Blackhawk Aviary Creating Quite a Flap in Lawsuit Filed by San Francisco Employment Lawyer Daniel Feder

December 18, 1999

By Karl Fischer and Linda Davis,
Times Staff Writers San Ramon Valley Times

An article concerning Joe Carvalho's birds entertain that millions on TV each year. His neighbors, however, were not amused.  They hired Mr. Feder, one of the most successful litigation attorneys in the Bay Area, to sue him for more than $1 million.

Mr. Feder filed the lawsuit on behalf of John and Sharon Tarpinian filed in Contra Costa Superior Court against Carvalho, the Blackhawk Homeowners Association and several public agencies. According to the Tarpinians, the screeching of Carvalho's toucans, macaws, storks and other exotic birds was causing them to lose sleep, and giving them migraines and lowering the value of their home.

"It's a very simple case," said Daniel Feder, attorney for the Tarpinians. "The owner has no legal right to have an aviary, and nobody has been doing anything about this.

According to the suit, the county failed to enforce building code and zoning ordinances.  The county allowed Carvalho to build a large aviary and failed to enforce health and safety codes by not preventing the "dangerous nuisance" it created.