George Lucas learned he’s not official owner of California driveway — so he’s suing

Eric Risberg/AP
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George Lucas, the creator of “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones,” recently learned he’s not the official owner of a paved driveway leading to one of his properties in California’s Bay Area, according to a lawsuit.

Lucas, and those permitted by his agents, have driven up the strip to the San Anselmo property over the past three decades — dating back to around 1990, a complaint filed Marin County Superior Court on May 15 says

The acclaimed filmmaker suspects heirs of his deceased neighbors may have been granted the right to access part of the driveway and believes they may claim that right, the complaint says.

As a result, Lucas has filed a lawsuit against those heirs and the town of San Anselmo to ensure he’s declared the rightful owner of the strip, the complaint shows. The lawsuit was first reported by the Marin Independent Journal.

Diego Flores, an attorney at Shartisis Friese LLP law firm in San Francisco who is representing Lucas, told McClatchy News in a statement on Aug. 3 that the lawsuit is simply a procedural action.

“We are taking this procedural action to clean up century-old surveying errors, so that they reflect the reality of use and ownership on the ground,” Flores said. “We have been working closely with the Town of San Anselmo to resolve this issue and look forward to continuing those efforts.

Our understanding is that the Town does not claim any interest in the property and the Town has not asserted a claim of ownership in the past.”

McClatchy News contacted San Anselmo Town Manager David Donery for comment on Aug. 3 and didn’t receive an immediate response.

The complaint says the town was named as defendant “out of an abundance of caution.”

In a statement to the Marin Independent Journal, Donery said the “next step is for the town attorney to meet with the Town Council in closed session to discuss the matter”

The town will also determine if it will file a disclaimer of interest, Donery told the Marin Independent Journal, which is an action that relinquishes the interest and legal right to a property.

More on the lawsuit

Lucas was under the impression that the driveway was a part of his San Anselmo property where a 1,170-square-foot home sits, according to the complaint.

However, it was discovered that the property lines were established in an irregular manner during a recent survey.

The strip is “exclusively” used by him and those he’s authorized, and he has maintained “enclosures” on the driveway to prevent the public from accessing it, according to the complaint.

“Lucas has otherwise improved, or maintained improvements on, the strip, including by installing and maintaining significant landscaping,” the complaint says.

The lawsuit is a quiet title action, which is “a legal proceeding in which a party seeks to establish their legal ownership of a property and remove any competing claims or disputes over the property’s ownership,” Levin Law Group explains online.

It hopes the court will rule that Lucas is the true owner of the driveway and no one else may lay claim to it, according to the complaint.

Lucas’ San Anselmo property is about 15 miles southwest of his sprawling Skywalker Ranch.

The ranch, dubbed a “filmmaker’s retreat,” is where Lucasfilm division Skywalker Sound employees work outside of San Rafael, according to CBS News.

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