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Indigent Petitioner Seeks Justice from US Supreme Court in Billionaire Property Inflating Fraud Scheme Case

Petitioner Vidala Aaronoff seeks SCOTUS review.

At Stake: Equal Access to Justice in Violation of Fourteenth Amendment. Precedent-Setting Case Affects Thousands of Indigent Litigants

Ordering indigent litigants to pay exorbitant attorney's fees is a gross violation of due process, and has a chilling effect on their ability to pursue just claims in court.”
— Alan Reinach, Esq. SBN 196899 Amicus Counsel in support of Petitioner
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA , UNITED STATES , April 11, 2024 / -- Indigent Petitioner Vidala Aaronoff is seeking review from the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS Docket: Aaronoff v Olson, Case No. 23-6163) in a high-profile case involving her rights according to the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Access to Justice.

Ms. Aaronoff’s case centers on an ongoing dispute with Curtis Olson, the billionaire CEO of real estate firm Nexus Development.

A previous restraining order action (Aaronoff v Olson, No. 17SMRO00308) states that: “Respondent Curtis Olson inflated a residential property value by listing neighboring properties millions of dollars over value to spike property algorithms” and purported that “Petitioner Aaronoff owned that property.”

Court certified real estate expert, Eric Forster, spent several weeks reviewing Ms. Aaronoff’s case, and his court-filed report, states: “Olson misled the court when he presented the court with a title report containing false information. [Olson] led the court down a rabbit hole of wild accusations that bore little semblance to reality. Further, it is my opinion the documents and deeds I have reviewed have not shown [Petitioner Aaronoff] to have any ownership interests in any of the entities that held title to the property.”

The case, which originated in California, involves a restraining order appellate court's decision to award statutory attorney's fees to Respondent Olson despite Petitioner Aaronoff, prevailing in the case. Olson’s attorney’s fees have now reached $3 million, sparking a call for justice.

Petitioner Aaronoff, a former ballerina who became indigent after a car accident injury, has been fighting a legal battle against Respondent Olson for several years. Previously, Olson attempted a similar legal maneuver, but the California Supreme Court unanimously overturned Olson's appeal that denied Jane Doe her day in court and that sought excessive attorney's fees against her (Olson v. Doe, 12 Cal. 5th 669, 685 (2022).

Petitioner Aaronoff's legal team argues that the lack of equal access to justice in this case is a clear violation of the Fourteenth Amendment. They claim that wealthy litigants have the means to afford expensive counsel whereas indigent litigants, often self-represented like Ms Aaronoff, do not. The trial court agreed stating: “It looks to do substantial justice by determining whether there is or is not an ability to pay [statutory attorney’s fees].”

However, the appellate court ignored time-honored equitable laws overturning the trial court’s “substantial justice by determining ability to pay,” which sidestepped property ownership, holding that the restraining order statute does not require “ability to pay” determinations. As a result, Ms. Aaronoff was ordered to pay Olson’s extensive legal fees.

Creditors are legally allowed to charge debtors for their attorney’s collection fees. A wealthy creditor has the means to afford expensive collection activities. Respondent Olson’s creditor collection actions include derivative lawsuits against Aaronoff’s mother (Olson v Aaronoff et al, case No. 19STCV46503) and her brother and his minor son, who live in Germany (Chateau De Monte Cristo, LLC v Justus et al, case No. 22SMCV00649).

Further, Olson argued to the trial court that his legal fees to buy out the property owner of Aaronoff's rental home should be included in his collection fees - and the trial court granted his request (Aaronoff v Olson case No. 17SMRO00308). After Olson became Aaronoff’s new landlord he filed an action to evict her (Chateau De Monte Cristo, LLC v Aaronoff, No. 23SMUD01275).

Petitioner Aaronoff is now facing $3 million in attorney's fees, homelessness, and a bench warrant to attend a debtor's exam issued by Judge Teresa Beaudet for attempting to enforce her 2015 three year "stay away" protective order obtained in restraining order court against Respondent Olson.

This case has sparked a national conversation about the need for equal access to justice for all citizens, regardless of their financial means. The Petitioner's legal team is determined to fight for justice and ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected. They are calling on the US Supreme Court to review the case and make a decision that upholds the principles of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Edward Lozzi
Martinez Law Group
+1 310-922-1200

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