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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Trespassing on My Property

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Oregon

    Tonight my next door neighbor came home drunk and started yelling and screaming and creating a ruckus in the neighborhood. He was being so loud and boisterous that my dogs started barking at him. Without warning, he runs over onto my property -- he was literally standing in my side yard -- and tried to get into a locked gate. When he couldn't get it open, he either kicked or shook the gate and then stuck a stick through the fence and tried to stab my dogs! I happened to be out on my deck grilling and witnessed him doing this. When I called the police to tell them the story, the officer who called me back said that there was probably nothing they could do about it if they came out there to investigate because his yelling fell under the umbrella of "free speech." I even left the stick in the fence to show him. I called dispatch back and told them what the cop had said and they were incredulous and told me that I needed to talk to his sergeant. The sergeant said he would send someone out. They finally did come out and went over to his house (never actually talked to the perpetrator - he was already in bed and Mr. Nice Police Officer (the same one I talked to on the phone on the first call) didn't want to wake him up). Then the officer came over to talk to me and said that he had talked to them and told the property owner that the guy wasn't to come over to my property ever again, or he would be arrested. Then the cop said this, "But the truth is, trespass is very, very, very difficult to prove. We (meaning the cops) basically have to catch him on the property." I said, "Then what good is a trespass notice?" It took the cops about two hours to show up for this incident and THREATS were being made. If he's trespassing and I call them, is that going to be a priority call?

    Do I need to call the district attorney and press this matter further? Do I need to call the officer's sergeant back because the officer failed to talk to the actual perpetrator? Is there a crime to prosecute here? Is there anything else I can do to exclude this guy from my property? I'm afraid this jughead is going to hurt my dogs or force me to defend myself. What's my next move?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,743

    Default Re: Trespassing on My Property

    If you want proof of trespass, keep a camera handy and take pictures.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Trespassing on My Property

    The trespass notice puts a person on notice that they could be arrested if they return to the property again. Call the police non-emergency line and give them the date and the person's name and ask for their case number for the incident. Ask them if there is a notation in the call that an actual trespass notice was given. Having a formal notification in place is one key to an arrest for trespass. The other is proving trespass.

    There's no point to taking the case anywhere else. If you don't have proof of trespass, the DA won't be able to magically create it. Police need to catch the person in the act (on the property) to arrest for the act, or, police need enough evidence that the violation occurred to seek a warrant for arrest for an act that they didn't witness. If he returns to the property, don't go out there, don't confront him, don't yell, just pick up the phone, dial 911 and tell them that a person with a trespass warning has returned. The warning being in place "ups" the ante on the call, and particularly if at night, speeds the response level.

    You might also ask around to se if any of your friends hunt and might be able to loan you a game camera. They are perfect for this sort of thing (they automatically take a picture when set off by motion and can take excellent night pictures too).
    Catherine NeSmith
    Executive Director
    AARDVARC.org, Inc.
    http://www.aardvarc.org

    Fave Big Bang Theory site: Sheldon Cooper Fans

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Trespassing on My Property

    Thank you for your response. I've ordered a security camera system ($1,000) that will cover my entire property.

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