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CHAPTER 8 - False Personation and Cheats | Califonrnia Penal Code - PEN | Section 537.

537. (a) Any person who obtains any food, fuel, services, or accommodations at a hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, ski area, or public or private campground, without paying therefor, with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager thereof, or who obtains credit at an hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, or public or private campground by the use of any false pretense, or who, after obtaining credit, food, fuel, services, or accommodations, at an hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, or public or private campground, absconds, or surreptitiously, or by force, menace, or threats, removes any part of his or her baggage therefrom with the intent not to pay for his or her food or accommodations is guilty of a public offense punishable as follows:

(1) If the value of the credit, food, fuel, services, or accommodations is nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or less, by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding six months, or both.

(2) If the value of the credit, food, fuel, services, or accommodations is greater than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), by imprisonment in a county jail for a term of not more than one year, or in the state prison.

(b) Any person who uses or attempts to use ski area facilities for which payment is required without paying as required, or who resells a ski lift ticket to another when the resale is not authorized by the proprietor, is guilty of an infraction.

(c) Evidence that a person left the premises of such an hotel, inn, restaurant, boardinghouse, lodginghouse, apartment house, bungalow court, motel, marina, marine facility, autocamp, ski area, or public or private campground, without paying or offering to pay for such food, fuel, services, use of facilities, or accommodation, or that the person, without authorization from the proprietor, resold his or her ski lift ticket to another person after making use of such facilities, shall be prima facie evidence of the following:

(1) That the person obtained such food, fuel, services, use of facilities or accommodations with intent to defraud the proprietor or manager.

(2) That, if, after obtaining the credit, food, fuel, services, or accommodations, the person absconded, or surreptitiously, or by force, menace, or threats, removed part of his or her baggage therefrom, the person did so with the intent not to pay for the credit, food, fuel, services, or accommodations.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, 3rd Ex. Sess., Ch. 28, Sec. 27. Effective January 25, 2010.)

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Last modified: July 19, 2016