It’s difficult to keep track of trespassers on your property, but if it’s a common occurrence, then it’s quite normal to feel that your space is being invaded. You can stop trespassers from entering your property line by suing them for crossing the line. If there is no other way of stopping them, then be sure to know the law is on your side.
Before you sue
Taking the trespasser to court should be your last option, because legal battles can often get messy and its best to avoid them. If a trespass occurs, the first thing you should do is ask the person to leave the property. You can also put up a post with a “No Trespassing” sign. Make sure it’s clearly visible though. If you witness repeated trespasses but do nothing, a court might infer that you have consented to the trespass.
Once you have established the boundaries, as well as know the full extent of your property, you can then sue for trespassing of property. If the property does not have fencing, the deed will give a full description of the property line.
Identify the trespasser
You are required to identify the trespasser to the court to be able to sue, even if you don’t personally know the individual. If you rely on memory, then give a detailed physical description of the individual. Having photographs or a video of the incident will work be to your advantage to prove your case.
Document all incidents
Keep track of each offense that you will present to the court by writing down days and time of each occurrence. It will be to your benefit if you should have a witness that can identify the individual and to testify at trial. Obtain signed witness statements from neighbours who may have seen the trespassing. Let them document the date and time as well as if a description of the person.
Greater penalties can be sought after if the individual has trespassed on your property without consent multiple times, especially if trespassing occurs after you’ve already filed a civil complaint.
Damage of property
If the trespasser caused any damaged to your property, you can claim for compensation, but must be able to prove that it was caused by trespasser. Take photographs or write detailed descriptions of any property damage that took place as a result of trespassing. In addition to the evidence you should have the damaged appraised.
Filing the lawsuit
This is when you prepare a complaint and summons. You should request a complaint form from the court, where you fill in your name as plaintiff and the trespasser’s name as defendant, then explain what happened and what remedy you seek.
You will then need to serve the defendant with the lawsuit in order for them to respond. You can either mail it to them or their work address, but it’s best if done personally.
There is no need for you to deal with the problem of trespassers, you have the law on your side so that you don’t have to take matters into your own hands.