Lippman v. City of Oakland Documents 8-14-14

Appellant’s Opening Brief


Case Attorneys

J. David Breemer

Senior Attorney

David (Dave) Breemer developed a passion for liberty while reading classics such as John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government and Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man, as he pursued a … ›

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Jonathan Wood


Jonathan Wood is an attorney at PLF’s DC Center, where he litigates environmental, property rights, and constitutional cases. He is passionate about finding constitutional, effective, and fair solutions to environmental … ›

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Case Commentary

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By Jonathan Wood

A win for property owners throughout California

For years, Oakland has treated small property owners as a piggy bank, demanding ever growing penalties for minor, alleged building code violations and denying property owners any legitimate opportunity to defend themselves. But thanks to a PLF victory in the California Court of Appeal, that abuse will come to an end.

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By Jonathan Wood

PLF defends property owners’ rights from bureaucratic abuse

In 2010, the Alameda County Grand Jury sharply condemned Oakland’s Building Services Division — which enforces building code violations — concluding that it had created an “atmosphere of hostility and … ›

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Property owner defends right to independent review

Thomas Lippman, like too many Oakland property owners, has been abused by an out of control bureaucracy He’s taking a stand, demanding scrutiny of the bureaucrats’ treatment of him In 2010, the county’s Grand Jury sharply condemned the building department for its abusive enforcement practices and unfair appeals process

In light of the history of abuse documented by the Grand Jury, his claim is surprisingly modest – an agency can’t impose $10,000 in fees without giving property owners a right to an appeal to an independent appeals board or the city council


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