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Squatting In California

Squatting In California

Squatting In California

There is a housing problem in California. The state has more people who need a home than there are affordable rental options available. The shortage of available housing is likely why there seems to have been an increase in “squatting” cases.

What is Squatting?

Squatting is a slang term that’s used to describe the practice of moving into a living space, such as an empty apartment, and using it as a residence. Squatting is the common term. The formal term the California court system likes to use is adverse possession.

While it’s usually easy to determine that the person who has taken up residence is a squatter, figuring out both the squatter’s and property owner’s actual legal rights is complicated.

The interesting thing about squatting is that it’s not an actual crime. The only time legal charges are filed against the squatter is if the property owner can prove that the squatters are guilty of trespassing.

A property owner can file a civil lawsuit against a squatter, which they can use to recoup lost rent, property damage and even some legal fees.

Squatters Can Claim Ownership

The last thing a property owner wants to do is ignore anyone who is squatting on their property. The sooner the owner acts, the better. In California, if a person has taken “adverse possession” of a property and the legal owner does nothing to remove them from the property, the squatter becomes the new legal owner. In California, five years is the length of time a squatter has to stay on the property before they can own it.

Moving A Squatter Off Your Property

Moving a squatter, especially if the squatter is a tenant who simply refused to move out after their lease ran out, isn’t easy.

The first thing you’ll want to do is to file an eviction notice. While the squatter might ignore the order, it does establish legal documentation that shows you don’t want the person residing on your property.

If the date listed on the eviction notice has passed but the squatters are still in residence on your property, you will have to file a civil lawsuit. The burden of proof will rest on you. You’ll have to prove that you didn’t want them residing on your property and that they’ve failed to pay rent or adhere to a rental contract. The judge will want to see a copy of the eviction notice you filed.

Once you’ve won the civil lawsuit, you’ll be able to have the police help you remove the squatter from your property.

It’s very important to enlist the experience of a good lawyer through every step of this process.

 

Invasion Of Privacy Laws In California

Invasion Of Privacy Laws In California

Invasion Of Privacy Laws In California

Everyone has the right to expect some privacy. No one wants to spend their time wondering if someone is peeking into windows, spying on them through their laptop’s webcam or using electronic gadgets to listen to private phone calls. California’s lawmakers understand your desired to keep your private life private which is why they have created detailed invasion of privacy laws.

What Is Invasion Of Privacy

Most of us assume that invasion of privacy is something that happens whenever someone inserts themselves into some aspect of our lives that we would prefer they not be involved with. The problem is that proving you didn’t want a person involved in that portion of your life isn’t always easy so California’s lawmakers tried to create a list of actions that constitute an invasion of privacy.

Appropriation Of Name Or Likeness

If you’re image, name or a caricature of you is used without your permission by a business as part of an advertising campaign, you’re a victim of appropriation of name or likeness. This is considered an invasion of privacy. The challenge most people have is proving that the business knowingly appropriated your image/likeness for economic gain. In this situation, proving your invasion of privacy case involves:

  • Proving that your image/likeness was knowingly used.
  • That the business experienced financial gain from using your image/likeness.
  • That the business didn’t have your consent.

False Light

Invasion of privacy cases involving false light have increased since the internet and social media became a routine part of life. Legally, false light is basically a smear campaign. Proving this type of invasion of privacy case means showing the court that the defendant deliberately set out to ruin your reputation by spreading damaging and misleading information about you. This can include talking to journalists, spreading damaging rumors on social media, calling employers/friends/co-workers and telling them lies about you in a blatant attempt to hurt you. Most states require that you prove the defendant acted with deliberate malice.

Intrusion Upon Seclusion

Intrusion upon seclusion is what the average person thinks about when their thoughts turn to an invasion of privacy. This particular tort deals with issues such as the defendant tapping phone conversations without your permission, hiding hidden cameras in your home or peeping through windows.

Public Disclosure Of Private Facts

Public disclosure of private facts is something many people don’t realize is an invasion of privacy. Examples of public disclosure of private facts include things like:

  • Revealing medical records.
  • Publicly discussing private sexual conduct.
  • Openly discussing private financial matters.

While some public disclosure of private facts cases are cut and dry, others aren’t. If you’re accusing someone of this crime, you need to:

  • You shared the information with the expectation that it would remain private.
  • The general public didn’t have a genuine need for the information.

Penalties For Invasion Of Privacy

Getting charged with invasion of privacy in California isn’t a laughing matter. You could be found guilty of a misdemeanor and face up to 6 months in county jail and have to pay a $1,000 fine.

 

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The Legal Ramifications Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

We’ve all been in a situation where someone has done something that deeply hurts us. When that happens, we can’t stop thinking about how we can get revenge. In most cases, the anger fades and you never take action against the other person.

There are exceptions.

There have been cases of people reporting a false crime in an attempt to get back at something. If this is something you’re considering doing, you should know that the State of California has legal protocols in place that are designed to discourage such malicious behavior.

What Happens When You Falsely Report A Crime In California?

The police want to trust everyone that walks into a police station and reports a crime. If you decide to try to get your friend in trouble for… shoplifting. The police will take you seriously. They’ll launch an investigation and might even arrest your friend.

The problem is that there is often evidence that the person who has been falsely accused isn’t guilty. It’s at this point that the police will start looking at you. They’ll want to know how you could have witnessed a crime that either didn’t happen or that involved someone else. They’ll become particularly suspicious if they learn that you have a history with the person you accused of shoplifting.

To Falsely Report A Crime, Do You Have To File Charges?

When the average person thinks about falsely reporting a crime, most people think to lie about the fact that someone they knew was involved in a crime. They usually think it’s a malicious act. That’s not always the case. One of the most common falsely reported crimes is someone reporting that something, like a vehicle, has been stolen in an attempt to get insurance money.

Most of the time, the truth comes out when the police start investigating.

The Punishment Of Falsely Reporting A Crime In California

The issue of falsely reporting a crime is covered by Penal Code 148.5. When you read the law, you quickly learn that even if you don’t officially report the crime to a police officer, but rather to a 911 operator you can still be found guilty of a falsely reporting a crime.

If you’re found guilty of falsely reporting a crime, you’ll be charged with a misdemeanor. The most severe punishment is a $1,000 fine and potentially having to spend six months in jail.

In addition to facing criminal charges, there is also a chance that you could find yourself in the middle of a civil lawsuit.

No matter how angry or desperate you get, you should always resist the impulse to falsely report a crime. The small twinge of satisfaction simply isn’t worthwhile.

 

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