Legal Question in Real Estate Law in California

I was walking my dog on the sidewalk along a very busy narrow street. I came across a van that was parked so that I would have to step out into the street to get around on one side. So I started to go around the other side, which required me to step on the lawn. The homeowner was there and yelled at me to go around on the street and to get off his property. I think he was wrong to block the sidewalk and not allow passage. Am I right?

Asked on 11/05/13, 9:35 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Bryan Whipple Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
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Yes, unless there is some strange and unusual local ordinance, I'd say you are right. Sidewalks are ordinarily for pedestrian use, not parking autos, and if a property owner so blocks or allows the blocking of the sidewalk, he invites pedestrians to take a detour onto their (non-sidewalk) property. I doubt that this homeowner would win a lawsuit for trespass against you.

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Answered on 11/05/13, 9:54 am
Timothy McCormick Libris Solutions - Dispute Resolution Services
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I would bet 1000:1 that your local ordinances prohibit him from blocking the sidewalk with a parked vehicle. His conduct necessitated you stepping onto his property for your own safety. He hasn't got a leg to stand on.

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Answered on 11/05/13, 12:38 pm

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