San Francisco County, CA November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Martin Eng lawsuit against the Chronicle

By Martin Lee Eng

Candidate for Mayor; City of San Francisco

This information is provided by the candidate
A first of its kind discrimination lawsuit against a San Francisco newspaper, Chronicle.
Edward B. Simpson, Esq. (SBN 85300) John Gigounas, Esq. (SBN 42822) Simpson & Gigounas 100 Pine Street, Suite 750 San Francisco, CA 94111 Telephone: (415) 391-4900 Facsimile: (415) 296-7894

Attorneys for MARTIN ENG

SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

MARTIN LEE ENG,

Plaintiff,

v.

THE CHRONICLE PUBLISHING COMPANY, INC.,

a Nevada corporation d/b/a in California as CHRONICLE

COMMUNICATIONS CORPORATION, and Does I through X, inclusive,

Defendants.

) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Case No. 306404

COMPLAINT FOR NEGLIGENCE; VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS

(UNLIMITED JURISDICTION)

I. JURISDICTION

1. The Superior Court of California, San Francisco County, has jurisdiction of this action under state law and 42 U.S.C. 1983.

II. PARTIES

2. Plaintiff, MARTIN LEE ENG, ("Eng") is an individual residing at 665 Pine Street, Apt. 1100, San Francisco, California.

3. For all times material hereto The Chronicle Publishing Company, is a corporation, incorporated under the laws of the state of Nevada. The Chronicle Publishing Company owns, operates and publishes a newspaper known as The San Francisco Chronicle (Chronicle). It does business in California under the name of Chronicle Communications Corporation.

4. Does I through X are sued herein under fictitious names. Their true names and capacities are unknown to Eng. When their true names and capacities are ascertained, Eng will amend this complaint by inserting their true names and capacities herein. Eng is informed and believes and thereon alleges that each of the fictitiously named defendants is responsible in some manner for the occurrences herein alleged, and that Eng's damages as herein alleged were proximately caused by those defendants. Each reference in this complaint to "Doe Defendants" refers to all defendants sued under fictitious names.

III. GENERAL ALLEGATIONS

5. Eng is an Asian American. He immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong at the age of 11, along with his family. Eng became a naturalized United States citizen in 1970.

6. Eng graduated from San Francisco State University in 1976, with a degree in business/accounting. Eng holds a California Real Estate Broker's license. Eng owns and operates Global Forum, an internet publishing enterprise.

7. Eng is a registered candidate in the November 2, 1999, General Election, for the Office of Mayor of San Francisco. Eng is the only registered Asian American candidate. Eng is an active, aggressive candidate for Mayor. Certain other registered candidates are Mayor William Brown (Brown), Frank Jordan (Jordan) and Clint Reilly (Reilly).

8. Eng has been active in San Francisco politics for several years. In 1982, he ran for Supervisor. In 1984, he ran for the Board of Education and received well over 40,000 votes. During 1986 through 1990, Eng served on the San Francisco Republican Committee and also served as President of the Chinese American Republican Club in the mid 1990's. Eng is now registered as an "independent."

9. Despite Eng's active, aggressive candidacy for Mayor, the Chronicle has failed to interview Eng and failed to report in its newspaper on Eng's candidacy and program/platform, but has given major and continuing news coverage in the Chronicle to Brown and/or Jordan and/or Reilly to the virtual exclusion of Eng. The failure to accord Eng reasonable and fair newspaper coverage concerning his candidacy (and program/platform) greatly diminishes public perception of Eng as a serious, active and informed candidate and greatly diminishes Eng's electability opportunities.

10. The Chronicle is an integral part of the public election process. On information and belief, the Chronicle receives governmental assistance, access and support in publishing pre-election information and election results. The Chronicle uses public locations, including sidewalks, for dissemination and sale of its publications with election coverage.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Negligence)

11. Plaintiff incorporates under preceding paragraphs 1 through 10 as part of the allegations of this cause of action.

12. The Chronicle owed Eng a duty of due care, as a mayoral candidate, to report and cover Eng's candidacy in the newspaper to a reasonable and fair extent.

13. The Chronicle breached its duty of care by failure to accord Eng reasonable and fair coverage on and about his candidacy as it has done with respect to Brown and/or Jordan and/or Reilly.

14. Eng has been damaged by the Chronicle's action of exclusion in that Eng's seriousness and dedication to purpose as a candidate has been and is greatly diminished, and, such exclusion negatively affects his ability to raise contributions and further causes Eng mental distress, including humiliation.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Civil Rights Violation)
(42 U.S.C. 1983)

15. Plaintiff incorporates hereunder preceding paragraphs 1 through 10 as part of the allegations of this cause of action.

16. The Chronicle's activities in the election information process are sufficiently intertwined with government that there is a nexus of joint action, and such activities constitute public functions, to such an extent that the Chronicle's activities are under color of state action within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. 1983.

17. The actions of the Chronicle in not reasonably and fairly reporting with respect to Eng's candidacy, as aforesaid, are on information and belief due to Eng's race and are thus discriminatory and in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

18. The actions of the Chronicle in not reasonably and fairly reporting with respect to Eng's candidacy, as aforesaid, for coverage reasonably and fairly equal to Brown and/or Jordan and/or Reilly, are in violation of Eng's rights under the Equal Protection Clause under the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.

19. As a consequence of the actions of the Chronicle, Eng has, and continues, to suffer injury and damage to his reputation, campaign contributions collection, and personal humiliation.

WHEREFORE, it is prayed that Eng be awarded.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION:

1. General damages according to proof;
2. Special damages according to proof; and
3. Such other redress as is just and proper.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION:

1. Compensatory damages for economic loss, humiliation, harm to reputation, and emotional distress;
2. Attorneys' fees and costs; and
3. Such other redress as is just and proper.

Dated: September 15, 1999

SIMPSON & GIGOUNAS

By: EDWARD B. SIMPSON

By: JOHN GIGOUNAS
Attorneys for MARTIN ENG
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

VERIFICATION

I, MARTIN ENG, declare:

I am the Plaintiff in the above-entitled action; I have read the foregoing COMPLAINT FOR NEGLIGENCE; VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS and know the contents thereof; and I certify that the same is true of my own knowledge.

I declare under penalty of perjury, under the laws of the state of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 15th day of September, 1999, at San Francisco, California.

MARTIN ENG

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