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Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby atticus » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:48 pm

Clifton was a civil case.
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby shootist » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:21 pm

The basic question I sought an answer for was guidance on what could be regarded by a court as trespass in the manner stated. I assume that trespassing with a firearm would involve some definition of trespass, which might be found within civil law. The case suggests that firing bullets into another person's land would be trespass. The question then arises is whether by using a firearm to effect that trespass can be interpreted as trespassing with a firearm by virtue of the firearm being used to effect that trespass. I suspect, give the absence of any case law on the subject as far as the criminal offence goes, that this has not been worked over in the appeal courts, and so no definite opinion could be offered. Notwithstanding that, I suspect that given trespass seems to be an important subject in civil law, some of our legal beagles here could probably take a fairly well educated guess, which I would be interested to read. (Please show your workings)
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby dls » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:53 pm

The ownership of land extends (ed) fromthe centre of the eath to the heavens. This is now limited to some extent.

The space above land is just as much within the ownership as is the physical land. A bullet propelled through the air above the land enters that property, and if without permission of the landowner,its entry amounts to a trespass.

You will not find much case law because the answer is clear.
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby atticus » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:17 pm

But see Bernstein v Skyviews (1976 or 1977)
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby dls » Mon Mar 05, 2018 8:16 am

But shooting down airplanes is also wrong.
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby atticus » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:38 am

My point re Bernstein was that in that case Lord Bernstein had brought a trespass action against a company that took aerial photos of his house and land, hoping to sell them to him. The action failed. I think you have a digest for the case.

The position may now be different, due to privacy laws developed under the Human Rights Act 1998.
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby shootist » Mon Mar 05, 2018 12:17 pm

atticus wrote:My point re Bernstein was that in that case Lord Bernstein had brought a trespass action against a company that took aerial photos of his house and land, hoping to sell them to him. The action failed. I think you have a digest for the case.

The position may now be different, due to privacy laws developed under the Human Rights Act 1998.


An interesting case, if I could find it to read. The principle does seem similar to shooting onto someone else's land without permission. The individual piloting the drone is not on the land yet it's possible he would be trespassing, depending upon the circumstances of the case. I assume that Lord Bernstein was advised by a lawyer about the chances of winning his case and took it on the basis of that advice. So perhaps a shooter sending a bullet onto someone else's land might be considered to be trespassing, and as he is in possession of a firearm that might complete the offence?
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby dls » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:20 pm

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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby shootist » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:17 pm



Thanks for the link. It certainly seems to clarify somewhat the case where a shooter might fire over another's land at quarry on land he had permission that was separated from where he was standing by land in between. I've just read that back and it hurt my head, but I think you'll get the gist. I suppose it may be different if the bullet were to hit the other person's land though. An example might be where a stalker shoots a deer and the bullet passes through it and lands, say, 100 yards further on in the neighbouring farmer's field (safely, of course, or the shot shouldn't have been taken. In such an instance I would guess that a civil case for trespass might be difficult as some sort of loss might need to be shown. That still leaves the question of whether the shooter has trespassed on land with a firearm.
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Re: Help requested re Trespassing with a Firearm

Postby atticus » Mon Mar 05, 2018 7:01 pm

A claim for damages for nuisance, and an injunction to prevent repetition, might be a viable civil case option for the landowner.
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