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Maine Alliance for Road Associations

Tresspassing?

  • 01 Sep 2010 8:56 AM
    Message # 411793
    Deleted user
    Recently, a man with a 4-wheeler comes up to our private road, and does donuts in the dirt.  Over time, his joyriding is causing our road to deteriorate and will likely force us to bring in more gravel to fix it.

    My question is, A) can the police do anything about this, and B) if not, how do we go about getting this guy to cut it out?
  • 02 Sep 2010 7:22 AM
    Reply # 412301 on 411793
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    John Blunda wrote:Recently, a man with a 4-wheeler comes up to our private road, and does donuts in the dirt.  Over time, his joyriding is causing our road to deteriorate and will likely force us to bring in more gravel to fix it.

    My question is, A) can the police do anything about this, and B) if not, how do we go about getting this guy to cut it out?
    If it's a public easement, he can. Is it?

  • 03 Sep 2010 6:40 AM
    Reply # 412790 on 412301
    Deleted user
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:
    John Blunda wrote:Recently, a man with a 4-wheeler comes up to our private road, and does donuts in the dirt.  Over time, his joyriding is causing our road to deteriorate and will likely force us to bring in more gravel to fix it.

    My question is, A) can the police do anything about this, and B) if not, how do we go about getting this guy to cut it out?
    If it's a public easement, he can. Is it?

    We've spoken with a law enforcement official.  He says the police can only become involved if the road is POSTED as a public way.  Its not enough to just have the road sign; you need a PUBLIC WAY sign as well.  He told says it also has to be posted in in a conspicous area.

    Once all of this is done, the next time the guy comes back, we can actually have him charged with trespassing, should we push it that far.
  • 03 Sep 2010 8:11 AM
    Reply # 412819 on 412790
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    John Blunda wrote:
    Betsy Connor Bowen wrote:
    John Blunda wrote:Recently, a man with a 4-wheeler comes up to our private road, and does donuts in the dirt.  Over time, his joyriding is causing our road to deteriorate and will likely force us to bring in more gravel to fix it.

    My question is, A) can the police do anything about this, and B) if not, how do we go about getting this guy to cut it out?
    If it's a public easement, he can. Is it?

    We've spoken with a law enforcement official.  He says the police can only become involved if the road is POSTED as a public way.  Its not enough to just have the road sign; you need a PUBLIC WAY sign as well.  He told says it also has to be posted in in a conspicous area.

    Once all of this is done, the next time the guy comes back, we can actually have him charged with trespassing, should we push it that far.
    I'm not sure simply posting a private road as a public way makes it a public way. The place to start, it seems to me, is to decide if it is in fact a private road and the public can be barred or if the public has the right to use the road. 
  • 04 Sep 2010 12:19 AM
    Reply # 413484 on 412790
    Deleted user
    John wrote:We've spoken with a law enforcement official.  He says the police can only become involved if the road is POSTED as a public way.  Its not enough to just have the road sign; you need a PUBLIC WAY sign as well.  He told says it also has to be posted in in a conspicous area.

    Once all of this is done, the next time the guy comes back, we can actually have him charged with trespassing, should we push it that far.

    That sounds backwards to me.  If your road isn't a public way, and it is posted to the effect of "Private Road - No Trespassing", then I would think the police could charge him with trespassing.

    On the other hand, if it is a public way, then he does have the right to be there, and could not be charged with trespassing.  But assuming that the public way is intended as a motor vehicle roadway, I would think that an ATV would not be permitted to operate there, as it is not a street-legal vehicle.

    I say just post the No Trespassing sign and see what happens.  If he ignores the sign. tell him you're calling the police to have him arrested. That should encourage him to ride elsewhere.

  • 04 Sep 2010 7:21 AM
    Reply # 413519 on 413484
    Deleted user
    Todd Tolhurst wrote:
    John wrote:We've spoken with a law enforcement official.  He says the police can only become involved if the road is POSTED as a public way.  Its not enough to just have the road sign; you need a PUBLIC WAY sign as well.  He told says it also has to be posted in in a conspicous area.

    Once all of this is done, the next time the guy comes back, we can actually have him charged with trespassing, should we push it that far.

    That sounds backwards to me.  If your road isn't a public way, and it is posted to the effect of "Private Road - No Trespassing", then I would think the police could charge him with trespassing.

    On the other hand, if it is a public way, then he does have the right to be there, and could not be charged with trespassing.  But assuming that the public way is intended as a motor vehicle roadway, I would think that an ATV would not be permitted to operate there, as it is not a street-legal vehicle.

    I say just post the No Trespassing sign and see what happens.  If he ignores the sign. tell him you're calling the police to have him arrested. That should encourage him to ride elsewhere.


    I must apologize...I meant to say PRIVATE way.  That's what I get when I write these when I first wake up :)

    Regardless, I am only passing on what I've been told from the official.  This is a private way, and unauthorized attendance on said property can result in a summons.

    I now have some signs that say "Private Property - No Trespassing".  If there are any updates, I'll let you know.
  • 04 Sep 2010 9:21 AM
    Reply # 413549 on 413519
    Anonymous member (Administrator)
    John Blunda wrote:
    Todd Tolhurst wrote:
    John wrote:We've spoken with a law enforcement official.  He says the police can only become involved if the road is POSTED as a public way.  Its not enough to just have the road sign; you need a PUBLIC WAY sign as well.  He told says it also has to be posted in in a conspicous area.

    Once all of this is done, the next time the guy comes back, we can actually have him charged with trespassing, should we push it that far.

    That sounds backwards to me.  If your road isn't a public way, and it is posted to the effect of "Private Road - No Trespassing", then I would think the police could charge him with trespassing.

    On the other hand, if it is a public way, then he does have the right to be there, and could not be charged with trespassing.  But assuming that the public way is intended as a motor vehicle roadway, I would think that an ATV would not be permitted to operate there, as it is not a street-legal vehicle.

    I say just post the No Trespassing sign and see what happens.  If he ignores the sign. tell him you're calling the police to have him arrested. That should encourage him to ride elsewhere.


    I must apologize...I meant to say PRIVATE way.  That's what I get when I write these when I first wake up :)

    Regardless, I am only passing on what I've been told from the official.  This is a private way, and unauthorized attendance on said property can result in a summons.

    I now have some signs that say "Private Property - No Trespassing".  If there are any updates, I'll let you know.
    WHEW. 

    And since I usually post here first thing in the morning, I know what you're talking about! 

    Thanks, Todd, for weighing in.

    The take-away message for others is to try and deter unwanted visitors with a PRIVATE sign. And if they still rip up the road, try and get evidence. 

    The problem of public easements remains. I will try and get MARA's attention on that issue and it may get to the legislature. Could be important.   
    Last modified: 04 Sep 2010 9:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

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