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Attorney Renee C. Walsh

Trespass – British Columbia, Canada Law

Inquiry:

If you provide information on Canadian Law, I’d like to ask about some minors who have trespassed in the front yard of my neighbour’s residential property‚Äč. He planted a few kinds of natural flower to embellish his garden-like front yard, and on one sunny day, both of us saw two 15 to 17-year-old male teens arbitrarily enter his front yard without permission and concurrently damaged his flowers and other gardening works. We have never seen these young fellows before. I wonder if there are any legal methods within the British Columbia jurisdiction that are available for my neighbour to consider?

Response:

Although you witnessed the crime occur, neither you nor the neighbor know the perpetrators. If you identify them in the future, try to find out their names and/or where they live. If you do end up being able to identify them, the neighbor can proceed against them. Certainly, it would be a good idea to report the crime even though some time has passed. If the matter is reported, then there is a history / foundation laid for a future civil lawsuit and/or criminal action. Visit: Youth Justice – Reporting a Crime for more information on this. Once a report is made, the police will investigate the crime. The more information you can give them to assist them in their investigation, the better.

In the meantime, I found British Columbia Trespass Act which provides that it is against the law to trespass. If one is found trespassing, the law provides that the trespasser must provide their name and address. Therefore, if these fellows come by the house, or are seen in the street or in the neighborhood area, perhaps they could be approached (if safe), and could be told that they were seen trespassing, and must, under the Trespass Act, provide their name and contact information. Furthermore, if they are seen and one could warn them verbally, that they are not to trespass. Then, a more solid basis would be set for a future trespass action in civil and criminal court – because once they are warned they will have no defense to future trespass.

Certainly it is a crime to destroy the personal property that is the garden / emblements, and this is a separate crime from trespass, but again, either way, the police / judge / jurors must have someone to charge.

I hope we have helped. Thank you for your patience. Please tell others about LawRefs.com so that we may spread the good work throughout Canada too!

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