the judge, who appears to have made his decision based on attorney Beam’s submitted photos taken during the park-approved construction of an enclosed porch to their home.
At the June 15 court hearing, the Kims waited their turn to explain to the judge that — while it was true that their property had been a construction zone when the addition was built, it was now in good condition, as evidenced by their current photos timestamped June 10, 2023. But their turn never came. During the less than half-hour hearing, the Kims were given headphone translation from English to Korean, which they said they couldn’t understand, and then before they could present their evidence, it was all over.
The following week, feeling that the judge had not seen their evidence, the Kims again submitted their photos to both the court and the park attorney. Because of the timestamp on the Kim’s photos showing the current state of the property, one would expect the case to have been dismissed by Judge Cramin or at least later reversed when he saw them. But that has not happened yet.
The completion of the project took several months longer than Mr. Kim expected due to an accident in late October where he cut his finger. His doctor ordered no work until April after it healed. The couple may have hired someone to complete the addition, but they live on a steady income that doesn’t allow for those luxuries — so they waited for the time it took for Mr. Kim to heal. After healing, Mr. Kim’s project, which was sponsored by the CA State Dept. of Housing and Community Development (HCD), which oversees mobile home construction. Pending the date of the inspection appointment, the Kims have removed all remaining tools and building materials.
The Kims also brought to the attention of the park manager — Mr. Kim’s injury, doctor’s note, and the extended completion date granted by HCD in June 2023. And according to park attorney Beam’s itemized notes, those topics, plus Kim’s unofficial complaint of discrimination and harassment and the most recent photos, were all discussed with his clients well in advance of the court date, and yet attorney Beam failed to submit the new photos.
The 60-day termination notice (i.e., eviction notice) listed a new set of alleged violations surrounding the Kims mobile home, including: installing a railing in the carport without park approval, installing wooden planters, attaching a bug repellent with a bungee cord, planting a tree, failure to maintain landscaping, overgrown plants, weeds, storing items around the property (not spelled but referring to a barbecue grill, and outdoor tables and chairs ), and installing a makeshift fence (this refers to a row of tiles set up to close the gap at the bottom of the ugly chain-link fence that separates the back of their space from the park’s paved parking lot to prevent critters from entering their yard.) The threatening letter also alleged that the couple was in contempt of court for failing to repair items described in the judge’s June 15 order (although those things were fixed well before the court date). Also mentioned was the removal of the gazebo over the doorway although, as stated by the judge, that should not happen until the endangered bird had left its nest under orders from the Fish & Wildlife Department.
Lawyer Beam, park manager Andrea West and park owner Susan James Denton declined to call back for comment.
For documents in this case, go to occourts.org look up case and search for case no. 30-2023-01323971 Nicolas Family LLC, a California limited liability company dba Rancho Fullerton Mobilehome Estates vs. Samuel Kim and Wha Kim and DOES 1 through 10 (note: about DOES 1 through 10 – is the park planning more evictions?)
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