Part two of our blog about the protection of property will address personal property and the use of confinement and devices to protect all types of property.
In the case of personal property, the use of force is justifiable when an individual believes that such force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate a trespass against or the unlawful carrying away of tangible movable property. Force used immediately or on fresh pursuit after dispossession is also justifiable to enter or reenter upon land or to retake tangible movable property if the person believes an unlawful dispossession has occurred and he or a person for whom he acts is entitled to possession.
The use of force is justifiable only if a person first requests that the offender desist from his interference with the property, unless there is a belief that the request would be useless, result in danger to any persons present, or substantial harm will be done to the physical condition of the property before the request can effectively be made.
If the conditions of justification have not been met, the use of deadly force is not justifiable unless the actor believes that the offender is attempting to dispossess him of his dwelling otherwise than under a claim of right to its possession; or such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.
A person who has parted with the custody of property to another who refuses to restore it to him is no longer in possession unless the property is movable and was and still is located on land in his possession. If any reentry or recaption is made by or on behalf of a person who was actually dispossessed of the property, use of any force is not justifiable.
Justification afforded by Pennsylvania law extends to the use of confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he knows that he can do so with safety to the property unless the person confined has been arrested on a charge of crime.
Any justification afforded by Pennsylvania law extends to the use of a device for the purpose of protecting property only if the device is not designed to cause or known to create a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury; the use of the particular device to protect the property from entry or trespass is reasonable under the circumstances, as the actor believes them to be; and the device is one customarily used for such a purpose or reasonable care is taken to make known to probable intruders the fact that it is used.
If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury resulting from any type of accident, contact Powell Law at (570) 961-0777 or visit us online. The attorneys and staff of Powell Law carry on the work of a law firm that spans generations and has represented thousands of Pennsylvanians over a period of 113 years. The consultation is free and you don’t pay any fees unless we win your case! Call today.