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What can you do if someone trespasses on your property?

As a property owner, you have the right to decide who does or does not come onto your land or into your home. When someone crosses a boundary line and is on your property without permission, that could be trespassing. There are times when these are serious issues that merit a strong response, but it is not always easy to prove in a legal case that someone trespassed.

To prove someone trespassed on your land, you must be able to prove some level of intent behind the action. If you believe the integrity of your property rights are under threat, your property is at risk or the safety of your family could be at stake, it’s important to know how to prove trespassing took place and whatever else you can regarding an appropriate course of legal action.

Civil and criminal trespass

There are two main types of trespass: civil and criminal. With both of these types, it is essential to prove intent. Police and other government workers enforce criminal trespass laws, while a homeowner can initiate an enforcement action in court for damages in a civil trespass case. Trespass cases can sometimes hinge on the matter of consent, specifically express consent and implied consent. The difference between these is as follows:

  • Implied consent is when the property owner, typically through conversations or actions, implies that a party has permission to come onto the property.
  • Express consent is where the property owner gives express permission for a party to enter the property, either verbally or in writing.

If you are trying to prove someone trespassed on your property, it is possible the issue of consent will be an important factor in the case. The offending party may claim you gave permission or that there were indications that you indirectly permitted entrance. The other party may also try to prove that he or she inadvertently entered the property, and there was no intent to do so. 

What should you do next?

If you have concerns related to trespassing or your property rights, you may want to speak with an experienced New Jersey attorney regarding your legal options. It is possible you have valid grounds to move forward with a civil case. An assessment of your situation can help you understand the options available to you and what steps you can take to assert your rights.