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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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My dad owns 76 acres he had a logger come up and ask if he

Customer Question

my dad owns 76 acres he had a logger come up and ask if he would sell some walnut trees dad (86)sais ok told me to show him our property line I did tha logger cut about 8 feet over the line 5 trees a mistake im sure the police called asked me to come to the station and aswer some questions I did 2 months go by the police call again I go down again about a month later they arrested me theft by unlawful taking trespassing and minacing go to court I make them assign me an attorney the said if I pled guilty no fine at all no jail just pay for the trees if you don't we will give you 10 years I have witnesses scared me to death I almost passed out its not rocket science I plead guilty 4800 for the trees because I plead guilty the guy whos trees thet were sues me for 12800 dollars more I bet there isn't any way I could take my plea back because really they scared me into it im so mad I didn't have guts enough thank you Terry
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

Hello, My name is ***** ***** I will assist you today. Please give me a few minutes to write a response and identify any additional resources for you.

Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am very sorry to learn of this situation.

Unfortunately, you are correct - the guilty plea in the criminal case will give the plaintiff in the civil case an "automatic" advantage - they will not be forced to prove your liability to them.

However, just because they have proven liability does not mean they are automatically entitled to the inflated value that they are now claiming in the civil case - you can defend this based on a valuation of the actual damage to the trees, and also ensure that the court's civil judgment is not duplicative of the criminal restitution order (the landowner should not be compensated twice). You can even try to argue that the criminal court judgment must have been based on a reasonable valuation, therefore that amount should be deemed sufficient - but don't rely on that, instead try to find a reputable timber expert to testify as to the value of the trees.

You also have the right to file a "cross-complaint" against the logger that actually cut the trees down. If you showed the logger the correct property line and he cut on the other side of that line, his negligence is the actual cause of these damages and you can sue him in what we call a cross complaint to force him to reimburse you for any damages that you incurred due to his actions (including both the restitution order and any civil award).

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
thank you very much your honest I like that everything you said s what I suspected but not certain but thanks Terry Sheets
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 5 months ago.

You are welcome, and I do wish you the best with this matter.

Thank you for using our forum, and please do not forget to rate my service (the series of 5 stars next to the chat window) so that I can receive credit for assisting you.

If you would like to direct future questions to me specifically, you can do so by starting your new question with "ForCustomerquot; and a moderator will notify me.

Thank you again, and again I wish you the best.


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