Commentary By Samuel Strait – Reporter at Large – February 6, 2022
There seems to be some confusion as to what happened Friday morning at
9805 Highway 101 North in Smith River, California. Was it a case of
trespass or something far more deadly? As readers of the CCTimes have
learned a Writ of Mandate was served on Jessica Curry, member of the Del
Norte Unified School District’s Citizen Oversight Committee. In the
course of that service, the process server was greeted with shouting by
Mrs. Curry addressing the process server with “Get Off My Property,
I’m going to call the police!” while brandishing a rifle.
There seems to be some basic lack of knowledge as to what constitutes
“Trespassing” in the State of California. California Penal Code Section
602 PC defines the elements that make up what is the crime of trespass.
In order for a person to be guilty of trespassing a defendant must
willfully enter, or remain on the property of another with the specific
intent of interfering with the other person’s property rights and the
defendant actually interfered with these rights. It is not simply a
matter of entering a property of another to conduct some sort of
business or make an inquiry. The property owner must be interfered with
in some manner that affected their property rights. A process server
serving Writs would not constitute “Trespassing” under California Law.
As to the question of “Brandishing a Weapon”, this falls under
California Penal Code Section 417 PC. The definition and elements of a
crime in this instance are:
* That the defendant drew or exhibited a firearm or deadly weapon in the presence of someone else.
*The defendant did so in a rude, angry, or threatening manner.
*The defendant used the firearm or weapon in a fight or quarrel.
*And the defendant did not act in self defense.
Was there reason to believe Mrs. Curry was defending herself? Not likely.
Since this incident on Friday, February 4th, the victims have attempted
to file a police report at the Del Norte County Sheriff ‘s Office with
an Officer Sloan. At that point it is up to the Sheriff’s Office to
conduct an investigation to determine if the elements of a crime have
been satisfied. If the Sheriff’s Office does not conduct an
investigation and file a report, this is a clear dereliction of duty on
the part of the Sheriff’s Office and those involved. In any event there
should be some evidence that this kind of behavior in the United States
of America is not acceptable no matter who the offense is committed