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  • Edward Sean Robinson

Find Ways to Help the Less Fortunate


I want to challenge everyone reading this to do what they can to help someone less fortunate. People are hurting in Bakersfield. Our empathy and sharing of knowledge can be the water to a dying and depressed soul.



How wonderful it must be to be an intellectual the stature of Bakersfield Realtor David Knoeb. Knoeb is a principal architect of the Squatters Protection Act who felt it was necessary to create SPA in order to assist police officers with determining if a squatter is trespassing or not in a vacant home ("New business aims to help police root out squatters," Sept. 4).


Does the app created also explain that this is a civil matter and not criminal, which is why the aforementioned tool is necessary in order to establish trespassing, making the squatter now guilty of a criminal offense if they return? I hate to say it, but he has given police officers and property owners false hope.


The issue of squatting is a civil matter. Is he suggesting that the app is a way to bypass the rights of squatters? I'm assuming that as the past president of the Bakersfield Realtors Association, he is well aware of a legal concept known as adverse possession. The concept was first developed in early Britain and has been kept alive in order to achieve a fair result when one owner has neglected or forgotten about a piece of land while another has been using or caring for it for so long that to make him or her leave would seem unfair or create hardship.


A trespasser’s possession must, in California, be (i) hostile (against the right of the true owner and without permission); (ii) actual (exercising control over the property); (iii) exclusive (in the possession of the trespasser alone); (iv) open and notorious (using the property as the real owner would, without hiding his or her occupancy); and (v) continuous for the statutory period (which is five years in California under Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 325).


Additionally, the adverse possessor must show that he or she paid taxes on the subject property for all of the five years. Furthermore, a person would need to have Color of Title, meaning something that on its face it appears to support a valid claim of title. An affidavit filed with the court house would suffice.


I guess you are wondering why I decided to write this piece? Because with knowledge comes responsibility. Instead of attempting to protect an elitist way of life, we need to have empathy on those less fortunate. The efforts put into the SPA that I'm almost certain were made for the most capitalistic reasons possible should be put into advocating for and educating those without housing who are in a situation where squatting is a necessity.


I want to challenge everyone reading this to do what they can to help someone less fortunate. People are hurting in Bakersfield. Our empathy and sharing of knowledge can be the water to a dying and depressed soul.


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” as Dr. Martin Luther King said.

Does the squatter's life matter less than yours?

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