Torrey Pines State Reserve


Sharon Sherman, the attorney who helped Mule on this case, sent this note on November 22, 2013:  “I received in the mail today notification that the charges against John here in San Diego have been dropped, the fine set aside and the trial date vacated.”  Thank you, Sharon, for the time you spent on this case, pro bono!


On November 28, 2012, the Mules were cited by state park rangers at Torrey Pines State Reserve for illegal camping. They were awakened at 4am. The fine is $485. Pictured is the actual citation. (personal information has been smudged out for privacy)

UPDATE: The Mules are now scheduled to appear before a judge at the San Diego County Superior Court on Jan. 29, 2014

This is the letter received from the court (personal info has been smudged out for privacy). The Mules have decided to dispute the ticket and are being helped pro bono by San Diego attorney Sharon Sherman. Below is the law that was allegedly broken. §63.0102 Use of Public Parks and Beaches Regulated

  1. Purpose and Intent 
It is the purpose and intent in enacting this Division to regulate and prohibit certain activities in public parks and beaches within the City of San Diego in the interests of protecting the enjoyment and safety of the public in the use of these facilities, as well as the natural resources of the City of San Diego.
  2. It is unlawful for any person within any public park or plaza or public beach or beach areas within the City of San Diego to do any of the acts enumerated in Section 63.0102(b).
(12) Overnight Camping. It is unlawful to camp, lodge, sleep, or tarry overnight; provided, however, that nothing in Section 63.0102(b)(12) prohibits any person from being or remaining in any park while in attendance at any function for which the City Manager has previously granted permission.

The 4-lane Torrey Pines Road looking south where the Mules pulled off. It was midnight on a moonless night and there are no street lights.

The path from the side of the road to the area where the Mules chose to rest until morning.

The place where the Mules stayed. In the background is a bike path and the Torrey Pines Golf Course.

Gate and signage clearly show that the Mules had not entered the State Preserve. (see satellite image below)

Satellite view looking at the "scene of the crime.

Detail of the signage posted at the gate.

Attorney Sharon Sherman meeting at the Mules' overnight layover in Poway.

Stephanie "Steve" Tarkington, a docent at Torrey Pines Sate Reserve talking with attorney Sharon Sherman near the spot where the Mules were cited.

The Mules visit the San Diego Superior Court House where they will dispute the citation before a judge sometime in the fall.