In the ongoing legal battle between tenants of the Lincoln Place apartment complex in Venice and the property owner, attorneys for the tenants have filed an amended complaint adding 184 plaintiffs to an existing lawsuit for restitution and damages.

John Murdock and David Lefkowitz, attorneys for the Lincoln Place tenants, filed the amended complaint Friday, March 14th, against property owner Apartment Investment and Management Company (AIMCO).

The lawsuit filed on behalf of current and former tenants of the complex for restitution and damages initially had just seven plaintiffs prior to the amendment, Murdock said.

AIMCO, which seeks to redevelop the Lincoln Place property, first moved to evict tenants under the state Ellis Act, which allows landlords to go out of the rental business, in December 2005. Fifty-two households, including 21 children and 65 adults, were locked out of their homes in what is considered the largest single-day lockout by sheriff’s deputies in the history of Los Angeles.

Tenant leaders insist that AIMCO should restore the terminated tenancies of 450 households.

The lawsuit for damages requests that AIMCO compensate the households for the higher rents they’ve had to pay since leaving Lincoln Place, according to the Lincoln Place Tenants Association. Many of the lawsuit plaintiffs are also asking to be restored to their former apartments.

Superior Court Judge David Yaffe has issued an injunction preventing further evictions at Lincoln Place, according to Murdock.

Attorneys for the tenants say they will use the injunction to obtain dismissals for the 48 households that are currently fighting their unlawful detainers in court.

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