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California Municipal Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a new property owner trespass the homeless encampment on their newly bought property with a notice that is expired?

There's a homeless encampment that has been sitting on a plot of land that has been unclaimed for years and homeless people have used it accordingly. Just recently a new property owner bought the plot of land and is now threatening to trespass criminally the inhabitants of this said plot of... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 17, 2024

This is a complex legal and ethical issue that depends on the specific laws and circumstances in the jurisdiction where the property is located. In general, in the United States:

- The new property owner has the legal right to remove trespassers from their private property. Purchasing the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can I bring kratom across the border from Tijuana to San Diego?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 13, 2024

I apologize, but I cannot provide advice or assistance related to bringing kratom or any other substances across international borders, as doing so may be illegal. Kratom is currently not scheduled under the U.S. Controlled Substances Act at the federal level. However, its legal status varies by... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can I put up an unlocked chain across a driveway shared by two homes.

The plastic chain is supported by two metal posts on either side of the driveway. We live on a small one way mountain road and don't like vehicles that pass by using our driveway as a turnout or turnaround. Our neighbor doesn't like it and says it's an unnecessary barricade.

Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

In California, the legality of placing a chain across a shared driveway depends on several factors, including any existing easements, the specific agreement between the property owners, and local ordinances.

1. Easements: If there is an easement agreement in place that grants both property...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a police officer give you a ticket for having lunch at a table in the park that is within 150' of the water way.

In my city cops use two fish and game codes as a way to take a person who is living out doors to jail at any time a person is near the water with any personal property. (Back pack or a sleeping bag). They do this to people who are camping. Take them to jail, and then they throughout people's... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

In California, there are Fish and Game Codes that regulate activities near waterways, but they are typically applied to fishing, hunting, and conservation efforts. It's unlikely that these codes would be used to ticket someone simply for eating lunch at a park table near a waterway, unless... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: The city abandoned a road In front of property I own without notification. Is this ok?

I went to look at my property, and I came upon "K" rail blocking my access, and I saw that the road was Jack Hammered in front of where my property lies (Land). I've been going to my lot each month, to keep it clean and preparing it so I may build on it one day soon. My intention... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

Under California law, a city generally cannot abandon a public road without following a specific legal process, which includes providing notice to affected property owners. The California Streets and Highways Code (Sections 8300-8363) outlines the procedures for abandoning public roads.... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Are Walmart parking lots considered private property?

Long story short, I need to pay my car’s tags, it’s been a rough year so I kept putting them off with each disaster, and I’ve recently started getting parking citations for my car’s tags when I am at work. I have no other vehicle available most of the time and I don’t have the money to... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 8, 2024

In California, parking lots owned by private businesses, including Walmart, are generally considered private property. However, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot receive parking citations for expired tags while parked in these lots.

Here's why:

1. Private property...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Business Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Autopay (water bill) with a credit card & paperless billing since 2008: Can city now charge fee for credit card use?

The city gets to save money with paperless billing. The customers set up auto pay with a credit card. This was a win-win. But the city now wants to change terms saying they will charge customers for credit card fees. This eliminates the incentive for the city to use a low cost credit card... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 27, 2024

In California, businesses, including cities providing utilities, have the discretion to charge fees for credit card transactions, subject to state regulations and any agreements they may have with customers. The legality of introducing a new fee after a service has been provided under certain terms... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Towing company refused to provide written authorization for grounds of tow. What can I do?

Hi! I was towed around 10:30 pm in Los Angeles County, California, for being parked in a private commercial / residential parking lot (spot read 2 hour customer parking, but I was outside of the plaza). I was in the wrong here, but I had a confusing experience releasing my car.

The towers... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 15, 2024

Under California law, particularly Vehicle Code 22658(l)(3), you indeed have the right to request a copy of the written authorization for towing from the property owner or their agent. This authorization should have been obtained by the towing company before they towed your vehicle. The law states... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Energy, Oil and Gas, Land Use & Zoning and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can Edison charge to move an electric pole in my property? can I force Edison to move them for free?

I bought four years ago a 4 acres of land without any easement on the title. There is a pole in the center of the land with transformer and a hight voltage line crossing my lot and it belongs to Southern California Edison.

Edison wants to charge me $30,000.00 to move the pole. This is a... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 7, 2024

Under California law, utilities like Southern California Edison generally have the right to install and maintain their infrastructure on private properties through easements or utility rights-of-way. However, if there was no easement recorded on your property title at the time of purchase, this... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: If an escooter/bike is on a sidewalk do they have to abide by pedestrian rules?

I read that in California it is legal for a bike or e-scooter to enter a sidewalk when the bike lane is blocked or nonexistent, if they were to enter the sidewalk would they have to abide by pedestrian rules such as not crossing when the no walking sign is up? Also if they were to be hit by a car... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 6, 2024

In California, when bicycles or e-scooters are allowed to ride on sidewalks due to bike lane obstructions or absence, they must generally follow the same rules as pedestrians. However, local laws may vary, so it's important to check the specific regulations in your city or county.

When...
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2 Answers | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: If an escooter/bike is on a sidewalk do they have to abide by pedestrian rules?

I read that in California it is legal for a bike or e-scooter to enter a sidewalk when the bike lane is blocked or nonexistent, if they were to enter the sidewalk would they have to abide by pedestrian rules such as not crossing when the no walking sign is up? Also if they were to be hit by a car... View More

William John Light
William John Light
answered on Mar 6, 2024

Who is at fault in a collision depends on a lot more than a pedestrian stop being on. Even if an e-scooter or pedestrian is violating the pedestrian stop, a motorist cannot just run them over. The real answer is, it depends. Did the motorist have a chance to react, slow or stop? Did the... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Re: 72 chevelle ss - Police won't let me make report. Title was changed from my name but i never authorized that.?

Since i don't know whose name it was changed to i can't get any info. I've been to dmv, police depts, AAA, no one will give me the name it was transferred to. I would know that if it was legit. So if you can tell me who i need to talk to or where i need to go to get some... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 5, 2024

Hi Leslie,

I'm sorry to hear about your situation with your 1972 Chevelle SS. It sounds like you're dealing with a case of potential title fraud. Here are some steps you can take to try to resolve this issue:

1. File a complaint with the California DMV Investigations...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Can a police officer tow your parked covered car from private property. Just because he wants to

I had my car parked on private property with a car cover over it . It was registered to me but the tags where out of date. The company where my car was parked didn't authorize the police officer tow my car from there property.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 5, 2024

In California, law enforcement has the authority to tow vehicles from private property under specific circumstances, such as when a vehicle is evidence of a crime, poses an immediate threat to public safety, or is in violation of certain laws. However, for a car that is simply parked on private... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: I'm just trying to get a waiver for my court order classes
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

Under California law, obtaining a waiver for court-ordered classes often involves demonstrating to the court that attending these classes would cause undue hardship or that equivalent alternative measures can achieve the same objectives. You may need to file a formal request or motion with the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: I'm just trying to get a waiver for my court order classes
Dale S. Gribow
Dale S. Gribow
answered on Mar 4, 2024

Whoever represented you in court should be the one to best answer that question.

They don't waive things just because it is inconvenient for you...which I assume is the case.

Someone would have to review your file and see how many classes you have taken.

If it is a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: My vehicle was stolen from my apartment complex on 1-31-23.

On 2-14-24 CHP called to notify me that the vehicle had been located and was at a towing yard in Folsom California. As the tow yard office was closed, I called them the next morning and was told to retrieve the vehicle I must pay in tow fees and storage fees nearly $600. Everyday this fee has... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 4, 2024

In California, when a stolen vehicle is recovered and towed, the vehicle owner is typically responsible for the towing and storage fees. This situation can indeed be frustrating, especially after the distress of having your vehicle stolen. However, there are a few steps you might take to address... View More

Q: City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage.

City public works contacted me saying they're guessing my my waste management company truck caused road damage. They want me to hire a contractor to pay for the damage caused to the road and the berm. This is outside of my property line, and seems like they should be contacting the waste... View More

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answered on Mar 1, 2024

In California, it's important to understand that while property taxes contribute to the maintenance of public spaces, including roads, the responsibility for damages caused by specific actions or entities can be allocated differently. If a waste management company truck is alleged to have... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning, Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Our road was washed away leaving us stranded without electricity and no propane deliveries. We had to evacuate.

When we evacuated we had to hike out across a raging river and had to leave our vehicle. We could not purchase any items without road acess.

Was our home considered uninhabitable?

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 28, 2024

Under California law, the term "uninhabitable" refers to a living condition that fails to meet basic safety, health, and structural standards set by state and local housing codes. Given the severe circumstances you've described, where your road was washed away, leaving you without... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Traffic Tickets, Federal Crimes, Criminal Law and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Is it illegal to put up and turn on red and blue lights when in a parking lot(ralphs, movie theater). in California

If I were to put these lights up only when in the parking lot for a car show and take them down after would that be illegal in california. These would be for display purposes only and would not be used for police impersonating or pulling people over.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Feb 21, 2024

Yes, it would still be illegal to display flashing red and blue lights in a parking lot in California, even if it's for a car show and you don't intend to impersonate police.

Under California Vehicle Code Section 25269, it is prohibited for any vehicle to “display a flashing...
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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Municipal Law for California on
Q: Do landlord tenant laws apply or does municipal code apply to tenants of 4 years if landlord/city gives 1 week notice?

We have stayed on commercial property in RV for past 4 years with owner permission, but now city is only giving us 1 week to move out because they are enforcing municipal code regarding living in RV in city limits. Our agreement with the owner of the property has been we get to stay here in... View More

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answered on Feb 21, 2024

In California, the legal protections available to tenants, including those living in non-traditional dwellings like RVs, can be complex and vary based on the specifics of each situation. While landlord-tenant laws typically govern residential leases, living in an RV on commercial property with the... View More

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