top of page

“The Court GRANTS the application for temporary restraining order”.



Mark Rivera had won the day against the City of San Rafael. 72 hours before the City Manager had ordered all camping to be prohibited at Falkirk Cultural Center. Sergeant Cleland of the San Rafael Police Department had posted a Notice to Vacate on his home - his tent where he has lived for the past three years by the Falkirk Cultural Center for Marin. The Notice threatened to arrest Mark and his property. I had come to Mark’s spot just a few hours after the notices had been posted. We looked it over, and saw on the notice that “shelter referrals” were being offered by the City. We called the number, and got a voicemail of Lynn Murphy saying she would be out on vacation until August 7th. Mark indicated to me that he was going to make a stand, and he wanted as many people with cameras and reporter to come on Monday to bear witness. I agreed, and suggested we also seek a restraining order in US District Court. Immediately, we started on working on the lawsuit. Within 48 hours, we completed the lawsuit, along with an ex-parte motion for temporary restraining order with a single declaration from Mark. The complaint and restraining order was focused. Mark, who is a survivor of two strokes, suffers from anemia, and a complex form of malnutrition induced dementia relied on the water, shade, and nearby bathrooms by the Falkirk Cultural Center to survive. Under the Fourteenth Amendment State Created Dangers Doctrine, putting Mark’s life in danger would be unconstitutional. We also challenged the anti camping ordinance. Mark had been threatened with arrest for living outside when no other shelter was available in violation of the Eighth Amendment under the Ninth Circuit Case Martin v Boise and Johnson v Grants Pass. There were also claims under the American with disabilities act, and breach-of-contract because Mark had lived at Falkirk for 3 years clearing the grounds and watering the plants with a good relationship with the manager there. On Sunday, we emailed the lawsuit to the City of San Rafael. I served it at the clerks office at 8:30. Jason Sarris drove over to the US District Court House in Oakland, and right when the courts opened filed the lawsuit. ABC 7 News was covering the story and their television van was parked in the parking lot. Around 11:30, City Officials Chris Hess and Mel Burnette appeared at the camp with the television cameras glowering over them. They had no offers of shelter or housing. They did not have any guidance for other places to camp nearby. They had nothing to mitigate the danger they were placing Mark in. In spite of that, they still said unless the court issued a restraining order they would go through arresting Mark and his property if he did not leave around 12pm. Thankfully, the Court Room Deputy Clerk for US District Judge Yvonne Gonzales Rogers called at 12:05. He said the “TRO will issue”. We informed Chris Hess and Mel Burnette, who then left. By 1pm, the restraining order was posted on the docket of the lawsuit, and we printed copies to post onto Mark’s tent. This was the fastest restraining order I have ever seen issue. Within three hours an entire City had been stopped. A hearing is scheduled for next week to see if the restraining order will be expanded into a preliminary injunction.




31 views0 comments
Recent Articles
POOR News Network
bottom of page