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North Carolina Trespassing

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  • North Carolina Trespassing

    In NORTH CAROLINA (NC only please, guys), you can be charged/convicted of 2nd degree trespassing if you remain on the premises of another after being told to leave (there are other means of being charged for 2nd degree, but I am referring to this scenario only). Okay, now for the scenario:

    You are dispatched to a residence in your city/county. When you arrive, you meet with Mr. Smith and his daughter, Sue. Also present is Robert, Sue's boyfriend. Mr. Smith and Sue want Robert to leave. You ask if Robert lives there. They all tell you Robert came down from Virginia, and has been staying with Mr. Smith and Sue for 2 months, but he does not pay any bills. All of his belongings are there. Naturally, it would appear that he has established residence at that home. Can you, as a police officer, make Robert leave?

    MY ANSWER: No. Robert has established residence there, so he would need to be EVICTED. Two months seems like a very reasonable time to assume that is Robert's residence.

    That is what we were taught in BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training). However, I had this situation happen tonight, and the Magistrate said to go ahead and charge him, because he is not paying bills. We were specifically told that (regardless of whose name is on the lease, or who is paying the bills) any person who has ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE there MUST be evicted. The Magistrate stated that, at the last Magistrate's conference, they were told that paying of bills is what establishes residence, not simply having all of your belongings at the residence. What are they basing that on? Has the law changed? If so, can you point me to case law, or amendments? Any help would be appreciative.

  • #2
    In order to be a "resident" he must contribute to the maintenance of the household, such as pay bills. It used to be if you stayed there long enough you were a resident. Now, you must pay rent or somehow pay for the maintenace of the household, for example paying bills, buying groceries, probably even doing household chores such as fixing the roof etc. If you just flop there for 2 months, you are still a guest and can be arrested for trespassing. I know the way my department treated these situations changed about 4-5 years ago, but I do not know if it was a law change or a policy change. It is easier now though.

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    • #3
      I think it would be better that way, because of all the bums that mooch off people, but I'd really like to see some case law or something. I just don't feel right about enforcing something that I haven't actually seen in writing. Oh well. If you come across something, please send it my way. Thanks for your time!

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      • #4
        Post deleted
        Last edited by SFairman; 06-24-2011, 04:06 PM.

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        • #5
          We have similar laws here in VA. My usual cut off point is receiving mail. If the person receives mail at that address, then to me they have established residency. Also if the complaintant makes statements such as "I let him move in with me" or "we decided to live together" same deal. This is one of those very grey areas that we face and you will get 100 different opinions from 1-- people.

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          • #6
            I wish North Carolina would take some initiative and just put it in law that you must be paying bills or have your name on the lease. It would make life so much easier.

            SFairman, that is what I thought. I knew that was what they taught me, but officers with more experience were telling me that it had not been that way in years...I think they are misled. Where are you in NC?

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            • #7
              Re: North Carolina Trespassing

              Originally posted by sixpanel
              In NORTH CAROLINA (NC only please, guys), you can be charged/convicted of 2nd degree trespassing if you remain on the premises of another after being told to leave (there are other means of being charged for 2nd degree, but I am referring to this scenario only). Okay, now for the scenario:

              You are dispatched to a residence in your city/county. When you arrive, you meet with Mr. Smith and his daughter, Sue. Also present is Robert, Sue's boyfriend. Mr. Smith and Sue want Robert to leave. You ask if Robert lives there. They all tell you Robert came down from Virginia, and has been staying with Mr. Smith and Sue for 2 months, but he does not pay any bills. All of his belongings are there. Naturally, it would appear that he has established residence at that home. Can you, as a police officer, make Robert leave?

              MY ANSWER: No. Robert has established residence there, so he would need to be EVICTED. Two months seems like a very reasonable time to assume that is Robert's residence.

              That is what we were taught in BLET (Basic Law Enforcement Training). However, I had this situation happen tonight, and the Magistrate said to go ahead and charge him, because he is not paying bills. We were specifically told that (regardless of whose name is on the lease, or who is paying the bills) any person who has ESTABLISHED RESIDENCE there MUST be evicted. The Magistrate stated that, at the last Magistrate's conference, they were told that paying of bills is what establishes residence, not simply having all of your belongings at the residence. What are they basing that on? Has the law changed? If so, can you point me to case law, or amendments? Any help would be appreciative.
              That mag is full of crap. Most people don't know it, but in NC the magistrates get about 11 weeks of law training. That's it. Every single certified police officer in NC has more law training than magistrates receive, and infinately more experience.

              Paying of bills is irrelevent. If someone lives with someone for over a week or two, and that is their only residence, they need to be evicted. I usually like to make sure the person in question has belongings there, such as a toothbrush, or that they get mail, but the bottom line is that if they have stayed there for at least a week, that's their house too. There are a couple exceptions, such as children over the age of 18 still living at home, but almost everyone else needs to be evicted. Yeah, that law sucks, but there it is.

              I'd speak to your department's attorney if you need further clarification, and I'd definately let someone know about that retard magistrate.
              Aggression will save you when caution won't.
              -Kent Anderson

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              • #8
                Trespassing Laws ::::: In OHIO :::::: Are the best there is :::::::::
                "Trespassers will be shot..... Survivors will be SHOT AGAIN>>>>

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                • #9
                  Dave2886, that is EXACTLY what I told the other officers on the scene that night. I'd really like to see some case law to be able to give to that magistrate. Do you know of any?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sixpanel
                    Dave2886, that is EXACTLY what I told the other officers on the scene that night. I'd really like to see some case law to be able to give to that magistrate. Do you know of any?
                    I'm sorry, but I don't. I've never needed it. Like I said, just ask your department's police attorney. They should be able to square you away. But anyone who tells you different about kicking people out of a house without an eviction notice doesn't know what they're talking about.
                    Aggression will save you when caution won't.
                    -Kent Anderson

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      NC Mags stupid????Who would have thought of such a thing they are up to speed on everything including patrol techniques..My last dept I worked for the county didnt even have 24hr Mags(Jones County)The one where I got offered a job with today! has 24hr Mags(Onslow County).I hated to arrest someone after 5pm.You had to wait 2 or 3 hours.
                      Thus the wise win before the fight, while the ignorant fight to win

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                      • #12
                        Ouch! I'd go nuts if I had to wait for a magistrate. Of course, ours are so freaking slow that we end up waiting anyway. They are 24 hours though, so that's a plus.

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                        • #13
                          You guys have to actually bring your 72 before a mag? In the great state of Mecklenburg, at least we can just bring 'em to jail and be done with it. All we have to do is turn in our arrest sheet and affidavit, and the deputies do the rest. I guess there is something good about working here after all!
                          Aggression will save you when caution won't.
                          -Kent Anderson

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Sorry Dave, the rules have changed. I tried to find the link that the NC Attorney Generals Office had but couldn't I did find this link from the Justice Academy. I think it answers the question Sixpanel was asking and backs up what the Magistrate told him.
                            http://www.jus.state.nc.us/NCJA/mar99.htm

                            I also was taught that just living somewhere was considered establishing a residence. Now it seems that mooches aren't protected anymore.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hmm..I looked at that scenario, and it never specified how long he'd been staying there. Also, the date on that is from 1999. When I went through the academy in Feb/2001, we were told to handle those situations in the manner that I previously posted, and every FTO I had, and every officer I work with does things the same way. Hell, maybe that's just how we do it in Meck. county, but I assumed that it was the same state-wide.
                              Aggression will save you when caution won't.
                              -Kent Anderson

                              Comment

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