When a Trespasser Commits a Party Foul… | Colorado

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.

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

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.

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Comment section

4 comments on “When a Trespasser Commits a Party Foul… | Colorado

  1. 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.).

  2. 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.