Off Road on Private Land

There are several issues raised by this story. First: The property owner was in the wrong, because when you buy a piece of undeveloped property in a rural area and some part of it has been used for recreational purposes by the public for over 5 years a public easement exists. That's the law under the California Civil Code, and several centuries of English common law. If a neighbor starts parking his car on the edge of your property, or takes a short cut across your lawn to his back door, or builds a fence several feet into your property, you have to notify them that you are not granting easemment and that right of access and passage is revocable. (You send them a certified letter, or you put up signs to that effect.) If you suddenly build a fence blocking the neighbor's short-cut across your lawn to his house, he can take you to court and ask to have an "Easement by Prescription" attached to your deed, and the court will order you to remove the obstruction. (That's if the neighbor has been using the short-cut for over 5 years, without any objection by you.) In the present case, the property owner had no right to put up obstructions, dig ditches and install fencing, and no trespassing signs, when the public had been using part of the property for decades before he bought it. However, on the other hand, San Diego juries are notoriously biased in favor of the prosecution. We have 98% conviction rates in jury trials in this county. 90% of the judges are former prosecutors, and favor the prosecution in rulings from the bench. Typically, this is reflected by the Judge limiting the evidence and testimony that the defense can present to the jury. In this instant case the defendant's fate was sealed when the Judge prevented the defense from showing that the Defendant had asked Deputy Medina what he needed to do to make a citizen's arrest. That was a crucial point for the defense. It would have shown that Inn, wasn't acting in a state of rage, but was attempting to make a citizen's arrest and had previously sought information from a law officer, on how to do it properly. So, on the surface it seemed as though Inn had received a fair trial--but the truth is that the system was rigged against him. Even the Jury probably went away feeling good about nailing this "maniac" with a gun--completely clueless to the fact that crucial evidence had been kept from them by the Court.
— July 27, 2008 9:11 p.m.

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