Skip

They removed floor joists??
April 24, 2008 2:07 AM   Subscribe

Kip Macy is a well-known developer and mentor in the community focused on the FreeBSD operating system. He is also having some major legal problems.

"Prosecutors said the Macys broke into the tenants' apartment last June and stole $2,000 in cash, a Gucci watch and a cell phone. The tenants, Erik Hernandez and Jason Lopez, later filed a lawsuit accusing the Macys of first changing the locks on the apartment, then illegally entering their unit and dismantling some of their furniture.

When Hernandez came home and confronted Kip Macy as the landlord was ransacking his apartment, Macy kicked him in the chest, the suit says. Threatening notes then started appearing at the tenants' door, and the water was shut off after the Macys stopped paying the bill, the suit says.

In October, Nicole Macy broke into the apartment and poured ammonia on clothes, bedding and home electronics, prosecutors said. "
posted by metasonix (46 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
mentor in the community focused on the FreeBSD operating system

Think "Free" as in Free Speech, not Free as in Free Rent. Isn't that how it goes?

I know a number of patent owners who for the exactly the same reasons feel exactly the same as Mr. Macy, but who manage to refrain from "felony stalking, felony residential burglary, conspiracy and other counts..."
posted by three blind mice at 2:20 AM on April 24, 2008


I guess landlords don't have free license to do whatever they please.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:23 AM on April 24, 2008


>there's some real assholes in FOSS

Very true--it attracts some deeply insane people, because it's an easy way to develop a fan following and get professional recognition. Pure ego is a good motivation for a guy to write tens of thousands of lines of C code. (Or, in a few cases I've heard of, to cut and paste other peoples' C code and claim it as your own.)
posted by metasonix at 2:31 AM on April 24, 2008


there's some real assholes in FOSS.

There's some real assholes everywhere.
posted by three blind mice at 2:36 AM on April 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Very true--it attracts some deeply insane people, because it's an easy way to develop a fan following and get professional recognition.

I would have said that it's because you pretty much have to be fucking nuts to spend that much of your free time butting heads over mailing lists with a bunch of other crazy people who are more or less willing to start a major world war over the proper formatting of curly braces.
posted by spiderwire at 2:48 AM on April 24, 2008 [5 favorites]


It is official; This article now confirms it: FreeBSD is dying ...
posted by chillmost at 3:40 AM on April 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Kip Macy is a well-known developer and mentor mental defective in the community

Fixed that for you.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:42 AM on April 24, 2008


Also, the tenant should fork this project -- with a dining fork, in the maintainer's eyeball.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:49 AM on April 24, 2008


The tenants, Erik Hernandez and Jason Lopez, later filed a lawsuit accusing the Macys of first changing the locks on the apartment, then illegally entering their unit and dismantling some of their furniture.

When they queried their landlord about the changed locks and dismantled furniture, he snorted and replied: "Just pick the locks and change them back yourself. Didn't you see the posting about that on the mailing list last month? And you can repair the furniture by examining the source. Jeez, just RTFM!"
posted by outlier at 3:52 AM on April 24, 2008 [6 favorites]


The tenants, Erik Hernandez and Jason Lopez, later filed a lawsuit accusing the Macys of first changing the locks on the apartment, then illegally entering their unit and dismantling some of their furniture.

I knew a guy who dealt with his deadbeat tenants by taking the front door away for repair. The first time they went 2 weeks overdue, he goes over, nice and friendly, never mentions the rent, and asks if he can take the front door to have it dipped and repainted.

"Great, it really needs it," they say.

"By the way, when are you bringing the door back?" they ask as he put it into the back of his truck.

"When you pay your rent."

They paid before nightfall and were never late again.
posted by three blind mice at 4:13 AM on April 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


Except that these tenants may well have been within their legal rights to pay less rent under rent control laws. Which would make them not deadbeats. Not that I agree with rent control laws, but presumably those laws were in effect when the Macys bought the unit.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:26 AM on April 24, 2008


BTW, there was a German study that claimed somewhere between a third and 47% of open source developers are paid for their work (I don't read German, so I'm relying on a somewhat unclear analysis).

Also, I don't think open source vs. closed source is the determiner of craziness so much as the fact that they are software developers (speaking as a former code-monkey).

Reiser's jury just finished their first full day of deliberations. I'm surprised it's taking so long on a case with no body, but I'd also probably be trying to figure out how I could return a guilty verdict if I were in their shoes.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:40 AM on April 24, 2008


Man, what a couple of dicks.

Looks like they need some open source attorneys now.
posted by Eekacat at 6:08 AM on April 24, 2008


Tenants can be assholes too - it's often why some landlords sell buildings at an attractive price. (I so love our small, tenant-free house... -sigh-)

But yeah, it sounds like these be some strange landlords. There are lots of those around too. Is it only because Kip's a known FOSS character that this rates a MeFi post??

Enough with the FOSS bashing already.
posted by Artful Codger at 6:36 AM on April 24, 2008


Christ! What an osshole.
posted by PenDevil at 6:41 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think there is a bit of a selection bias going on here. When an ordinary joe programmer working for Microsoft or some other closed source company has issues, even a high profile one, it's not going to be news at all -- other then perhaps some gossip around the Microsoft campus.

On the other hand, when a high profile OSS guy gets into trouble, it's going to be much bigger news for, say, the type of person who reads Metafilter.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of two High-profile closed source coders getting into legal trouble Patrick Naughton who got busted trying to hook up with a minor online. I also remembered a story about a guy who worked for Microsoft's search team, who got busted reselling internal Microsoft product licenses. Googling around though I'm finding other examples of microsoft people getting arrested. here is an example of someone at MS getting busted for fraud related to domain name purchases.

This story and the Hans Reiser story are a lot more charismatic though. Unfortunetly the article is a little one sided, we don't hear from the Macy's lawyer at all (maybe they don't have one yet). But it sounds like they perhaps had some brain damage due to reading too much Ayn Rand or some other libertarian nonsense.
posted by delmoi at 6:44 AM on April 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Reiser's jury just finished their first full day of deliberations. I'm surprised it's taking so long on a case with no body, but I'd also probably be trying to figure out how I could return a guilty verdict if I were in their shoes.

I can see how it could be difficult. It certainly seems very likely that hey killed her
posted by delmoi at 6:48 AM on April 24, 2008


This story and the Hans Reiser story are a lot more charismatic though.

The Reiser story is so sordid that it stands on its own legs. Scott Peterson was a complete nobody until he murdered HIS wife. They haven't even found the body of Reiser's wife... yet.

And speaking of no body...

I'm surprised it's taking so long on a case with no body, but I'd also probably be trying to figure out how I could return a guilty verdict if I were in their shoes.

Does "no body" make it easier in a murder trial? Maybe they're weighing all of the evidence.... juries sometimes do that.
posted by three blind mice at 6:56 AM on April 24, 2008


Fixed that for you.

This isn't Fark. Knock that crap off.
posted by Bluecoat93 at 7:15 AM on April 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


Normal eviction procedures are not all that difficult. A few states will even let you evict tenants within 72 hours, but 30 days is the standard. So just play it nice & friendly but by the book. But file your eviction papers quickly after problems develop. If you evict quickly but politely then you can recoup your lost rent from the damage deposit. Otoh if your an asshole the tenant may trash the place, costing you real money & another month of rent while repairs are carried out.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:22 AM on April 24, 2008


three blind mice writes "They paid before nightfall and were never late again."

That's a cute story, but they really should have followed the law. In most jurisdictions, doing something like that can either get you sued or prosecuted, or both.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:34 AM on April 24, 2008


jeffburdges writes "Normal eviction procedures are not all that difficult. A few states will even let you evict tenants within 72 hours, but 30 days is the standard. So just play it nice & friendly but by the book."

True, but some landlords cannot accept the fact that they cannot evict without cause in all places. SF is one of those places. But real estate is expensive there, and anyone buying for the purpose of renting should know the law before they drop a million on a rental property with tenants.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:42 AM on April 24, 2008


No body means that you have to figure out some way of proving that the crime even occured, and then prove that the defendent is guilty of said crime. They have blood, but not enough to draw the conclusion that she's dead. Common sense tells us that she died and he killed her, but I'd think proving it beyond a reasonable doubt is nigh impossible with the evidence they have. Unless they have more evidence than I know about from what little I've read of Wired's coverage, the DA was irresponsible to bring this to trial. The statute of limitations for manslaughter wouldn't have run out until Sept. 2009. There's a chance they'd find the body before then, and they probably should have waited.
posted by BrotherCaine at 7:45 AM on April 24, 2008


IronyFilter: Who came up with the FreeBSD logo? This one is neat too...well, unless you rent from the Macys.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:59 AM on April 24, 2008


Actually, eviction in SF isn't all that easy - Ellis Act, etc.

And I don't know that the Macys are getting this kind of press because of their (well, his) software guru status (if that's what he's considered) - landlord/tenant conflicts tend to get a fair amount of press in this city, and this example is so outrageous that I suspect even if he'd been a cubedweller in a bank, it would have hit the front page. Of the newspaper, I mean. Not the Blue.

(I thought about posting this last night when I saw it, but not having heard of him in a software context, it just seemed like outragefilterlocalstorywhatevs, so I skipped posting it. It still kind of seems like that to me.)
posted by rtha at 8:02 AM on April 24, 2008


Oh, and re: Reiser - I think he did it, but I'm not convinced the state proved its case.
posted by rtha at 8:03 AM on April 24, 2008


I'm with Stalin, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh on this -- all landlords and wanna-be landlords should be liquidated.
posted by tachikaze at 8:29 AM on April 24, 2008


Normal eviction procedures are not all that difficult.

This depends hugely on the city. I bought some rental property in West Hollywood and was quite surprised to discover what kinds of rights tenants have, particularly those that have been there for a while. "Thirty days notice" doesn't come close to what's required of landlords.

I imagine that San Francisco is similar.
posted by Slothrup at 8:30 AM on April 24, 2008


Then there's the opposite story from fiction...
posted by Mental Wimp at 10:39 AM on April 24, 2008


That's a cute story, but they really should have followed the law. In most jurisdictions, doing something like that can either get you sued or prosecuted, or both.

"Why my friend was just being a good landlord, your honor, conducting repairs to the property at his own expense for the benefit of the tenants."

Did the tenant give his consent to have the door removed for repair?

"Absolutely your honor, I was there and I heard the tenant gave his consent to have the door removed. He said 'Good, it really needs it.' "

"Did you hear the defendant say that he would not return the door until the rent was paid?"

"No sir, I left right after we removed the door."

And another friend who runs a carpentry shop would have testified that the door was too rotten to repaint and panels have to be replaced and that this would take time...

And at the end of the day, during the time it would take for the police to show up and the matter worked its way to a judge, those deadbeats would be without a front door. They knew it and my friend knew it and that's what resulted in a quick and painless out-of-court settlement between the parties.



And in Georgia, that would have been more than enough.
posted by three blind mice at 10:45 AM on April 24, 2008


NYC has some pretty insane tenant's rights too. It's functionally impossible to evict someone unless you are a large management company. It's often better to take less than market rent and be extremely picky about and nice to your tenants. Because once they decide to be bitchy about paying the rent/breaking things/causing trouble you as a landlord have very little recourse.


I'm with Stalin, Mao, and Ho Chi Minh on this -- all landlords and wanna-be landlords should be liquidated.

I think all assholes should be liquidated instead, but that's just me.
posted by Skorgu at 11:02 AM on April 24, 2008


@three blind mice: So you're casually admitting that you would gladly perjure yourself, in order to conspire with several friends to break some landlord/tenant laws that you don't support?

If you really believe the laws are wrong, disobey them openly and face the consequences, or have them changed. What you're suggesting is illegal, and immoral, but most of all, it's weak and pathetic.

It's situations like the one you described where I always pray for somebody to surreptitiously run a video camera. That way instead of getting your rent, you get a conviction on felony perjury, and lose the ability to get a decent job for the rest of your life.

It's not that I'm rooting for the deadbeats, it's that I'm rooting against abuse of the law, by all parties.
posted by Project F at 1:10 PM on April 24, 2008


three blind mice: Most areas have habaility requirements for renting. Having a front door is one of them. Actually taking the front door away for any length of time is a good way to get the hell sued out of you, deadbeats or not. Lucky for your friend most people aren't going to fight it.

In Kip Macy's case the tennant had already taken him to court (and won) for an illegal eviction. What the hell did the guy think he was doing?
posted by aspo at 4:10 PM on April 24, 2008


I know in L.A., if a rental property is rent controlled, the only ways they can evict you is if you haven't paid your rent, and the court rules on eviction, if they are moving themselves or a relative into the apartment, or they are converting it into being something other than a rental property, etc.

Here's the actual list.

I would imagine San Francisco is similar in having specific requirements for eviction. On rent controlled properties, you can't just evict someone for no reason.
posted by MythMaker at 5:12 PM on April 24, 2008


The statute of limitations for manslaughter wouldn't have run out until Sept. 2009. There's a chance they'd find the body before then, and they probably should have waited.

He probably would have been in better shape had he not been caught with $9000 and his passport while under investigation for murder. Since his entire argument is that his wife is hiding in Russia, it sort of draws attention to the possibility of people fleeing across the ocean to escape justice.

If there's enough of a case to convict, there's no reason to wait to find a body. First, that rewards diligent killers who do a good job hiding the body, which isn't really a hallmark of good jurisprudence. Second, it doesn't foreclose the possibility that if the body is found, he could be exonerated. Third, if he's found innocent, then that lifts the cloud of suspicion over him and he doesn't have to be watched as a flight risk for a year in the hopes that a body will be found.

And the nature of the evidence doesn't change the prosecution's burden of proof. There's quite a bit of circumstantial evidence indicating that Reiser killed his wife, but also a notable lack of evidence, direct or circumstantial, exonerating him -- no body, no one else taking responsibility, no alibi, etc. The practical effect of a conviction based on that evidence is to put Reiser in jail until exculpatory evidence is found, rather than remaining free until there's a smoking gun. It's not as if the disposition of the case forecloses his fate completely, whether he's found guilty or innocent.
posted by spiderwire at 7:31 PM on April 24, 2008


Uh, an innocent verdict does foreclose his criminal case/fate completely, no double-jeopardy allowed. The civil trial is likely to go against him whichever way the criminal case goes. There is a ton of evidence casting suspicion on Reiser, and he's not a celebrity in the conventional sense. Almost no one is going to be wearing "Free Reiser" T-Shirts or posting tearful you-tube videos in his defense (except as parody). However, beyond a reasonable doubt is a high standard of proof, and at least according to this article (different venue) obtaining convictions without a body is rare. The Charlie project has more information on convictions/acquittals in such cases, and a cursory browsing of the convictions reveals most of them involved confessions by the murderer or co-conspirator, eyewitness testimony that a crime occurred, or a history of domestic violence. I guess the way I feel about it is that if they found some of Nina's brain tissue, Reiser confessed, or there were prior statements or threats from him that he intended to kill her it'd be possible to obtain a conviction. However, they can't even prove that Nina is dead with the evidence they have barring incompetent defense.

Reiser's arrogance + incompetence at sabotaging his attorney is probably the biggest factor in whether he will be found guilty. However, I'm not sure if depending on the defense being incompetent is a good strategy for a DA to decide to try a case. The evidence definitely tends to incriminate Reiser for at least assault, and most probably murder. I suspect that "beyond a reasonable doubt" could only be acheived by Reiser incriminating himself with his own testimony though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:02 PM on April 24, 2008


About the only way I could defend the DA's decision to prosecute with what they have is if there were some indication that the increased pressure of an indictment would increase the likelihood of confession. Otherwise it seems like poor tactics / grandstanding.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:05 PM on April 24, 2008


Uh, an innocent verdict does foreclose his criminal case/fate completely, no double-jeopardy allowed.

No, he could be convicted on appeal, or he could be tried again in federal court.

Regardless, I'm doubtful that he'll get first-degree, but I think he's screwed up his case enough that second-degree isn't out of the question at all.
posted by spiderwire at 12:03 AM on April 25, 2008


No, once he's been acquitted by a jury it is over. If the jury hangs or if the judge vacates the jury's conviction, the case can be appealed. (see Double Jeopardy [US] )


In criminal matters, however, the state or prosecution generally has no appeal as of right. And due to the double jeopardy principle, in the United States the state or prosecution may never appeal a jury or bench verdict. But in some jurisdictions, the state or prosecution may appeal as of right from a trial court's dismissal of an indictment in whole or in part or from a trial court's granting of a defendant's suppression motion. Likewise, in some jurisdictions, the state or prosecution may appeal an issue of law by leave from the trial court and/or the appellate court.

The dual sovereignty exception doesn't strictly apply here, as there is only federal jurisdiction if he crosses state lines in the commision of the crime, or Nina is a federal official. I suppose it's remotely possible that he could be prosecuted for kidnapping if they could articulate a theory that she was still alive when he put her in the car, but I don't think a federal prosecutor is going to waste time on the case when he's been acquitted in state court. At least not without more evidence coming to light.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:12 AM on April 25, 2008


I think he's screwed up his case enough that second-degree isn't out of the question at all.

I agree with you that he is more likely to be convicted of manslaughter than murder, but the difference in this case lies more in the psychological makeup of the jury than in the case or evidence. If the standard of proof is met a murder conviction makes as much sense as anything.

Regardless of whether the jury convicts, I stand by my statement that the DA made a tactical error bringing this to trial with the evidence he had available.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:22 AM on April 25, 2008


As to the appeal, I was under the impression that there was some sort of prior decision here triggering U.S. v. Stanton -- that being the reason he's being held in the first place. On further consideration, I don't think that's actually the case. My bad. :)

As to taking up the case in federal court (kidnapping does seem the most likely route), I'd agree that it wouldn't be likely without new evidence -- but that's the hypo we were talking about. The discovery of a body in a contested, high-profile murder case seems like the sort of thing that might attract the attention of a federal prosecutor.
posted by spiderwire at 2:50 AM on April 25, 2008


More evidence than just a body, there would have to be some evidence (forensic or witness) that she was abducted and then killed rather than killed at the house and removed after she was deceased.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:58 AM on April 25, 2008


What is U.S. v. Stanton?
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:02 AM on April 25, 2008


What is U.S. v. Stanton?

9th Cir. App. double jeopardy / collateral estoppel case last year. (Link) Held that acquittal after magistrate / adinistrative sentencing doesn't count as a final judgment for DJ purposes. Originated in Nevada, so obviously not binding authority on a Cali state case, but definitely a relevant and a fairly well-reasoned decision, I think. (There, I've filled my quote of praise for the 9th Circuit for the next year.) The collateral estoppel discussion is a bit boilerplate, but also pretty relevant w/r/t the hypo we're discussing regarding new incriminating/exculpatory evidence.
posted by spiderwire at 3:07 PM on April 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


** administrative

It's worth mentioning that Stanton doesn't strike me as 100% clear in the case of jury acquittal (though it's discussed), but the analysis seems pretty categorical.
posted by spiderwire at 3:09 PM on April 25, 2008


The latest.
posted by rtha at 3:27 PM on May 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


« Older If after 20 years you don't succeed.   |   Joshua Hoffine's Horror Photography Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post