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Compton : $5-Million Claim Rejected

February 26, 1987

The City Council has rejected a $5-million damage claim filed by Francesca Houpe, whose home was recently declared a public nuisance after police arrested her for allegedly growing three marijuana plants in the back yard.

Houpe has denied any knowledge of the plants and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office twice has declined to file criminal charges against her. Houpe contends that her constitutional rights were violated when the council proceeded with a series of public hearings leading up to the nuisance declaration.

During the hearings, Houpe's attorney questioned the role of Councilman Floyd A. James, who first reported the marijuana allegation to police and then contacted the city attorney to ask if the matter qualified as a potential public nuisance case. At the time, Houpe was a witness against James in a separate election fraud case.

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