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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Legal
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Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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Civil rights question ref: application of law in which law

Customer Question

civil rights question ref: application of law in which law enforcement get involved with a civil matter and no crime exists. forced entry as to right of access as tenant when it is first degree relative - my son police assisted by lodging his foot in doorway of my home while my son positioned himself to make forced entry. when my son started to make forced entry police removed his foot at same time but did not leave the doorway. on advice of previous officer said they could not legally intervene in civil matter.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Hello: This is Attorney Phillips. Welcome to Justanswer! I will be assisting you today with your post.

I am sorry, but I am having difficulty understanding your post.

Kindly review, edit, properly identify the parties and your issues, ask specific question(s), and resubmit.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
What is the legal application or law when a police officer knowingly gets involved in what is otherwise is a civil matter? Circumstance: My son has a drinking problem & his lease is terminated as such. He asks to move home with us (parents) with 3 connditions (1) no alcohol (2) stay med compliant & (3) keep appts with AA & his therapist plus we ask him to help with household expenses. He fails to keep the conditions noted. He gets kicked out decides to involve the police. Under Virginia law, issues of tenancy is a civil matter in which police cannot get involved unless it is to serve an eviction notice or enforce a protective order. My son has a history of violent behavior towards himself & an incident towards me at age 16. My husband is out of town & my son started drinking-33 year old adult man stronger than me. I am & remain concerned about my personal safety due to prior events with him. I allow the officer in because he wants to know what the problem is. He dismisses my safety issue and determines that right of access- a tenancy issue - is more important along with his personal opinion of me. Under advisement from an earlier talk with a different officer, he reiterates that police cannot get involved in a civil matter if my son were to leave of his own volition or if I simply kick my son out (locked him out of the house), which I did. The other officer on the scene, as he departs, leaves his foot in the doorway so that I cannot shut the door. I ask him three times to remove his foot & does not. He remains in the front doorway as my son positions himself to make a forced entry. When my son begins the forced entry, the officer at the same time removes his foot but does not entirely back out of the doorway. I was informed by his partner that should the ever so slightest damage to my son's foot would be assault & I would be arrested. I am further advised that any damage my son does to the house is not a chargeable offense due to right of access under tenancy. My lawyer says that virginia code is not clear on -large grey area- as to tenancy law in virginia versus an immediate family member moving back home with parents and asked to help financially with household expenses that he incurs. The issue is, is by the officer keeping his foot in my doorway so that I could not close my door & keep my son out constitute "police involvement" in what was a civil issue? What action, if any besides addressing this to his superiors, could I take? Is this a violation of my civil rights as pertains to my ability to be happy & safe plus quiet enjoyment of my home?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 9 months ago.

Thank you for the information.

This is would fall under general Police misconduct issue (civil rights violation)--Police inserting themselves into what is clearly a civil matter and trying to turn into a criminal case. Your recourse here would be to file complaint with the Superior. Also, if your City has "Citizens Oversight Board," you can file complaint over there.

You may consider retaining an Attorney or law firm that handles Police misconduct cases to assist you with the case.

You can use the following link to find civil rights Attorneys:

Civil Rights Attorneys

If you do not have any follow-up question(s), kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this.

Thank you for your cooperation.

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