IS A FENCED YARD A PUBLIC PLACE?
The officer saw the defendant with a handgun protruding from his pocket. Smart, buddy.
The defendant was in his yard, a fenced front yard of a single family house. The officer ran after the defendant, who went inside his house. The officer officer went inside and told the defendant to stop. The defendant dropped a bag of cocaine and then stopped. The AG tries to uphold this search based on the claim that the defendant violated PC 12031, carrying a loaded firearm in public.
So is the fenced-in yard a public place? This California Court of Appeal says no, a public place is an area where a stranger is able to walk without challenge. The fence precluded that. The fact that there was an unlocked gate doesn't matter either. The defense wins. Whee!
People v. Strider; 2009 DJ DAR 14261; DJ, 9/30/09; C/A 2nd, Div. 3