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Squatter, housing activist takes on state bar

Posted By Administration, Thursday, September 24, 2015
A self-described squatter who first made national headlines for successfully using an obscure California law to become the rightful owner of a house without buying or inheriting it, is now waging a new legal fight with the State of California to become an attorney.
While Steven DeCaprio, 43, of Oakland recently passed the bar exam, the State Bar of California refused to admit him based on what it called a "lack of candor" and a ten year-old misdemeanor trespassing conviction.
Good Moral Character?
KTVU first met DeCaprio at a home in West Oakland in 2013.  More than ten years earlier, DeCaprio admits he was homeless when he cut a chain on a gate to the previously abandoned property and moved in.
DeCaprio also began paying the property taxes and, after five years without any contact from the previous owner of record, legal experts told 2 Investigates DeCaprio had achieved title to the property through a law known as adverse possession.
While also serving as the CEO of a housing rights group, called Land Action, DeCaprio went through the Law Office Study Program and began preparing to take the State Bar Exam in California.
"It's a three day exam. It's grueling. It's emotionally exhausting and to prepare for it, you pretty much have to give up your life," said DeCaprio.  "I studied very hard and really put in all the time I needed to and I passed it."

Read the whole story at KTVU

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