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USA TODAY Sports
Johnny Manziel’s lawyers are going to court Monday in Los Angeles to defend the quarterback against a landlord who is attempting to get monetary sanctions against him for not responding quickly enough to a legal filing.
The owner of a rental house is suing Manziel because he and his friends “were consuming drugs and alcohol” and caused thousands of dollars in damage to a Los Angeles home he rented for two nights in April.
Manziel’s lawyer said she has supplied the plaintiff’s counsel with the documents he requested.
“This hearing is an unnecessary waste of court resources,” said Neama Rahmani of West Coast Trial Lawyers in Los Angeles. “Plaintiff was under no constraint to file the motion for sanctions but did so with full knowledge that Johnny was out of the country and unable to sign requisite verifications. The motion is the landlord’s unjust effort to use Johnny’s celebrity to enhance his own name recognition and the status of his rental property. In this case, sanctions are completely unwarranted.”
Rahmani said that while Manziel disputes the extent of the alleged damage, his good faith attempts to settle the issue have been rebuffed.
Manziel stayed at the home April 4-6 and agreed to pay an additional $5,000 per night if there were more than 15 guests in the house. Niki Ghazian, the lawyer for owner Daniel Fitzpatrick, asked Manziel to pay $5,000 per night ($10,000 total) and $2,000 in attorney’s fees as part of the total amount sought.
The former Cleveland Browns quarterback and his friends “were consuming drugs and alcohol,” according to a letter from Ghazian obtained by USA TODAY Sports last year.
Damages Manziel is accused of causing or being responsible for include: extensive burn marks from cigarettes and marijuana, found on the living room floor, $8,000 replacement fee; large wine stains that cannot be removed in the upstairs master bedroom, $8,500 replacement fee; broken glass table, $2,400 replacement fee; broken bathroom door, $650; broken glasses, $30.
Contributing: A.J. Perez