In court Monday, Shantel McClendon, a mother of five facing expulsion from Valencia Gardens by the John Stewart Company, testified that repeated eviction notices and lawsuits sent her way may be a hardball tactic to keep the father of three of her kids, Rasheed Loveless, away from the premises. 

“You said, ‘Maybe if he goes away, this all goes away,’” McClendon testified, referring to Valencia Gardens’ property management. Management has served McClendon with seven 14-day eviction notices and three eviction lawsuits since late 2017.

The trial, which started Thursday, stems from The John Stewart Company’s allegation that Loveless was staying overnight at McClendon’s apartment for more than 14 days without being on the lease, a violation of the complex’s rules. Judge Richard Ulmer may make a decision Tuesday or later in the week whether McClendon can stay in her home. Or he may decide to send the case to a jury trial.

The conversation McClendon testified about took place during a meeting regarding Loveless’s application last summer to become a live-in aide to help McClendon. Management advised Loveless to apply to be a live-in aide, but then denied his application citing publicly subsidized housing regulations that people cannot be aides to family members they have an obligation to financially support. Management said it did not know about this rule at the time it advised Loveless to apply.

While no court has ordered Loveless to pay child support, Carlos Uribe, Valencia Gardens’ property manager, said that in California Loveless still has an obligation to support McClendon and their children, which would render him ineligible to be an aide. McClendon’s mother applied last week to be a live-in aide for her.

The main entrance to Valencia Gardens at 15th and Valencia Streets. Photo by Eric Murphy.

The other reason Uribe gave for denying Loveless’ application last September were pending criminal charges against Loveless, which Uribe said management only discovered as part of the live-in aide application process. 

“When he gave us authorization to run the criminal background check, that’s when we learned,” Uribe testified Monday.

Loveless later pleaded no contest to a drug charge for which he is currently serving a two-year sentence in state prison. Uribe said the first he heard of Loveless’ incarceration was McClendon’s testimony last Thursday.

The day after management denied Loveless’s live-in aide application, it filed a lawsuit to evict McClendon, which was later dismissed. The current case is the third eviction lawsuit The John Stewart Company has filed against McClendon since last February. It alleges Loveless engaged in illegal gambling and other unidentified criminal activity on the premises, which Uribe said he heard about through a report from his security staff that San Francisco police were looking for Loveless at the unit.

As Mission Local previously reported, several neighbors said they had not noticed criminal or disruptive activity at the apartment. “It’s pretty much just kids playing outside there,” said Teakeysha Brittany, who lives across the street, last Friday.

McClendon’s trial will continue Tuesday.