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Discussion Starter #1
I learned some things this afternoon that may be of benefit to other HPA members. I have a trespassing problem on a piece of property. The same persons, over and over. This summer I notified them by telephone and mail they were by no means allowed on the property. Last week they were hunting it, and showed up on trailcams. I got mad enough to call my attorney. Today he told me that they are now quilty of a Misdemeanor 3, defiant trespass, and the fine, if I prosecute, is $2500. I have not decided what to do yet, but according to him, with the trailcams dates and times, its a closed book. Perhaps if other landowners have the same issues, you could notify the culprits pre season. Interested in opinions.
 

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I think it would be very hard to figure who the trespassers will be before hand. But if its the same people every year,then its a different story.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I just get tired of it. If they wander across a poster line, its a summary at best, maybe $100 fine. The risk is worth it to them. Now, for someone forewarned, the MD3 and a $2500 fine is a different story. I'm thinking that will change their mind for good.
 

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If you do pursue charges with the police or by filing a private criminal complaint, just be prepared for what could be a lengthy court process. The fine can be up to $2500, a judge will determine the fine should they either pled guilty or be found guilty. Make sure you have exact dates and times they were warned against trespass, and the exact location of the trail camera.
In 17 years in law enforcement I have learned nothing is a "slam dunk" when it comes to the courts but it sounds like your case (if pursued) may have enough to acheive a conviction, and hopefully end your issues.
Best of luck with your decision, I'm sure you are struggling with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Bassnleo, let me ask you this, Where does the fine money go? Does it go to the county? State? Does any of it go toward promoting wildlife, or just into the Pa Revenue coffers?
 

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47studebaker said:
have them charged, you gave them enough notice.
I agree, I'm having similiar troubles and I think its the only way to go. Make an example , hopefully word will get around and hopefully you'll get the quiet woods you deserve on your own property.
 

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I take care of a 500 acre piece here in pike county.

Zero tolerence with trespassers. I call PSP they come down issue the citations guys go to court pay the fine. case closed. Since I started calling PSP it's not an issue anymore because the word is out.
 

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Fisrt of all, police in PA will bend over backwards to avoid charging a person with misdemeanor trespass. By all means have the attorney help you complete the private criminal complaint. There are some stupid technical requirements which can get the complaint thrown out. I strongly believe that these technical requirements are designed to defeat charges brought by private persons.

You can plan on the misdemeanor charge being reduced by the DA.

Since it is a misdemeanor, when it gets to the court of Common Pleas, file a request for restitution for time off from work, mileage etc. You may not get it but is will let the DA know that at least you are serious.

You have the right to sue for civil damages, but, the amount of damages given to you may be insignificant.
 

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casey said:
I take care of a 500 acre piece here in pike county.

Zero tolerence with trespassers. I call PSP they come down issue the citations guys go to court pay the fine. case closed. Since I started calling PSP it's not an issue anymore because the word is out.
Casey it is unfortunate, but that is what it takes to fix the problem.
 

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Joe the Logger said:
Bassnleo, let me ask you this, Where does the fine money go? Does it go to the county? State? Does any of it go toward promoting wildlife, or just into the Pa Revenue coffers?
If a municipal police officer (local officer) cites the offended, the municipality gets a small slice (very, very small slice) of the fine while the remainder goes to the State.
 

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JTL you have gone above and beyond to rectify the problem in a civil manner,now is the time to quit talking and hammer them,go for broke no matter the outcome. Go for it!!
Good Luck
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I spoke to the lawyer today, and my odds are that they would plea down the bigger charge. SOOOO, heres what I did. I let them know they were on candid camera, and their goose was cooked. I told them on the phone about the big fine, told them I was undecided, and just hung up the phone and let them stew on that for a few hours. I will admit I planned that and enjoyed it! What I told them this afternoon was...I would like them both to make a donation to the county food bank, which I will see is done. Then, anytime your caught on my property again, you better go truck shopping because I might run over your rigs with a skidder! I'm gonna say they got the message, we will see!
 

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Apparently others take trespassing seriously?

A Homer City man was cited by State Police for Criminal Trespass after he was found on leased hunting property and was not a member of the lease.

XXXXXX, 51, of Homer City, PA, was charged in the incident that occurred along Card Creek Road in Keating Township, Potter County.

Trooper Mark A. VanVolkenburg said the victim, XXXX XXXXXX, 53, of Emporium, PA, had previously warned XXXXX that he was not authorized to be on the properly posted property. XXXXX admitted to being on the property after being warned. He'll answer the charge in District Court 55-3-01.
 

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A Homer City man was cited by State Police for Criminal Trespass after he was found on leased hunting property and was not a member of the lease.
My guess is, he was on the state police lease.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I lost track of this thread, but should explain. The guys were young, and it was archery season. Not that it matters greatly, but I tried to make something good out of it. They both donated to the FB like I asked, and I left them off the hook. The alternative would have been much more expensive for them, I wanted them to understand that. I have never been able to get a grip on the trespassing mentality. The disrespect that comes with crossing that line baffles me. A good number of those I have caught over the years I would have granted permission, if they had just asked in a kindly manner.
 

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Some people have no respect for much of anything these days. Whether it's the property of others, or littering and doing stupid things generally.

My opinion, most of them are the product of a slipshod upbringing, because they practice as adults what they were taught (or not taught) as children.

As an example, most of the trespassing problems we've had around my camp, involved adults "teaching" their children that they can hunt wherever they feel like it. And for some, that includes shooting whatever they feel like shooting, whether it's legal or not?

I once encountered a family group hunting on a neighbor's farm in buck season, who tried to tell my I couldn't hunt there. They had no idea who I was, but I knew who they were and also knew they did not have permission to be there that day.

Their bluff didn't work that day and won't work the next time, either. Years before that, two of them tried to tell me I didn't have permission to be on my own land, when I ran into them there. They're slow learners.

 

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Follow through and have them served. These people are showing that they have no respect for you so it's time to have the law make them tow the line.
 
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