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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    3

    Default Is it Legal to Loiter on a Public Sidewalk in a Residential Area

    Approx a year ago the city put in a new sidewalk in front of my house but the road is narrow and only parking is on my side so no sidewalk on the house across the streets. Last weekend a new homeowner moved in across the street from me. At the busiest of times they have 5-6 cars parked in the double wide driveway and a car, sometimes two on their lawn. So at least a few times per day there's a least a car or two associated with that house parked in front of my house. Now the sidewalk is the new type that has a little lawn in between it and the street. So today a man and a baby came to see I think the daughter who lives in the new house across the street and parked in front of my house but nobody was home. So the man and the baby got out of the car and ended up sitting on the lawn closest to my house to get shade for the baby I assume. Now I'm not a jerk so I'm not going to go out and ask him to move out of the shade with a baby in tow but just curious about my rights as a homeowner with a sidewalk in front of my home. I assume that was trespassing but would it also be trespassing or loitering if the individual just hung out (without the baby) on my sidewalk? Also do I own the land on the other side of the sidewalk, the part in between the road and the sidewalk? What if someone setup a picnic there or just sat there for a bit? Just curious because the city just put in the sidewalk a year ago and with these new neighbors and the amount of cars they have around all the time makes me think that it maybe a continued issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    7,056

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    The sidewalk and the strip of lawn is likely on the public right of way. You still own the property but there is a public easement on your property or the city would not have been able to place the sidewalk where they did.

    You would have to go back through the chain of titles back to when the subdivision was created (the first deed to the property) to read just how wide that easement is and what it can be used for. The width would most likely be measured from the center line of the road. But I assure you the easement is there.

    So, a public easement is for use by the public as long as it does not become a nuisance or cause damage to your property.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    3

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    The sidewalk and the strip of lawn is likely on the public right of way. You still own the property but there is a public easement on your property or the city would not have been able to place the sidewalk where they did.

    You would have to go back through the chain of titles back to when the subdivision was created (the first deed to the property) to read just how wide that easement is and what it can be used for. The width would most likely be measured from the center line of the road. But I assure you the easement is there.

    So, a public easement is for use by the public as long as it does not become a nuisance or cause damage to your property.
    Ty for the reply. What would classify as a nuisance? What if someone setup a picnic or lemonaide stand? Or some weirdo who constantly walks back and forth?

    Also is there anything i can do about the neighbor's associates who park in front of my house which impeeds my family/friends from parking there?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Quote Quoting zode
    View Post
    Ty for the reply. What would classify as a nuisance?
    For the answer to that question see RCW Chapter 9.66 Nuisance:

    http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.66

    Quote Quoting zode
    View Post
    What if someone setup a picnic or lemonaide stand? Or some weirdo who constantly walks back and forth?
    I don't find anything specific in the WA criminal code. Look for yourself:

    http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=9

    Quote Quoting zode
    View Post
    Also is there anything i can do about the neighbor's associates who park in front of my house which impeeds my family/friends from parking there?
    No.

    You don't own the street. Anybody can park there.

    Bottom line: People can pretty much do anything they want in front of your house and if you don't like it you are welcome to call the police or city code enforcement and get yourself a reputation as a crackpot.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Hey thanks again for your time and input!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    3,666

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Quote Quoting zode
    View Post
    Hey thanks again for your time and input!
    Just make sure that you have homeowners insurance because if someone falls on the sidewalk, they will sue you for hospital bills. The insurance company will pay this, if you have a policy.
    I'm not a lawyer, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.......

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    38,867

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    For the answer to that question see RCW Chapter 9.66 Nuisance:

    http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.66



    I don't find anything specific in the WA criminal code. Look for yourself:

    http://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=9



    No.

    You don't own the street. Anybody can park there.

    Bottom line: People can pretty much do anything they want in front of your house and if you don't like it you are welcome to call the police or city code enforcement and get yourself a reputation as a crackpot.
    where did you find this is in Washington?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Toledo, OH
    Posts
    16,307

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    where did you find this is in Washington?
    In the original title.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    18,340

    Default Re: Sidewalk and Trespassing Laws in Spokane, Wa

    Quote Quoting Who'sThatGuy
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    Just make sure that you have homeowners insurance because if someone falls on the sidewalk, they will sue you for hospital bills. The insurance company will pay this, if you have a policy.
    Slight correction. It's not quite that cut and dried.

    Homeowners insurance pays if the insured is legally liable (negligent) in causing somebody's injury.
    Homeowners insurance will defend the insured if he's not.
    Homeowners insurance might pay some medical bills under Medical Payments coverage without regard to fault.
    Homeowners insurance might pay some small amount of go-away money just to get a signed release, also without regard to fault.

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