California Civil Jury Instructions (CACI) (2017)

1002. Extent of Control Over Premises Area

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1002.Extent of Control Over Premises Area
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] controlled the
property involved in [name of plaintiff]’s harm, even though [name of
defendant] did not own or lease it. A person controls property that he or
she does not own or lease when he or she uses the property as if it were
his or her own. A person is responsible for maintaining, in reasonably
safe condition, all areas he or she controls.
New September 2003
Directions for Use
Use this instruction only for property that is not actually owned or leased by the
defendant.
Sources and Authority
• “[I]t is clear from [Alcaraz v. Vece (1997) 14 Cal.4th 1149, 1167 [60
Cal.Rptr.2d 448, 929 P.2d 1239]] that simple maintenance of an adjoining strip
of land owned by another does not constitute an exercise of control over that
property. Although evidence of maintenance is considered ‘relevant on the issue
of control,’ the court limited its holding by stating that ‘the simple act of
mowing a lawn on adjacent property (or otherwise performing minimal,
neighborly maintenance of property owned by another) generally will [not],
standing alone, constitute an exercise of control over [the] property . . . .’ ”
(Contreras v. Anderson (1997) 59 Cal.App.4th 188, 198–199 [69 Cal.Rptr.2d
69].)
• “In Alcaraz . . . , our Supreme Court held that a landowner who exercises
control over an adjoining strip of land has a duty to protect or warn others
entering the adjacent land of a known hazard there. This duty arises even if the
person does not own or exercise control over the hazard and even if the person
does not own the abutting property on which the hazard is located. . . . [¶] The
Alcaraz court concluded that such evidence was ‘sufficient to raise a triable
issue of fact as to whether defendants exercised control over the strip of land
containing the meter box and thus owed a duty of care to protect or warn
plaintiff of the allegedly dangerous condition of the property.’ ” (Contreras,
supra, 59 Cal.App.4th at pp. 197–198, footnote and internal citations omitted.)
• “ ‘ “The crucial element is control.” [Citation.]’ ‘[W]e have placed major
importance on the existence of possession and control as a basis for tortious
liability for conditions on the land.’ ” (Salinas v. Martin (2008) 166 Cal.App.4th
404, 414 [82 Cal.Rptr.3d 735], original italics, internal citations omitted.)
Secondary Sources
6 Witkin, Summary of California Law (10th ed. 2005) Torts, §§ 1083, 1084
584
0008
1 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 15, General Premises Liability, §§ 15.02–15.03
(Matthew Bender)
11 California Real Estate Law and Practice, Ch. 381, Tort Liability of Property
Owners, §§ 381.03–381.04 (Matthew Bender)
29 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 334, Landlord and Tenant:
Claims for Damages, § 334.52 (Matthew Bender)
36 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 421, Premises Liability, § 421.15
(Matthew Bender)
17 California Points and Authorities, Ch. 178, Premises Liability, § 178.60 et seq.
(Matthew Bender)
1 California Civil Practice: Torts (Thomson West) § 16:2
PREMISES LIABILITY CACI No. 1002
585
0009