How to deal with tresspassers?

Some person with an RV rolled into my park this morning, hooked up to my power source and is hiding out in his/her RV when I go knock on the door. I sent out the sheriff and he did nothing as the person was hiding out pretending not to be home. If I have the RV towed, is there any way I can recover that money? Can I put a lien on the RV or car? Do I have to have a lawyer to place a lien? The residents are watching to see what I do. The said thing is that this trespassers has a nicer RV than the mobiles or RVs in my park :smiley:

You need to let a lawyer quarterback this for you. If you don’t do it right, the “trespasser” may sue you – that may be, in fact, the entire reason for his visit. The attorney will know what utilities you can shut off, and the correct methodology to get him out. I had the same thing happen in a park in Oklahoma City, and the police could not have been more impossible to work with – they considered the whole thing a civil matter. We filed eviction for non-payment, and the guy parked there for a month before he ran off on the day of the eviction hearing. This guy is probably a professional deadbeat and knows all the laws, so don’t make a bad situation even worse by giving him ammunition to sue you with. You might call some large RV operators nearby and get some ideas on what they do in that instance.

Thank you Frank. I’ve got the local manufactured housing association attorney’s handy.

Legally the RV owner has no right to be on your land. The only power they have is in being in posession of your land. You could serve them with a no trespass notice but in light of the fact you have not authorized them to be there I would disconnect their power hook up to the RV and tow it off the property. Simply park it on the side of the road and let them try to call the police. When the police do show up they will tell him to move along. By removing his power of posession you are back in control. 
Unlike Frank, in my opinion, I believe this individual has no rights once you remove the RV from your property. If he were to call the police he would need to prove he had permission in the first place to be on your land and the likely hood is that he will simply move on.
Fear of enforcing ones Individual rights is exactly what the bottom feeders of this world depend on to leach off of hard working citizens.

Let us know how it turns out.

Since we live in such a litigious society, I would definitely speak to a Local Attorney (who specializes in RV Parks) concerning this situation.You indicated that you have the Local Manufactured Housing Association Attorney handy (which is a good thing).However, I would also pay for a couple of hours advice from a Local Attorney who works with big RV Parks.Since you are a RV/Mobile Home Park, is this person legally trespassing or squatting?An Eviction is more for a Landlord/Tenant Relationship.You obviously did not give any permission for someone to stay on your land for free.However, each state has their own laws and some of them can be quirky.  One example from Illinois of a person being exempt from Criminal Trespassing is if they entered the land for emergency purposes: Illinois Law:720 ILCS 5/21-3  -  From Ch. 38, par. 21-3Sec. 21-3. Criminal trespass to real property’(f)  This Section does not prohibit a person from entering a building or upon the land of another for emergency purposes.‘Another example from Illinois of a person being exempt from Criminal Trespassing is if they landscape, clean up litter, or repair dilapidated conditions on or to board up windows and doors:Illinois Law:720 ILCS 5/21-3  -  From Ch. 38, par. 21-3Sec. 21-3. Criminal trespass to real property’(d)  A person shall be exempt from prosecution under this Section if he or she beautifies unoccupied and abandoned residential and industrial properties located within any municipality.'People sue over all kinds of things.I agree with Frank to get an Attorney.We wish you the very best!

When I had apartment buildings, every now and then there would be an abandoned car on the property. There was a procedure for legally having them towed away that involved posting a note on the vehicle and waiting a day or so and then calling the towing company. You might look into that approach. 

You might print out a warning like the one I posted above and stick it on the RV now, even if you do go to an attorney, so as to start the warning period as soon as possible, and what the heck, it just might be enough in itself. I would take a photo of it on the RV just in case you need to prove you did it, and call a towing company; they know all the laws about proper warning and all of that—they do it all day long, and they don’t want to get sued ether.

Reading all the lagal concerns everyone has regarding the removal of a vehicle trespassing on your property I am grateful that I do not do business in the U.S.

I used to own an apartment downtown St. Petersburg, Russia that I used to rent out to tourist. It was no hassle–I just did whatever the hell I wanted.

Both the attorney and the cops said to tow the RV. It takes about two weeks to establish a permanent residence which includes getting set up to receive mail. I’m not sure if a squatter can legally pull that one off.  I did come across an interesting tale from another park owner about trespassing. He had a guy stalking out mobile homes and waiting for tenants to leave so he could rob them. The court said something to the effect of its not trespassing unless there are ‘no trespassing’ signs. He had the guy on camera but it was not enough for our mega liberal douchbags in local government.

I was told the same thing about trespassing signs here in Fresno CA by the police. But you can’t just get a standard sign that just says “No Trespassing” or some such for it be legally actionable by the police;  the sign must also quote the local trespassing code. With a legally actionable sign, the police can arrest and haul away the offender on the spot. Without a legally actionable sign, all the police can do when you have a trespasser on your property is to tell you to get with it and post a proper sign. I have noticed No Trespassing signs in other cities with the local code quoted on the signs, leading me to believe that it is common for the standards for legally actionable sign to be the same as what I gave above.Bottom Line: Talk to the police about what you need to do to your property so they can enforce (haul the bum away) the trespassing code when you call them.  

No offense to any police officers out there, but what we get told on the phone and what happens in reality are two very different things. When we have had this happen in our parks, the police talk a big game but then refuse to take any action, saying that it’s a “civil matter”. They are like anyone else – they do not want to get sued and they are not confident of what a person’s rights are in this scenario. You know that if the police bang on the RV door and they guy opens it, all he’s going to do is say “I just pulled in and haven’t paid yet because I was laying down because I don’t feel good” and they are going to do nothing, or he’s going to lie and say that the manager told him to pay at the end of his stay, or something similar. The bottom line is that you’ll just have to deal with it in the best way you can. For us, it’s been through filing a formal non-payment eviction, and then the guy running off when they come to process serve him. But if you can do it faster and better, then go for it. If more people knew about this loophole in the law, the RV industry would be screwed.

I can think of many ways to encourage RV trespassers to leave. Most would result in the owner of the RV having to call a tow truck themselves to have their RV removed from my property.

That is so true, I had someone move into an empty home and then show a fake bill of sale to the police. The police said the same thing its a civil matter. The lawyer I hired filed for trespassing on private property and removal. He actually said not to include in the filing anything about “non-payment” since it would acknowledge a lease agreement and the process would take longer to get him out.After we filed in court the guy left on his own. This was the most outrageous incident I experienced since getting involved in mobile home parks.First this drunk moves in without letting anyone know and then the police refused to make him leave even though I owned the mobile home.

Since it is a RV, I understand the Attorney & Cops saying to tow the RV.However, if it was a Mobile Home, I wonder what their answer would be (not that anyone would want to spend thousands of dollars moving their mobile home to property that they do not own nor have permission to be on).What if someone purchases a Mobile Home in your community, but as the Landlord you decide not to approve them as a Tenant?  Since you did not approve them, you would not have a Landlord-Tenant Relationship.  How would you remove them and their mobile home from your land?In SC at our Magistrate Office they have two items:1.  Warrant Of Ejectment:  For Landlord/Tenant Relationships2.  Notice To Quit Premises:  For NON Landlord/Tenant RelationshipsThe Form to fill out for the Notice To Quit Premises is called ‘Affidavit For Notice To Quit Premises’.On this ‘Affidavit For Notice To Quit Premises’ it states the following:'And that the Landlord-Tenant Relationship does not exist between the parties described as evidenced by the following facts:___  the defendant does not pay rent for occupancy.___  the defendant is occupying the premises without consent of the owner.___  the defendant has refused to leave and is hereby trespassing.'We have used the ‘Warrant Of Ejectment’ before, but not the ‘Notice To Quit Premises’.Has anyone used the ‘Notice To Quit Premises’ before?If yes, what were the circumstances?Also, if you do not have a Landlord-Tenant Relationship with them, how would you know their names (unless they applied to live in your MHP and you rejected them)?Thanks So Very Much!Kristin

                                                                 HOW THEY DO IT IN RUSSIASince this thread is still in play I’ve got to tell you what I saw one time in Russia involving a situation kind of like this. Outside my apartment there was a alley. In the alley there was a trashed out Lada (the Russian version of a crappy 60’s Fiat) that two homeless guys were living in. My building was one of the best in historic district in St. Petersburg being on the Neva Rive and next door to the Winter Palace. The court yard was filled with black Mercedes and it was well know the owners of the better apartments facing the river were big mafia guys. They did not like trashed out Ladas with homeless guys in them next to their building. One night a flat bed truck pulled up next to the old Lada and a big guy jumped out and wrapped a heavy chain around the Lada. The truck had an arm with wench on it that he hooked up to the chain. He lifted the the car up and one of the guys escaped through a window, but the other guy did not.  He dropped the car onto the truck’s bed and drove off into the night – with the guy trapped inside.

I also read a story that, when there is a hostage situation in Russia, the police kidnap the family members of the criminal who is holding the hostages, and threaten to kill them if they do not release the hostages – effectively turning the tables on the bad guy. I guess they know how to get the job done in Russia, but they break about 1,000 of our laws in the process.

I noticed in this thread that that no one mentioned locking out the power on individual spaces as a way to discourage trespassers from hooking up.  The water could also be valved off and locked, however, it would want to be thoroughly flushed before hooking up to a unit.  Just some thoughts on preventative measures to keep the freeloaders out.
Jim Allen

Parkinvestor:  I imagine this has been resolved by now.  How did it turn out?Seems like I remember a case where a a woman was charged for stealing electricity from Wal-mart (of all places) and other cases where folks were charged for stealing WiFi from a Starbucks without actually purchasing from the store.Seems like your case would be stronger than either of these two examples… Seems like theft would be a criminally actionable offense, not simply “a civil matter.”