Contributors to this thread:
Bringing charges yourself
Guys, in regards to trespassers and poachers where the locals won't pursue the issue, is there any reason you can't do it yourself? Serious. Not being smart ass. I sure don't know. Real life story, carefully worded to not reveal anyone. Had an issue with a neighbor to one of my places doing something illegal and severely irritating to others. Asked them to stop, they did not. Called the local law person responsible for enforcement of the law every time the neighbor did it again. Probably 10 calls/instances. The local law person would not write them a ticket or even look into it. The law person got tired of hearing from me, and in exasperation, said "why don't you file charges if you want to pursue this so bad!?" I said what form do I fill out, and I did. A month later at the court date I showed up, the neighbor showed up with an attorney, the judge asked me if I had any proof of my accusation of breaking the law, I showed pictures, their attorney looked at the pictures, the judge asked if anyone had anything else to say, then said "guilty" and charged them $500. True story. No embellishment. The law enforcement person showed up at the court date, in uniform, with one other law person I didn't know, and just sat there in the back, didn't say a word, probably collecting OT while I did their job.
Joe, since you didn’t give us much in the way of specifics....in your opinion did the judges $500 fine fit the crime and did you walk away satisfied? Did the neighbors irritating activity (assume trespassing and poaching) cease? Did neighbors activities cause you pain and suffering or cost you monetarily? If so, did you happen to also ask for damages assoc. with that? Hope all is well for you now.
Crested, I thought the fine seemed awfully high to be honest. But I think stuff costs to much/priced to high all the time so that is normal I suppose. I was happy with the outcome. It did take care of the issue that was the end of it 100% finished. I had no monetary costs I wasn't asking for any money or damages for me just enforcement of the law.
A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do. Hats off to you sir.
"where the locals won't pursue the issue, is there any reason you can't do it yourself? Serious."
If the prosecutors won't file formal charges, there is not an option for you to do it yourself. Most of the time, officers who refuse to file the paperwork, do so because they have talked to the prosecutors, were told that they would not prosecute the matter in court. If the prosecutor, the judge and the courts do not want to hear your case, you're done.
I'd have to agree with Trebarker. In rural areas where one judge sees both criminal and civil cases, this could be a hard one. It's been said, most rulings are made over coffee before court even starts. I experienced first hand the unfairness of an agricultural lawsuit where the judge seemed to view the proceedings simply as a formality rather than presentation of evidence and precedent. Thankfully the other party died and the new owner sided with me and dropped the lawsuit.
This does not to seem right. Randy does another approach work?
Trespassing is a legal term that can refer to a wide variety of offenses against a person or against property. Civil trespass requires that the landowner initiate a private enforcement action in court to collect any damages for which the trespasser may be responsible (regardless of whether a crime has been committed).
Are we sure that we want to live in a society where civilians can file charges against each other?
Seems like an Anti (for example) could sure make your life difficult....
GF- I sure don't want to be in a society where lawbreakers have free rein.
"This does not to seem right. Randy does another approach work?"
The only other options you have if your local criminal and civil courts deny you is to; take your issue up with the State Attorney General (good luck with that, they will likely side with the CA because trespassing will not be a high priority item to them either), find a media source that will do a report about the incident & the prosecutor refusing to file charges (good luck with this too unless your local media are not a fans of the prosecutor).
GF- Unless the officer working the incident witnesses the crime, it takes a civilian complaint against another to file charges against someone. Nothing new about that.