Garage Sales and Yard Sales (and permits) in the Cities of Highland, Colton, Rialto, San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Redlands, Yucaipa and unincorporated San Bernardino County

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

People want to know how to get yard sale and garage sale permits in the East Valley, and they find this site because of this article about the City of San Bernardino’s yard sale ordinance.  Therefore, here is a chart to give a basic (but not complete) understanding of the rules and regulations regarding yard sales in the East Valley, here defined as the Cities of Colton, Rialto, San Bernardino, Grand Terrace, Loma Linda, Highland, Redlands, Yucaipa and unincorporated San Bernardino County such as Muscoy, Mentone, Oak Glen, Devore, Arrowhead Suburban Farms, Devore Heights, and Del Rosa.  Per the City Clerk of Loma Linda, there is no yard sale ordinance in the City of Loma Linda as of 10/17/2012.  Note also that homeowners associations (HOAs) probably have additional restrictions (particularly East Highlands Ranch) which you should look into.

City/Unincorporated Permit Required Permit Cost Where? Duration
Colton Yes $2, except charity, nonprofit, religious Finance Department 3 d, 8am-8pm
Grand Terrace Yes (Except Exemptions) $5 Finance Department 3 d, 8am-8pm
Highland Yes $7 Finance Department 3 d, 8am-8pm
Loma Linda N/A N/A N/A N/A
Redlands Yes $2.50 Treasurer 3 d or 2d each over consecutive weekends; 8 am-8pm
Rialto Yes (Except Exemptions) $5.40 Finance Department 3d, daylight
San Bernardino No (anomoly regarding Estate Sales) N/A N/A 3d, daylight
Yucaipa After 1st sale $2.50 (sales 2-4) Front Desk, City Hall 3d, 8am-8 pm
Unincorporated San Bernardino County No (See SBCC section 84.25.030(e) unless exceed standards of 84.10. N/A N/A 3d, 8am-5 pm
City/Unincorporated Frequency Display Signage Exemptions Ordinance Codified At Violation
Colton 1/quarter Not in PROW During, onsite Court sales Ord 1483 (1975); 0-3-1989 (1989) Colton Municipal Code Chapter 5.45 Misdemeanor
Grand Terrace 2/yr Not in PROW 2 onsite, unlit, 4ft area, 5 day limit, not on PROW, trees, fences, utility poles, removed at end Court sales, charitable, nonprofit, religious Ord 35 (1980) Grand Terrace Municipal Code Chapter 5.40 Infraction
Highland 3/12 mo Safety 1 onsite doublesided, 6 ft area, 5′ tall, 24 hours before until end. Court sales Ord 239 (1998) Highland Municipal Code section 5.04.370 Infraction
Loma Linda N/A N/A N/A N/A None N/A N/A
Redlands 3/12 mo Not in PROW, safety, only during sale Court sales Prior Code secs 24001-10; Ord 2684 (2007), 2779 (2012), Redlands Municipal Code Chapter 5.68 Infraction
Rialto 4/calendar yr only first weekend in March, June, September and December Not in PROW, front or side yards 2 onsite, 4ft area, 4directional signs, prohibited in PROW, >864 sq in., with permission of property owner. Nonprofits, Ord 1416 (2008) Rialto Municipal Code Chapter 5.69 Infraction; misdemeanor for <3/yr
San Bernardino 12/yr only on 3rd weekend of mo Not in PROW, safety, only during sale 3 onsite unlit 24 hr prior until end; 4 Directional 2 sq ft  on private property w/consent Estate sales as to frequency nonprofits as to frequency Ord MC-1344 (2011) San Bernardino Municipal Code Chapter 8.14 Infraction/misdemanor (woblette)
Yucaipa 4/12 mo Not in PROW 1 onsite, not in PROW Court sales Ord 102 (1992) Yucaipa Municipal Code Chapter 5.22 Infraction
Unincorporated San Bernardino County 4/yr Not in PROW 2 onsite, 4ft area, 4 directional signs, prohibited in PROW, 864 sq in., w/permission of property owner. None Ord. 411 (2007) San Bernardino County Code  Chapter 84.10 Infraction; misdemeanor for >3/yr

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. BE SURE TO CHECK WITH THE INVOLVED CITIES FOR CURRENT LAW AND FEES.

A: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708

Excellent Legal Resource For Those Impacted By Recent Disasters

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

After the Old Fire, the Mayor and Common Council of the City of San Bernardino authorized the City Attorney’s Office to assist San Bernardino residents (and later, people in unincorporated areas adjacent to the City of San Bernardino).  Though this was highly unusual (having public attorneys directly assist the public), I was honored to do so, and I saw it as a continuation of my public service work that I had started as the staff attorney at Legal Aid Society of San Bernardino and continued with my nuisance abatement work as a city prosecutor.

While helping members of the public with their legal problems occasioned by their houses burning down and losing all their possessions, we  distributed a useful guide published by the mega-law firm Morrison & Foerster LLP.  Though no doubt Morrison & Foerster LLP’s hardworking associates did the heavy lifting, it had the seal of a variety of voluntary bar associations (including the San Bernardino County Bar Association) and the State Bar of California on the back.  Here is a blurb from the Morrison & Foerster LLP website that explains why they created this guide:

In 2007, a series of wild fires broke out in Southern California, destroying at least 1,500 homes and burning over 500,000 acres of land from Santa Barbara County to the US–Mexico border. Nine people died as a direct result of the fire.

The Helping Handbook, which contained information about legal issues that people may face in an emergency, as well as contact information for organizations offering assistance, was originally created as a legal guide for individuals, victims’ families, and small businesses affected by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since then, MoFo has continued to work with state and local bars to create versions of the Helping Handbook for people displaced by natural disasters such as the Southern California wildfires of 2003, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the New York flooding in 2006.

With the 2007 wildfires leaving many people displaced in its wake, MoFo decided to create a version of the Helping Handbook to help victims manage in the aftermath. Many of the affected residents’ primary language was Spanish. During this critical time, when advice on how to manage this critical situation was needed most, MoFo and TransPerfect Legal Solutions decided to work together to provide Spanish-speakers with accessible, accurate information about the resources available to help them.


The most recent Morrison & Foerster Helping Handbook is from 2008.  As we begin another fire season, (and after the Hill Fire has been contained) hopefully this guide can help people who do not know where to turn after a disaster.
The most important valuable lessons I learned from the Old Fire and its aftermath are that public adjusters must have the best lobbyist in Sacramento.   I never met anyone who was satisfied with a public adjuster. Here is sage advice from the 2008  Helping Hands Fire Handbook:

What is a public insurance adjuster and what should I look for if I decide to hire one?
Public insurance adjusters claim that they can maximize your insurance benefits by finding damage
that an insurance company adjuster might not find. It is generally recommended that you try and settle
an insurance claim directly with your insurance company before you hire a public insurance adjuster.
Your insurance company provides an adjuster to you at no charge. If you use the insurance company’s
adjuster, you still have the right to separately hire a public adjuster to help you. Public adjusters are paid
a fee or a percentage of your claim. It is important that you understand what the fees are and how they
are calculated before you hire a public adjuster. It is always a good idea to rely on referrals from friends
and family to determine which public adjusters are legitimate. If you decide to hire a public adjuster, do
so in writing and make sure that they are licensed. Call the California Department of Insurance (CDI) at
(800) 967-9331 or access the CDI’s website at for licensing verification and other
information regarding public adjusters. You can also file a complaint at the website or by calling the CDI’s
consumer hotline at (800) 927-4357.

Morrison & Foerster LLP, Helping Handbook, For Individuals and Small Businesses Affected by the 2008 Southern California Wildfires, Pg. 65

If an insurance company is not honoring the policy after negotiations by the policyholder, it is much better to find an attorney who specializes in insurance bad faith who may charge the policyholder a lot less and do a lot more than a public adjuster.  I do not practice  insurance bad faith law, but I was impressed with some of the attorneys that handled bad faith claims after the Old Fire.

The second thing I learned is that you have to analyze your insurance company and your policy, including exclusions, before a disaster.  The way a company treated policyholders poorly made me switch to another company.  I  requested a larger policy limit with my new insurance company which covered the rebuilding of my house.  Of course, after a fire is not the time to change the policy.

The last thing I learned is that it is difficult to inventory your belongings after a disaster.  For one, there is the grief associated with losing your possessions, and there are too many details that you cannot remember.   If you can, inventory your personal property before a disaster, and keep a copy of the list (and pictures and video) off-site.

The three biggest problems the Old Fire victims I assisted had were with their insurance company, then with their contractors or public adjusters,  then with their mortgage companies.  Some were underinsured, some were uninsured.

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: 300 E. State St. #517
Redlands, CA 92373
Telephone: (909) 296-6708

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.

Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

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.


Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP
A: 1447 Ford St. #201
      Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 296-6708

San Bernardino County Food Trucks

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

I first heard of Gourmet Food Trucks in San Francisco a few years ago.  I had some college friends who often headed to the Fruitvale neighborhood in Oakland to visit a taco truck (until they got robbed at 2 AM), but these are obviously not the same kind of food trucks.  I won’t mention the rhyming pejorative that often accompanied catering trucks that I heard in the San Bernardino of my youth.

The Los Angeles County-based trucks are now well-known, with multiple blogs, television coverage, and Yelp entries dedicated to the trucks.  I went to the Santa Anita Food Truck Festival II and there were 80 trucks.  Even though there were two Nom Nom Trucks at the event, one ran out of food. The Grilled Cheese Truck had an hours-long wait, and I was lucky to have only a twenty-minute wait at the Lobsta Truck for a lobster roll at 11:30 a.m.  Most interestingly, someone was handing out fliers for an event for aspiring food truck owners.  They even claimed to deal with legal issues.  Unfortunately, I was not given the flier.

Street cuisine seems to be the cuisine du jour.  According to San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford, mobile food trucks (other than at fixed events) are currently not allowed in the County of San Bernardino.  The Rutherford Report (Newsletter), March 2011, Page 1.

Update 6/29/2011

Someone wrote to me about this post.  To clarify, I believe catering trucks are currently permitted in San Bernardino County because catering trucks have pre-made food.  Gourmet Food Trucks involve preparation of food in the truck, and are only allowed at special events like the Food Truck Festival held recently in Ontario.  I know the County is still reviewing, at Supervisor Rutherford’s request, the prohibition on Gourmet Food Trucks.  To clarify further, when I quote an ordinance, I am not stating my own opinion.  I do not hold political opinions on this blog.  Even if I did something in previous employment, that was not my opinion, it was what my client wanted.  Attorneys, particularly public attorneys, do not have the liberty of having opinions.


Copyright 2011 Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

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: 300 E. State St., Suite 517
Redlands, CA 92373-5235
T: (909) 296-6708