The owner of the 27-room mansion in Santa Barbara, Lanny Ebenstein, says he wants them gone because their $9000 rent payments were habitually late. He says the lease expired in June and yet, even after a 90-day extension expiring September 30, they refuse to leave. He also claims they and their relatives have been sued 45 to 50 times for nonpayment of debt.
Wiley and Raden dispute these claims and allege that they are being illegally evicted out of retaliation, but Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge William McLafferty threw their arguments out of court as irrelevant. They say they will appeal the ruling.
Meanwhile, one of my sources informs me that they are planning to move to Santa Fe at the end of the month.
Indeed T.S. Wiley and Neil Raden are no strangers to the Santa Barbara Superior Court system. I searched the court's records and found 30 separate cases naming them as defendants over the last eighteen years -- ten against T.S. Wiley, eleven against Neil Raden, and nine naming both as defendants, including Mr. Ebenstein's. That's about one lawsuit filed against either or both of them per seven months.
UPDATE - 11/20/07:
It appears they've reached an understanding with their landlord. Neil Raden forwarded me the following e-mail:
From: Eric Berg
Sent: Monday, November 19, 2007 10:03 AM
To: T.S. Wiley
Subject: Talking points
"We reached a resolution with Ebenstein on Friday where we will be remaining in the house under the current lease terms."
I think that's it.
Attorney At Law
Hatch & Parent, A Law Corporation
"Talking points". Hmm.
Somehow I doubt that Mr. Ebenstein would agree to the prior lease terms after receiving a ruling in his favor and given the animosity that's been aired out. And I know that "current" and "prior" need not denote the same thing.
(Given the closing "I think that's it", I wonder if there may have been other "talking points" -- whether this e-mail was edited before it was forwarded to me.)
UPDATE - 11/21/07:
I've corrected some minor inaccuracies and adjusted some wording for precision.