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Ruling Upholds Tenants’ Claim

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that a Van Nuys firm that sells information on prospective tenants to landlords must stop reporting on eviction cases that were dismissed or withdrawn before going to trial. Judge Jerry K. Fields issued a summary judgment that prevents U. D. Registry from listing eviction cases that were dismissed. Fields’ ruling came in a case filed in 1987 on behalf of nine tenants who claim they have been denied housing based on the information contained in U. D. Registry reports. A trial for damages in the case is to begin in July.

David S. Pallack, an attorney with San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Services of Pacoima, said the ruling was a “significant advance” for tenant rights. He said state and federal laws prohibit reporting eviction cases won by the tenant. Dismissal of a case, which allows the tenant to stay on at the rented residence, should be considered the same as a tenant victory, Pallack said.

Harvey Saltz, owner of U. D. Registry, said he plans to appeal the ruling.


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