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tdlawyer
tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience:  11 years experience of general practice.
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I have a livery on my land who is trespassing, she was asked

Resolved Question:

I have a livery on my land who is trespassing, she was asked to leave but has refused. I am now taking her to court to get her horses moved on, but this will take some time. What I would like to know is ; can I leave my field gate unlocked as this would mean anyone could gain access to my fields and to her horses. BTW I have moved my own horse to another yard as her horses were bullying him so much, she has done much the same to me and threatened me a few times, and for my own safety I don't go to my own land at the moment.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  tdlawyer replied 2 years ago.
tdlawyer :

Hi thanks for your question.

tdlawyer :

My name is***** can answer this for you.

tdlawyer :

Yes, if they are trespassing on your land, then unless you have agreed with them that you would secure it for their benefit, their is no obligation to do so for the benefit of a trespasser.

tdlawyer :

What you should do, however, is inform them that the land is not secure and that it would be in her interests to remove the horses.

tdlawyer :

This would mean that if something did happen due to it being insecure, that she would not be able to say much about it, because she knew it was insecure, and her livery shouldn't have been there anyway.

Customer:

ok, so if i take the padlock off and she puts another one on how do i stand

tdlawyer :

If she puts another on, then you're best off including this in your court action to have it removed, because if you do try and remove it yourself (even though you would legally entitled to do it), you may find she reports it to the police and argues criminal damage. Ultimately, if she was trespassing and has no right to lock off the land like this, you would be entitled to remove it yourself by force if needs be, but it was be a pain to have to deal with the police etc if she complains.

Customer:

If she puts another one on I won't be able to access my land? She tried complaining to the police previously but they weren't interested and told her to leave! She has however damaged my property and again the police weren't interested, my solicitor however was. Basically I can't remove a padlock she puts on as this could be classed as criminal damage even though she is trespassing?

tdlawyer :

If she locks you off, then no, you wont be able to access it. That's why you'd be entitled to remove it.

tdlawyer :

Criminal damage is damaging others property "without lawful excuse".

tdlawyer :

If you have such lawful reason, i.e. to regain access to your own land wrongfully blocked off, then I believe you would be entitled to do so.

Customer:

Well that's ok then. Even though I removed the original padlock as I no longer want my gate locked, if she then locked the gate I can remove her padlock to regain access to my own land. How clear are you on this.

tdlawyer :

I'm pretty clear - like I said, it's about "lawful authority" and you're entitled to take reasonable steps to abate a trespass and/or nuisance, and locking off your land is likely to be both.

tdlawyer :

You don't have to run off to Court and issue expensive claims every time somebody does something like this. You're entitled to take reasonable actions to abate the problem yourself.

Customer:

Yes but what can I do? I sent her a solicitors letter giving her a date and time to move, she refused so I have no option other than to get a court order to remove her.

tdlawyer :

What can you do fow what? To remove her horses?

Customer:

Yes, how can I get her to leave without resorting to court

tdlawyer :

Is she residing on the land, or just her horses?

Customer:

just her horses

tdlawyer :

Well, horses are property. They're nothing special in the eyes of the law in that sense. If there was land next door that you could safely escort them to, then so long as they were safe, you could do that (subject to having the landowners permission). In truth though, this is probably best dealt with through the Court because if you don't have that land next door to escort them to, what can you do? Realistically, you may have to have the Court require her to remove them under threat of contempt if she does not = i.e. remove them or be jailed.

Customer:

What is so annoying is that she is claiming that she can't find anywhere else for them, I arranged for livery at another yard for my horse with one five minute phone call. How long will the court give her to leave do you think, and if she doesn't leave what do I do then?

tdlawyer :

The Court would likely order her to remove them within 7 days.

tdlawyer :

Is there anything else you would like to ask me about this?

Customer:

yes, what do i do when she refuses to go after seven days as I know she will.

tdlawyer :

Tell your solicitors that you would want to be able to commence contempt proceedings if she failed to comply with a Court order to remove them. They will make sure this is possible for you. They need to include what's called a Penal Notice in the Court order.

Customer:

What is a penal notice?

tdlawyer :

It's a standard notice that says if they don't comply, they can be jailed.

Customer:

Ok. I will tell my solicitor, however I would hope he would do this automatically, at £270.00 pounds per hour plus vat I think he should!

tdlawyer :

:) You're right, he should and probably will. But, at least it shows you know what you're looking for him to do! It'll keep him on his toes, well worth doing at £270 an hour!

Customer:

Yes it certainly is. If she won't leave and we have the penal notice and she goes to jail what happens to her horses? I am not prepared to look after them. Do I have to?

tdlawyer :

The Court should then be able to appoint somebody else to remove them, i.e. a high court enforcement officer.

tdlawyer :

Then presumably, they would be put into stables and the cost charges to the owner.

Customer:

Even if she hasn't got anywhere to take them ( which she won't have)

tdlawyer :

Or, potentially, put down and removed, I guess.

tdlawyer :

I've never come across a situation with horses before, but essentially, they're just a form of property according to the civil law.

Customer:

That's harsh but fair. Thanks for your advice.

tdlawyer :

Thank you.

tdlawyer :

Have a good evening, if you need to ask anything else another time, just let me know.

tdlawyer, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 1096
Experience: 11 years experience of general practice.
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