Nice Guys (Get to Keep Their Property After All)

By: Michael M. Berger
– Daily Journal

"Nearly half-a-century ago, the California Supreme Court decided Gion v. City of Santa Cruz, 2 Cal. 3d. 29 (1970). In that case, the court expanded the concept of 'implied dedication' beyond the bounds that had previously contained it. After Gion, evidence that, for a period of five years, miscellaneous members of the public had used private property in some way (e.g., for recreation or access) led to a conclusive finding that the underlying property owner had an implied intent to dedicate the property to the public. This donative intent was presumed in spite of the fact that the owner may simply have been allowing the public to use land that was not then needed by the owner for other use and in spite of the fact that the owner had no actual intent to give the property to the general public or to anyone else."

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