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Posted by: TEEBONE

01/04/2020, 16:17:13

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Squatters in Cali to get house they've stolen? - WND

Barbara Simpson
4-5 minutes

If anyone wonders why some Californians feel their government is working against them, look no further than the fact that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed some 1,200 new laws last year! They are already starting to go into effect.

It's enough to make your head spin, especially when the details of those pieces of legislation affect virtually every part of your life. There already are lawsuits objecting to many of them, and as time goes by, that caseload no doubt will get bigger.

One case that is not the result of a new law but has massive ramifications has to do with a group of homeless mothers in Oakland who have moved into an empty, three-bedroom house, claiming that they have a right to do that since they are homeless.

They didn't ask; they didn't offer to rent or buy. They just moved in. Generally that's considered "squatting," but this case is bigger than that.

The house is owned by Wedgewood, a real estate investment company headquartered in Redondo Beach, in Southern California. They are not happy about the situation and have filed an eviction notice against the women, who now call themselves "Moms 4 Housing."

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The women got support from the city of Oakland as several Council members and a representative from Council President Rebecca Kaplan said Wedgewood should work out a deal with the women to buy the house and continue to live there.

Then, Kaplan's policy director, Bobbi Lopez, upped the ante, saying if Wedgewood refuses, the city will "look at all viable opportunities, including seizure of property."

As reported in the East Bay Times, Wedgewood spokesman Sam Singer said the threat shows "reckless disregard for the law."

"That would be a level of lawlessness that no one would expect out of an elected official in Oakland, or any other American city."

Moms 4 Housing is fighting the eviction order in the Alameda County Superior Court. The case is being heard by Superior Court Judge Patrick McKinney II. He hasn't yet made a definitive decision. He was skeptical about their claims but neither did he reject them.

Their main claim is that "housing is a human right" and that the housing crisis in Oakland provides the court with the basis to create precedent. They also argue that companies should not be allowed to buy properties and keep them empty (for whatever reason) when there are homeless on the streets.

It doesn't help the situation that a September ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that penalizing the homeless for sleeping outdoors on public property when there is no other housing available violates the Eighth Amendment's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

After the first hearing on the Wedgewood case, the judge suggested that the issue likely needs to be addressed by the executive or legislative branches rather than the court.

Judge McKinney took the matter under submission, and his final ruling is expected within days. The delay was encouraging to Moms 4 Housing and their supporters, who interpreted it as a move in their favor.

An attorney for Wedgewood, Francisco Gutierrez, argued that "trespassers" don't have a right to the property they trespass upon.

Through it all, the city continues to play hardball with threats to seize the property and statements claiming that they are "researching eminent domain."

Gutierrez said that the women haven't met the basic requirements to establish a claim to the house for example, proving they had a rental agreement with a prior owner.

Wedgewood spokesman Singer was to the point in his assessment. As quoted in the East Bay Times, "I think they're a heartfelt group of individuals, but what they've done is legally, morally and ethically indefensible. You can't steal someone else's property and occupy it as your own."

Simply put, he believes the group Moms 4 Housing is stealing and what is worrisome is that if this gets shoved over into the Legislature by the judge, given the liberal nature of that group, it's an easy guess as to how it will ultimately play out.

The whole situation is a constitutional nightmare. If this is decided in favor of the women and Oakland, it's a serious question as to whose private property in California will ever be safe again.

Follow Barbara Simpson on Facebook.


Democrats wouldn't buy a clue if it was government subsidized.

Modified by TEEBONE at Sat, Jan 04, 2020, 19:25:28

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