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Don't People Respect Private Property Anymore? - RonO's Ramblings — LiveJournal

Dec. 14th, 2008 03:24 pm Don't People Respect Private Property Anymore?

A few days ago before I got home robot_grrl and Derrick heard something that sounded like something, or someone, hitting the garage door. They suspected that kids had been messing around in our driveway. The next day I looked and noticed that there was a piece of plywood leaning on the curb directly across our driveway leading to a clear area on a 50% or steeper grade leading the back yard across the street from us. {Our street only has houses on one side. The street above and our street have no houses behind their houses}

Today as we were returning from Church and some shopping (probably about 2:30pm) we came up our street and found probably half a dozen kids on bikes in our driveway, and at least that many in the street waiting their turn. It definitely looked like they were using our driveway to launch themselves across the street and up the hill on the other side. I pulled up and waited for a moment or two and none of them moved. I then yelled at them, perhaps a bit more angrily than I would have liked to in an ideal situation to get out of the driveway. I also later informed them that they were trespassing and that I would not hesitate to call the cops the next time.

It is very clear to me that these kids parents have not taught them any sense of private property rights. As a kid we would play sometimes in a handful of vacant lots in our neighborhood, but would never dream of going into anyones yard or driveway without being invited. But these kids, probably starting when the house was vacant between tenants, started using the driveway as their own private bike/skate park, and didn't quit when we moved in.

Of course in this day of lawsuit happy lawyers and parents who don't believe that their precious kids could possibly do anything wrong, one of the things I'm worried about is that one of these kids could get hurt and that we'd get sued. I don't know who would have first liability in a case like this, the landlord or the tenant, but I'm sure both parties would get sued initially. I think that reasonable judges would throw this out, but we'd still have to fight it to get it that far. And this is California, so I don't know if I should expect reasonable judges or not :->.

I just hope that I didn't react in a way that will make them take revenge by committing some act of vandalism, or worse.

On the plus side, perhaps Derrick has really realized that these aren't the kind of nice kids he was sure that they were -- even after teaching him language that has gotten him into trouble.

Current Location: 33.209392992952154, -117.33692407608032
Current Mood: angryangry

5 comments - Leave a commentPrevious Entry Share Next Entry


Date:December 15th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
I suspect that calling the police and complaining to them the next time it happens would be a good thing in case of potential lawsuit. Being able to point at a police record saying "I told them to not do that on this property" should go a long way towards keeping you from having any blame. Especially if you follow it up with 'get off!' any time you see them - oh, and if the cops have actually come out and talked to the kids.
Date:December 15th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)
We've had some kids in the backyard recently using the mild slope for sledding onto the (frozen) lake. The first time, we didn't see the kids, just the foot prints and tracks in the snow. They were getting pretty close to the house, judging by the tracks. The next two times, we saw the kids themselves, but they took off at high speed as soon as they saw either Fran or me. (This tells me that they are quite aware that they are trespasing.)

I hesitated to call the cops since we're renters and technically the part they were on is not the property we're renting, although it does belong to the landlord. I've since checked with our landlord -- a lawer, actually -- and gotten the approval to call the cops on 'em! Since then, of course, I haven't seen any sign of them at all. *sigh*

I was so looking forward to standing on the back porch patio and waving my cane at them. Maybe even I could call them 'young punks!'
Date:December 15th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
>I just hope that I didn't react in a way that will make them take revenge >by committing some act of vandalism, or worse.

Just this past week, my neighbour's in-laws (who live just outside town on a very sparsely-populated hill) had a similar problem.

They asked the kids to leave - but they came back later when they thought the house was empty and started to trash the garden, uprooting shrubs and throwing stuff into the pool.

Maybe investing $10 in a webcam and some recording software?
Date:December 15th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
In the "good old days" this sort of thing could be dealt with (in non-urban areas) with a 12-gauge shotgun and shells loaded with rock salt. The salt won't kill you, but a peppering of it into your ass will make damn sure you don't trespass again.
Date:December 15th, 2008 01:54 pm (UTC)
Definitely small town vs. large town.

I'd be happy to have someone play in our yard, so my kids would have someone to play with. We did chase some of the neighborhood kids out that were throwing pine cones at the dog... and when their mom found out the local cops are friends (especially friends of the dog, as they bring him home when he's out on his drunken binges) that ended the trouble. But my kids play in all 3 backyards that are connected together, here. No one yells at them as long as they aren't doing anything stupid like hitting the ball towards the houses.