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Legal Advice Redux

Chubbs

TRIBE Member
So last night my umm.. friend had another run in with the law. This time around, it was a trespassing charge. I was always under the impression that the owner of a property, or someone involved with the running of it had to be the one to call something like this in. But I'm my case, it was a cabbie who called the cops, because they saw my friend climbing up to the roof of a building that wasn't his.

The cops harassed my friend, and the other person that was there, insinuating alot of sexual heresay, and being pretty vulgar. They then tried to tell me that it was the equivalent of a B&E, even though I basically climbed a set of stairs that was more or less easily accessable from street level, and there were no "keep out" signs, or any kind of deterrant.

What I'd like to know is:

a) Is it really trespassing if the owner isnt the one calling this in?
b) Are buildings roofs technically in or on their property? Especially if its easily accessed from street level? There was no shenanigans or tomfoolery happening, just went up to check the view and have a smoke.
c) The cops were being pretty vulgar, borderline sexual harrassment(verbal), and then proceeded to follow us home, making snide remarks more or less the whole way.

I'm taking it to court regardless, just to fuck up their day for being such pricks, but how easy is it to get a charge like this thrown out? I'm pretty lucky my check came up clean, because it wasn't until after I told them I've never had trouble with the cops that I remembered I have. There were two of us who got charged, and we both witnessed the cops being total assholes, can we file some sort of counterclaim against these pigs?

Fuck, I have bad luck with cops.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/90t21_e.htm

Trespass to Property Act

Trespass an offence


2. (1) Every person who is not acting under a right or authority conferred by law and who,

(a) without the express permission of the occupier, the proof of which rests on the defendant,

(i) enters on premises when entry is prohibited under this Act, or

(ii) engages in an activity on premises when the activity is prohibited under this Act; or

(b) does not leave the premises immediately after he or she is directed to do so by the occupier of the premises or a person authorized by the occupier,

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 2 (1).
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
You might be able to argue that there was no signs, since signs are necessary except for...


Prohibition of entry

3. (1) Entry on premises may be prohibited by notice to that effect and entry is prohibited without any notice on premises,

(a) that is a garden, field or other land that is under cultivation, including a lawn, orchard, vineyard and premises on which trees have been planted and have not attained an average height of more than two metres and woodlots on land used primarily for agricultural purposes; or

(b) that is enclosed in a manner that indicates the occupier’s intention to keep persons off the premises or to keep animals on the premises. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 3 (1).
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Just for fun, I will look up case law on this for you if I remember... I will be having a grand few months working on my case (Charter violation against a cop)... I am going to be a regular at the university law library, and this will break up the monotony of the stupid boring shite that I have to repetitively read due to lack of meds for my ADD ;)
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
In the meantime, take the ticket into one of the locations listed on the back and get them to set a trial date.
 
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Chubbs

TRIBE Member
See this seems a little ambigious.

If I'm on their roof, have I entered the premesis? I certainly was not doing any prohibited activities, and I left the premesis as soon as I was requested to.

Am I trespassing?
 

AshG

Member
interestingly the law is also clear that if, over time, any private land has reverted to such frequent use by non-owners as to make the section of land in question a regularly used thoroughfare, then the private land becomes public(and therefore of course trespassing is impossible).
 

AshG

Member
edit - i wouldn't say the roof of any building would qualify unless it were being used for the audition of some chimney sweep musical.
 

Big Harv

TRIBE Member
Hire a criminal lawyer - you don't have to break the bank as your case sounds pretty straight forward and you might be able to qualify for legal aid. The statutes and case law are accessible, but you still need to understand rules of criminal procedure, court rules and evidentiary rules. Get someone who has experience with these types of issues and who can objectively assess the merits of your case based on an in depth interview.

Don't be an Erin BrockoMOd
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Also, while you are at the court offices getting a trial set, ask to get what's called "disclosure"--the evidence that the police officer will be presenting at the trial.

I'm actually very excited about my court proceedings, since I have some tricks up my sleeve that will be yanked out at the most opportune times... re-opening stuffs... all part of my master plan to have everything done in a particular order, helping my case proceed *just* so... muahahaha... and of course I am being cryptic on purpose ;)
 

Chubbs

TRIBE Member
This is small potatoes compared to my other outstanding charge, so I'm not throwing any more money at another lawyer, I'm just going to handle this one myself.

I'm assuming my other oustanding charges are going to be recognized when I show up in court for this date, so I want to make sre I have a solid case before I try and fuck with it at all.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Big Harv said:
Hire a criminal lawyer
I say don't bother... the Ontario Trespass Act is part of the Provincial Offenses Act... getting charged under it isn't criminal...
 

litespeed

Well-Known TRIBEr
Chubbs said:
See this seems a little ambigious.

If I'm on their roof, have I entered the premesis? I certainly was not doing any prohibited activities, and I left the premesis as soon as I was requested to.

Am I trespassing?


you were on their roof.
you didn't cut across someone's lawn or sit on their doorstep.

you climbed onto their roof.

no one is going to be okay about randoms climbing on their roof. You don't go into the suburbs and climb onto the roofs of people's houses... why... because you know it's tresspassing and no one is going to be cool with you doing that.

Just suck it up, and use your head next time ;)
 

miller

TRIBE Member
My friend tried to climb the roof of the bay and repel down w/ pulles and ropes. He tossed the toy cops when they surrounded him at the bottom, and the real cops roughed him up nice and good. He hired a criminal lawyer and was pardoned on account of being shipped out to Afghanistan.

My advice: See if you qualify for a legal aid lawyer. If not, pay the fine they will give you.
 
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funfuncheese

TRIBE Member
Chubbs said:
See this seems a little ambigious.

If I'm on their roof, have I entered the premesis? I certainly was not doing any prohibited activities, and I left the premesis as soon as I was requested to.

Am I trespassing?
I'm taking a wild guess but I assume the roof is part of the property. If it's the roof of a business, it belongs to the business owners; if it's the roof of an apartment, it belongs to the landlord.

Whose roof were you on?

ev said:
you were on their roof.
you didn't cut across someone's lawn or sit on their doorstep.

you climbed onto their roof.

no one is going to be okay about randoms climbing on their roof. You don't go into the suburbs and climb onto the roofs of people's houses... why... because you know it's tresspassing and no one is going to be cool with you doing that.

Just suck it up, and use your head next time ;)
So they were on the roof, so what.

Uninvited pigeons hang out on rooftops and shit all over the place, so I really don't see the harm in a human walking up a flight of stairs, taking a look, and not shitting.

Too bad you can't plead curious.

If I were you, I would have just made up some story on the spot about how I thought the staircase/rooftop lead to the back entrance to my friend's girlfriend/boyfriend's apartment, and you had to use this way because their front door lock is jammed, and the locksmith was supposed to fix it yesterday but they never showed up...and there's no other way into the apartment and then say that once you got up there and walked to the door, you realized you were on the wrong rooftop, and left. Or maybe you were even on the wrong street altogether. It was dark. You were lost.

I've been on those rooftops before (and been kicked off of them too) and a lot of them are back entrances for apartment buildings that are on top of storefronts. If you thought that your friend's friend (or whoever) lived up there, then how could you be tresspassing if you were under the impression that you were invited?

If you guys left when they asked you to, I don't see why they would even bother to charge you unless they had something on you, or unless they were trying to meet quotas.

Why don't cops bust the crack dealers/bike thieves/prostitutes instead of wasting their time on a case of innocent curiosity or a mistaken address? Because that would be just crazy!
 

lucky1

TRIBE Member
PosTMOd said:
I say don't bother... the Ontario Trespass Act is part of the Provincial Offenses Act... getting charged under it isn't criminal...

dito.

pay the fine.. dont' be dumb next time... this is not a criminal charge, as in it will not appear on your criminal record

whatever reason you were climbing on someone elses roof probably is to do something you shouldn't be there doing anyway.
 

DigitalMP

TRIBE Member
[You] basically had no reason to be there. If you violate a criminal code (rather than civil), it doesn't matter who calls it in...

but you have to be prosecuted "beyond a reasonable doubt" (99% guilt), meaning if you've done no serious damage (to person or property) and are no a repeat offender, it will either get dismissed or plea down to something insignificant. courts don't have time or money to pursue what they might not win, and since you're small time, they know you'll plea down to a lesser charge.

trespassing is bascially a violation (not criminal), but the first step toward burglary, which is trespassing with intent to commit a crime (steal, assault, the combo of the two is robbery, etc.). so no, it's not a crime, but prosecuted as such.

if it was monetary damage, the property owner would file a civil suit, meaning that they have to prove a preponderenace of the evidence (51% guilt), hence why OJ owes millions, yet walks a free man.

Your buddy is basically just an annoyance, and cabbie was preventing a potentially serious crime (in his mind, or another situation). If he's not a bad guy, he'll get a 6 month ACD, meaning if he's a good boy for 6 months, it's dismissed (or something similar and I'm describing typical NY/US code).
 
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Chubbs

TRIBE Member
New plan, going to just try to get a note from the owner of the building.

Back to the sexual harassment tho, how far is too far when it comes to cops? My other friend was more or less called a whore and a cocksucker etc by these cops, who also threatened getting cuffed and strip searched. Thats just the tip of the iceberg. That kinda stuff can't be "legal". Can't something be done?
 

kuba

TRIBE Member
the note idea sounds like a very good one.

with respect to fighting them, did you get the badge numbers? Only thing you could do is file a complaint.
 
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PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
kuba said:
with respect to fighting them, did you get the badge numbers? Only thing you could do is file a complaint.
Badge number is right on the ticket. The best thing to do is to take it to trial, get disclosure, file a complaint... even if it goes nowhere, at least the cops will think twice next time, since all this shit goes on record...

About filing a complaint (you have six months):
http://www.occps.ca/englishwebsite/process/publiccomplaints/complaintspamphlet.asp

Download complaint form here (it's the same as the form you'd pick up at the police station:
http://www.scaddingcourt.org/publication/forms.htm
 

mutslaster

TRIBE Member
conor, since this isn't an indictable offense you're not going to qualify for legal aid anyways.
it doesn't matter who called it in; and technically a rooftop will fall under property so trespass is a valid charge. get a trial date set, get the disclosure, and get some legal advice. in many of these cases the cops don't even show up to court so you'd get off if that is the case. maybe contact osgoode or u of t's community legal clinics, though i know the u of t one is not taking any criminal cases at the moment.

as for the sexual harassment issue, you should file a complaint as suggested.
 

TK - 421

TRIBE Member
mutslaster said:
conor, since this isn't an indictable offense you're not going to qualify for legal aid anyways.
Not true at all. I have clients on LA charged with summary offences.
 

annec

TRIBE Member
Anyone have suggestions on how to overthrow a condo board? I'd like to do it to my building's crazy mofos. (Not Sunny).
 
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