Resident Gail Reznik won access to records about mold conditions at a neighbor's home as well as $10,568 for attorney fees as part of a settlement with the city of Calabasas reached in mid July.
Reznik has expressed concerns about an unoccupied home at 4117 Lost Springs Dr., which is 203 feet away from her residence, to the city since 2008.
In February, she began asking for copies of results from a mold inspection conducted at the property by the city and a petition to abate the mold problem the city filed with the Los Angeles Superior Court.
Reznik submitted requests via emails and written forms, which were denied by the city in order to protect the privacy of Teresa Alexander, who owns the Lost Springs Drive home, but does not live on site.
In a Feb. 14 email, City Clerk Gwen Pierce told Reznik that she could not have access to the documents because they are "records of complaints to and investigations by law enforcement agencies" and "records subject to evidence code privileges, including the attorney-client privilege and the attorney work product doctrine."
Reznik filed a , along with the First Amendment Coalition, alleging that the city of Calabasas violated the California Public Records Act.
To avoid heading to court, the city agreed to provide Reznik with the documents she was seeking and garnered a waiver from Alexander, said City Attorney Michael Colantuono.
Colantuono said that he would have liked Reznik and her attorney to have contacted city hall shortly before making the decision to head to court.
He added that the city probably made a mistake when it denied Reznik the reports.
"The petition of warrant, she should have been entitled to, if we didn't give it to her then it was a mistake on our part," he said. "Although it's possible she wasn't entitled to everything in the petition, because some of the attachments of the petition might have affected the privacy rights of Teresa Alexander."
Reznik's lawyer, Judy Alexander, said her client isn't happy about what she had to go through to get documents that should have been public record.
"She's still quite upset in the way in which her requests were handled before the suit was filed," Judy Alexander said. "She got it way after she wanted."
Since the lawsuit was filed in April, Teresa Alexander has mitigated the mold and overgrown vegetation at her Lost Springs Drive property, said Building Inspector Sparky Cohen.
View the accompanying documents to see the mold report Reznik obtained from the city and her correspondence with the city.