San Francisco’s most reviled landlord, CitiApartments (or, as they’re now known, First Apartments or FirstApartments or has been, as you know, embroiled in a lawsuit brought against them by the city of SF since August 2006 for how their tenants are allegedly treated.

I know, 2006, right? As several commenters have noted, this seems like a long-ass time, doesn’t it? We asked Deputy City Atty Yvonne Mere why things were taking so long, and she said one of the reasons was because Citi was not coughing up docs needed to move the case forward in a timely fashion, which was why they took some steps to make them comply with the case back in December.

We’re seeing one of the results of this motion to compel today, as the City Attorney’s office has announced that “each of the two-dozen corporate, trust and individual defendants currently named in” the City’s suit against CitiApartments must “respond to discovery requests in compliance with rules of civil procedure, and to pay sanctions to the City totaling $50,129.50” by February 19 of this year.

The City Atty’s office quotes the judge who made this order, Judge Munter, as saying announced his intention to issue the sanction, saying: ” In this Court’s opinion, plaintiffs’ discovery requests have been repeatedly met with obfuscation, delay and meritless objections made by the Corporate Entity Defendants in an effort to avoid providing appropriate discovery…defendants have engaged in misuse of the discovery process by failing to respond properly or at all to proper discovery requests, and/or making unmeritorious objections to proper discovery requests, and/or making evasive responses to proper discovery requests, and/or failing to verify responses.”

What this means: basically, “the court has reached the end of its patience,” Matt Dorsey, spokesperson for the City Attorney’s office, told the Appeal. Since CitiApartments is required by law to pony up both the $50K and the requested documents by February 19, this makes the City Atty’s office hopeful that the case can more forward.

But what if the 19th flits by sans document or ducats from Citi? (Would you put it past them?) Dorsey cagily responded that in that case, “we’d have to return to the court to seek additional relief.”

That’s it? No jackbooted guys showing up with padlocks? But Dorsey refused to be tricked into any statements stronger than that. Guess we’ll just have to wait until the 19th and see for ourselves.

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at

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