The following is a video transcript.
I want to speak today about removing uninvited or disruptive guests from your home.
Let’s just say that this summer you’re having a barbecue or event at your house, and you’ve invited somebody that has been excessively drinking, smoking, or just causing a ruckus and you want them to leave.
ARE THEY A TRESPASSER?
You can walk up to that person and demand they leave and your actions at that moment revoke their invitation to be on your property, now making them a trespasser. They could be charged with being unlawfully on your property if they refuse to leave.
USE FORCE, BUT NOT DEADLY FORCE
If they still refuse to leave, you can use force, but not deadly force, to remove them from your property. The only way you can use deadly force to remove somebody from your property is if you feel and can articulate that they are going to or they may cause serious bodily injury or death to you or a third party. In this instance, you would be welcome to the protections of the Castle doctrine or self-defense statutes in general.
LET LAW ENFORCEMENT HANDLE IT
I always recommend that before you escalate a situation with deadly force or force at all, you try to have law enforcement or local law enforcement intervene to help with the situation. It is a much easier and safer way to resolve a situation without having it escalate, because even though you may win in a criminal court of law, if you injure that third party or this trespasser, they could sue you for injuries or trauma they sustained while they were at your house.
We’ve talked about it before; it doesn’t take much for somebody to come and shake you down for money in a civil lawsuit and that’s really the last thing you want to deal with.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, contact U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney. I’m always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield members.
What if your spouse tells the trespasser to stay, even though they are aggressively disruptive towards you?
Great question! Generally speaking, the best way to resolve this type of situation would be to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding whether the person may remain on the property or be required to leave. It is not clear whether an officer would force the removal of a person reported to be trespassing if your spouse is a joint owner of the property, or has apparent authority over the property, and has given that person permission to remain on the property.
However, in cases where one co-owner consents to a law enforcement search of the property and the other is present and expressly refuses consent, the police are constitutionally prohibited from conducting the search. If we apply that analysis to a potential trespass situation, courts have routinely recognized individual rights to their property, most importantly being that of the home. Further, Colorado trespass laws state it is a crime for a person to unlawfully remain on the property of another and do not discuss co-ownership. Based on that statute, it seems any lawful owner of a property may revoke consent and ask an aggressively disruptive person to leave.
If the person is creating a disruption that could potentially escalate to physical violence or creates any risk to you, your family, or your property, it is best to ask law enforcement to intervene prior to the situation becoming worse. That person may be in violation of other criminal offenses beyond trespass based on their behavior (i.e. disorderly conduct, harassment, etc.).
Hello, I have the same question as Malik above?
Thank you for asking! In this scenario, the best way to resolve this type of situation would be to reach an agreement with your spouse regarding whether the person may remain on the property or be required to leave. It is not clear whether an officer would force the removal of a person reported to be trespassing if your spouse is a joint owner of the property, or has apparent authority over the property, and has given that person permission to remain on the property.
If you have more questions or a specific situation in mind, please use your member card to contact an Independent Program Attorney.
Had a friend move out from Portland ( she was in a bad place and I volunteered to get her back on her feet, ) been friends for over twenty years and didnt know but later discovered she has a really bad drug habit. shes been here for 5 months and have tried to have her leave but shes got it good here and has been tough to follow through. She has never paid rent and want her gone as soon as possible. Tell me what to do and give me reasonable rates and ill some how find the money to make it happen. She gets drunk and just breaks everything in my house then goes off with her x boyfriend to get high and whatever else and i just want my life back…..
I have a similar question. I allowed my child’s mother 2 months to “get on her feet” I had her sign an agreement stating that she is in no Capacity a roommate, tenant, etc. she is not on the lease, I made explicitly sure zero money has exchanged hands for anything. She agreed to get a job and get her own place, she has now been partying for the last 9.5 weeks 3-4 nights out in a row, I’ve kept documentation of the nights out etc. the agreement is up and I want her out. Am I within my rights the next night she goes out to just lock the door and not allow her back in, and call the police if she becomes disruptive in my building? Thank you very much any and all info is greatly appreciated.
Our members have access to our non-emergency line for questions like this. If you’re a member, please call 1-877-448-6839 to discuss.