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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    CALIFORNIA
    Posts
    83

    Default Police Jurisdiction on Private Property

    This didn't happen to me, but I read this on another forum.

    I was recently rear ended in my M roadster. This was in a McDonald's parking lot.

    The guy that hit me did not have insurance, a valid registration or a drivers license. He was an illegal immigrant driving illegally. I called Virginia State Police and they transferred me to Fairfax County Police. I was told by the Police department that because it happened on private property and there were no injuries they would not respond as they have no traffic jurisdiction on private property.

    They were not at all concerned that the person was operating a motor vehicle illegally. Thay said just get his name and call your insurance company.


    Just wondering if this scenario is specific to Virginia or whether it applies to most other states?

    So, if an accident happens on Private Property and there are no injuries, there is no need for the police to come out? If the police do not come out, then there is no police report?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Arkansas
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Police Jurisdiction on Private Property?

    I'd think the police would have general jurisdiction on private proeprty. For example if someone beat someone else up the police could still come out and arrest them for a battery even though it all occurred on private property. But in traffic cases in many jurisdictions rules of the road don't apply so there is really nothing the police could write them up for--I think this is consistent with the other threads in the forum on this issue.

    Having said that, I believe no proof of liability insurance is different. If the aggrieved person really wanted to pursue it, he could call the citizen complaints department of the prosecutor's office in the jurisdiction where the collision occurred and see about filling out an affidavit that might lead to a summons/warrant or other process issued for the man who collided with the vehicle. I've seen people do that many a time and maybe it would help his case to do so--conceivably he might end up with some restitution out of the deal--wouldn't hurt to at least pursue it to find out.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,761

    Default Re: Police Jurisdiction on Private Property?

    It depends entirely on state law and department policy. Some agencies may just flat-out refuse to respond to non-injury collisions on private property even if some violation of the law (such as driving without a license) CAN be enforced.

    If the scenario you outlined had occurred in CA (which, it appears, is your home state) then the police COULD have been able to take action and cite the driver for being unlicensed and not having insurance. But, there is nothing in the law that would REQUIRE the police to respond.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  4. #4

    Default Re: Police Jurisdiction on Private Property

    Why does the man need a license or insurance to drive on private property? Of course I understand that he didn't simply spawn there but what is the violation? Your remedy will be with your insurance company and they may seek civil damages.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,637

    Default Re: Police Jurisdiction on Private Property

    It's safe to say he didn't get his uninsured car to a McDonald's parking lot via teleportation, and it's not his property.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    14,761

    Default Re: Police Jurisdiction on Private Property

    Quote Quoting notreallybob
    Why does the man need a license or insurance to drive on private property?
    In CA a parking lot open to the public for general retail or commercial use is considered an "offstreet parking facility" and some provisions of the CVC (such as licensing) is applicable. It is like this in most states, I understand.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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