Oklahoma City, OK asked in Civil Rights, Constitutional Law and Criminal Law for Oklahoma

Q: can a person who is a guest of a tenant, that has been previously trespassed be detained or arrested for trespassing?

I work for the Oklahoma City Housing Authority. This is in reference to senior building, single family homes and apartment complexes. We have many individuals who have been trespassed for various infractions of building rules, violations of the lease agreement and violations of the law i.e. disturbances, assaults, theft, vandalism, loitering, lewd and indecent acts, prostitution, drug possession, drug paraphernalia and other crimes. These individuals have been trespassed in the presence of an Oklahoma City Police Officer as requested by the Oklahoma City Police Department.

As in many cases, these individuals will re-enter the buildings by illegal means after being trespassed. The situation we are facing is that it is not clear if a person who has been previously trespassed be detained or arrested for trespassing if a resident of the property has willingly allowed the trespasser to be a guest of their home.

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Oklahoma, if a person has been officially trespassed from a property and then re-enters the property, they can be detained or arrested for trespassing, regardless of whether a resident has allowed them as a guest. This is because the initial trespass notice overrides a tenant’s permission for the individual to enter the premises. The trespass notice is a legal document indicating that the individual is not allowed on the property under any circumstances.

When these individuals, who have been previously trespassed, re-enter the property, they are violating the law. This holds true even if they enter with the consent of a tenant. The tenant’s permission does not nullify the legal standing of the trespass notice.

In practice, when a previously trespassed individual is found on the property, law enforcement can be called to address the situation. The officers can take appropriate action, which may include detaining or arresting the individual for trespassing. It's important for tenants to understand that their permission does not supersede a legal trespass notice.

For the Oklahoma City Housing Authority, it may be beneficial to clearly communicate these rules to all tenants, so they understand that inviting a trespassed individual onto the property can result in legal consequences for the trespasser. This communication can help reduce instances of trespassed individuals being mistakenly allowed back onto the property.

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