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    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #1

    Aug 2, 2016, 10:21 AM
    Tresspassing issue in Cook County, IL
    My friend was arrested for vandalism because some strangers had a party on his private patio at his condo development, left garbage, a table and other items behind, and he put the items in the dumpster. They claim he damaged the table. The condo development is apartment style. Each unit has either a balcony (second floor units) or a patio (ground floor units). Each patio is for the exclusive use and is the private property and responsibility of the associated unit owner. They are not a common element but are part of the respective individual owners.

    These people did not ask permission to use the patio. They actually put a table and chairs, cooler, candles and other crap out there, had a party beyond 2 am and violated the city and association noise ordinances. My friend is an alcoholic, and once woken up by this ridiculous party, he started drinking (not with the other partiers - he stayed inside his place and had no interaction with them - he didn't want to go out and make a scene and just hoped they'd leave soon). When the people left for wherever they were staying, they left their empties and trash as well as the furniture and candles and so on, so he went out and carried it all to the dumpster. Drunk, he broke one candle. He rolled the round dining table on it's edge because he couldn't carry it by himself.

    The trespassers got wind that he was moving the stuff to the trash and called the police. They gave the impression that my friend, drunk, had just come out and interfered in a party on their patio and started trashing their stuff. My friend, drunk, poorly represented himself so the police didn't listen to him when he explained they were trespassing and littered his patio, and that he was cleaning off his own property. He didn't invite them, didn't give them permission to encroach on his property, and didn't want their stuff on his patio. He wanted to make sure they didn't come back, and thought removing their stuff would send the message.

    They are claiming that he ruined the edge of the table, scraping it by rolling it across the pavement to the dumpster. It's perhaps the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. As I would understand it, they were trespassing, were being a nuisance and illegally dumped on private property. He, as I would understand it, had a right to remove unwelcome items from his private property. Am I missing something here? This has turned into a whole case of vandalism against my friend and his attorney is talking about a plea - I think it should be thrown out, but my friend, still drinking, is a terrible advocate for himself. Not only did these people trespass and litter on his property, but they had my friend arrested - hand cuffed, put in jail. His father had to bail him out, his name was in the local paper for the charges, and he has had to pay a $3,000 retainer to an attorney. That attorney is missing the point here that all my friend was doing was removing abandoned belongings from his own patio and disposing of them. All I can find online about this topic is reserved to articles about disposing of the abandoned property of tenants and evicting tenants. These folks were not tenants, were uninvited and were there less than a day.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
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    #2

    Aug 2, 2016, 11:20 AM
    Was the host of this party another condo owner, maybe next door, who spread the party onto your friend's patio? How did the party end up on your friend's patio?

    His first mistake was not calling the police when the party ended up on his patio. His continuing drunken state isn't helping. Are there any witnesses (other condo owners)?
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #3

    Aug 3, 2016, 08:41 AM
    ... Am I missing something here?
    ...
    That attorney is missing the point here that all my friend was doing was removing abandoned belongings from his own patio and disposing of them. ...
    Yes, you are missing the answer to the problem, which is that his attorney is indeed also missing the point. Someone needs to explain to the attorney, so that the attorney can explain to the court.

    And the point is that your friend was simply removing a table placed on his property by trespassers. He should not be convicted for damaging the table, because (I assume), he had no intent to damage it (or he thought it had been abandoned) and the trespassers should not have left it on his property.

    Enough said.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692
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    #4

    Aug 3, 2016, 02:47 PM
    He can not be tresspassing on his own property.

    He merely shows to the court, he is the legal renter or owner and they must drop the charges.

    He also needs to file a police report about their tresspassing.

    But... it is doubtful anyone is going to believe, he woke up, heard them, did not go out there and just stayed in his house drinking.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #5

    Aug 3, 2016, 02:53 PM
    Thanks to both of you.

    Wondergirl, the party was held by people who were either visiting or live elsewhere in the development. My friend rarely uses his patio. It is just a square slab, just large enough for a table, four chairs a couple of plants and maybe a small grill - like 10 x 10 or so. They probably figured his place was vacant or something because there was nothing on the patio. But still - ballsy move. It's like setting up a volleyball net in the neighbor's back yard and then calling the police because they take it down and throw it away.
    Wondergirl's Avatar
    Wondergirl Posts: 37,910, Reputation: 5430
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    #6

    Aug 3, 2016, 03:48 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by dontknownuthin View Post
    Thanks to both of you.

    Wondergirl, the party was held by people who were either visiting or live elsewhere in the development. My friend rarely uses his patio. It is just a square slab, just large enough for a table, four chairs a couple of plants and maybe a small grill - like 10 x 10 or so. They probably figured his place was vacant or something because there was nothing on the patio. But still - ballsy move. It's like setting up a volleyball net in the neighbor's back yard and then calling the police because they take it down and throw it away.
    Even vacant property is not fair game for partiers. I'm with Chuck and AK lawyer.
    smoothy's Avatar
    smoothy Posts: 25,495, Reputation: 2853
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    #7

    Aug 3, 2016, 04:04 PM
    Anything I find on my property that I didn't put there ends up in the trash.. without any attempt to find the owners. If it was a car I'd have it towed (I've actually done this in a rental property I lived in once). Same with a motorcycle...anything else is trash in my mind.

    As was mentioned...you can't trespass on your own property. Prove its his and that's the end of the issue. As far as the table...its debris someone dumped on his property illegally....he was disposing of it.

    Photos of the area along with flags he can place to denote property lines should be more than sufficient. Like they say, a photo is worth a thousand words.

    Assuming he did actually remove it from his own property...I can see an issue of a false police report having been made with possible charges for the people who dumped it on his property and made it. His lawyer should push that issue as well.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #8

    Aug 5, 2016, 02:16 PM
    OMG. Thanks to all of you for responding. I was able to provide the attorney definitive proof that the patio belongs to my friend (legal description of his property, closing documents for the sale, MLS listing from his original purchase). I was able to get confirmation from the homeowners association that the people who are claiming the damages and who called the police do not own any of the units in the development. It is owner occupied only - they say they live there and have a "lease" but the lease is improper - association bylaws do not permit rentals. So, the attorney filed to have the charges dismissed against my friend and is separately filing a civil case for damages against the trespassers to try to get compensation for the inconvenience and public humiliation they caused my friend, and to reimburse his legal fees. So, I think this will end well for my friend, not so well for the trespassers.

    My friend is going into treatment Monday, and I think this incident was kind of a last straw. He realized he was about to accept a plea on a situation in which he was actually owed damages, only because he was embarrassed by his drinking. So, maybe it's good that it happened.
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #9

    Aug 8, 2016, 06:15 PM
    Very good to see that the situation seems to be ending well.

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