United States v. Apel

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-25-2012
  • Case #: 11-5003
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Per Curiam; Circuit Judges Silverman and Rawlinson; District Judge Tunheim
  • Full Text Opinion

Under 18 U.S.C. § 1382, a defendant cannot be convicted of trespass to an area where the federal government has granted an easement for a public roadway such that the federal government no longer has an exclusive right of possession over the area.

Apel was convicted of three counts of trespassing on Vandenberg Air Force base. The Ninth Circuit noted in dicta that it questioned the correctness of United States v. Parker. Nonetheless, the Ninth Circuit noted that under Parker, “a stretch of highway running through Vandenberg AFB is subject to an easement “granted to the State of California” and therefore “the federal government lacks the exclusive right of possession of the area on which the trespass allegedly occurred.” Therefore, the Ninth Circuit held that the “conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1382 cannot stand, regardless of an order barring a defendant from the base.” REVERSED.

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