News

Palo Alto landlord couple remain in SF jail

A Palo Alto landlord couple accused of harassing their tenants in a South of Market District apartment building remains in jail today (Friday) after being denied a bail reduction in San Francisco Superior Court, and was also banned from approaching the tenants or the premises.

Kip Macy, 33, and Nicole Macy, 32, are facing a slew of felony charges, including stalking, residential burglary, conspiracy and grand theft. They were arrested Tuesday in Palo Alto after a six-month investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office.

The couple purchased the Clementina Street building in 2005, according to the district attorney's office.

According to prosecutors, the couple was trying to evict one tenant and in September 2006 allegedly had workers cut support beams underneath the tenant's apartment and cut holes through the floor while the tenant was in the apartment. In addition, they allegedly turned off the tenant's power and cut the phone line.

Other tenants living in another unit of the building allegedly had their apartment burglarized by the couple while they were out, in June 2007, according to prosecutors. In that case, the Macys are alleged to have gone in, removed belongings, stolen cash, and dumped liquid ammonia on their clothing, bedding and electronics equipment. Threatening letters were also allegedly left at their apartment door.

An attorney for the Macys this morning asked Judge Garrett Wong to reduce their bail from $350,000 each to $100,000, arguing the couple had no prior criminal history, except one misdemeanor case involving Kip Macy.

Assistant District Attorney Max Peltz, arguing against a bail reduction, contended, "All the victims and witnesses (in this case) are very afraid for their lives."

Wong refused to lower bail, but allowed defense attorneys to return to argue their case after he receives a formal motion in writing. The couple is scheduled to return to court May 2 to hear the motion, and may enter pleas in the case at that time.

Wong also signed protective orders today requiring the Macys to stay away from six of the alleged victims and witnesses, as well as the apartment building.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:06 pm

If you don't believe these people are whack jobs read this.

Web Link

AN excellent of the Palo Alto Sense of Entitlement run amok.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 25, 2008 at 6:49 pm

Now you know why no one wants to be a landlord. No bail? You get bail on a rape charge. Slums are created by rent control.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 6:37 am

come Walter,
Did you read the article? the tenants were put in serious danger repeatedly and harassed to no end. Nobody forced the landlords to buy any building. Their conduct is criminal and repeated. No bail is the appropriate response.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jOHN
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 26, 2008 at 10:27 am

Where has it said no bail?

Most Landlord and tenants have a very good relationship and there are legal ways to evicted which they were doing by saying they were getting out of the rental business and then they started to rent the apartments to others which they can not do. They thought they were above the law and from what I understand they are not hurting for money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sue
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2008 at 11:49 am

Walter, they POSTED bail and are out awaiting trial.

What a horror story. I've been a landlord and found that when I treated my tenants fairly and with respect that they paid their rent on time (sometimes early!) and left their units in good shape when they moved out. It's a two-way street.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 26, 2008 at 2:10 pm

The opposition to the eviction notice was an act of agression. The law allowing a tenant to resist eviction should, in equity, require a posting of bond to ensure the land owner against loss in the event the eviction is deemed legal. Since landlords are denied equitable justice I see nothing wrong with retaliation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Walter Hays School
on Apr 26, 2008 at 3:58 pm

Is it really true that these people are from Palo Alto? I read both articles and looked online, but I could not find the Palo Alto connection. Could someone please give me the link to this? Thanks :)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by jOHN
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Walter, You can not evict someone in San Francisco because you want to rent to someone willing to pay higher rent! That is what they were trying to do. They were saying that they were getting out of the rental business and once the apartment was vacant they were renting to others. They were upset because this did not work on all of the tenants when it was discovered what was happening.

When you buy a building in San Francisco this is all laid out before you close as far as what the rents are and who the tenants are etc. If this building was bought with no tenants it would have sold for 3 times what they paid but they bought it for what it was worth with the tenants and the history not as a vacant building. Thus they knew what the current income of the building was and what the expenses were. They tried to go around the law and in turn ended up in jail and I would hope in the end will loose the building and the wifes realtor license.

How can anyone in their right mind believe that it is OK to place anyone in an unsafe position by removing the support beams within a building or sawing threw their floor from below or breaking into their home and assulting them when they return home finding them illegally in their home?

After 23 year I was evicted this month by an owner move in eviction not because I had done anything wrong, other then have the least expensive rent in the building. I am currently staying with friends until I can find something and that is not easy in San Francisco unless you make a decent amount of money. Sure the landlord does own the building but it was my home. I am very lucky in that I have family and friends willing to help me during the transition but believe me I will be watching to make sure the owner does move in. It has been very stressful but there has been no harassment or danger to my life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2008 at 4:13 pm

Here's the full story from the S.F. Chronicle: Web Link

Walter, based on your body of contributions to this site, had the landlords tride the same stuff on you, you probably would have gone after them with an AK-47, if not a flamethrower.

Please read the story; it chronicles how the Macys violated laws designed for equitable treatment of both parties.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 26, 2008 at 8:20 pm

"The opposition to the eviction notice was an act of agression."

You got that one wrong Walter. The tenant exercised his legal rights and won. The owner retaliated by cutting beams, and illegally entering units to steal and damage personal property.

If I was one of the tenants I'd wait until the criminal actions are completed and then take them to the cleaners in civil court. Who knows, I might end up geting the building to satisfy the civil judgment.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Peter
a resident of another community
on Apr 26, 2008 at 9:06 pm

More on the Macys:
Web Link

They do sound a bit deranged, no?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 26, 2008 at 10:44 pm

If you are a real estate agent in San Francisco, you are well aware of the rules of rental buildings. You sign a contract and pay a price which acknowledges these rules.

Just because Walter or the Macy's don't agree with these rules doesn't mean they don't apply. They were factored into your price. If you don't like them, don't buy the property.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2008 at 6:14 am

A law that converts an at will contract to an unlimited contract based on owner's intention is on the face unfair unless it is countered by a law that requires equivalent commitment by the tenant. I am talking equity, the AK47 is what put the landlord in jail. Rent control and ancillary adjuncts has a 5000 years history of failure, but keep trying, perhaps this time...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2008 at 9:55 am

"More on the Macys:

They do sound a bit deranged, no?"

Wow!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ceteris Paribus
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 27, 2008 at 9:57 am

I always find Mr. Wallis's ignorance of US legal system coupled with his strongly expressed opinions about the US legal system a source of entertainment. Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2008 at 12:17 pm

When the Manor Lord rode rough shod through the tenant fields and exercised droit de signor, I suspect that the folk who questioned the practice were also derided as ignorant. I am aware of what tenant law can do to the landlord, and of what such disproportionate crap has done to the inner cities around the world. There are times, Ceteris Paribus, when the law is an ass. There are times when some folk look on all laws, plastic bag laws included, as descendent from the mount. The holocaust was legal.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by James
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2008 at 2:35 pm

"When the Manor Lord rode rough shod through the tenant fields and exercised droit de signor, I suspect that the folk who questioned the practice were also derided as ignorant"

This notion of "droit de signor" is probably an urban myth, invovling William Wallace (Braveheart). It may have occurred in France, in local areas, but even that is not proven.

Web Link

Enough of this interesting historical artefact. Modern rent control and tennant-rights laws are, indeed, a devastation to modern cities.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 27, 2008 at 6:41 pm

walter,

this case is not a matter of opinion on laws but one of criminal conduct by a couple who happens to be landlords. It's unbelievable that you think that such extreme criminal acts ((attempting to collapse an inhabited structure would qualify as attempted bodily harm or if it had succeeded pre-meditated murder), are warranted in any circumstances.
I am hoping that you realize how shocking your words are.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Whatever you think of rent control, it is the law in San Francisco. It is factored into the price of every renter occupied building. If you want to overturn rent control, go to your local SF supervisor and he will laugh in your face. But you don't torment your renters because you want to evade the law. If you don't agree with the law, don't buy a rent controlled building. There are plenty of other investments, like rentals in lively Palo Alto.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 4:23 am

The Law is the true embodiment of everything that's excellent?
In my youth, Jim Crow was the law, and I opposed Jim Crow too. If you can look at today's public office holders and find that they have some unique gift other than "The Power" check your vision.
In the case in point, a family's dreams are held hostage to someone playing the "Now I've Got You, you SOB" [Games People Play] where he can walk away any time with no penalty. This chicken "Simon Sez" justice should make the judicious grieve even as the groundlings roar.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PALY 77
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:42 am

Wow Walter!

"The holocaust was legal."???

I can only hope for your sake that you have gone senile. Poor Gina.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by narnia
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 9:51 am

Walter,

your comments are so outrageous that I am not going to engage in any "conversation" with you. I can only ignore your your posts and assume that you are not compos mentis.
The Macy's conduct is deranged and has no place in a civilized society. And its defenders have no place in a civilized forum.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 10:56 am

The holocaust was legal under the law then in effect in Germany. I cited it as an example of a law I did not respect. The "good" Germans were just following orders. And, Narnia, even outrageous, deranged people deserve justice.
77, who is this "Gina" you feel sorry for?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by alice
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 12:28 pm

is this what palo alto's overachievers are really like? sheesh. bullying and badgering and threatening . . .

wonder where they learn this stuff?

probably from their parents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 12:48 pm

Walter raises a good point.

Just because something is the law, people can make up their own minds as to whether it is ethical or whether they should ignore it. From smoking legislation to bicycle helmets, we have laws that some disregard. Now when it comes to something much bigger like the holocaust the water gets murkier when we look at the details. For many of every day Germans they were deceived and did not know what was going on. For many German soldiers, they also may have had their suspicions, but unless they first hand witnessed the outrage, then to a large extent they were also deceived. For many of the regular soldiers who did know, there was probably very little they could do to prevent it and they had to follow orders or pay the consequences. Did this make it right for them to do what they did, just because they were following orders or felt there was nothing they could do to stop it?

Today, suicide bombers are doing horrific things for causes they believe in. Does it make it right? How does a woman leave her children and go out and blow herself up for a "Cause"? She has been deceived and is not using the ethical criteria we here are able to use.

I am not trying to excuse any of these people from their horrific behavior, but their motivation for doing these things must be something that is far beyond our own understanding.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 28, 2008 at 1:43 pm

In cowboy movies, there was a saying "You can't take the law into your own hands." Tim Holt to the contrary not withstanding, you cannot let the law out of your own hands. I will grant that, as part of my compact with civilization I accept some laws with which I disagree, but as the end of an old joke goes, "I ain't gonna fight him, I just want him to know I ain't a cow."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by like2bike
a resident of Ventura
on Apr 28, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Looks like the Macy's have a copycat in NY:
Web Link

I wouldn't say rent control has ruined Manhattan, or SF. It is one of many necessary low-income housing options.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 28, 2008 at 11:19 pm

One of the reasons for local government is that they can enact different laws and empirically test how this affects their localities. SF and NY have rent control. There are arguably problems with it but there are plenty of other places who do not have rent control and have similar problems. It's a political choice.

California has Proposition 13 which pretty much destroyed its tax base. It's a political choice. I don't hear the locals whining about it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm

The best, and only effective rent control is a 10% vacancy rate. When society beats up on landlords and rented mules, it insures there will be fewer of them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by trudy
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 29, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Walter, I usually disagree with you, but I don't usually think you're nuts.

I had a tenant from hell once, but I can't imagine that I would have kicked him in the chest. That can cause someone's heart to stop.

And there is no indication that these renters were tenants from hell. They were abiding by their leases which the landlords knew about when they bought the building. If the landlords decided they made a mistake buying the building, they should sell it.

And, civil disobedience? A long tradition. So is taking the legal consequences of breaking the law. Remember Ms Lillian Carter going to jail?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 30, 2008 at 1:38 am

I have no problem with punishing wrongdoers, but I do have problems with the imequities of most tenant-landlord law. I know what it is like when positions ar reversed; I will not register Republican [except to vote for Shirley Temple] because of the inequities in the Uniform Commercial Code, largely a Republican construct. Add a requirement that an at-will tenant may not move out until a new tenant is ready to move in and we move toward equity.
Politicians usually ensure themselves of Paul's vote by robbing Peter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by SlightlyLeftOfMao
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2008 at 2:00 pm

POWER TO THE PEOPLE! I SAY WE TAKE ALL LANDLORDS, SLIT THEIR THROATS, AND TOSS THEM OUT INTO THE STREET WHERE THEIR OFFSPRING CAN EAT THEIR ROTTING FLESH TO KEEP FROM STARVING! But . . . that's just my opinion . . .


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Antonin S.
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 30, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Mr. Wallis, do you have any understanding of what you are writing about?
The UC has nothing to do with landlord-tenant law. The UCC is not the product of the Republicans. The UCC is a model uniform code that does not have the force of law. Each state separately adopted and modified the UCC.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Tyrone Green
a resident of another community
on Apr 30, 2008 at 9:41 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Rubbish Reporting
a resident of Barron Park
on Sep 6, 2009 at 8:34 pm

Reading the commentary on this, its pretty clear why the country is having the financial problems that it is. It seems you actually believe everything read verbatim even when it comes from a tabloid like the Chron. Oh well ... you can continue living the fantasy that everything will go back the way it was.


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