Is a security guard allowed to kick out a person who hasn’t done anything wrong other than going to visit a family member in an apartment complex?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is a security guard allowed to kick out a person who hasn’t done anything wrong other than going to visit a family member in an apartment complex?

My cousin came to my apartments to visit me one night, and the security guard came up to him and started telling him things and kicked him out the apartment complex. My cousin got mad because he was getting all roughly and he fought the security guard. Now he has court this month. Is there anything he can do to defend himself?

Asked on February 9, 2017 under Criminal Law, Nevada


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A landlord may ban people from the complex or kick them out after they are there, even if they are visiting family members. The problem is, the family member only controls the inside of their apartment, and subject to the terms of the lease and any "house rules"; the landlord controls everything else, and can choose to exclude people.
More importantly, even if the security guard had, for the sake of argument, been wrong, your cousin could *NOT* fight him: being improperly asked to leave a space does not in any way allow you to fight or use force, so your cousin may be prosecuted for assault or battery. Most likely his only viable legal defense would be if the security guard attacked him--not merely tried to move him along or out, but actually swung at him or something similar without provocation--and your cousing could therefore show he fought back only in self defense.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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