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Beagle-1

Ontario Trespassing

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Occasionally I read in logs of people who accuse, or are accused, of trespassing.

Sometimes the circumstances do not really imply trespassing has occurred. We just tend to throw this word around thinking that it supports an opinion. Decided to do a little research to get some facts here in Ontario.

 

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview/id/418240.html

 

Ontario Trespass to Property Act - R.S.O. 1990, Chapter T.21

http://www.canlii.org/on/laws/sta/t-21/20040901/whole.html

 

Under this provincial law, trespassing occurs when someone remains on

private property after they have been instructed by the occupant of

that property to leave the property. This instruction can be in

written form (such as a 'No Trespassing' sign), or verbal (as in 'Get

the ***** off my property!'). Ontario's law has the highest maximum

fine in Canada, at up to $2000 per offense.

 

The above is basically what I recall from some law course taken a (long) while back. So can a person can wander anywhere they please as long as they have not been warned to stay out nor are they infringing on someone’s livelihood? (i.e. farm). The warning can be of many forms. Signs, fences, and verbal being the most common.

 

Do believe that we always should have respect for other persons and their property and endorse the guideline of having permission to place a cache on private land.

 

But.

 

If permission has not been asked for and no warnings evident is it really trespassing to place a cache on private land. Interested in hearing opinions, especially of those who have experience with the law in this regards

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Interesting topic.

 

Just entering the property can be an offence.

 

Trespass an offence

 

2. (1) Every person who is not acting under a right or authority conferred by law and who,

 

(a) without the express permission of the occupier, the proof of which rests on the defendant,

 

(i) enters on premises when entry is prohibited under this Act, or

 

(ii) engages in an activity on premises when the activity is prohibited under this Act; or

 

(:lol: does not leave the premises immediately after he or she is directed to do so by the occupier of the premises or a person authorized by the occupier,

 

is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable to a fine of not more than $2,000. R.S.O. 1990, c. T.21, s. 2 (1).

 

Years ago, a bunch of us were given an orientation at a local water park. We were told that a person could only be charged after verbally being told they were trespassing and asked to leave. Signs are nice, but not too enforceable as a person can always claim they did not see them.

 

Most likely you will be told to get out. Best practice is if in question, look for signs. Climbing a fence or a locked gate is usually a good indication you may be trespassing.

 

Keep in mind, the owner of a cache may have secured permission from the land owner to place a cache there and have people visit it. Check the listing to see if there are any restrictions. Some cache listings may not give the correct way to approach a cache and you may cross private land if approaching the wrong way. Don’t assume a cache is illegally placed unless you know all the facts.

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For starters, Ontario trespass laws are convoluted, basically unreadable, except by a Bay Street Lawyer or a judge, and are difficult to enforce. To stay on the safe side, I always refer to Alberta laws, which state that encroaching on lands which are fenced or occupied, is trespass.

 

OK, I have a cache on my property, and have stated in the listing, that the owner is aware, and invites visitors. If, however, the trespasser is not seeking the cache, or otherwise invited, I refer to the age old and upheld law, of "shoot and shovel". :lol: I'm positive that many other landowners have the same solution in mind, so it's best to be on the safe side?

Edited by Mag Magician

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I believe that any reasonable set of laws on trespassing has to include the fact that you only trespass if there is an indication that you are somewhere that is private property and that you are not allowed there.

 

Really, when you think about it, if I buy a piece of forest next to a piece of crown land, and I put nothing anywhere on the "border", can I expect anyone stepping on my land to get a fine? What about someone stepping in my front yard to get to my door (sure would be handy to be able to fine some annoying people trying to convert me :lol: ).

 

The owner telling you to get off his land is a clear indication. Written warnings, well, it depends. A fence with signs seems pretty clear and it's hard to argue that you didn't notice. A small sign every 200 meters on the edge of an unfenced forest property... not so much.

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I prefer to err on the side of caution, regardless of what the cache says. If it looks like private property and there isn't a geocaching logo or CLEAR permission for others to use the property I'll remain on public property thank you.

 

Visited a cache a week ago that said not to worry, the owners of the adjacent properties were fully aware of the cache on their property line. That was all fine and good until said property owners actually came out to greet us - they had no idea the cache was there. Fortunately for us we got the "this is cool" response instead of the rapid onset lead poisoning that one would expect when visiting a cache in a rural area at night.

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..Fortunately for us we got the "this is cool" response instead of the rapid onset lead poisoning that one would expect when visiting a cache in a rural area at night.

 

I got the double Barrel shotgun response yesterday, apologized, and removed the cache promptly.

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If permission has not been asked for and no warnings evident is it really trespassing to place a cache on private land?

Perhaps it would not be trespassing according to the letter of the law, but that would be irrelevant.

 

If you know it is private land (as the question implies), then it would clearly be wrong. And not just because it against Groundspeak rules, but on a more fundamental level: In our society, there is a fundamental respect for private property.

 

On the other hand, if the question is actually ambiguous (meant to say "to unknowingly place a cache on private land"), then the placer (and any seeker) could not really be faulted. If the issue came up (found out it was private land), the placer has an obligation to either remove the cache or seek permission.

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I got the double Barrel shotgun response yesterday, apologized, and removed the cache promptly.

 

Seriously? Someone threatened to shoot you because you were looking for a cache? Can you tell us what area that was in, I'll avoid caching there :)

 

Threatening someone with a weapon (even if they happen to be standing on your lawn) carries a heavier penalty than simple trespassing. I know I would certainly go straight to the police if someone pointed a gun at me. You are not allowed to shoot (or threaten to shoot) trespassers... in Canada at least :blink:

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I got the double Barrel shotgun response yesterday, apologized, and removed the cache promptly.

Seriously?

JP can elaborate further, but I think it was more like the hunters on the property he was on happened to have their guns with them, which is not unusual when you run into hunters during hunting season.

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JP can elaborate further, but I think it was more like the hunters on the property he was on happened to have their guns with them, which is not unusual when you run into hunters during hunting season.

 

Ya just a bunch of guys with guns, they never actually pointed them at me, but their words were pretty harsh. Suspect they were hunting Turkeys. Cache has been archived, but the owner is pretty adamant that it is conservation lands.

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