Are we liable and/or can we press charges for criminal tresspassing?

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Are we liable and/or can we press charges for criminal tresspassing?

We are the leaseholder to a deer hunting property. Someone we know had his daughter go down and throw a party and things were vandalized, including a logging truck that belonged to a local in the area. The windows, head and tail lights were busted out and doors and hood where crushed in, as well as holes put in the big gas tanks on the back and other property damage. I had no knowledge that they were going to be at the property. Am I liable because I am the lease holder or/and can I press charges for criminal trespassing?

Asked on September 30, 2011 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Just being the lease holder does not make you liable for criminal or negligent damage done by others; you would only be liable if you were at fault, such as if you had invited the people to throw a party on the property (then you could be responsible, since damage like you describe is a foreseeable outcome of such a party.) But if they came and acted without your permission or even knowledge, you should not be liable.

2) If they trespassed on land which you leased--i.e. were on it without permission--you should be able to press charges for trespassing and probably should do so, to reinforce that they were not there with permission.


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