on the Trespass law, and how it is enforced
Below are two laws from
the California Penal Code (PC), and five City of Rolling Hills Municipal codes
that address trespassing. It is important to know that these violations
are misdemeanors, with the exception of 602.8 (a) PC, which is an infraction.
These law being misdemeanors, a Private Persons Arrest is
necessary unless the Deputy Sheriff was actually present, and witnessed the
602.8 (a) is only citable
when the violation occurs in the presence of a law enforcement officer or
Deputy Sheriff. If the person leaves the property prior to a Deputy
arriving, the person cannot be cited for the violation.
are examples of Trespassing, and how the Sheriff will enforce the applicable
Example 1. Mr. Rozas arrives home to
find a man, unknown to him, walking around his property. Mr. Rozas yells
at the man, telling him to get off his property. The man ignores Mr.
Rozas, so Mr. Rozas calls the Sheriff’s Department. Note: Mr. Rozas has no fencing, or signs
A Deputy Sheriff arrives
on scene, and contacts the suspect and Mr. Rozas. Due to the fact the
suspect is still on scene, and on the property, the Deputy arrests him for
9.40.010 Rolling Hills Municipal Code (see below).
Let’s make one change to
the above scenario. The suspect, seeing the Deputy’s patrol car
approaching, exits the property. The Deputy arrives and contacts Mr.
Rozas. Mr. Rozas points down Crest Road, and tells the Deputy, “There he
is, he left when he saw you.” The Deputy explains to Mr. Rozas that a
private persons arrest would be necessary due to the fact the Deputy was not
present during the violation. Mr. Rozas agrees to the Private Persons
Arrest procedure. The Deputy contacts the suspect and drives him back to
Mr. Rozas, where Mr. Rozas advises the suspect he is under private persons
arrest for 9.40.010 Rolling Hills Municipal Code (see below). A small
amount of paper work is completed with Mr. Rozas, and the suspect is taken to
Lomita Sheriff’s Station for booking or the suspect is cited in the field.
Example 2: A woman
who does not live in Rolling Hills continuously avoids the gate attnedent when
entering the city, in order to walk her dogs.While walking up Portuguese
Bend Rd. from the main gate, the gate attendant yells out to the woman, “Ma’am, you
are not allowed to be in the city without permission!” The woman looks back,
then continues on with her walk.The gate attendant is busy with a line of
cars to check in, and does not have time to call the Sheriff.
The next day, the same woman
re-appears, and the same scenario unfolds. This time, the gate attendant is
able to call the Sheriff. The Sheriff arrives, and takes the guard’s
statement. The gate attendant on two occasions warned the woman she was not
allowed on the private roads, without permission. The Deputy finds the
woman within city limits, and arrests her for 9.40.020 Rolling Hills Municipal
Code. Due to the fact the Deputy was not present to witness the attendant advise the woman of the offense, he MAY elect to have the
guard make a Private Persons Arrest. However, based on the guard’s
statement coupled with the fact the woman was detained within city limits, the
Deputy has the authority to make the arrest.
(a) Penal Code – Unauthorized entry of property: Every person other than a public officer or
employee acting within the course and scope of his or her employment in
performance of a duty imposed by law, who enters or remains in any
noncommercial dwelling house, apartment, or other residential place without
consent of the owner, his or her agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof,
is guilty of a misdemeanor. This applies to someone within a structure.
(a) Penal Code – Lands
under cultivation, enclosed by fence or posted; entry without written
permission; punishment; exemptions:
Any person who without
the written permission of the landowner, the owner’s agent, or the person in
lawful possession of the land, willfully enters any lands under cultivation or
enclosed by fence, belonging to, or occupied by, another, or who willfully
enters upon uncultivated or unenclosed lands where signs forbidding trespass
are displayed at intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior
boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the lands, is guilty of public
any person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) shall be punished as
first offense is an infraction punishable by a fine of seventy-five dollars
(2) A second offense on
the same land or any contiguous land of the same landowner, without the
permission of the landowner, the landowner’s agent, or the person in lawful
possession of the land, is an infraction punishable by a fine of two hundred
fifty dollars ($250).
Hills Municipal Code: 9.40.010
- Unauthorized remaining on private property prohibited. No person shall remain upon any private property, including
but not being limited to private roads within the City, after being notified by
the owner or lessee or other person in charge thereof to remove therefrom.
- Unauthorized entrance on private property prohibited. No person, without the permission, express or implied, of
the owner or lessee or other person in charge of private property, including
but not being limited to private roads within the City, shall enter upon
such private property after having been notified by the owner
or lessee or other person in charge thereof to keep off or keep away therefrom.
- Violation—Penalty. Any person violating any provision of this chapter, upon
conviction thereof, shall be punishable by a fine of not to exceed five hundred
dollars or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period of not to exceed six
months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
- Giving false information to security officers prohibited when. It
is unlawful for any person to willfully give false information to, or to
deceive by any other means, any guard or security officer employed by the
Rolling Hills Community Association of Rancho Palos Verdes, for the purpose of
gaining permission from said guard or security officer to enter upon or use the
private roads in the City.
- Violation—Penalty. Any person violating
any provision or failing to comply with any requirement of this chapter shall
be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person convicted of a misdemeanor
under the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine of not more
than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment in the County Jail for a period
not exceeding six months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.