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Trespass by caretaker Property Invasion, Damages, Trespass

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by Elbert, Jun 11, 2019.

  1. Elbert

    Elbert Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    Maine
    I work as a caretaker or grounds keeper for a large public, but privetly owned cemetery in Maine. I am employed by the cemetery and not a sub contractor. I set my own hours and work as needed on a part time basis. My duties include mowing, securing doors, and reporting or fixing water leaks.
    I had an incident with police on Sunday nite, which left me with several questions and would like feedback.
    On that Sunday, I had worked daytime and left for a dinner date. On my way home (I live next door) around 9:30 pm. I return to check the property. I was Aware of an officer behind me as I pulled in, & had id ready. He stopped me, I explained who & what I was and he ordered me out of the car. He again ask what I was doing & how much I drank. Not believing my story, finding me sober, the officer became enraged. He called back up , told me he would tow my car and put me in jail. My date was questioned, and finally I was let go.
    Any feedback would be helpfuthank you
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Feedback on what? You haven't been charged and suffered no harm...so what do you want feedback on?
     
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  3. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    If you feel the officer acted unprofessionally you can always make a report. I recommend making a written report, as concise as possible, using the department's own form for citizen complaint.

    What do you mean by "became enraged"?

    Backup often comes without asking for it. It really is not an issue. If you feel he threatened you then include it in your complaint. What you describe does not sound unlawful, just unprofessional.
     
  4. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    You took your date to a cemetery at 9:30 at night? Kinky. :D
     
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  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Once you remove the tint of bias presented by the OP, I wouldn't even say it was unprofessional. Unpleasant...? Sure, but that doesn't mean the officer didn't behave appropriately. I suspect the OP ratcheted up the tension at the scene, to which the officer reacted with increased firmness.
     
  6. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Not really sure what you're looking for, but folks don't typically go to cemeteries after dark for legal purposes, so the cop's suspicion was likely justified. The cop having found nothing illegal, he let you go. Do you need or want more feedback than that?
     
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  7. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    He is the caretaker and lives next door to the cemetery.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    True - but he wasn't stopped in his own driveway ;)
    He took his date to the cemetery - ostensibly to "check on the property". If he was doing this in his official capacity, then he shouldn't have taken his date.
     
  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Possibly, but if he believes the officer acted improperly he can make the complaint and it will be looked in to. Perhaps not to his satisfaction, but it will be reviewed.

    Very often that ratcheting up you refer to is when a person has the nerve to assert their rights and the officer doesn't get to have his way, such as refusing permission to search.

    If he walked away without a citation one can only wonder about alleged comments to arrest and tow the vehicle. Sounds like possible intimidation to me.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    I suspect that, just as often, the ratcheting up occurs from becoming belligerent about rights that they only think they have.

    To what end? Perhaps the OP said "You can't do this to me, I haven't done anything wrong!", "Why should I show you my ID? You don't have the right to ask for that!", etc.

    Look, I'm not saying that you are wrong or right. I'm just pointing out that we simply don't know what actually happened except for the self-serving, biased statement from the OP. To jump on the police officer for his actions just doesn't make sense.
     
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  11. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    The title of this thread is "Trespass by Caretaker". Why would the OP characterize his own actions as "trespass"?

    Just something to ponder ;)
     
  12. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    I have to wonder if the police officer might have misunderstood what type of "date" OP was on...;)
     
  13. Elbert

    Elbert Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Let's see if I can explain this any better:
    Some of the replies are rather odd, and I don't understand the bias. Clearly the job of grounds keep or landscape is not undestood by this board.
    My 'date' and I have been in that cemetery all month, I've worked there a year + with no incidents with the law. A speed 'trap' is also run from that place.
    On that Sunday We had been there all day, stopping for a meal, and do to unforseen circumstances returned later than expected. We returned to check that we hadn't left anything out of place. This is the statement that put the officer in a tailspin.

    Maine law states a cemetery closes 1/2 hr past sundown. This is not town property & is not posted with hours nor gated. So if I was in the wrong, I understand being stopped, I D and asked to move on. Being threatened with jail and towing doesn't even fit the crime. Further, we are retired, disabled. Maybe this is hard to believe, but if my friend was forced out of the car she could be seriously injured. The officers behavior put me in fear for her safety.
     
  14. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    As the caretaker I would expect the typical closing time does not really apply to you. You could be out there after hours for any number of reasons. That law is regarding public access. In fact, if police wanted to verify if someone on the premises was authorized to be there they would likely contact you to find out. It seems they just did not know who you were.

    Regardless of the circumstances, any time you feel you are treated unfairly, unprofessionally, or illegally, you can make a formal complaint in writing. You can always try and speak to the watch commander or whatever supervisor is on duty at the time, but that would be handled very informally and would not go beyond the phone call.

    You may also choose to let it go and forget about it.. but if you actually do have an officer who is rough around the edges, letting it go doesn't help the next person.
     
  15. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    You explained it fine the first time, but the fact that you've posted this follow up suggests that maybe you didn't understand the responses you received (some of which were admittedly intended to be humorous, and I hope you understood that).

    Again, since the cop found nothing illegal and let you go, what is there to discuss?
     
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  16. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    I believe the concern is regarding the treatment during the encounter, not the outcome of it. Not so much s legal issue as it is of department policy.
     

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