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JORGENSEN & SALBERG WINS CASE AGAINST MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY WHO BREACHED LEASE & STOLE PROPERTY FROM LANDLORD

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FACTS
Joseph Khadige leased a property from Jorgensen & Salberg’s client for the purpose of operating a medical marijuana dispensary across the street from the Main Place Mall in the City of Santa Ana, California.

After Khadige was unable to obtain a license from the city to operate the dispensary, Khadige refused to pay the rent.  An eviction action was filed to force Joseph Khadige to move out of the property.  Before leaving the property, Khadige stole everything that was not bolted down and damaged the property. The case went to trial on January 22, 2013, in the Orange County Superior Court. Jorgensen & Salberg successfully proved that Khadige breached the lease, damaged the premises, and stole the landlord’s property.

The case was tried as a two-day bench trial before Judge Gregory Munoz in Department C13 of the Orange County Superior Court. Plaintiff, his wife and his realtor testified regarding the terms of the lease agreement and the value of the property damaged and stolen. Khadige and his realtor John Goliath both testified regarding the lease, and denied the allegations of theft and vandalism.

INVESTIGATION INTO KHADIGE’S BACKGROUND
Khadige previously engaged in similar conduct. On December 1, 2009, Khadige was sued by BRE Properties, Inc. in an unlawful detainer action (OCSC Case No. 30-2009-00324391). Judgment was entered in favor of BRE on February 22, 2010.

On October 23, 2012, Khadige was sued by TRICO-HST ASSOCIATES, L.P in an unlawful detainer and action for damages for past due rents. Judgment was entered in favor of TRICO on January 7, 2013. In the past three years, three unlawful detainer actions (including the instant action) have been brought against Khadige.

Khadige also has a criminal background. Khadige was convicted of causing a concealed firearm to be in vehicle (OCSC Case No. 07HM03959), unlawfully providing false information to a police officer (OCSC Case No. OR1022280), possession of marijuana by a driver (OCSC Case No. OR1049501), and possession of a deadly weapon (OCSC Case No. 11NM18131).

JUDGMENT
The court found in favor of Plaintiff. The court found that Khadige stole multiple items of personal property from the premises, including a Mohammed Ali statue, antique barbers chairs, and a gym set. The court awarded Plaintiff $31,500 and costs of filing suit. Pursuant to the terms of the lease, as the prevailing party, Jorgensen & Salberg will be requesting the court order Khadige to pay the landlord’s attorney’s fees incurred in proving the tenant breached the lease and stole the property.

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