About a week ago, I got a rude awakening. Private property is not as private as you would believe.

After spending three hours in traffic trying to get home from work. A major accident on 195 closed the highway forcing traffic onto route 6. I take route 6 to and from work to avoid highway traffic.

When I got home and tried to let the dog out onto the deck to the backyard, I found that all my plants had been moved from one side of the driveway to the other, blocking the entry stairs to my deck and my bulkhead. Plants were on top of each other and laid sideways. Pots and containers graced my stairs. I couldn’t pull the dog’s chain out from under this stuff. The dog’s area was now covered in plants. What the heck?!?

There was a dumpster half way across the entrance to my driveway. Needless to say, I was irate!



The people that bought the house next door to me at auction were there filling up the dumpster. After asking what the f#[email protected] was going on with my property, all I kept hearing was, “I’m sorry. That was my roofer. I wasn’t here. I’m sorry, that was the dumpster company. I wasn’t here.”

I tried to explain that those plants are my business. Ripping them up now and exposing them to the 19 degree freeze we are about to get would mean instant death.

I tried to calm down overnight. By 4 am I was still awake, fuming. Once the sun came up I called the police and began taking pictures to document the damages to my private property.

Turns out that private property is not as private as you would think. Even though there is a fence around the yard, the gate to the driveway and garden do not have locks on them. The Beware Of Dog sign is not enough. I need to have No Trespassing signs. Then a person has to have written or oral permission to enter my property.

Legally there was no malicious intent to damage my belongings so there is no recourse to loss of plants that will occur. I’m left with putting things back in order and hoping I can distinguish the different cultivars from the plants that have lost their tags.

However, the police assured me that they can cite the dumpster company for blocking my driveway. The guy across the street can sue for any damages to his motorcycle that was picked up and moved by the dumpster people.

So. Anyone can walk onto private property without permission, fence or not, as long as there is no malicious intent or No Trespassing signs. There is no respect for private property.


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