Friday, June 12, 2015

Sheriff Mirkarimi's 3,100 Evictions, Withholds Execution Calendar

My quest to learn more about Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's handling of thousands of tenant evictions motivated me to file a few public records requests with him. The head of the legal division of the Sheriff's Office, Mark Nicco, has provided me with various responsive records and explanations of the stats and terminology.

In my estimation, during Mirkarimi's tenure as sheriff he's executed approximately 3,100 evictions. As Nicco explains, when a unit is emptied of the tenant(s) and the property restored, then it is counted as an eviction.

Thus, for 2012 and 2013 the number is 1,964, during 2014 it is 815 and for 2015 so far the stat is 379 for a cumulative total of 3,158.

Since the 2015 responsive record is different than previous years', I've repeatedly called and emailed Nicco for confirmation that the 379 figure is for restorations and accurate, but he's not responded. For argument's sake, until more info is forthcoming from Mirkarimi's office, let's use the 3,100 stat.

Regarding my request of the calendar and addresses of impending evictions just for the month of June, Mirkarimi is withholding that info, making it almost impossible to mobilize grassroots activists to blockade a few of the evictions unless the evictee reaches out for public protest to retain her or his housing. Here are the emails from Mirkarimi's office:

"I have attached responsive records for 2012 – 2013. The Notice of Restoration documents that possession of the property has been restored to the owner. My understanding is that the number of evictions would be that number (2014 would be 815). However, I will confirm that information for you.

"I have confirmed that the number associated with Notice of Restoration is the number best reflecting the number of completed evictions. This would include all evictions that were posted, but would not necessarily represent the actual removal of an evictee. It could include those cases where the tenant voluntarily left the premises, cancellations, or other conclusion.

"For the most part, eviction stats are for a unit, not a building. A unit may have more than one person being removed. The underlying reason for the unlawful detainer action/eviction is not shared with the Sheriff’s Department, so that information would not be known.

"I am not aware of responsive documents for the reasons for the evictions and the names of tenants on the lease of evicted properties, as that information is not known to the Sheriff’s Department.

"I am responding to your public records request, dated June 10, 2015, regarding eviction calendars. The request is marked 'Immdediate Disclosure Reqeust'. The upcoming eviction calendars are exempt from disclosure pursuant to Government Code Section 6254(f), as confidential security files. They cannot be disclosed for public safety and deputy safety concerns."

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