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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 96475
Experience:  I am a practicing lawyer and have also been an online professional for 5 years.
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I have a question about Trespass to Property Act and

Customer Question

I have a question about Trespass to Property Act and Criminal Code (presence on private property after 9 p.m.) and if I have a solid case to proceed with charges. It will be necessary for me to explain the broader context, so my motives for asking are made plain.1. We moved into a new property in Barrie, Ontario 11 months ago (Mom and Dad and a 3 and 5-year-old). A few months after moving in, someone purporting to be a Bailiff knocked on our door at 10:23 p.m. on Thursday night. He didn't identify himself, nor who he was looking for. He aggressively and assertively flashed his flashlight on his (what I now believe to be) faux Bailiff uniform. He repeatedly asked me to open the front door. I refused and told him I was calling the police if he didn't leave at once. He continued to try to assert his "authority" and intimidate me into the opening the door. I then called 911, while looking at him through the pane of glass in my front door. He then fled. Note, my wife was visible through the front door when he approached the house. Whether his intention was a home invasion or sexual assault etc., I have no idea. I also have 2 small children who were traumatized by this incident. I couldn't sleep for a week. I had a large No Trespassing Sign placed on my property and video cameras installed etc. to forestall the possibility this could ever happen again. To this day, I have no explanation for why this individual(s?) was attempting to get me to open my front door. The only explanation is that it was really suspicious and sinister. The police who were dispatched agreed.Why am I relaying all of this? Believe it is the trigger for everything else that has happened.2. Shortly thereafter I was approached by a neighbor in my court who passive aggressively told me how all my neighbors have a problem with my Trespassing Sign and cameras (note, the cameras are aimed at my property, are not long range, and do not violate anyone else's privacy). The part I didn't appreciate was that even after I explained WHY they were up, instead of creating some understanding and empathy, I was told that, "You really need to take those down."Naturally, I did not comply.3. A few weeks later, a by-law officer shows up at my house. He has received an "anonymous tip" that we have too much garbage and wants to inspect my garage. I was flabbergasted. I have lived on 3 continents, in 4 countries, and not "once" have I had a by-law officer appear at my door to do an "inspection."I thought this was a conspiracy and intentional harassment - some sort of neighborhood cabal. Anyway, the by-law officer came back a week later, photographed an immaculate garage, laughed about it, and left.4. Last night at 10:42 p.m.we hear a door bell ring. My wife basically starts having a panic attack. My kids are disturbed and start to panic. Why? B/c of what happened before. See #1.I had taken measures to ensure that no one of sane mind and with any "literacy skills" would ever approach my property and ring my door bell again. I have an additional "handwritten" note on the door that states that our front door will not be opened unless the party has a pre-authorized reason to be on the premises or has an appointment. I also cite both the provincial and criminal code (the latter for after 9 p.m.) on this notice and inform the party that they will be charged for Trespassing.5. Anyway, I see it is a woman at the door. I head out through my garage door so that I am not opening the front door, in case this was a ruse.6. Turns out it is the wife of the neighbor next door, who informs me that my dog is barking (we had let her out to pee) and that "next time she wasn't going to be so nice" and that "everyone" (i.e. all my neighbours) have a problem with our dog and "us" in general (my wife and I run 2 educational home businesses, home school two young children, do not have visitors over basically ever and have nothing to do with anyone - we're menaces to society who deserve harassment b/c someone attempted a home invasion ;-) ).7. From her language and aggression and what I perceived as a "threat", I now know for sure the "frivolous" harassment of the by-law officer was either initiated by her or other neighbors as a collective effort. See #1 again.8. I let it go with the by-law officer "incident". I don't think I should let it go this time. Please confirm that she can be charged with Trespassing. I have AlarmForce "time stamps" and "crystal clear" video and picture footage" of her on my property at 10:42 p.m. despite extremely prominent No Trespassing Allowed signs (2 of them) - including on the DOOR itself.Provincial:
Trespass to Property Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, Section 5(1)(b)Section 177 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that:
[R.S., c.C-34, s.173.]
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Canada Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

I am sorry to hear of this terrible situation.

If the woman just entered your property once and rang the bell there is not really any chance that she could for that one single incident be considered to be trespassing.

But if you made it clear then that you consider her to be trespassing if she even enters your property at all then it may be possible to have her charged next time.

What you should do is send her a notice that sets this out and even consider sending it by Registered Mail so that she realizes this is very serious.

As well, I suggest speaking to both by-law enforcement and the police and explaining your concerns about harassment and false allegations.

Does that help as a starting point?

Please feel free to post back with any follow-up questions you may have. If you don't have any then I hope I have earned a 5 star rating but if you don't feel that I have please don't hesitate to reply back and let me know what more I can do to assist you. Finally, please know that even after you rate me I will be here for you and you can ask follow-up questions if you think of them later on at no further charge of course.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Hi, I am confused since I thought it was pretty black and white? She walked on my property. We have extremely clear No Trespassing signs that "remove" the usual Implied Consent for entering our private property. So she already "received" notice. Our signs are notice to everyone, no? Otherwise, what would be the point of having them.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Trespassing on someone's property
Region: Ontario
Answer Number: 989
The law of trespass in Canada is made up of tort law, provincial legislation, and criminal law.Tort law
Trespass to land is one of the oldest torts known in law. Historically, it has been held to occur whenever there has been an unauthorized physical intrusion onto the private property of another. Trespass also occurs when a person remains on an individual's land after permission has been withdrawn.Trespass to land is actionable "per se". That means that someone can be sued and found liable for trespassing even if there is no proof of damage. In a trespass case, if the incident was for particularly malicious purposes, such as to intimidate the land owner, even punitive damages may apply.That said, however, any person can go onto the private property of another during daylight hours if permission to do so is implied. For example, if there is a path up to the front door of a residence and there are no signs warning people to stay off the land, there is implied permission for people to enter, such as a letter carrier. This implied permission can, of course, be revoked instantly by the person in charge of the property. If you are told to leave, you must leave or you could be sued for trespass.http://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/trespassing-on-someones-property/
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
34;...and there are no signs warning people to stay off the land."
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 4 months ago.

I understand your point but what I am saying is that it is not likely that the police or a Justice of the Peace will consider that this one incident is trespassing. The woman simply walked up to your door and rang the bell.

You can try and have her charged but I don't think you will be successful now.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
My apologies for any inconvenience caused, but will have to respectfully ***** ***** answer. All of the resources I have pointed to suggest that I have the right to forcefully assert my private property rights, and clearly, they were violated. We have massive No Tresspassing Signs everywhere. We have cameras everywhere. It is abundantly clear that no one is permitted to work on our property - let alone traverse the length of our property and ring the doorbell at 10:42 p.m. on a Sunday.These resources also confirm the same:What is Trespassing?
It is an offence to trespass on public and private property in Ontario. Under the Trespass to Property Act, you commit trespassing when you:
go onto another person’s property where it is prohibited with notice in writing (can be a sign stating ‘NO ENTRY’);
http://jfcy.org/en/rights/trespassing/http://www.legalline.ca/legal-answers/trespassing-on-someones-property/http://www.muskokaregion.com/news-story/3570777-make-sure-no-trespassing-signs-posted/http://jfcy.org/en/rights/trespassing/http://www.subject-control-and-combative-systems.com/trespass.htmlPlease free this question up to be answered by another. I understand I didn't offer much compensation so you probably thought a general reply was sufficient. The efforts I went to to ensure that no one ever walks up onto my property without absolutely clarity that they are NOT allowed to be there, means that I need a different angle on this subject.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Edit: "walk on our" and not "work on our". Typo, sorry.

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