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Community News: East

BOYLE HEIGHTS : Trial to Begin on Eviction of Clinic

August 29, 1993|MARY ANNE PEREZ

A trial is scheduled to begin Thursday to decide a civil lawsuit brought by the county in its effort to evict the East Los Angeles Health Task Force from its space at Centro Maravilla.

The task force principally provides health screenings for senior citizens.

The county wanted the clinic to share its 3,100-square-foot space with three other agencies, but clinic officials balked. In March, the county dispatched sheriff's deputies to evict the staff and change the locks on the building.

The clinic moved back in four days later and has been operating from Centro Maravilla ever since, but several employees filed claims against the county seeking damages related to the March incident.

Lynn Bayer, assistant director of the county's Community and Senior Citizens Services, said the county will allow the clinic to remain at the center for another year if the employees drop their claims.

Otherwise, she said, the county will continue proceedings to evict the clinic.

East Los Angeles Municipal Judge Henry Barela ruled last week that the county does not have to show good cause for evicting the clinic, which has been operating at Centro Maravilla for 17 years.

Lawyers for the clinic had argued that the government should have to prove it had a good reason for evicting a tenant, as is the case when public housing tenants are evicted.

But Barela sided with the county and said the public housing comparison does not apply when a government entity is trying to evict an agency from one of its buildings.

The clinic's contract with the county expired in June, and negotiations have stalled with the efforts to evict the clinic.

Along with the office space, the clinic receives $150,000 per year in federal funds dispersed by the county.

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