NoHo Apartment Building Owners Sued Over Alleged Gang Activity

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – The Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office filed a nuisance abatement suit today against the owners of a North Hollywood apartment complex where a local gang allegedly roams freely.

The Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit targets Group IX BP Properties Inc., its president and CEO, Swaranjit S. (Mike) Nijjar, and the building’s two management companies, Golden Management Services Inc. and Pama Management Inc.

Pama Management’s director is Nijjar’s sister, Daljit K. Kler, the suit states. Representatives for Nijjar and Kler could not be immediately reached for comment.

The complex is a 116-unit structure made up of 12 two-story buildings in the 13100 and 13200 blocks of Vanowen Street, which the suit states is part of Nijjar’s “billion-dollar real estate empire” consisting of more than 1,000 units in the city alone.

Within the suit’s pleadings are several color photos showing graffiti at the property, alleged gang members loitering and an aerial view of the sprawling property.

“While they and their affiliates have left a trail of disreputability wherever they operate in the state, the defendants’ gross mismanagement and neglect of this property, specifically, has allowed it to become a stronghold of (a North Hollywood) criminal street gang,” the suit states.

The property has been under Nijjar’s control since 2001. Since then, gang-related shootings and other violence have occurred there regularly, including at least nine gang-related shootings in the past 15 months, five of which occurred in the weeks leading up to the filing of the current lawsuit, the complaint states.

“In fact, an LAPD printout of the property’s history of crime incidents exceeds 70 pages,” the suit states.

The building is adjacent to St. Paul Assyrian Chaldean Catholic Church, where youth group meetings of about 60 children between the ages of four and 17 were formerly held on Friday evenings, the suit states. During one gathering last Oct. 5, children were playing outside in the church parking lot when a bullet coming from the apartment building whizzed by the head of an adult chaperone, the suit states.

On Sep. 18, someone at the apartment complex pointed a gun at people attending a women’s tea party event at the church, and in May 2020 a stray bullet from the building passed through a church window, striking a mirror in the pastor’s dressing room, according to the suit.

On Feb. 2, yet another stray bullet allegedly coming from the apartments struck a television in the church patio.

The apartment building also is within 500 feet of James Madison Middle School, which is attended by 1,650 students in grades six through eight, the suit states.

Efforts by members of the LAPD and the City Attorney’s Office to resolve the issues during meetings with the defendants in 2009, 2010, 2018, and 2019 did not bring about meaningful change, according to the suit.

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