Man Files Deed Transfer, Claiming Ownership of Petco Park, Causing Headaches for San Diego

County officials required to record all grant deed forms.


ben pollard/flickr

A California man walked into the San Diego County Recorder's Office and filed a deed transfer form claiming ownership of Petco Park, as reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Because no actual sale or transaction took place, government officials and real estate experts say there's essentially no chance of [Derris] McQuaig taking control of the property, which was recently appraised at $539 million and is slated to host its first All-Star game in July.

But McQuaig has created a legal and bureaucratic nightmare that could be perpetrated on any property owner if someone decides to target them by casting doubt on their title in this way.

Jeff Olson, chief of assessment services for the San Diego County Assessor's Office, said county officials are required to record all properly submitted documents and make them part of the public record even when they are obviously bogus.

County officials noticed McQuaig studying the process of deed transfers, so as soon as he filed the form they forwarded his case to the district attorney's office. But a judge threw the case out, finding McQuaig mentally incompetent to stand trial—he was committed to a state hospital, where he is being forced by "psychiatric security personnel" to take anti-psychotic medication.

Olson called McQuaig's claim a "wild deed," and a titles company official told the Union-Tribune such claims can cause problems for homeowners. The Union-Tribune reports:

[Tracy] Leonard said there's been talk in Sacramento of state legislation that would make it easier to void fraudulent title transfers, but nothing has come forward yet.

"For now it's the same as identity theft," she said. "It causes you nightmares, but you are still you and your property is still yours."

As the Union-Tribune notes, McQuaig's deed hasn't caused the city, which owns 70 percent of the stadium, significant problems yet. Earlier this month a judge permitted the city to refinance $125 million in construction debt—the stadium cost $450 million to build, and $225 was financed through municipal bonds. The city is seeking a "quiet title action" to nullify McQuaig's claim.

Check out Reason TV's interview with Joel Kotkin, a professor of urban studies, on why sports stadiums are bad investments for cities:

h/t Walter Olson's Facebook feed

NEXT: Glee Actor Arrested on Child Porn Charges, Trump and Bill Clinton Court the Female Vote, All Star Wars All the Time: P.M. Links

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. That’s some A-1 trolling there.

  2. Psychiatric examination by Dr. Michael Takamura, however, determined that McQuaig was not mentally competent and that “there is no substantial likelihood that the defendant will regain mental competence in the foreseeable future.”

    That prompted Superior Court Judge Steven Stone to dismiss the criminal case on Dec. 16, order McQuaig committed to Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino County, and give psychiatric security personnel there the authority to administer antipsychotic medication against McQuaig’s will.

    Spinella said that decision eliminated any chance of voiding the deed under criminal law.

    “The statute is very specific that a conviction is required,” he said. “There’s just no avenue forward. We certainly want to achieve justice for victims, but we can only do so within the confines of our jurisdiction.”

    So McQuaig was competent enough to spend “many hours in the County Recorder’s Office beforehand doing research and asking questions about the process,” but so incompetent to stand trial that he’s now being forcibly drugged. And now the government, which created the entire problem of “wild deeds” being “valid” enough to fuck with people in the first place, is also making it impossible to fix by sending him away to be so drugged instead of just jailing him for fraud.

    1. Yeah, it seemed like the lead was buried in this story!

      Court Must Determine Right to Refuse Administration of
      Antipsychotic Medication at Time of IST order and Placement

      AB 366 requires the committing court, at the IST order and placement
      hearing, to determine whether an individual under an IST commitment has
      a right to refuse the administration of antipsychotic medication. A court will
      find that an individual has the right to make decisions about antipsychotic
      medications unless it finds any of the following:

      1) The individual lacks capacity to make decisions regarding antipsychotic
      medications, his or her mental disorder requires medical treatment with
      antipsychotic medication, and if the medication is not given, it is
      probable that serious harm to the individual’s physical or mental health
      will result;

      2) The individual is a danger to others; or

      3) The individual has been charged with a serious crime and:

      – involuntary medication is in the person’s best medical interest, is
      substantially likely to render him or her competent to stand trial, and
      is unlikely to have side effects that interfere with the individual’s ability
      to understand the nature or the criminal proceedings or assist
      counsel in the conduct of a defense in a reasonable manner; and

      – less intrusive treatments are unlikely to have substantially the same


      1. It seems likely that the judge ordered forced medication because he decided that medication was likely to render the defendant competent to stand trial.

        That seems like a bogus justification. Show me a case in which medication is unlikely to render a defendant competent to stand trial. Do such cases exist in reality? Has any judge ever found that a committed patient with pending criminal charges shouldn’t be forced to take medication because doing so wasn’t likely to make the patient competent to stand trial?

    2. It’s like this old bitch lives down the street from me. She goes round thieving whatever she can find. Not, generally, for any good reason, except maybe to have some nice solar garden lights or something without paying for them. But she’s got this whole “I’m a mad woman!” routine and in consequence the authorities refuse to take any actions against her, and in her case there’s clear mens rea and functioning inhibitions (She, for instance, never even glances at anything on my property. It only took one instance where I found her snatching something. But nobody else will get tough with her because she’s ‘mentally ill’.)

      There’s another guy used to live the other way that was basicly just a real extreme asshole, causing all sorts of nuisances. But he made a big fuss of letting folks that met him know he was on disability for psychiatric problems and had to take medications. He got a letter from SS one time and he was hollaring obscenities around his yard, drunk, throwing rocks at the neighbours’ dogs. I went over and glanced at the letter, which was laying out in his tea garden. His disability was for anger problems, and the drug therapy was a fucking sedative. But again, everyone else lets him get away with terrorising the neighbourhood because he’s “crasy”. And, again, he showed unwavering ability to inhibit himself whenever I was around.

      We’re living in a madhouse.

      1. Whether someone should be held accountable for their actions in criminal court, civil court, etc. and whether someone should be forced to take mind altering drugs by the state are two separate questions.

        I worked in a full lock down psychiatric hospital on the edge of what they used to call South Central LA. The nurses would check to see if you’d taken your medications, but I think this law that says a judge can decide to force medication on you at the commitment hearing is recent–from 2012.

        It appears that the criteria for the government to force you to take mind altering drugs may be lower than the criteria to lock you up for 72 hours or 14 days. To hold you in a psychiatric hospital against your will, they’re supposed to show that you’re a threat to yourself or others. To force you to take mind altering drugs, they seem to have a lower criteria.

      2. I suppose it’s some consolation that they have to commit you before they can force you to take medication, but I’d rather be forcibly hospitalized than forced to take mind altering medication against my will. I’ve seen and documented what it’s like when big burly orderlies force someone to do something, forcibly inject them with sedatives, put them in restraints, etc. They may be doing that to a guy that hasn’t committed any kind of violent crime. And it’s not clear that they’re doing that to him because he’s a threat to himself or others. They may be doing it to him so that he can assist in his own defense?

        It used to be the judge could sentence him to a mental institution after the jury had found him not guilty by reason of insanity–that’s hardly not being held accountable for what he did because he claims to be insane.

        1. You know, I’m willing to take a middle road on this.

          Here’s the deal: I won’t force you to get drugs, Mr. Nutbar, and you won’t shoot up a mall because you think you’ll get internet famous or that it’s full of reptile people from Venus. If you *try* to shoot up a mall, I’ll shoot you first with the firearm I’m carrying because, like you, I give zero shits that it’s a “gun-free zone”.


          1. Nobody in this story shot up a mall.

  3. I’d rather watch the Padres at McQuaig Park any day.

    1. I’d rather re-watch Lone Wolf McQuaig on Netflix.

    2. The seats are too damn close together in that stadium everywhere but right up behind the backstop.

  4. [Tracy] Leonard said there’s been talk in Sacramento of state legislation that would make it easier to void fraudulent title transfers, but nothing has come forward yet.

    Including but not limited to eminent domain for public purpose?

    1. Question not the benevolent judgement of the state.

  5. The same thing happened to me when I tried to buy Dodger Stadium with a briefcase full of Ballpark Francs.

    1. Ballpark Francs? Obviously a forgery of Kalberwurst Currency from the CH!

      1. Dammit, why must you make me pine for something I will not likely see for a decade or more (if I am optimistic)?!?!!

        1. Parole didn’t go through?

          1. Ban order from the Swiss Foreign Ministry?

    2. “The same thing happened to me when I tried to buy Dodger Stadium with a briefcase full of Ballpark Francs.”

      This is just the WURST!

      1. Ballpark Francs may not be the wurst, but when I’m at the stadium I prefer Under Armour hot dogs.

  6. But a judge threw the case out, fighting McQuaig mentally

    Cool, and here I thought telepaths only existed in comic books.

    1. Whatever gave you that idea? Any SJW can tell that you are thinking ‘privileged’ thoughts just by the way you breathe.

    2. Must have been Judge Anderson.

    3. I was having problems following this story and that was before the tortured language.

  7. Jeff Olson, chief of assessment services for the San Diego County Assessor’s Office, said county officials are required to record all properly submitted documents and make them part of the public record even when they are obviously bogus

    Isn’t bureaucracy a beautiful thing?

    1. It is not so much the bureaucracy as the arbitrary rules the bureaucrats are required to follow.

      I have dealt with many bureaucrats (in both government and private industry) who know the rules and use that knowledge to help you get what you want or need. Unfortunately, I have met even more who just use the rules to throw roadblocks in your path.

      1. I knew on who would take his inbox and put the entire stack into his out box.

        He would laugh and say, ‘it’ll take two weeks for that to find it’s way back to me, let’s go to lunch”.

    2. Curious, since in most places I’ve been, clerks think it’s part of their job to make sure any filings stand up to their mark of approval before filing them. There was one place where the county clerk would refuse just about anything that was adverse in any way to any county officials. Somebody I knew was trying to file something, I forget what. He couldn’t get it filed, and the official refused to accept copies personally. Under the relevant statute, one could alternatively post it at the post office and print it in the newspaper for two weeks. In those days the post office had a huge board where anyone in the community could stick up anything of common interest. I believe it was before the first week was up, the post office had installed locking glass cabinets over the board and would refuse to post anything not approved by the postmistress.

      But then this asshole comes along in the fucking stupid state and the clerk ain’t got no choice, but just gots to file whatever gets handed to her. If someone handed her something to file off a cliff, would she take a flying leak?

  8. So what you’re saying is that this is a good way to protest the public financing of sports team venues? (Well, as long as the person filing is certifiably crazy…)

    1. “certifiably crazy” = not sufficiently progressive in certain circles.

  9. Hm, a search said a wild deed is one that IS NOT properly recorded.

  10. Hey! Get off my husband… whoa…. ok NOW shoot my husband!

    At that point, Chiegbu’s wife ran into the apartment and started fighting with the officers, the charges say. While they were dealing with her, “Chiegbu was able to get up, still naked, and run onto the balcony and jump off the second floor deck and into the parking lot,” according to the charges.

    After he ran into his own apartment, his wife told officers that her 5-week-old daughter was inside and asked them “to shoot her husband,” charging papers say.

    1. Fortunately, the baby didn’t make any furtive movements towards its waistband and end up shot.

      1. Ironically (?) the cops showed remarkable restraint. This had all the markers: Crazy naked guy in the act of trying to rape someone, fighting with the cops, family fighting with cops, exigent circumstances, furtive movements from the word ‘go’, known perp, failure to comply…

        Yet no one got shot, only tazered, and not repeatedly until they had a heart attack or died.

        And no dogs were shot.

        1. Cops are contrarians – they won’t shoot when you *want* them to.

  11. fighting finding McQuaig mentally incompetent
    $255 million

  12. Are we sure this wasn’t an episode of Law and Order San Diego?

  13. I was channel surfing and found a reality show about ‘moonshiners’. Isn’t alcohol legal now in these 50 states? What’s the point?

    1. Always read the fine print. Amendment XXI:

      Section 1. The eighteenth article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

      Section 2. The transportation or importation into any State, Territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.

      Basically, the 21st Amendment set up alcohol socialism. The states outright run or cartelize the production, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages. And they don’t like competition.

      1. I thought the constitution was supposed to prohibit the government from doing things, not prohibit the public.

        1. “thought the constitution was supposed to prohibit the government from doing things, not prohibit the public.”

          How quaint!!

    2. I’ll take this one Norm..
      You see, distilling alcohol by the light of the moon is said to produce fewer congeners, which produce hangovers.. Modern state licensed distillers are ignorant of that effect and wantonly distill at all hours of the day..

    3. Distilling alcohol without paying the Tax Man — aka moonshining — is still illegal as shit.

      I have my doubts about that “reality” show having anything to do with reality, though; those guys would have to be stupid as hell to show their faces on national TV while committing a crime the feds still take fairly seriously.

  14. Twitchy commentators and their fetish for LEO are sickening.


    ESPECIALLY the ones who blame the parents for ‘allowing a KID for having the temerity to carry a toy gun around. Do Americans really live in a time where they have to watch how they play and must heed the barbaric heeds of sociopath cops? I’m sorry but it can be any object and they’d defend the incompetence of cops. God damn, do they not see how problematic this is?

    So ‘tough’ those people are.

    1. If the left had any intellectual honesty, instead of using Rice’s death as a springboard to call for more gun control, they would be putting money towards gun safety instruction. The NRA has done more to save young people’s lives (their somewhat positive attitude about cops notwithstanding) than the Brady campaign ever has.

      1. The Cleveland Browns have a better chance at winning the SB than your plan has.

        Just the other day my wife was watching The View and its panel of hyenas ganging up on Kasich screaming all sorts of bull shit and the usual ‘but the NRA’ drivel. At one point, one of them said ‘not true’ to him. They’re simply not interested in real debate because they already think they know the truth.

        Think about what you’re up against.

        1. Why anyone of the conservative stripe would appear on that show is beyond me.

          1. Why anyone of the conservative stripe would appear on that show is beyond me.

      2. It’s not a popular thing to say here or around the lefties on Facebook and Twitter, but it was really stupid for Rice to bring something that looked like a real gun to a public place and start waving it around and pointing it at people. Kids have to be told that kind of behavior will attract attention, and it could be lethal.

        That said, I still absolutely agree that the cops who arrived totally handled the situation in the wrong way and should have been indicted. No reason that kid should have died.

        We’re in a feedback loop with police violence. People complain about it and threaten and attack the police, which makes them more nervous and take a shoot first policy, which feeds right back into the complaints. We need to make the police more accountable so that the public trust can be restored and the situation deescalated.

        1. We’re in a feedback loop with police violence. People complain about it and threaten and attack the police, which makes them more nervous and take a shoot first policy, which feeds right back into the complaints.

          While I don’t agree with Reason that police getting shot/killed is a safe proxy for assessing the “war on cops”, I do find it hard to believe that police are getting less respect now than in the recent (under 50 years) past. Not to put too fine a point on it, but how do you get less than zero?

          I think there are other factors at play. Maybe the composition of police forces is changing, maybe the era of ubiquitous cellphone video is just making evident what was once kept hidden, maybe it took a while for the policies and attitudes set in place a generation ago to really come home to roost. I don’t know, but I wish somebody with some integrity would try to find out.

  15. Earlier this month a judge permitted the city to refinance $125 million in construction debt

    And why would a judge have to allow the city to refinance the debt? Because it was part of his ruling in the lawsuit against the city by some trouble-making “open government” group claiming that the city’s shady dealings perfectly legal strategy to avoid the legal requirement of putting bond issues before the voters constituted some sort of shady dealings. Sounds very much like the practice of when the voters turn down the ballot proposal to issue bonds for building a particular boondoggle the city council or whatever has the boondoggle built by a private company with which they’ve signed a 30-year lease, using the 30-year lease as collateral for the construction loan. No bonds means they don’t need to get the voters permission for capital projects, the 30-year lease means the taxpayers are on the hook regardless for some shit they specifically voted against.

    1. In that particular case, the voters, giddy from a World Series appearance voted to approve the new stadium so the Padres wouldn’t be the junior tenant at Jack Murphy / Qualcomm where they reaped zero of the benefits properly due a half-billion dollar sports franchise.

      1. I remember that vote, when George Will wrote some of his less libertarian odes to baseball and how we should all subsidize his fetish for it.

  16. First: Reason programmers get rid of the GD swipe to switch articles function on mobile. It pisses me off and serves no useful function.

    Second: Involuntary commitment and drugging is so libertarian.

    Third: Black Mirror White Christmas is on Netflix and it’s awesome.

    1. Third: Black Mirror White Christmas is on Netflix and it’s awesome.

      I’m going to check this out right now. If it’s a turd I’m holding you responsible.

      1. It’s better than Avatar, I promise

        1. If that’s not the title of interracial porn, I’m sorely disappointed.

        2. Watched the first episode; it’s shit. You’re dead to me.

          1. Tough crowd.

          2. We should take off our clothes and talk about this under a blanket.

  17. That good deed didn’t go unpunished.

  18. Tonight’s derp offering:

    Journolist: San Bernardino killers were radical, ISIS-loving monsters ? but one of their victims was just as bigoted

    It’s the prog version of “she wouldn’t have gotten raped if she hadn’t dressed like a slut”.

    1. Welcome back. Drop and give me 50.

      And yeah, the Stasi article. That woman is a class act.

  19. Sounds like that POS needs a serious beat down.


  20. What a bunch of pansies. It’s not a fucking nightmare. One filing and maybe a brief court appearance is the worst it would come to. People are such jerks. I see this crap all the time. X is a nightmare. X is the worst imaginable. When not only can with no effort at all imagine much worser things and my nightmares are on average much worser but I’ve usually lived through actual experiences that were considerably more aversive and dealt with problems that were much more difficult. Fuck, talking to my mother for Xmas, for instance.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.