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**  A second window aside called by the page, entitled
“To the lawmakers responsible for California Assembly Bill 1404,
the Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013

[ An HTML transcript of e-mail sent on 31 July 2016 follows, with recipients’ contact data removed to discourage spam. ]

Subject:  Re: AB 1404, Chap. 86, Stats. 2013
From:  Deborah Taylor-Pearce <>
Date:  7/31/2016 2:49 PM
To:  Gershenzon, Leora <...>
CC:  Neves, Gina <...>, Smith-Davis, Alexandria <...>

On 7/19/2016 6:20 PM, Gershenzon, Leora wrote:
> The best way to challenge a court decision
> with which you disagree is by appealing
> the decision, although in small claims
> court, the plaintiff (who has chosen the
> small claims forum) generally has no right
> to appeal.

I fully intended to appeal what I take to be a precedent-setting decision (on grounds that “a legal mistake” was made):

“... since 1993, California law has been changed to allow courts to correct clerical errors in a judgment and to cancel, or vacate, a judgment on the grounds of an incorrect or erroneous legal basis for the decision. (Civ. Proc. Code § 116.725.) Or put another way, plaintiffs now have at least a limited right of appeal if a decision was just plain legally wrong.”

(18th edn. of NOLO’s Everybody’s Guide to Small Claims Court in California, 2010, p. 390)

But there’s a 30-day deadline for this, and California lawmakers did not respond to my Open Letter of 7/30/2015


— seeking clarification of Cal. Civ. Code § 841(a) and Cal. Civ. Code § 841(2) — in time.

I am well aware that I interpret the revised 1872 statute as a historian, and as a property owner — not a lawyer — so before I filed an appeal, I wanted to know if it was my application of the law — and not the judge’s — that was in error. This is why I contacted California lawmakers the end of July 2015.

Now, here we are, a year later, and I have yet to receive a proper answer to my question No. 3, which I first posed to Brian Maienschein’s office on 26 February 2016:

3. Why are issues relating to enclosure, and unlawful enclosure, not addressed by AB-1404?

Before I can proceed any further in trying to protect myself and my property from predatory neighbors I need to know why California lawmakers chose to drop, rather than update, the language on enclosure as originally enacted in 1872 (Cal. Civ. Code § 841(2)).

I am very interested in the legal/political reasoning that led to this decision.

So can someone please answer my question?

Deborah Taylor-Pearce


1. Related Web page with 2 Open Letters for California lawmakers (and copies of all follow-up communications) was moved on 7/30/2016 to:

2. My Memorandum to Small Claims Judge was also moved on 7/30/2016 (from the URL given in my e-mail to you of 7/20/2016) to: