Santa Rosa, CA – October 18, 2018 – District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that Admiral Callaghan Professional Center, LLC; Admiral Callaghan Professional Center II, LLC; JMFGEM, LLC; ACPC 1, LLC; and ACPC 2, LLC agreed to a Stipulated Judgment, approved and ordered by Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Rene Chouteau, requiring the corporations to pay $50,000 in civil penalties, $10,000 in investigative costs to the District Attorney’s Office and restitution of the amounts collected in excess of the rent to the approximately 12 affected tenants in Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park for violating Penal Code 396‘s price gouging restrictions that applied after the Declaration of Emergency was declared following the October 2017 wild fires in Sonoma County. The corporations and their counsel cooperated in the investigation and resolution of this matter.
Landlords should be aware that the restrictions under Penal Code 396 currently remain in effect through December 4, 2018 by Executive Order of the Governor. That deadline may be extended by further order of the Governor or by local government agencies. These restrictions make it illegal for property owners to increase the price of rental housing by more than 10 percent of the rental price charged prior to the fires.
District Attorney Ravitch stated, “This case is part of the ongoing efforts by my office to insure that victims of the fire and other residents are not adversely impacted by landlords taking advantage of the challenging rental market in Sonoma County after the loss of over 5,000 homes in our community from the devastating wild fires. Residents are encouraged to report cases of suspected price gouging to the District Attorney’s Office at http://sonomacounty.ca.gov/District-Attorneyor call (707) 565-5317.”
Deputy District Attorneys Caroline Fowler and Matt Cheever handled the prosecution of this matter with the assistance of District Attorney Investigator Mark Azzouni.