The People v. Goldilocks
United States District Court, District of California
This was a burglary case, where Goldilocks entered the Bear’s house at night when the owners were away and consumed entirety of Baby Bear’s porridge smoothie. Goldilocks had crashed her car and fled the scene, only to break into the Bear’s house where she passed out and was found lying on Baby Bear’s bed.
Once indicted, her lawyer argued that the Californian law did not define burglary as to include a residence to be a dwelling house, if the said dwelling house was located in a mixed-use building, according to the California burglary statute (Penal Code, § 459). The Bears sought from the California Appellate Court whether their residence could be included as a dwelling house.
Penal Code section 459 defines burglary as an unauthorized entry into a dwelling house with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony.
The Appellate Court was therefore tasked to determine whether a residence in a mixed-residence would have amounted to a dwelling house. The defendant argued that a mixed residence should not have been included.
Since there are no published opinions over such a case, the court seeks determination from other cases and other statutory determination. The court sought to determine the original use of the world burglary, and from, Rex v. Lithgo, (1707), they obtained that a mixed-use building could also be termed as a place of residence or dwelling place. They further consulted the Hasson v. Mercy American River Hospital (2003) 31 Cal.4th 709, 715-716, which supported that a mixed building could be termed as a residential place.
Finally, the Californian court in the People v. Goldilocks ruled that “For purposes of California Law, a mixed-use commercial and residential property is a ‘dwelling house’ under Penal Code section 459.” (People v. Goldilocks (2012) 32 Cal.App.5th 227.)
The court determined that people living in a mixed building had their residence qualified as a dwelling place under the Californian Law and that Goldilocks should be charged with burglary.