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Thread: HB 14: Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for occupant..

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    HB 14: Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for occupant..

    Just noticed a pre-filed Castle Doctrine bill. Submitted by Gregory D. Habeeb, of Salem, Morgan Griffith's old seat.


    HB 14: Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for an occupant of dwelling, etc.


    Immunity for persons acting in defense of property. Provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent serious danger of bodily injury.


    TFred

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Now that's a bill worth passing!
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    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Just noticed a pre-filed Castle Doctrine bill. Submitted by Gregory D. Habeeb, of Salem, Morgan Griffith's old seat.


    HB 14: Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for an occupant of dwelling, etc.


    Immunity for persons acting in defense of property. Provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent serious danger of bodily injury.


    TFred
    Careful, it requires two conditions be met. The unlawful entry and an overt act. Let us say you invite somebody over. They have lawfully entered per your invite and if they put you in imminent serious danger but you invited them in so you would not be covered under this bill. This seems to different from immunity for acting in defense of property, because it doesn't act in defense of property it requires imminent bodily harm which is substantially different.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Careful, it requires two conditions be met. The unlawful entry and an overt act. Let us say you invite somebody over. They have lawfully entered per your invite and if they put you in imminent serious danger but you invited them in so you would not be covered under this bill. This seems to different from immunity for acting in defense of property, because it doesn't act in defense of property it requires imminent bodily harm which is substantially different.
    Once someone has presented themselves hostile it can be assumed that the invitation has been rescinded. Also, if someone has come into your dwelling against your wishes at night it's automatic burglary with felenous intent. If you then confront the person, and they somehow don't cower to a shotgun, they could present an immenent danger pretty quick.


    I am not defending the bill... I haven't read the actual wording but it seems like a step in the right direction to me...

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I agree that it looks good to me.
    But I'm waiting for Dan to comment. He sees things....

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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    Careful, it requires two conditions be met. The unlawful entry and an overt act. Let us say you invite somebody over. They have lawfully entered per your invite and if they put you in imminent serious danger but you invited them in so you would not be covered under this bill. This seems to different from immunity for acting in defense of property, because it doesn't act in defense of property it requires imminent bodily harm which is substantially different.
    Virginia has not traditionally embraced using lethal force in defense of property.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Virginia has not traditionally embraced using lethal force in defense of property.
    Here's a good summary of the Joe Horn incident in Texas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Hor...ng_controversy

    I was not aware that there had been death threats.

    TFred

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Virginia has not traditionally embraced using lethal force in defense of property.
    Well maybe it is about time!

    It takes time of your life to generate the money to buy something or time to build it so when someone steals your property or money they have stolen a specific amount of your time/life.

    I doubt the bill will survive all the way through with property being a main theme but always look forward to being immune from lawsuits if I do have to defend my family's life.

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    Accomplished Advocate user's Avatar
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    I wish amateurs would stop attempting to write "castle doctrine" bills. This one is well-intended but a very bad idea, and a step backwards for those engaged in defensive shootings. Seriously a very bad idea. Please tell them to stop. I'm working on a comprehensive codification of the castle doctrine as it already exists in Virginia, though it's not likely to be ready for this legislative session.
    Daniel L. Hawes - 540 347 2430 - HTTP://www.VirginiaLegalDefense.com

    By the way, nothing I say on this website as "user" should be taken as either advertising for attorney services or legal advice, merely personal opinion. Everyone having a question regarding the application of law to the facts of their situation should seek the advice of an attorney competent in the subject matter of the issues presented and licensed to practice in the relevant state.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    I wish amateurs would stop attempting to write "castle doctrine" bills. This one is well-intended but a very bad idea, and a step backwards for those engaged in defensive shootings. Seriously a very bad idea. Please tell them to stop. I'm working on a comprehensive codification of the castle doctrine as it already exists in Virginia, though it's not likely to be ready for this legislative session.
    I will admit that the correlation may not be as high as we would like, but if gun owners across the entire Commonwealth share the views of those (mostly here, I suspect, with a few others as it was shared among friends and social media outlets) who responded to the Survey on legislation I put together, Castle Doctrine may very well be something that gets done this session, whether it's good or bad.

    It was the most popular response in the survey, but legislators are notorious for wanting to "do something" more than to "do something right."

    This year may be our best chance... I'm reminded of a quote by Alex Haley when asked what he would have done differently had he known his blockbuster "Roots" would be such a hit... he responded, "I would have typed faster..."

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 12-07-2011 at 11:45 PM.

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    Hope it passes

    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    Just noticed a pre-filed Castle Doctrine bill. Submitted by Gregory D. Habeeb, of Salem, Morgan Griffith's old seat.


    HB 14: Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for an occupant of dwelling, etc.


    Immunity for persons acting in defense of property. Provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent serious danger of bodily injury.


    TFred
    But just wait and see how quick Saslaw and McEachin attempt to derail it. Cowards would rather be victims than stand up for themselves.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    ... Castle Doctrine may very well be something that gets done this session, whether it's good or bad.

    It was the most popular response in the survey, but legislators are notorious for wanting to "do something" more than to "do something right."

    This year may be our best chance... I'm reminded of a quote by Alex Haley when asked what he would have done differently had he known his blockbuster "Roots" would be such a hit... he responded, "I would have typed faster..."

    TFred
    The problem being that the proposed legislation has enough wrong with it for us to know it will not be a hit - unless you mean that term as seriously negatively impacting the citizens. I'd much rather take my chances with existing case law and the body of interpretations on the Common Law notion.

    Let's first look at the "title" - having to do with the defense of property, yet the atual wording has nothing at all to do with the defense of property and everything ton do with defense of person.

    Then, as previously mentioned, it requires both A and B as elements of the situation in order to be applicable. Anyone who defends themself or another - let's just blend those two together for ease of discussion - (as opposed to their property) against an intruder who has not committed both A and B cannot claim immunity under the provision of this bill - and yet there are numerous possibilities wherein a person would use lethal force to defend themself when only A or B occurred. Currently case law interpreting the Common Law gives protection when either A or B occurs. Codify this bill and case law goes out the window.

    stay safe.
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Agree with Skid's analysis and his thinking is concurrent with User's. I hate to say that I am now in opposition to this bill, but badly worded laws do not have good effects. Better I think to have someone like User get it right.

    For me personally, I will recommend tabling this bill or withdrawing it.
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    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    i'm fairly new to the machinations of the va ga general assembly processes, so...
    how does hb14 mesh with sb4 (Castle doctrine; self-defense and defense of others)?

    thx!

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk4 View Post
    i'm fairly new to the machinations of the va ga general assembly processes, so...
    how does hb14 mesh with sb4 (Castle doctrine; self-defense and defense of others)?

    thx!
    Except for having a clearer meraning in the title, they are essentially the same. Which means they both suffer the same flaws, which I see as being fatal to the citizens of the Commonwealth (see above commentary).

    To expand your understanding of the machinations - it is common practice to introduce bills with the exact/substantially similar/sort-of like wording in both chambers, thus allowing one to survive if the other perishes. Or to get the differences ironed out in conference committee instead of open debate.

    stay safe.
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    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    Regular Member 45acpForMe's Avatar
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    "Immunity for persons acting in defense of property. Provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent serious danger of bodily injury. "



    Couldn't the two words in red be changed to "life" and "or" to get rid of most complaints? What am I missing, don't they change wording in bills all the time as it works its way through the process?

    Other than those words I would get rid of having the requirement of the offending person entering the dwelling. If someone is on my front lawn shooting into my house I should be able to take them out and still have the same immunity from civil action.
    Last edited by 45acpForMe; 12-08-2011 at 07:28 PM.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    Except for having a clearer meraning in the title, they are essentially the same. Which means they both suffer the same flaws, which I see as being fatal to the citizens of the Commonwealth (see above commentary).

    To expand your understanding of the machinations - it is common practice to introduce bills with the exact/substantially similar/sort-of like wording in both chambers, thus allowing one to survive if the other perishes. Or to get the differences ironed out in conference committee instead of open debate.

    stay safe.
    thank you, Sir.

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45acpForMe View Post
    "Immunity for persons acting in defense of property. Provides civil immunity for an occupant of a dwelling who uses any degree of physical force while engaged in the defense of his dwelling when (i) the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling and committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling and (ii) the occupant reasonably believes that he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent serious danger of bodily injury. "



    Couldn't the two words in red be changed to "life" and "or" to get rid of most complaints? What am I missing, don't they change wording in bills all the time as it works its way through the process?

    Other than those words I would get rid of having the requirement of the offending person entering the dwelling. If someone is on my front lawn shooting into my house I should be able to take them out and still have the same immunity from civil action.
    After reading the statements gere I feel I must amend my stance, if kot turn it on it's head completely.

    I agree with the above statement, and now have similar fears about the current wording of the bill. The bill as written is nothing about defense of property, but rather defense in your dwelling.

    Also what I mentioned earlier I don't see addressed in the bill or case law (didn't search long, sorry), what if someone was invited in? They did not therefore fulfill the first requirement for justification under that bill "unlawfully entered the dwelling."

    Let us say you have a plumber come over but you catch them stealing something and they attack you? (not hating on plumbers mind you ) under that wording it would seem that you won't be covered under immunity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    After reading the statements gere I feel I must amend my stance, if kot turn it on it's head completely.

    I agree with the above statement, and now have similar fears about the current wording of the bill. The bill as written is nothing about defense of property, but rather defense in your dwelling.

    Also what I mentioned earlier I don't see addressed in the bill or case law (didn't search long, sorry), what if someone was invited in? They did not therefore fulfill the first requirement for justification under that bill "unlawfully entered the dwelling."

    Let us say you have a plumber come over but you catch them stealing something and they attack you? (not hating on plumbers mind you ) under that wording it would seem that you won't be covered under immunity.
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    Totally agree, the "unlawfully entered the dwelling" language is bad and should not be a condition needed for immunity. Unlawfully entering the dwelling, especially at night, if anything, should result in a presumption that the use of force is reasonable, like they have in Texas, but should not be a condition precedent. Someone breaking in to my dwelling at night deserves whatever they get.

    Further, the "in the defense of his dwelling" language seems to be nonsense, what is meant by defense of his dwelling? It also seems to me the "committed an overt act" language is overly broad to the point of not being able to be properly construed by a court. I want to see what User comes up with, this is a poor effort, although well intentioned. Also, while we are at it, lets codify not required to retreat.

    And why limit immunity to the dwelling, it should be applied to any all all proper uses of self defense.
    Last edited by Jonesy; 12-09-2011 at 10:39 PM.

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    HB 14 - Persons acting in defense of property; civil immunity provided for an occupant of dwelling, etc.
    passed to engrossment and 3rd reading, by voice vote
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Regular Member mk4's Avatar
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    and now, passed.

    02/09/12 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (75-Y 22-N)
    “For life, liberty and Little Lizzie.” - John Connor (2005)

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    Regular Member Felix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mk4 View Post
    and now, passed.

    02/09/12 House: VOTE: PASSAGE (75-Y 22-N)
    A few crossovers...what do we have, 67 Republicans? And three didn't cast a vote.
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