Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Nine-Tenths of the Law | Hannah Dobbz

It's Out! "Nine-Tenths of the Law" uses information from this blog within a comprehensive overview of squatting in the United States. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Intro to Squatting for Occupy Oakland

This was the first presentation of the day during the Land Action sponsored skill-share in solidarity and coordination with Occupy Oakland. Mimi Shang, Executive Director of Land Action (on the right) is co-presenting/moderating the disucssion.

This discussion was intended to orient people not familiar with political squatting, occupations, reclamations, or adverse possession. This is just a basic discussion not particularly intended for people with a working knowledge on the subject or even a basic understanding.

I will post the links to the other presentations over the coming days that have more in depth and nuanced information.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wish List for My House. Please Donate.

So recently I realized that I'm getting broke fixing up my house and paying all the taxes. I spent pretty much all my savings on repairs, taxes, and city fines.

The city repeatedly cited my house for blight for no apparent reason, other than the fact that we were adverse possessors. At the end of it they claimed I owed thousands of dollars which I was forced to pay. I sued the city to get the money back, but the judge stated I lacked "standing" until I receive a court order declaring my title by adverse possession to be clear. This despite the fact that I have been occupying the property for over a decade.

I'm not going to go on about how the city is wrong or how the ruling in my case is wrong. For more info on how corrupt the City of Oakland is go to the grand jury report on the subject, pages 63 - 98 at the link below:

What my housemates and I have decided is to try to save money by coming up with a list of items that we need for our house that we should keep our eye out for in free boxes, curb sides, craigslist, or wherever.

I should mention that since the city also refuses to let me have a grid tie in for my house much of the list are items necessary to run an off-grid house on 12 volts D.C. current through conventional A.C. wiring and fixtures.

Also, we are having a garden/yard work party on April 13th. Yes, that is Friday the 13th.

If anyone has any of the following items or knows where we can get them for free or super cheap please let me know. My email is

Wish List

1. 2 bathroom sinks
2. anything cool that runs on 12 volts D.C.
3. 12 volt D.C. lighting fixtures
4. 12 volt D.C. to 18 volt D.C. adapter for computer that doesn't convert to A.C. in between
5. wiring, electric plugs, car lighter plugs for wiring our A.C. style plugs which are running on 12 volt D.C. to work with 12volt D.C. appliances.
6. Exterior siding for our 10' by 12' by 10' shack
7. Dry wall plaster
8. a two burner propane stove such as a Coleman
9. food seeds and stuff for sprouting and planting
10. Native plants/Native Vining plants.
11. Willow

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Foreclosure Evictions Require 90 Days Notice. Fight Back!

If you are a tenant living in a foreclosure property with or without a written lease agreement you have the right to receive a minimum of 90 days notice before an eviction proceeding can begin under the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act, S896, Sec. 702. 

Under California law the 90 days does not start until after the new owner contacts you personally in writing with a "Notice to Pay Rent or Quit". The notice must be in "writing, requiring its payment, stating the amount which is due, the name, telephone number, and address of the person to whom the rent payment shall be made" under California Code of Civil Procedure section 1161.

Of course knowing your rights and effectively asserting your rights are two different things. There are plenty of evictions that move forward despite the fact that the tenant in the foreclosure was not provided 90 days notice. Ironically the person deprived 90 days notice has the obligation to file a motion in court to demand the notice they were deprived. For most tenants this makes the Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act worthless since the burden of demanding ones rights is placed on the tenant, and that burden requires either finding an attorney or having a working knowledge of the courts.

That is why I have developed fill in the blank forms for a Demurrer which is a motion to dismiss the case without trial that you can file with the courts. Simply fill in the blanks, mail a copy to the landlord's attorney along with the other documents listed below, keep a copy for yourself, and show up in court on the day you are scheduled.

The first form is a Notice of Demurrer which is a notice that you are asking the court to dismiss the eviction proceeding because the Unlawful Detainer Complaint is in clear error due to a failure to provide proper notice.

The second form is the Demurrer which is the actual argument for the dismissal.

You will also need to fill out a "Prejudgment Claim of Right to Possession"

You will also need to have someone else mail the copies to the attorney and have that person fill out a "Proof of Service by First Class Mail" or "Proof of Personal Service" if hand delivered.

Also, you may qualify to have your fees waived so you should probably fill out a fee waiver form. Do not mail this to your landlords attorney because your financial standing is confidential. The rest of the documents must be copied in triplicate with the original filed with the courts, a copy for your landlords attorney, and one for yourself.

Remember, if this doesn't work don't give up. This is merely an opening salvo to shut down the eviction process immediately and get the new owner and their lawyers to come to the table and negotiate.

If your demurrer is over-ruled the next step is to file an Answer while attempting to negotiate with the owner. In some cities like Oakland there are Just Cause for Eviction Ordinances which prohibit evictions after a foreclosure. In such cities you can win the right to stay in your home if you keep up the fight and learn your local ordinance.

As always I must state that I am not an attorney and do not guarantee the effectiveness of this advice nor the documents linked to this post.

Fight back at your own risk.... or good fortune.