Visitation to the cemetery has been limited, but it reopened on March 30, May 25, June 19 as well as July 13 and Sunday.
Multiple individual lawsuits and a class-action lawsuit have been filed against Grand View by family members of people buried at the cemetery.
Tina Mangarpan, an attorney representing the cemetery, expressed concerned at the hearing that Attorney Paul Ayers, who represents a group of families suing the cemetery, has been soliciting legal services regarding the lawsuit to families during the cemetery’s openings.
“I don’t understand what the need of this is,” Mangarpan said in court. “Why does there have to be an informational table?”
Ayers has set up a table during the openings, and visitors can provide their e-mail addresses so they can receive information about the cemetery. Ayers also provides books with details about where burials are located.
“The last thing I want to do is to have this issue keep the public from coming to the cemetery,” he said. “My great-grandparents are there, my grandparents are. I have a right to be there.”
Ayers has a First Amendment right to talk to the public, Mohr said.
“It’s just a table with information and there is not evidence he has got a sign up saying sue these people,” he said.
The state removed owner and operator Marsha Lee Howard from her post in November 2005 and prohibited the cemetery from conducting new business.
Moshe Goldsman, who took over as operator, then closed the cemetery six months later, citing financial hardship.
The city stepped in for many months and opened the cemetery for four hours a week, until financial and fire-hazard issues became too great.
In August 2007, the city obtained a public nuisance abatement order against the property that allowed it to bypass legal hurdles and do the cleanup work itself.
It remained closed as Goldsman fixed the irrigation system and made other improvements.
The cemetery’s crematory is a “suspended corporation,” Mangarpan said.
Attorneys will discuss an inspection order at a Sept. 18 hearing for the cemetery’s west mausoleum and look at setting dates for beginning the mediation process in the 2 1/2 -year-old case.
Volunteers discovered a broken lock on May 25 at the cemetery’s west mausoleum, attorneys said.
The city of Glendale also is considering dropping its complaint against the cemetery owners, including Goldsman, after a final inspection, said Ron Braden, chief assistant city attorney.
“If the conditions are not corrected, then we come in,” he said.
VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.