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Thread: Metro trespassed someone from my property today; with video

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Metro trespassed someone from my property today; with video

    I have a few questions for those of you familiar with trespassing statutes as well as our citizens arrest statutes. Once I am notified that there is an official warning of trespass, can I detain this someone myself? If so, can I apply reasonable force to prevent them from escaping custody until police arrive?

    Lately, in the community which I reside, an elderly Asian couple whom also reside in the community have been trash picking. Presumably, they are seeking recyclables, however it concerns me that they could be seeking personal information for the purpose of identity theft when no one is watching; no way to know. Trash picking is an activity that falls into a grey area in the law. in some respects, it is abandoned property, but in this case, my bin which I lease from Republic, was on my property, and the offender had to cross my property line in order to access it; I.e. trespassing. Another Board member has surveillance video of her walking all the way up her driveway and stealing a $30 aquarium filter while they were taking a break from cleaning their turtle aquarium. This is beginning to go beyond trash picking and is escalating to outright theft (not a grey area).

    I have surveillance cameras on my home and I was monitoring them at the time the offender unlawfully entered my property. I confronted them and attempted to communicate that they were not welcome and that if they return, I would pursue trespassing charges. It was clear that she did not speak English and attempted to simply laugh as if it was all just good fun until I slammed the lid down and ordered them off my property. After they left, I immediately contacted Metro and followed them throughout the community as well as other neighboring communities for almost an hour until two Metro officers arrived.

    I expressed to metro that all I am seeking is an official notice of trespass and that I be given her name and address for my records. I presume that they took the woman home and found some means to communicate the trespass warning to her through interpreters by phone; I will follow up in the morning with Enterprise Area Command to find out what the disposition of the event ID is.

    In the video attached, I was armed, however my jacket was concealing my firearm; I have a CCW. While in contact with Metro I informed them that I was armed and that my firearms was holstered during the entire confrontation, the offender never threatened me with bodily harm, though at certain points during my pursuit, she became agitated and screamed at me in Chinese.

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    I watched the video and it maybe that she was on public land ... where does your property actually start? Isn't there part of the land that is public between the street and your house? Video is hard to tell. Take some pics and post...from different angles. And it certainly looks like you invite people over to where the cans are...

    No one wants anyone snooping through their trash for whatever reason.

    As to what you can do .... consult google scholar and do some R&D -- different states have different rules.

    Why you telling the cops you had a gun? Not smart. Don't care if you have carry license, in fact, it should make you understand not to tell.

    You have a garbage picker ... next time hand her a notice of trespass (if this has any legal effect, chk your state laws~generally a phone call is not sufficient); if it has legal effect then you may arrest her if she actually trespasses (again consult your state/local law). But beware .. the person you detain could turn around and sue you...even if you have the law on your side.

    Solution maybe to buy a bin for what she is searching for (metals most likely) .. then she can collect it easily enough.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    David,

    Thank you for your thoughts. My property line begins at the inscribed marking on the curb. which, in the video, you could see that she clearly stepped over in order to access the bin. She resides in the community, which is subject to CC&R's which clearly state where property lines begin and end and clearly define that the individual property owners retain the right to restrict access to anyone whom is unwelcome. In fact, I'm the President of the association, and I can't even cross a property between resident and community property without expressed consent from the unit owner. As a resident, she is bound by the governing documents.

    She might not have been aware that she was trespassing on private property, but that's the point. Now she does, and there is an official record. She can no longer make the claim that she didn't understand my previous warning because of a language barrier. The police have informed her where she can no longer go and the consequences of doing so again. I had no expectation of criminal charges being applied for this offense because there was no prior evidence that she was given and understood a warning of trespassing.

    As for separating the recyclables so she can collect them, I have a philosophical reason for not separating them, that goes far beyond the scope of this topic. However, there is a bigger picture. One of my responsibilities as an office of the Board of Directors is to maintain the community in such a manner that will maximize the property value of those who invest in a home here. Place yourself in the shoes of a prospective home buyer. How would you react if you were viewing a property that you were interested in purchasing and you saw resident's garbage bins being looted when you arrived? You would probably undervalue the property.

    Again, thank you for your thoughts. I hope I clarified some of your concerns.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    I lost sympathy when you revealed that you were not only in bed with, but were in fact President of, a HOA.

    You've basically rejected the concept of property rights, so why should we maintain yours?

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    Place yourself in the shoes of a prospective home buyer. How would you react if you were viewing a property that you were interested in purchasing and you saw resident's garbage bins being looted when you arrived? You would probably undervalue the property.
    Not as much as the existence of a HOA. Such property has zero value to me.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    All I really saw were X-mas lights. Is there a sidewalk? Research "easement."

    She left when you confronted her. Call the cops every time. They'll address either her or you.

    HOAs...never a more anti-liberty construct of a civil society.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    David,

    Thank you for your thoughts. My property line begins at the inscribed marking on the curb. which, in the video, you could see that she clearly stepped over in order to access the bin. She resides in the community, which is subject to CC&R's which clearly state where property lines begin and end and clearly define that the individual property owners retain the right to restrict access to anyone whom is unwelcome. In fact, I'm the President of the association, and I can't even cross a property between resident and community property without expressed consent from the unit owner. As a resident, she is bound by the governing documents.

    She might not have been aware that she was trespassing on private property, but that's the point. Now she does, and there is an official record. She can no longer make the claim that she didn't understand my previous warning because of a language barrier. The police have informed her where she can no longer go and the consequences of doing so again. I had no expectation of criminal charges being applied for this offense because there was no prior evidence that she was given and understood a warning of trespassing.

    As for separating the recyclables so she can collect them, I have a philosophical reason for not separating them, that goes far beyond the scope of this topic. However, there is a bigger picture. One of my responsibilities as an office of the Board of Directors is to maintain the community in such a manner that will maximize the property value of those who invest in a home here. Place yourself in the shoes of a prospective home buyer. How would you react if you were viewing a property that you were interested in purchasing and you saw resident's garbage bins being looted when you arrived? You would probably undervalue the property.

    Again, thank you for your thoughts. I hope I clarified some of your concerns.
    SCOTUS is of the opinion that trash left at the curb is open game and the fact that it on your private property does not protect it. Shred ALL documents. (California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. 35 (1988) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_v._Greenwood) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtilage)
    Since she/they are residents, that may be the most effective avenue for relief (civilly). If they have been captured on video stealing the aquarium filter, why have they not been charged with theft? Was that incident reported?
    Last edited by willy1094; 12-18-2014 at 08:29 AM.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    A couple things, before this thread gets derailed from the OT to a constant series of rants about the EVIL HOA.

    At no point did I make any allegation of theft. This wasn't about what she took from my trash can. This was about a person crossing a property line from a property that she has a right to be, onto a property that she doesn't have a right to be. I have researched easement. The utility companies have easement because there is an overlap of their property and mine, therefor I must allow them onto my property for them to access theirs. The resident in question must be granted easement to the streets which are owned, operated and maintained by the HOA. that easement grants her the right to cross the line between the community property and her unit, but it does not grant her the right to cross onto my property. This is why my trash stays on my property, and is not placed on the street itself. Republic Service has a service agreement with me that grants them easement to pick up and empty the bin from my property.

    Again, this is not about who has a right to take my trash, this is about who has a right to step onto my property. They clearly do not, they have been told by the police that they do not, and they've been told what the consequences of doing so again will be.

    Now, I'll address the statements made towards me about my position as a HOA board member. First, I have misgivings about HOA's like many of you do. That is why I ran for and hold this office, to keep the HOA one their side of the property line! Granted, that when you purchase a home in an associated community, you give up certain rights, like the right to paint your house a color that doesn't compliment the surrounding community. or the right to have a fifty year old car rusting on blocks in your front yard.

    When you live this close to one another, having a set of rules that everyone agrees to is not a bad thing.

    Also not a bad thing is that the streets and common area facilities are owned, maintained and operated by the association and funded with a budgeted reserve. every dollar we spend on our streets, signs, lights and landscaping, is a dollar that isn't paid for from taxpayer money. Believe it or not, associations relieve an enormous tax burden. Our community doesn't have a private park, pool, gym or rec center. People who bought property here clearly either didn't need or want them, or were not willing to pay for them. That is why our monthly dues are $32 while another nearby community that does have all those additional facilities must pay $130 a month. This way, only the people who use the facilities they pay for are actually paying for it. Unlike say a public park or pool, which is often paid for with tax money and is unlikely to fully sustain it's own costs.

    The roll I fill as the HOA president is to ensure that the association is managing it's resources efficiently, appropriating money for reserves for future expenses, maintaining a high retail value for the homes in the community and ensuring that the community is safe.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-18-2014 at 10:43 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by willy1094 View Post
    If they have been captured on video stealing the aquarium filter, why have they not been charged with theft? Was that incident reported?
    This was a separate case from mine, but I believe the homeowners are attempting to recover the cost of the filter from them and will file charges if they can not. This is basically the same approach I took, I told this woman once prior not to come onto my property, but because of the language barrier, clearly she did not understand my request. This is why I escalated the matter to an official method.

    It's always best to attempt to resolve matters outside the legal system, be it civil or criminal. But when reason-ability fails, we have those systems in place to deal with those who don't play by the rules.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Your apologia for your position as HOA president seems reasonable, and absent any specific knowledge of any specific acts of aggression against property committed by your HOA (and operating on the assumption that is it as least logically possible for an HOA to be non-aggressive), I'm inclined to leave it at that.

    All I'll say is when you crow, "THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR MESSING WITH THE HOA PRESIDENT!!!", don't expect everyone to empathize.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    "THAT'S WHAT YOU GET FOR MESSING WITH THE HOA PRESIDENT!!!", don't expect everyone to empathize.
    Thank you for accepting my reasoning. There is a problem with the quote however. The text in the video reads, "Don't pick the HOA president's house." the reason being, it's foolish for someone to think that the person who's job it is to be most vigil over the well being of the community is not going to be vigilant of their own property as well.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-18-2014 at 11:15 AM.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    I'm guessing that there is not a sidewalk. Easements are more than permissions for public/private services. A easement can also include future improvements, such as sidewalks. Is there a requirement that residents walk in the roadway to avoid entering upon another residents property?

    Ya know, you could move if you don't like what a citizen does with his own private property, as long as that "doing" does not place others in fear of bodily harm.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply my quote was anything but my own words, as you came across to me.

    Anyway, I have something to add now. I basically agree with the SCOTUS. It may seem unusual for me to agree with a pro-cop decision they hand down (it is), but I have a good reason.

    In general, law should exist to provide a second line of defense (or at least recompense) against aggressions which themselves act against natural rights. When you establish a curtilage, it is a natural consequence that you enjoy privacy within that curtilage. It is appropriate for the law to support you should your endeavor to maintain/defend your curtilage fail against superior aggressive force.

    However, for the law to declare a "right of privacy" in property you leave out for the world to access, is to create a legal fiction. Such a "right" is not a natural consequence of your being or any action you have taken. Indeed, absent a curtilage, nothing prevents any person at all from absconding with your garbage at any time, except for your persistent watchful eye. While it would be aggressive (destructive against the product of your labors) to break into your curtilage while you're away, this doesn't apply to property left "lying around", whether within your property line or not. So, you're asking for the law to act as the first line of defense against a "right" you have not taken the first steps to secure. This is not the way it's supposed to work.

    First, establish a curtilage around your valuable property. You may grant permission for the garbage man to breech its boundary. Then, ask for the law to support your natural right to enjoy an unviolated curtilage. But don't expect Mommy Government to hold your hand every step of the way.

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I'm guessing that there is not a sidewalk. Easements are more than permissions for public/private services. A easement can also include future improvements, such as sidewalks. Is there a requirement that residents walk in the roadway to avoid entering upon another residents property?
    There is no such requirement that property owners grant pedestrians easement because of an absence of a sidewalk. There is no sidewalk because the streets are wide enough to safely walk along and to remove the added expense of their upkeep.

    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Ya know, you could move if you don't like what a citizen does with his own private property, as long as that "doing" does not place others in fear of bodily harm.
    Yes, but in this case, I should not have to move because I don't like what another resident is doing on my private property. I hate to presuppose anything, but if I had to hazard a guess, the person in question is likely a recent arrival from China and is probably in some stage of the immigration process. It may very well be that having lived for so long in a culture where private property rights and title are virtually nonexistent, that the concept of trespassing may be very foreign to her. Either that or she just doesn't give a ****. I don't know which is true, which is why I don't like to presuppose anything.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Sorry, I didn't mean to imply my quote was anything but my own words, as you came across to me.

    Anyway, I have something to add now. I basically agree with the SCOTUS. It may seem unusual for me to agree with a pro-cop decision they hand down (it is), but I have a good reason.

    In general, law should exist to provide a second line of defense (or at least recompense) against aggressions which themselves act against natural rights. When you establish a curtilage, it is a natural consequence that you enjoy privacy within that curtilage. It is appropriate for the law to support you should your endeavor to maintain/defend your curtilage fail against superior aggressive force.

    However, for the law to declare a "right of privacy" in property you leave out for the world to access, is to create a legal fiction. Such a "right" is not a natural consequence of your being or any action you have taken. Indeed, absent a curtilage, nothing prevents any person at all from absconding with your garbage at any time, except for your persistent watchful eye. While it would be aggressive (destructive against the product of your labors) to break into your curtilage while you're away, this doesn't apply to property left "lying around", whether within your property line or not. So, you're asking for the law to act as the first line of defense against a "right" you have not taken the first steps to secure. This is not the way it's supposed to work.

    First, establish a curtilage around your valuable property. You may grant permission for the garbage man to breech its boundary. Then, ask for the law to support your natural right to enjoy an unviolated curtilage. But don't expect Mommy Government to hold your hand every step of the way.
    Again, this is not about theft, it's about trespassing. I put my trash bin within my property limits for a reason. My property is established, it is marked (not my fault if you don't know how to read the markings) and I have title to it. The simple fact here is that she crossed from a place she had a right to be, onto a place that she didn't have a right to be. it really is that simple. My trash might not be protected while it is left unattended, but my property most certainly is.
    Last edited by Nevada carrier; 12-18-2014 at 11:44 AM.
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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    There is no such requirement that property owners grant pedestrians easement because of an absence of a sidewalk. There is no sidewalk because the streets are wide enough to safely walk along and to remove the added expense of their upkeep.

    Yes, but in this case, I should not have to move because I don't like what another resident is doing on my private property. ...
    I did not ask if there is a requirement to grant access (easement is a burden on the property owner). In other words, the HOA does not provide a sidewalk, thus there is a requirement, by the HOA, to walk in the roadway to avoid walking on private property.

    Thank you for the clarification.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    I did not ask if there is a requirement to grant access (easement is a burden on the property owner). In other words, the HOA does not provide a sidewalk, thus there is a requirement, by the HOA, to walk in the roadway to avoid walking on private property.

    Thank you for the clarification.
    I think I understand what you're getting at. You are saying that unless specifically warned to the contrary someone may enter my property unless some infrastructure is in place that is clearly intended to keep them out, such as a fence or wall. This is reasonable. people walk up to other's front door and knock unsolicited all the time.

    The crime of trespassing does not occur until the property owner expressly states that the person may not return to the property unless expressly granted permission. This is also reasonable. In fact this is exactly what occurred during this confrontation. She was told, on record by the property owner (me) and the appropriate authority (the police), verified that notice was given that she no longer has an implied easement. From my perspective, the law is being observed and applied exactly as it was intended to be.

    Perhaps the misunderstanding here is that readers believe I expected her to be charged with a crime for this incident which is not the case. I expected exactly what happened to happen. If she returns and steps back over my property line again, Only then would I seek and expect charges against her.
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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    Again, this is not about theft, it's about trespassing. I put my trash bin within my property limits for a reason. My property is established, it is marked (not my fault if you don't know how to read the markings) and I have title to it. The simple fact here is that she crossed from a place she had a right to be, onto a place that she didn't have a right to be. it really is that simple. My trash might not be protected while it is left unattended, but my property most certainly is.
    Absent a curtilage? How, do you imagine?

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    Let me get this clear, you have given this person trespass notice but want to detain on (criminal) tresapass, without giving the trespasser the opportunity to cure the trespass? Why would your detention be legal?

    Better, collect evidence and swear a warrant for criminal trespass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Let me get this clear, you have given this person trespass notice but want to detain on (criminal) tresapass [sic], without giving the trespasser the opportunity to cure the trespass? Why would your detention be legal?
    It is legal because she has already been given notice not to return. The trespass has been cured as of this moment. She hasn't returned, But if and when she does return I believe citizens have the right to use reasonable (and I stress REASONABLE) force to prevent that person from fleeing prosecution for a subsequent trespass.

    I asked our security supervisor what authority grants them the ability to handcuff and detain someone for trespassing. He says their process is to deliver a trespass warning not to return, usual with one or more witnesses. Then, if they are found on the property again, they claim authority to detain the offender to be taken into police custody by virtue of the citizens arrest statute.

    The problem any citizen faces when placing someone under arrest is that the moment that person is no longer free, you are totally and completely responsible for their health, safety and welfare. If they are hungry, you must feed them. if they require medical attention, you must provide it. If they need to relieve themselves you must allow them to do so (humanely). If they hurt themselves, you must be able to prove that you could not have possibly stopped them from doing so.

    Our security supervisor says that usually, If trespassing is the only offense and the address and identity of the offender can be verified, they will release someone after one hour if the police can not arrive to take them into custody.
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    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Absent a curtilage? How, do you imagine?
    Because I told her to leave and that if she refused or returned she would be cited for trespassing. The curtilage was, me, the property owner telling her she was not welcome.
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    Regular Member OC Freedom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    Again, this is not about theft, it's about trespassing. I put my trash bin within my property limits for a reason. My property is established, it is marked (not my fault if you don't know how to read the markings) and I have title to it. The simple fact here is that she crossed from a place she had a right to be, onto a place that she didn't have a right to be. it really is that simple. My trash might not be protected while it is left unattended, but my property most certainly is.
    Why not just put your garbage can behind a locked fence, in the garage, or padlock the lid. What happened to people dealing with their problems without getting Johnny law involved over something so trivial.
    If this person doesn't go over a gate or fence and hasn't entered your dwelling, or damaged your landscaping, then whats the problem.

    Do you pay property taxes? If so, you don't own the property you're just a renter of the property, try and not pay your rent (taxes) to the county and see how long it will remain yours.

    Homeowners associations are just another layer preventing you from really owning your property. I would do everything I could to dismantle the HOA and regain some empowerment back over your (rental) property, then work at repealing property taxes. Property taxes, now that's a real problem.

    My opinions listed here are not an attack on you, just my viewpoint of the situation presented. I don't get into arguments on this forum, so depending on the response on my posting (if any) I may not respond to it.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Nevada carrier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC Freedom View Post
    Why not just put your garbage can behind a locked fence, in the garage, or padlock the lid. What happened to people dealing with their problems without getting Johnny law involved over something so trivial.
    If this person doesn't go over a gate or fence and hasn't entered your dwelling, or damaged your landscaping, then whats the problem.
    I store my bin in the garage until collection day. In the video, it was placed near the curb but within my property boundaries for collection. I understand that once it's on the curb I cant stop someone from looting it. But if I place it on my property I can stop someone from being on my property to do so.

    I've given my reasons why I don't want anyone in my trash, they're stated in the original post. As for the opinions you expressed beyond the quote above, those are you're opinions, you're welcome to them. To some extent I agree with you on a lot of it, but remember, this thread isn't about HOA's and property taxes, it's about trespassing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nevada carrier View Post
    It is legal because she has already been given notice not to return. The trespass has been cured as of this moment. She hasn't returned, But if and when she does return I believe citizens have the right to use reasonable (and I stress REASONABLE) force to prevent that person from fleeing prosecution for a subsequent trespass.
    Would a reasonable person conclude that the tresspasser would escape prosecution if not detained?

    You stated that her identity is known and that she has been officially notified of trespassing.

    How was she notified if, upon leaving your property the first time, her location was unable to be ascertained?

    You're basically arguing that you know her, know where she resides, know how she can be located, and wish to physically detain her........

    ....because she will escape prosecution if not restrained the next time she digs through your trash.

    Your argument seems a little rickety and requires some propping up. I'm sensing a little proclivity to seek confrontation, detention, and "drama" unneccessarily. Why do you wish to detain her so badly when you've previously stated that she has been contacted and notified? You know her identity, right?

    Your explanation of detaining her so she can't avoid prosecution seems a little......

    ....contrived.

    Why is that?

  25. #25
    Regular Member Maverick9's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    So, if they were arrested who was it?

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