RonO (rono_60103) wrote,

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.


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