Squatter law may include Fairfield

By From page A3 | July 11, 2014

FAIRFIELD — A state assemblyman, whose legislation to ease enforcement of criminal trespassing laws against property squatters spurred Suisun City’s request to be included in the law’s pilot program, says “people taking advantage of middle class America” led to his legislative bill.

Fairfield may also ask to be added to the program.

Assemblyman Steve Fox, D-Palmdale, said middle-class Americans in the 36th District he represents in Southern California bought second homes and discovered property squatters residing in them when trying to sell the houses.

Eviction can involve two to three months at a courthouse 100 miles from the property owner’s home, Fox said.

His bill now applies to Palmdale and nearby Lancaster in Los Angeles County and the city of Ukiah in Mendocino County, according to a Fairfield staff report.

Fox said the number of other cities asking to be included in the pilot program means a way will have to be found to add the municipalities.

“We’re getting a lot of inquiries,” he said.

Fairfield City Council members take up a resolution Tuesday to request that Fox add the city.

If Fairfield is added to Fox’s legislation, an alternative eviction method would be available for absent owners of some residential properties if the property owners register their property with the Fairfield Police Department.

The legislation would require owners to register vacant property no later than three days after the site is vacant. People found on the property must produce written authorization to be present at the site.

If they cannot, law enforcement must advise people they have 48 hours to obtain authorization. If still present after 48 hours, the property owner can file a temporary restraining order against the person.

Fox’s measure would become effective Jan. 1, 2015, if signed into law.

The state assemblyman said he donates funds at his church to feed the homeless. He added that everybody deserves protection under the law – including middle-class homeowners.

Fairfield council members meet at 6 p.m. in the council chamber at the Civic Center, 1000 Webster St.

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


Discussion | 9 comments

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  • Skeptic ScroogeJuly 11, 2014 - 12:41 am

    It's not just about homeless livinv for free, it's about the property being destroyed and used as a drug den.

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  • 2realJuly 11, 2014 - 5:47 am

    Hey fairfield! I think the squatters in the parks are more of a issue!!

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  • rlw895July 11, 2014 - 10:06 am

    Is what the City is doing now not working?

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  • Mr. Green ValleyJuly 11, 2014 - 11:31 am

    rlw895, The current process of eviction is the problem, now what the city or cities are doing. This is to allow 'fast tracking' the eviction process for persons that do not legally reside in the property (i.e., squatting). I really hope both Fairfield and Suisun quickly get on the program. If so, surrounding cities may want to start inquiring as the problem will just shift.

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  • Mr. SmithJuly 11, 2014 - 11:53 am

    Rlw: Think of it as the Oompa-Loompa version of what is happening right now on the Texas border.

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  • P.J.July 11, 2014 - 11:18 am

    I'm getting scared to leave my house to go shopping for fear some freaky person will decide to come live at my house. THEN ...the law is on his/her side. I'm the one who has to take legal action to evict them, and that could take up to 3 months? Some things just need 'common sense' people, but I'm beginning to wonder if 'law enforcement' has any????

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  • patrickJuly 11, 2014 - 12:24 pm

    What happened to breaking and entering--- trespassing. did they have keys? It is private property no matter who owns it. they never had a rental agreement.

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  • Changin' the law.....July 11, 2014 - 12:48 pm

    Hmmm...doesn't this kind of tell you the current laws are out of date/not working? Maybe have this legislation be a three year experiment, and if found to work, then maybe vote on replacing current wording. As for trespassing--well, anyone can photocopy a lease agreement with their name and present that. Besides, ask the cops or DA how high trespassing ranks in the crime category--probably as much as jaywalking or breaking a window.

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  • Jesse KobertJuly 11, 2014 - 8:37 pm

    Now they have RVs and trailers parked at the corner of Walters rd and Airbase pkwy. I drive by and see more and more showing up.

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