Renters of a California condo say they got a rude awakening when a group of guards hired by their homeowners association allegedly used Taser guns to evict them from a house they didn’t know had been foreclosed on.
According to the lawsuit filed this week in the Superior Court of California in Sacramento, the guards entered the building without permission around 3 a.m. and began a “military style raid of plaintiffs’ residence.”
One officer allegedly told the tenants who were present at the time that the building was supposed to be vacant and that everyone in the condo would be charged with burglary and trespassing. The guards said they had been told by the HOA that the people in the building were squatters.
The tenants were all taken outside while guards remained in the building. When one man asked to use the toilet, he was allowed back inside, where he claims to have seen two guards “going through their cabinets and personal property.”
After they were able to show that one of the men had a signed lease agreement with the woman who had owned the building pre-foreclosure, the men were released and one of the guards is alleged to have said, “between you, me and the lamppost, the homeowners association is over-zealous.”
Reads the complaint:
During this approximate two-hour ordeal, the armed men threatened arrest and incarceration, menaced the plaintiffs with weapons, engaged in intimidation, positioning themselves immediately in front of and/or behind the plaintiffs, glaring at them menacingly and invading the plaintiffs’ space.
When the tenants returned to their home, they say that all their personal belongings had been rummaged through. One tenant claims that photos featuring his and his girlfriend naked had been removed from the house.
What these men didn’t know is that, following the foreclosure, the bank had filed an unlawful detainer action against the tenants in order to evict them. It had never been served to anyone in the condo, so they were never given the chance to challenge the action in court.
The tenants have sued the guards and the HOA, seeking damages for trespass, extortion, assault and battery, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, conversion and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The Foreclosure From Hell [CourthouseNews.com]