How to prevent trespassing on my lot. I own a 1-acre residential lot inside city limits Clayton, NC. The back half of

Expert's Assistant chat
Customer: How to prevent trespassing on my lot. I own a 1-acre residential lot inside city limits Clayton, NC. The back half of the lot is heavily wooded. Children and adults from the neighborhood behind the woods use a well-worn path leading from their neighborhood, through my woods, onto my lot and walk through my yard to reach my subdivision. I've placed several "no trespassing" signs. I've talked to the children. I don't know their identity. If they get hurt (copperheads, coyote, falling branches, tripping) I am liable. Even if I put up a fence, they will climb it, if they get hurt, I'm liable. What can I do?
JA: What steps have you taken so far? Have you prepared or filed any paperwork?
Customer: I've put up 6 signs. They are ignored. I don't have the names of the children nor do I know where, exactly, they live.
JA: Have you talked to a NC lawyer about this?
Customer: I've contacted one lawyer - he won't call back. I thought I'd try this first.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I cannot afford to fence-in an entire acre of land. Besides, that will ruin the habitat for the deer. There are coyotes in the woods so fencing my yard forces the coyotes into the adjacent neighborhood. What is my liability there? I'm in contact with the other neighborhood's HOA but haven't heard back. If I put up cameras, the kids will destroy them, I know I can't put up anything that could hurt an innocent. All my windows open to the back yard, where the woods are. I watch kids come and go every day. My dog sees them and he starts barking and I have to kennel him. If he's outside, he barks and disturbs the neighbors. I feel as I have no options since I cannot identify these people.
Answered by Attorney Wendy in 2 days 1 year ago
imglogo
Attorney Wendy
10+ years of experience
logo

33682 Satisfied customers

Expert in: Family Law, Legal, Estate Law, Real Estate Law, Criminal Law, Employment Law, Business Law, Consumer Protection Law, Bankruptcy Law, Traffic Law, Personal Injury Law.

logoBack
logologo
Attorney Wendy
logo
logo
33682 Satisfied customers
logo
10+ years of experience
imglogo
Attorney Wendy
10+ years of experience
logo

33682 Satisfied customers

Jessica

Jessica

Consultant

31,131 Satisfied customers

Pearl avatar
Lawyer's, Assistant
116 Lawyers are online right now.
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Welcome to Just Answer! My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you today.

This is a back-and-forth chat format. Some questions require more detailed answers than others.

If it takes a moment for me to respond it is because I am indeed working on answering your question so you can expect a thoughtful, informational response.

I am sorry to hear about what is happening. I know that these situations can be both stressful and difficult, and we’ll do our best to provide the information needed to address them.

img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Know your land. Take time to roam through and inspect your property.
Mark your land. Paint your boundary lines or trees frequently enough that the paint is always visible.
Control access to your land.
Meet your neighbors.
Don't be afraid to ask for help.

I hope you understand my answer to your question. I am more than happy to help you with anything further on this subject.
Thank you very much!
Ashley

Customer
I've had my lot surveyed and staked out--I know the boundaries. Trees and stakes mark the boundary. There are 6 "no trespassing" and "keep out signs at all 3 entrances to my woods. I have only one neighbor 2 doors down. The house next to me is under construction. I don't dare talk to the people that live in the subdivision behind me. At least one family has been aggressive, the children laugh at me if I'm outside and stick their tounges out at me. I fear retaliation. I'm 65, live alone, no family.
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

I am terribly sorry to hear you go through this; it must be difficult for you.

img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Simply reply back if you require additional information and I will be happy to help you with any follow up questions.
Thank you and I wish you the best with your situation.
Ashley

Customer
Need more info
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Regarding which bit please?

Customer
Regarding what can I do besides what you've suggested, which I have already done and the problem is getting worse. I see a lawsuit in my future!
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Yes, that is most likely the case, unfortunately.

Customer
I am referring to a lawsuit against me when someone gets hurt. Is that what you believe is most likely? Is there at least some sort of insurance I can get to cover myself at least so I can keep my house?
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Yes, but you better hire an experienced lawyer to assist you.

Customer
I should expect to get sued? Or yes there is some sort of insurance?
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Lawsuit

Customer
either I sit here and wait for a lawsuit or move? The criminals have all the advantages? There MUST be options. I have not seen a hoard of folks selling their houses over this. So there must be some way to fight this. You were zero help!
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Hello.  My name is ***** ***** I am another attorney. I am happy to be assisting you today and thank you for using Just Answer.  As an attorney with more than 20 years of experience, it is important for me to understand the details of your situation so I can be sure to provide the best information I can for you.  Once I provide a response, you are welcome to reply back with any follow-up questions.

I am reviewing your question now and I may have some follow-up questions for you.  Once I get the information I need, it may take me a few minutes to prepare a thoughtful and complete response.  I thank you in advance for your patience.

img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

I believe I understand the situation as you described it.  One thing I did not see is whether you have ever contacted law enforcement about this issue.

Customer
First, can you explain why the agreed to $1 was charged to my account followed by a $60 charge I never agreed to?
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

I am getting ready to step away from my computer until later today, but I wanted to provide some information in the hopes it will help.

First, I know it is unnerving to have strangers - especially when they act so disrespectfully ***** ***** when you encounter them - on your property.   It can be hard to know how to confront this kind of behavior when those you do confront are not willing to recognize your rights as the owner of the land.

Second, when someone trespasses on your land, you are NOT usually legally responsible for any injury that person may incur.  If you were allowing the use of the shortcut, then you could have some legal liability for injury.  But where you put up no trespassing signs and it is clear those crossing the property know you do not want them there, the law does not put the responsibility on you for their safety.

You can read more about the general law (which is consistent with NC law) in the links I will send in a follow-up message.

Finally, what you are describing is criminal trespassing, in violation of N.C. Statute §16-7-21.  So, if you can contact law enforcement whenever you see this activity (on the non-911 number) and get reports that may help if law enforcement is able to identify and speak with those involved and also creates a record should anyone try to sue you for an injury to show their presence on the land was not with your permission.

I hope this information helps.  Please let me know if there is any part of your question I failed to answer or that may be unclear.  If you need additional assistance, feel free to reply to this message.  Do note that I am away from my computer from time to time and will respond to any follow-up questions as soon as they come to my attention.  

Please note:  This information is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice.  No course of action is being proposed and no attorney-client relationship or privilege has been formed as a result of this conversation.

img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

Here is one of the links I mentioned discussing how a landowner is not generally responsible for injuries to trespassers:  https://1800law1333.com/if-a-trespasser-gets-injured-on-your-property-can-he-sue-you/1-800-law-1333/

As mentioned in this article, it may be worth adding to your No Trespassing signs that trespassing on the property may be dangerous to lessen any chance you could be responsible for any injurty.  And, though this article discusses NY law, NC law is similar on this issue.

Customer
Why did you charge me $60?
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

I am sorry about any charges.  I do not have any role in billing or accounts.  I am just an experienced attorney who tried to provide information regarding your legal rights and options related to the trespassers you have on your land.  If you do have questions about billing, you should be able to straighten those out by contacting customer service at (888)(###) ###-####or(###) ###-####
Customer
Ok! Thanks. I checked out the website and I'm missing "DANGER" signs. I'll take care of that this weekend. Since I put up the "ALL TRESPASSERS WILL BE PROSECUTED" I've seen less foot traffic. I will rest easier tonight. Thank you!
img

Attorney Wendy, Expert

I am glad you are seeing some lessening of traffic; hopefully that continues.
Ask a lawyer and get your legal questions answered.
See all Legal Questions
img
Related Legal Questions
How it works
logoAsk for help, 24/7
Ask for help, 24/7
Members enjoy round-the-clock access to 12,000+ verified Experts, including doctors, lawyers, tech support, mechanics, vets, home repair pros, more.
logoExpert will respond in minutes
Expert will respond in minutes
After you reach out, we match you with an Expert who specializes in your situation. Talk, text, chat, whichever you prefer.
logoSave time & money
Save time & money
No scheduling hassles, missing time from work, or expensive consults.
A JustAnswer membership can save you significant time and money each month.
img
logo 593 Verified lawyers, 10+ years of experience
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on Askalawyeroncall.com are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. Askalawyeroncall.com is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response as proposing specific action or addressing your specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances should be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on any information received from an Expert, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains. The responses above are from independent, freelance Experts, who are not employed by Askalawyeroncall.com . The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credentials of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service.
Explore law categories
Powered by JustAnswer