The State of the Courts in San Bernardino County 2013

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The short answer is that the Courts are not in good shape, according to Presiding Judge Marsha Slough.  The San Bernardino Sun was at the San Bernardino County Bar Association Annual Meeting (the link will probably be good for a week or so after this post).

 

Because I am Director at Large of the San Bernardino County Bar Association, I sat at the front table.  The Sun online had this picture.  The caption online (once the link didn’t work) is “Presiding judge of the San Bernardino Superior Court Marsh [that's what it says] Slough, speaks at the Annual Meeting of the San Bernardino County Bar Association Thursday June 27, 2013 at the San Bernardino Hilton Hotel in San Bernardino.”

I am in the picture, and I’m sitting next to Bill Shapiro.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Never Underestimate The Opposition Attorney

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

When I was a teenager, I attended a program in Washington D.C. in the law.  Though I had wanted to be an attorney for about seven years at that point, I had actually applied to be in a program regarding national politics, but that was full, so I went to the legal program instead.

The program was very interesting.  We visited a juvenile correction facility, we went to the local District of Columbia courts, we visited the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, and though I cannot remember exactly because I’ve been a number of times, the Supreme Court and Congress. However, I recall in particular one visit to a public defender in the local courts.  On each visit, someone gave a presentation and the students were able to interact with the presenter.

The attorney with the public defender’s office made a great impression on me. This attorney had the passion and zeal of a true believer.  He said that people asked how he could sleep at night defending criminals.   He said “like a baby.”   He made one student, whose uncle was murdered, cry. He spit venom on many occasions, most memorably against non-public defender appointed attorneys whom he labeled as “soup-on-their-tie lawyers.”

Soup-on-their-tie lawyers.  Meaning, a slovenly attorney, from a ninth-tier law school, who barely passed the bar exam, of questionable ethics and practices, who was never prepared, always took the short cut.  The image of that lawyer is burnt into my brain.  At one of my previous employers, this kind of attorney was referred to as a “generic discipline-able attorney.”

As I grow older, however, let me caution newer attorneys not to underestimate the opposition attorney.  As a society, we have a tendency to overemphasize conventional wisdom.  The person wearing glasses is intelligent. Or on the other side of the coin, someone who looks like they slept in their suit (or spilled soup on their tie) is incompetent.

As a lawyer, you should not underestimate the opposition attorney, even if they have made a few mistakes along the way.  Even the worst attorney in the world sometimes stumbles into a great case.  Remember what my Theory of Knowledge teacher taught me: even a broken clock is right twice a day.  Do not be lulled into a false sense of confidence because of who is opposing you.  You still need to do your homework and do your job.  Particularly if you are a civil defense lawyer. You usually do not get to pick your cases.  The plaintiff’s lawyer usually does get to pick their cases.  Sometimes the case is better than you initially think.  Thinking a good case will go away because of the opposition attorney is an easily avoidable mistake.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Why are legal pads canary yellow?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

There are a few short answers.  They don’t have to be canary yellow, they don’t have to be legal size, they do have to 1.25 inch side margin, and no one knows for sure.  The best researched article on the subject is Old Yeller, The Illustrious History of the Yellow Legal Pad, Suzanne Snider, Legal Affairs, May/June 2005.  This has the best answers to the question.

I am transitioning away from canary legal pads because they don’t scan right.  The yellow comes out blurred for some reason, and if I ever have to convert my scanned notes into printed notes, it doesn’t make sense to use that much yellow ink.

Jay Foonberg, in his seminal How to Start & Build A Law Practice, 5th Edition, relates “Carry a yellow legal pad with you whenever you go to a public place.  When you have a yellow pad with you, you are loudly, but nonintrusively, proclaiming to every one who can see the pad that you are a lawyer.  Everyone knows that lawyers use yellow pads and very few people who are not lawyers use yellow pads.” Id. at pg. 142.

Anecdotally, and with all due respect to the amazing Jay Foonberg, I have not found that to be the case.  The only time that people ask me if I am a lawyer is when I am in the courthouse hall and they have a question.  Though I sometimes have a yellow legal pad, I am being asked because I am wearing a suit and tie and I am standing in front of a closed courtroom looking at the day’s calendar.  Those contacts are not new business, but people needing assistance with the calendar.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Why do you want to be a lawyer?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Too many people go to law school with goals that are not necessarily, in my humble opinion, conducive to being happy, productive member of the legal community.  Before considering spending money to become an attorney, no matter the path, young people in the United States should ask themselves, “Why do I want to be a lawyer?”  Law can be a difficult profession, not at all like what you might see in television and the movies.  One thing that prospective attorneys do not often realize is the profession requires that you put your own needs firmly below that of the client.  Because the law often draws the ego-driven, this can cause much unhappiness, particularly in younger lawyers.

I have been thinking of how to express my feelings on this topic.  I have given advice, both solicited and unsolicited to people before they go to law school, and even some in law school.  I think one paragraph in an article that arrived today in the California Lawyer put it as succinctly as possible.  These are the words of Dan Grunfeld, a partner at Kaye Scholer LLP.  I have never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Grunfeld, nor have I ever had any cases with his current firm.  However, his essay “A Lost Generation” which appears at page 16 of the March 2013 California Lawyer.  Mr. Grunfeld writes (in the paragraph I mentioned earlier:

For their part, would-be lawyers should think twice before even applying to law schools. The legal profession can be noble and rewarding. Yet it is also demanding, and not immune to the same economic forces that have thrown so many other industries into turmoil. Law school hopefuls should apply because they want to become lawyers, not because they can’t figure out what else to do – and especially not because they see it as an easy path to a lucrative career.

Do not go to law school if your sole goal is to make money.  There are a lot of better paths to make money.  Also, you have to have a commitment to being a lawyer-to helping people (in the broadest sense of the world) with their problems and in turn by helping society resolve issues and make things happen within the bounds of the legal framework that makes the United States such a great country.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Juror Questions in an Orange County Courtroom

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

While waiting for a Case Management Conference in Santa Ana, California, I found these questions permanently affixed to a foam core board:

1. State your name.

2. In what city do you live?

How long have your resided there?

3. State your occupation and employer.

If retired, what was your occupation?

4. Do you have children?

If so, what are their ages and occupations?

5. Are there other adults living in your home?

Of so what are their occupations?

6. Have you had any prior jury service?

If so, was it a civil or criminal case?

These are typical of questions asked by the court during voir dire in other California counties, as well.

 

 

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

Judicial Council Considering Allowing Courts To Suspend Case Management By Local Rules

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

The Judicial Council is considering, and asking for comment on the following change to the California Rules of Court Rule 3.720 to add subdivision (b):

(b) Emergency suspension of rules 26

A court by local rule may exempt specified types or categories of general civil cases filed 28 before January 1, 2016, from the case management rules in this chapter, provided that the 29 court has in place alternative procedures for case processing and trial setting for such 30 actions, including, without limitation, compliance with Code of Civil Procedure sections 31 1141.10 et seq. and 1775 et seq. In any case in which a court sets an initial case 32 management conference, the rules in this chapter apply.

Advisory Committee Comment
Subdivision (b) of this rule is an emergency measure in response to the limited fiscal resources available 37 to the courts as a result of the current fiscal crisis and is not intended as a permanent change in the case 38 management rules.

This first came to my attention at the San Bernardino County Bar Association Board of Directors’ Meeting on Monday, January 14, 2013.  The Judicial Council is asking for review and comment by January 25, 2013, and proposes to implement the proposed rule on February 26, 2013.

The request is in response to the Los Angeles Superior Court and the Sacramento Superior Court because of their responses to the funding problems the courts are having because of the State of California’s budget.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Address: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104
                   Redlands, CA 92374
Telephone: (909) 708-6055

California Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 Return of Firearms Petition

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law.

One of the more unusual procedures that sets Municipal Law from the ordinary practice of law is the petition process set forth in Section 8102 of the California Welfare and Institutions Code. This procedure has to do with the return or destruction of firearms seized from people subject to a Welfare and Institutions Code section 5150 hold.   These are commonly called Return of Firearms Petitions.  California Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 reads in pertinent part:

(b) Upon confiscation of any firearm or other deadly weapon from a person who has been detained or apprehended for examination of his or her mental condition, the peace officer or law enforcement agency shall notify the person of the procedure for the return of any firearm or other deadly weapon which has been confiscated.

Where the person is released, the professional person in charge of the facility, or his or her designee, shall notify the person of the procedure for the return of any firearm or other deadly weapon which may have been confiscated.
Health facility personnel shall notify the confiscating law enforcement agency upon release of the detained person, and shall make a notation to the effect that the facility provided the required notice to the person regarding the procedure to obtain return of any confiscated firearm.
(c) Upon the release of a person as described in subdivision (b), the confiscating law enforcement agency shall have 30 days to initiate a petition in the superior court for a hearing to determine whether the return of a firearm or other deadly weapon would be likely to result in endangering the person or others, and to send a notice advising the person of his or her right to a hearing on this issue. The law enforcement agency may make an ex parte application stating good cause for an order extending the time to file a petition. Including any extension of time granted in response to an ex parte request, a petition must be filed within 60 days of the release of the person from a health facility.
(d) If the law enforcement agency does not initiate proceedings within the 30-day period, or the period of time authorized by the court in an ex parte order issued pursuant to subdivision (c), it shall make the weapon available for return.
(e) The law enforcement agency shall inform the person that he or she has 30 days to respond to the court clerk to confirm his or her desire for a hearing, and that the failure to respond will result in a default order forfeiting the confiscated firearm or weapon. For the purpose of this subdivision, the person’s last known address shall be the address provided to the law enforcement officer by the person at the time of the person’s detention or apprehension.
(f) If the person responds and requests a hearing, the court clerk shall set a hearing, no later than 30 days from receipt of the request. The court clerk shall notify the person and the district attorney of the date, time, and place of the hearing.

(g) If the person does not respond within 30 days of the notice, the law enforcement agency may file a petition for order of default.

That’s basically the procedure. Each entity and court implements the section a little differently.  In the  City of  San Bernardino, the petition is in the name of the Chief of Police and filed by the City Attorney’s Office. Section 8102(f) states that the Clerk shall notify the person and the district attorney, which suggests that the District Attorney can file the petition.
For example, here is the minute order from a petition wherein the City of San Bernardino sought a judicial determination on the return of weapons:

ACTION CAME ON FOR STATUS HEARING ON PETITION SEEKING JUDICIAL DETERMINATION RE: RETURN OF
FIREARMS OR DEADLY WEAPONS (W&I SECTION 8102).
-
THE COURT FINDS THAT NO ANSWER HAS BEEN FILED; THAT THE RESPONDENT HAS NOT CONTACTED THE CITY
ATTORNEY; AND THAT THE RESPONDENT DID NOT APPEAR IN COURT TODAY.
-
THE COURT ORDERS A DEFAULT JUDGMENT ENTERED ON BEHALF OF THE PETITIONER, CITY OF SAN
BERNARDINO, AND AGAINST THE RESPONDENT, [Omitted]
-
THE COURT FURTHER ORDERS WEAPON(S) DESTROYED PURSUANT TO THE LAW.
STAGE AT DISPOSITION: ALL OTHER JUDGMENTS BEFORE TRIAL.
CASE DISPOSITIONED BY JUDGMENT
ACTION – COMPLETE

In this case, the petitioner did not respond, and the court ordered the weapon(s) destroyed pursuant to law.  You can find the City of San Bernardino’s cases by searching for the name of the police chief or past police chiefs.

In Redlands, when I was Assistant City Attorney, this situation only came up once when the Police Department, in the name of the People of the State of California, tried to do it by themselves, and brought it to the City Attorney’s Office when the respondent responded.

The City of Ontario does it a little differently.  Those cases are filed in the name of the Ontario Police Department versus the gun owner.   The District Attorney is added as a third party, but the petition is prosecuted by the City Attorney.

Here is an example of a minute order in a similar default hearing involving the Ontario Police Department:


THE SAID DEADLY WEAPON IS SUBJECT TO DISPOSITION PURSUANT TO SECTIONS 12028 AND 12032 OF THE
PENAL CODE.
STAGE AT DISPOSITION: ENTRY OF JUDGMENT – DEFAULT JUDGMENT BY COURT BEFORE TRIAL (CIV)
DISPOSITION: ENTRY 0F JUDGMENT DEFAULT BY COURT BEFORE TRIAL

Even in San Bernardino County and San Bernardino County Superior Court, you can see there are different ways that the courts handle these petitions, and different ways that city attorneys, and others, file these petitions.

The appeals courts give other variations of this theme.  In the People of the State of California v. One Ruger .22-Caliber Pistol (2000) 84 Cal.App.4th 310, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office filed the petition in the name of the People, and sued the property in question like in an asset forfeiture case.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 708-6055

Gourmet Food Trucks in Riverside County and the City of Riverside

My post on Gourmet Food Trucks in San Bernardino County and the City of San Bernardino continues to be popular, so I thought I would add a follow-up about Riverside County and the City of Riverside.  The County’s Code, according to this Riverside Press-Enterprise story, prohibits food from being prepared on a truck, except for things like hot dogs (such as those outside the Riverside County Courthouses).  In effect, it allows “catering trucks” instead of gourmet food trucks.  The Council adopted Ordinance 7112 (an uncodified, unsigned version here) in January 2011 adding Chapter 5.36 of the Riverside Municipal Code.

There is an exception for special events.  Riverside Municipal Code section 5.36.090.

Cities often get pressure from bricks and mortar restaurants to prohibit gourmet food trucks, because they argue that gourmet food trucks are unfairly competing, because they do not have to pay expensive rent.  However, any argument that they do not have to pay a business license tax or registration tax is not correct.  Each truck must pay the proportional share in each jurisdiction it is doing business.  They have to collect and pay sales tax, too.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374

T: (909) 708-6055

E: michael@michaelreiterlaw.com

W: http://michaelreiterlaw.com

What County is Redlands California In?

There seems to be some confusion as to which of California’s 58 counties, Redlands, California is located in.  The short answer: San Bernardino County.  The long answer is more interesting. I think the confusion comes from people from Los Angeles, as you can see in the media, they sometimes publish “Redlands, Riverside County.”  Here is an example from Fox LA (Channel 11): Earthquake Rattles Redlands Area of Riverside County.

I have lived near Redlands, California almost my entire life.  I have family members and friends born in Redlands.  Since 2006, I have been practicing law in Redlands.  And currently, my law firm is located at 1255 West Colton Avenue, Suite 104  in Redlands, California, between Tennessee Street and Alabama Street, North of Redlands Boulevard, and south of Interstate 10, and not to far from State Route 210, which will eventually be designated Interstate 210.

Has Redlands always been in San Bernardino County?  Yes, and no, and almost no.   You can see from this map in the Bancroft Library at my alma mater, the University of California,  Berkeley,  from the 1840s, Redlands was part of Rancho San Bernardino.  Upon statehood, the area comprising Redlands and San Bernardino and Riverside and Moreno Valley was a part of a super-sized Los Angeles County.  That super-sized Los Angeles County also included Orange County.  On  April 23, 1853, the County of San Bernardino was formed from Los Angeles, San Diego and Mariposa County.  The City of Redlands, for which I was Assistant City Attorney for almost four and one half years, was incorporated in 1888.  The County of Riverside split from San Bernardino County and San Diego County in 1893.  Today, the San Bernardino / Riverside County line is the southern border of the City of Redlands.

Because this is a legal blog, I have bolded the portion  of the Government Code which describes the boundaries of San Bernardino County (California Government Code section 23136):

23136. The boundaries of San Bernardino County are as follows: Beginning at the northwest corner of Sec. 1, T. 25 S., R. 40 E., M. D. B. & M.; thence east along the township line between T. 24 and 25 S. of the Mount Diablo base line, being the sixth standard south, Mount Diablo Base, and continuing east by said standard line and extension thereof, to the western boundary of T. 19 N., R. 12 E., San Bernardino Base and Meridian; thence north along said western boundary to the northern line of said township; thence east along the northern line of said township to the eastern boundary of the State of California, being the oblique boundary line between the states of California and Nevada, as surveyed and monumented by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1899 and approved by Act of the California Legislature on March 1, 1901, and by the state of Nevada on February 27, 1903; thence southeasterly along said interstate boundary to its intersection with the centerline of the channel of the Colorado River as constructed by the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation, said point being common to the boundaries of Arizona, California, and Nevada, where the 35th degree of north latitude intersects the centerline of said channel, the above mentioned centerline being a portion of the interstate boundary between the States of Arizona and California as described in “Interstate Compact Defining the Boundary Between the States of Arizona and California”, a certified copy of which is recorded and filed in the office of the County Recorder of San Bernardino County; thence downstream along said centerline to the southerly end of construction; thence, continuing downstream, along said interstate boundary to its intersection with the east and west center line of T. 1 S., R. 24 E., S. B. B. & M., or the prolongation thereof; thence westerly along the northern boundary of Riverside County to the corner common to Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties; thence northwesterly along the boundary line established by joint survey in December, 1876, and January, 1877, as the line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties to the corner common to San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Orange Counties; thence northerly along the eastern boundary of Los Angeles County to the corner common to Los Angeles, Kern and San Bernardino Counties; situated at the northeast corner of T. 8 N., R. 8 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence east on the township line between T. 8 and 9 N. of San Bernardino base line to the section line between Secs. 32 and 33, T. 9 N., R. 7 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence north following section lines to the eighth standard parallel south of Mount Diablo base line; thence east along said eighth standard parallel to the southwest corner of T. 32 S., R. 41 E., M. D. B. & M.; thence north along the township line to the seventh standard parallel south of Mount Diablo base line; thence along said standard parallel to the southwest corner of Sec. 36, T. 28 S., R. 40 E., M. D. B. & M.; thence north along section lines to the southwest corner of Section 24, T. 26 S., R. 40 E; thence east along the south line of said Section 24 to an intersection with the east line of said Section 24; thence north along said east line, and continuing north along the east line of Section 13, same township and range, to an intersection with the north line of said Section 13; thence west along said north line and continuing west along the south line of Section 11, same township and range, to an intersection with the west line of said Section 11; thence north along said west line and continuing north along the west line of Section 2, same township and range, to an intersection with the north line of said Section 2; thence east along said north line to an intersection with the east line of said Section 2; thence north along section lines to the northwest corner of Sec. 1, T. 25 S., R. 40 E., M. D. B. & M., said point being the place of beginning. That portion of the San Bernardino County boundary line which coincides with the Arizona-California Interstate Boundary is shown on a series of Planimetric Maps appearing in Exhibit “A” of above mentioned Interstate Compact. Geographic Positions and Plane Coordinates of all boundary points mentioned in above description are listed in Exhibit “A” of said Interstate Compact That means you have to look at the legal description of Riverside County to find if it defines the county line between Riverside and San Bernardino. I’ve bolded the relevant portion. 23133. The boundaries of Riverside County are as follows: Beginning at the corner common to Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside Counties, being located at the point of intersection of the easterly boundary of the El Canon de Santa Ana Rancho with course number seven of the boundary line, established by joint survey in December 1876, and January 1877, as the line between Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties; thence southeasterly along said line of survey to the most northerly point of that survey on file in Book 87 of Records of Survey, at Pages 60 through 61, in the office of the County Recorder of Riverside County; thence south 68 49´57″ west a distance of 35.37 feet; thence south 48 16´56″ west a distance of 150.70 feet; thence south 65 40´06″ west a distance of 75.15 feet; thence north 84 32´29″ west a distance of 155.61 feet to the beginning of a nontangent curve, concave to the northwest, with a radial bearing north 29 06´47″ west and a radius of 1,550.00 feet; thence along said curve through an angle of 15 01´17″ a distance of 406.35 feet to the easterly line of the Rancho Lomas de Santiago; thence south 02 53´27″ east, along said easterly line, a distance of 3,273.18 feet to the south line of Sec. 36 T. 3 S., 8 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence south 89 07´27″ east, along said south line, a distance of 818.46 feet; thence south 89 05´38″ east, continuing along said south line, a distance of 2,484.00 feet to the southerly most point on said survey on file in Book 87 of Records of Survey, at Pages 60 through 61, in the office of the County Recorder of Riverside County, said point also being on said line of survey between Los Angeles and San Bernardino Counties; thence continuing southeasterly on said line of survey to the point of beginning of said joint survey, it being upon the northern boundary of San Diego County, as it was then established; thence southwesterly to a point on the eastern line of Rancho Mission Viejo or La Paz two miles north of the south boundary of T. 7 S., S. B. B. & M.; thence south along said boundary to the point of intersection of said line and the northwest corner of Lot 1 of Sec. 33, T. 7 S., R. 6 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence south 89 16´14″ east along the north line of said Lot 1 and the north section line of said Sec. 33 a distance of 2,086.39 feet to the northeast section corner thereof; thence south 00 27´14″ west, along the east section line of said Sec. 33, a distance of 2,647.46 feet to the east quarter corner of said Sec. 33; then south 01 00´50″ west, continuing along said east section line, a distance of 1,320.33 feet to the southeast corner of the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of said section; thence north 89 25´11″ west, along the south line of the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter and the south line of Lot 3 of said Sec. 33, a distance of 2,042.68 feet to the eastern boundary line of Rancho Mission Viejo or La Paz; thence 00 00´35″ east, along said boundary, a distance of 1,324.46 feet to the point of intersection with said line with the township line between T. 7 S. and T. 8 S., S. B. B. & M.; thence easterly along said township line to its intersection with the western boundary of Santa Rosa Rancho; thence southerly along the boundary of said rancho to where said boundary of said rancho intersects the range line between T. 8 S., T. 3 W., and T. 8 S., T. 4 W.; thence south on said range line to the point of intersection of the said line with the second standard parallel south; thence east along said parallel to its intersection with the interstate boundary between the States of Arizona and California on the centerline of the Colorado River, said interstate boundary and centerline being described in “Interstate Compact Defining the Boundary Between the States of Arizona and California”, a certified copy of which is recorded and filed in the office of the County Recorder of Riverside County; thence northerly along said interstate boundary to its point of intersection with the east and west centerline of T. 1 S., R. 24 E., S. B. B. & M., or the prolongation thereof; thence westerly along the section lines to the southeast corner of Sec. 17, T. 1 S., R. 16 E., S. B. B. & M.; thence south to the southeast corner of Sec. 32, same township and range, said point being on the township line between T. 1 and 2 S., S. B. B. & M.; thence west on said township line to the northeast corner of T. 2 S., R. 1 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence south to the southeast corner of Sec. 12, T. 2 S., R. 1 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence west to the southwest corner of Sec. 8, T. 2 S., R. 3 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence north to the northwest corner of said Sec. 8; thence west to the quarter corner of the south line of Sec. 2, T. 2 S., R. 5 W., S. B. B. & M.; thence north to the quarter corner on the north line of said Sec. 2; thence west to the southwest corner of Sec. 31, T. 1 S., R. 6 W.; thence south along the section lines to the northern boundary of the Jurupa Rancho; thence southwesterly along said north boundary to the northwest corner of said Rancho; thence south along the west boundary of said Jurupa Rancho to the quarter corner on the east line of Sec. 9, T. 3 S., R. 7 W., thence west in a direct line to the center of Sec. 7, same township and range; thence south in a direct line, to the quarter corner on the south line of Sec. 19, T. 3 S., R. 7 W., thence west to the east boundary of the El Canon de Santa Ana Rancho; thence southerly along the easterly boundary of said Rancho to the place of beginning. That portion of the Riverside County boundary line which coincides with the Arizona-California Interstate Boundary is shown on a series of Planimetric Maps appearing in Exhibit “A” of the above-mentioned Interstate Compact.

If you plotted that on the survey of California along the San Bernardino Base & Meridian, you would find that the City of Redlands is in San Bernardino County, California.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374

T: (909) 708-6055

E: michael@michaelreiterlaw.com

W: http://michaelreiterlaw.com

What is a San Bernardino County Code Enforcement Attorney and a Riverside County Code Enforcement Attorney?

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

I have been involved in Code Enforcement for a long time now.  My first exposure was when I was working for the City of Santa Clara during law school at Santa Clara University School of Law.  Most of the code enforcement at that time was done by a Deputy City Attorney and involved drinking in public by Santa Clara University students.  Drinking in public is a common infraction or misdemeanor prohibited by cities’ municipal codes.  One of the reasons behind this is because it is not preempted by the State of California’s prohibition of being drunk in public.  Police officers can cite people with open containers of alcohol seen drinking alcohol or presumed to be drinking alcohol without proving that they were intoxicated.  However, generally, the term “Code Enforcement” means property maintenance.

My next brush with code enforcement came as an attorney for Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino.  A common defense for an unlawful detainer defendant is a lack of habitability.  Often, the tenant would complain to a code enforcement agency about the interior conditions of their house or apartment.  However, sometimes this could have disastrous results.  Either the tenant would complain about the conditions and it would have no effect on the unlawful detainer action, the tenant would get cited into court by the code enforcement agency for the problem, or in the absolute worst-case scenario, the conditions were so bad at the apartment or house that the code enforcement agency red tagged the unit, making the tenant homeless.

When I became a Deputy City Attorney for the City of San Bernardino in February 2001, my role changed from observer of code enforcement to assisting Code Enforcement.  I became a City Prosecutor, prosecuting violations of the San Bernardino Municipal Code in San Bernardino Superior Court, along with other Deputy City Attorneys.   I also co-advised the City of San Bernardino’s Code Enforcement Department (which previously was a Division, and would later become a Division again).  When I was Assistant City Attorney for the City of Redlands, I served a similar function, including prosecuting violations of the Redlands Municipal Code, advising staff at administrative hearings, and drafting code enforcement ordinances.

What does being a Code Enforcement Attorney mean in San Bernardino County and Riverside County?  In incorporated cities and towns in San Bernardino County and Riverside County, that means prosecuting violation of city or town ordinances, usually codified in the Municipal Code, or prosecuting violations of County ordinances codified in the San Bernardino County Code or the Riverside County Code.  It also means drafting new ordinances.  Some of these ordinances are new code enforcement tools, new prohibitions, or modifying existing ordinances to allow certain behavior or prohibit certain behavior.  Being a Code Enforcement Attorney also means representing staff in front of administrative hearing officers, both in post deprivation due process hearings, administrative citation hearings or administrative civil penalty hearings.  Code Enforcement Attorneys also review administrative warrant applications, review criminal citations for filing with the court, review proposed hearing orders, and other similar tasks.  Some of those tasks include training code enforcement officers about the law, including constitutional protections regarding inspections of private property.  Code Enforcement Attorneys help agencies respond to California Public Records Act requests.  Code Enforcement Attorneys also help defend cities and code enforcement officers from collateral attacks on the process, including quiet title actions to nullify code enforcement liens, requests for injunctions to stop code enforcement actions, and allegations of Federal Civil Rights violations pursuant to 42 United States Code section 1983.  Code Enforcement Attorneys also can file civil abatement actions, including nuisance actions, and receivership actions under the California Health and Safety Code.  In Redlands and San Bernardino, I was involved in all of those functions.

However, in addition to public Code Enforcement Attorneys, a Code Enforcement Attorney can protect the rights of the public.  As a private attorney, I have helped clients that are faced with demands from overly-aggressive code enforcement agencies.  When picking an attorney to help you on a code enforcement matter, it helps to find one that has experience on the other side, prosecuting violations of municipal codes.  Find someone with experience with the Public Records Act, because that’s an important tool in defending against a code enforcement action.  Find someone who is familiar with the political systems in play in the relevant entity, and who can give you realistic advice about your options.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog.  You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

A: 1255 W. Colton Ave. Suite 104, Redlands, CA 92374

T: (909) 708-6055

E: michael@michaelreiterlaw.com

W: http://michaelreiterlaw.com

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