Mattituck Beach Trespassing Case Heads Back to Court for Day 2

Homeowner, plaintiff, sits in witness box all day.

A civil trial over beach rights versus private property rights among three people who were once friends continued on Thursday following , as plaintiff Christine Rivera spent her entire day in court on the witness stand.

Directly examined by her attorney, Jordan Behar, cross-examined by defendant Paul Calabro's attorney, Dave Raimondo, and questioned once again by each, the Mattituck homeowner took the stand around 12:20 and left at 4:25, with an 1:15 break in between for lunch.

At issue is whether Calabro violated the property rights of Rivera and her husband, Richard, when the two claim that on two separate occasions in 2008 and 2009 he set up a beach chair and umbrella on their property south of the mean high tide mark on the Long Island Sound, trespassing into their property. The Rivera's property abuts a public road-end owned by Southold Town to the east, and east of that, , owned by the .

On Thursday, lawyers on both sides explored Rivera's past history with Calabro, Rivera's own knowledge of her property line, and how Rivera has treated others who she says have trespassed on her property, among other topics.

Rivera said she doesn't bother people fishing on the beach standing on her property, or people walking through it.

"But not people setting up a beach umbrella, and whatnot," she said. "Ninety-nine point nine percent of people are very respectful. And if we ask people to go to the public side, 99.9 percent of the time they do."

Rivera said she and her husband's relationship with Calabro — who has owned the house across the street for nearly 40 years — started getting adversarial in 2006 to 2007. Prior to that, she said, he would ask to cut through their back yard when using their wooden boardwalk to head toward the beach, and did not previously set up chairs or umbrellas on their property.

Raimondo attempted several times throughout his line of questioning to reference a lawsuit won by the Riveras in May of 2007 over the State of New York and Southold Town, the result of which granted the Riveras the sand built-up in front of their property which has accumulated just west of the Mattituck Inlet jetty. However the references were often objected by Behar, and sustained by State Supreme Court Judge Joseph Pastoressa.

Raimondo asked Rivera if she noticed where the high water mark was on the days of the alleged trespassing — as he did yesterday's witnesses — and she could not recall. He read aloud a disposition from Rivera noting that there was no physical marking denoting her property line at the time of the alleged trespassing.

Rivera said Calabro has told her several times over the years, "You don't own the beach," and the 79-year-old Calabro was seen shaking his head several times throughout the day at the defense table.

While Rivera said incidents between Calabro and she and her husband started as early as 2006, she did not call the police on him until 2008, and never asked to have him arrested.

"I always thought we could resolve this amicably," she said. "We had been friends for 30-plus years."

Litigation will resume on Friday, as Raimundo is expected to bring forth a character witness and surveyor.

Hooterville Native December 09, 2011 at 01:16 AM
THIS IS SO RIDICULES AND STUPID AND MOST OF ALL A BIG WASTE OF TIME AND MONEY AND A BIGGER WASTE OF NYS COURT TIME, WE ARE ALL PAYING FOR THIS (Judges, Court Officers and all other court employees get paid by us the TAXPAYERS)... I walk the beach almost everyday all year long and I have yet, to even see the Rivera's on "THEIR" beach using it. Are they paying taxes on the extra beach front property they gained? I can say one thing though, when the Rivera's put that split-rail fence down into the water, I resented having to climb over it and through it, when the tide was high.
John December 09, 2011 at 12:22 PM
Mother Nature and the law gave the Riveras the additional land, the law seems to give Mr.Calabro the right to walk below the high water mark. They should both accept that fact, and stop trying to push each others buttons, (honestly thats what this seems to be about). If you take strolling the beach out of the equation, what would be so hard for Mr. Calabro to sit on parkland instead of the Riveras property, is the view really that different? I have to agree with the poster above...This is ridiculous, really folks two days in court, because two people are just screwing with each other. One last thing, human nature being what it is, that fence down to the water just makes people want to mess with you even more.
George December 09, 2011 at 12:22 PM
How would Mr Calabro like for someone to pitch an umbrella in his backyard or walk through his property regardless if you see him on his property or not. How do you know what the beach homeowners pay in taxes. 20 years ago when the long island sound was threatening to wash away their homes the taxes where the same. Why weren't the taxes reduced for having less property? Bottom line the Riveras own the property,pay taxes and have a right to their privacy. There's plenty of public beach in Mattituck for people to use.
Thomas kalogeras December 09, 2011 at 12:48 PM
/ ./ ,.,
Robin December 09, 2011 at 02:28 PM
What a complete waste of time and tax payers money.
George December 09, 2011 at 02:31 PM
I would like to see Mr Calabro sit in front of Howard Sterns house or any other celebrity's house in the hamptons. How long do you think he would be allowed to stay. If you go to the beach in Mattituck on the Bay side there's a fence between every house on the bay. Why is that okay ? Why isn't anyone complaining about those home owners
BOB PALADIN December 09, 2011 at 02:58 PM
This issue of what owns the shifting sands is on both the sound and the bay. My wonderful neighbors erected Stalag Barriers complete with Wire to stop anyone from infiltating their property. I have Deeded Beach rights and somehow I am relagated to a six by six platform and have been told its a Dip and Go only . I want to know who put up the Rolled steel bulkheads and eleiminated the Beach altogether.Whoever it wa made a Move on my title and removing the Beach made a Move on me . Next summer will be a test when I cut a path to the beach Next.mm
Hooterville Native December 09, 2011 at 03:13 PM
George, I mainly use the sound side to walk and swim, I have been to the bay and I would like to know where there are fences between every house (all the way into the water) like the one I had to climb over? As for the Hamptons, I believe Ron Barron, tried to do what the Reveras are trying to do and lost. The seashore is an ever changing place, just ask the home owners west of the Reveras, (by Cooper's Rock) they are losing property every time we have a higher than normal tide. In actuality is the Reveras beach actually theirs, because it came from their property?
BOB PALADIN December 09, 2011 at 04:21 PM
by erecting rolled steel bulkheads in front of private property eliminates the replenishment of beach sand as nature created. the rich take away the beach and the beach rights from the regular folk and then erect large barriers with video cameras to have the men in uniform enforce their theft. who stole my beach will be a hot topic next summer believe me . the election is over and it time for the lawmakers to take a stand. I want my beach back not a stupid little deck with a dangerous12 ft ladder to the water..
Hooterville Native December 09, 2011 at 04:33 PM
Bob, why wait for next summer? There is no time like the present..
BOB PALADIN December 09, 2011 at 04:42 PM
i am a Civil Construction owner and am having the legality of the bulkheads looked into. if the are illegal as i suspect then the Army Corps of Engineers needs to get involved in their removable and charge the homeowners to restore the beachs for ALL. its going to be very interesting. THE ACE stopped me from saving a beautiful Home Bluff in Rock point stating that nature takes president over any made made structures.. so lets see if that applies to Peconic bay
BOB PALADIN December 09, 2011 at 06:16 PM
why cant the title company solve the issue for calabro and the riveras .. thats the most logical cost effective way of doing this ..i am using my title company to determine if my beach rights on title were usurped by putting in the bulkheads. i have beach front rights not bulkhead sitting position big difference in property value isnt it[ i assume thats why the riveras are fighting this for the money and land value]
forward thinking December 09, 2011 at 07:19 PM
George December 09, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Deborah if you have google map log on to it and start from the mattituck yacth club and go east and count all the fences you say dont exsist
Hooterville Native December 09, 2011 at 09:34 PM
George, I asked a question. I NEVER said they didn't exist, I simply asked where they were
BOB PALADIN December 09, 2011 at 09:56 PM
wow thats what i wanted to hear good for him i hope the bay people[laywers et al] here that erected stalag 17's read this because they coming down
William Swiskey sr December 10, 2011 at 03:50 PM
Years ago it was not a problem walking any beach. Why don't the people, like some of those involved here just go back where they came from and spread there happiness there.
forward thinking December 11, 2011 at 02:17 AM


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