Boston, MA asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Maryland

Q: (Is It A Hate Crime) If The Owner Breaks Into The Land That Is By Adverse Possession. And And Changes The Locks.

Can I File Criminal And Civil Charges Against The Owner Of The Land/Building I Adverse Possess. I Changed All The Locks And Put A New Chain And Lock On The Gate. But The Owner Keeps Breaking In And Changing The Locks. That Is A Hate Crime Based On (Law!) ? And .... ....

Laws & Legal Resources.

Justia US Law US Codes and Statutes Maryland Code 2010 Maryland Code CRIMINAL LAW TITLE 10 - CRIMES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, CONDUCT, AND SENSIBILITIES Subtitle 3 - Hate Crimes Section 10-304 - Harassment; destruction of property.

View the 2019 Maryland Code | View Previous Versions of the Maryland Code

2010 Maryland Code



Subtitle 3 - Hate Crimes

Section 10-304 - Harassment; destruction of property.

§ 10-304. Harassment; destruction of property.

1 Lawyer Answer
Richard Sternberg
Richard Sternberg
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Potomac, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: You have got to be kidding, right? First, a hate crime involves "race, color, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or national origin," and you mentioned none of the above. Second, if you are breaking and entering on the property of another, it is you who is: "damag[ing] the real or personal property of that person; (iii) defac[ing], damag[ing], or destroy[ing], attempt[ing] to deface, damage, or destroy the real or personal property of that person..." Third, as I think I've answered you before, adverse possession is a defense, not a claim. If you have possessed openly adversely continuously and hostilely for, in Maryland, 20 years. Then, when the owner tries to obtain court process to eject you, you have a defense. I didn't read it all the way through, but this looked like a good layman article. <>. The only legal arguments I see from the limited facts you provided are: 1) self-help is prohibited in Maryland, so, if you became a tenant at sufferance, the title owner cannot remove you without court process; and 2) there has been a ban on evictions due to Covid for a while. If, however, you are merely a trespasser, the owner may protect his land without violence. To get to the details, you need to find the money for a consult with a lawyer to review the facts, but this shouldn't be a problem, since you've been poaching on someone else's land instead of paying rent. If you can't afford counsel, local law schools often have free landlord & tenant clinics.

Reading an answer on the Internet does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are represented by me when we have both signed a retainer agreement (on paper or electronically) and some money has changed hands. Usually, you will have been asked specific questions about your situation and all potential conflicts of interest will have been resolved. Until then, you have no more right to rely on this answer than if you read it in a novel.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.