See You In court, Donald

2001: City of Santa Monica sued him, claiming he harassed eight tenants in three rent-controlled buildings by threatening to evict them for having potted plants on balconies. He paid $25,000 in settlements.2002: Sterling sued apparent lover Alexandra Castro for the title to a $1 million Beverly Hills home. Castro said the dwelling was a gift from him to her. The case was settled for undisclosed terms.2003: Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles represented a tenant Sterling tried to evict on Lincoln Boulevard for allegedly tearing down notices in an elevator. Sterling won. The tenant was evicted.2004: Sterling and other landlords won a major appellate case against Santa Monica’s stringent Tenant Harassment Ordinance, which Santa Monica’s city attorney had used to order Sterling and other landlords to stop issuing eviction notices, terming the notices “harassment.”2004: Elisheba Sabi, an elderly widow represented by Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation, sued Sterling for refusing her Section 8 voucher to rent an apartment. Sterling won last year. It’s under appeal.2005: Sterling sued landowner Larry Taylor for allegedly reneging on an unsigned note that agreed to sell Sterling properties worth about $17 million. The “handwritten note” war made it to the California Supreme Court. Taylor won last year. 2005: Sterling settled a housing-discrimination lawsuit filed by the Housing Rights Center, which represented more than a dozen tenants. He paid nearly $5 million in legal fees and a probably much larger, but undisclosed, sum to plaintiffs.2006: The Department of Justice sued Sterling for housing discrimination, alleging that he and his wife, Rochelle, refused to rent to African-Americans and families with children, among other charges. The case is pending.

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