Take a wrong turn? Walk in the wrong backyard? Sometimes we just step into a bad situation. Trespassing occurs when someone sets foot onto someone else’s land, home, car, etc. Basically entering a property that the owner didn’t give you permission to enter. A very common example of a “trespass charge” is when a person enters a bar or a nightclub after being refused entry by a bouncer or security guard.
It’s usually a misdemeanor and not a felony, which means that the if you are convicted, the penalty is not as serious as a felony. So that is some good news, even though it doesn’t actually solve the legal problem. What if your profession includes trespassing?
One common legal issue brought up involves process servers. They have the difficult task of tracking down (basically stalking) someone in order to serve them court documents. Sometimes these people go to great lengths in order to get their task completed. There’s no direct case law on the question of whether a process server has the same rights as a police officer. So when they are performing their functions of serving papers, the situation can get a bit murky. So what gives the process server the right to do their job without worrying about being charged with trespassing?
Most lawyers would advise them to enter towards the front porch of the residence and simply knock on the door in order to serve process. If the owner, or renter of the home, asks the process server to leave…they must do so. And a process server cannot enter a locked or fenced property, where a notice of trespassing has been posted.