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People v. Sweetser

Citation: 6 ELR 20784
No. No. A-181, (Cal. Super. Ct., 10/06/1976)

Judgment for conviction for trespassing is reversed. Defendant crossed an unused, fenced-off portion of a county road easement to enter the Kern River with his kayak. In holding that defendant had the right to use his kayak on the river, the court rules that any stream capable of being used for recreational purposes is open for the use of the public, that boating for pleasure is a sufficient test of navigability, and that a navigable stream may be used by the public for all recreational purposes. Secondly, since all of a right-of-way is included within the term "highway" regardless of whether it is actually used for highway purposes, defendant had a right to use the entire easement for highway purposes.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Respondent
Charles P. McNutt, Deputy District Attorney
1415 Truxtun Ave.
Bakersfield CA 93301
(805) 861-2421

Counsel for Defendant-Appellant
R. Frederick Fisher
Lillick, McHose & Charles
Two Embarcadero Center
San Francisco CA 94111
(415) 421-4600

Nairn, J. joined by Ferguson, Acting P.J. & Davis, J., sitting by appointment.