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Old 20.07.2017, 18:29
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What punishment for documented property trespass?

Hi there,

I'd appreciate some advice. We live in a coproperty consisting of adjoining villas in the canton of Geneva.

We own the land behind our villa, which is roughly 10 meters wide and extends from the rear of our villa roughly 20 meters up to a "cordon boisé" - an area of oak trees and other hedge like vegetation that separates our private parcel from a communal road.

One of our neighbours (not an immediate neighbour, someone who lives several villas away from us but is also a coproprietaire) has engaged a lawyer asking for a geometre to be brought in in order to locate the property limits of a number of private parcels. We are one of these and we believe her claim - which is that there is meant to be a path between the end of our private parcel and the cordon boisé - is completely unfounded and spurious.

In the last few months over which this situation has been brewing we have been made aware that a number of people have came on to our private parcel (it is openly accessible from either side). I am considering installing a video surveillance camera and regulating it so that it only films our private parcel, but there is of course a cost to this.

My question is what is the likely punishment that might be meted out to someone who I can prove from video footage has passed on to our property?

I am not by nature a litigious person and in fact deeply enjoy living within a coproperty for the social dimension. But this spurious attack and the associated traversals of our private sphere are very much undermining my wife and my quality of life, including our mental and emotional health.

Any and all advice gratefully received,

Dave M
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Old 20.07.2017, 18:34
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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Hi there,

I'd appreciate some advice. We live in a coproperty consisting of adjoining villas in the canton of Geneva.

We own the land behind our villa, which is roughly 10 meters wide and extends from the rear of our villa roughly 20 meters up to a "cordon boisé" - an area of oak trees and other hedge like vegetation that separates our private parcel from a communal road.

One of our neighbours (not an immediate neighbour, someone who lives several villas away from us but is also a coproprietaire) has engaged a lawyer asking for a geometre to be brought in in order to locate the property limits of a number of private parcels. We are one of these and we believe her claim - which is that there is meant to be a path between the end of our private parcel and the cordon boisé - is completely unfounded and spurious.

In the last few months over which this situation has been brewing we have been made aware that a number of people have came on to our private parcel (it is openly accessible from either side). I am considering installing a video surveillance camera and regulating it so that it only films our private parcel, but there is of course a cost to this.

My question is what is the likely punishment that might be meted out to someone who I can prove from video footage has passed on to our property?

I am not by nature a litigious person and in fact deeply enjoy living within a coproperty for the social dimension. But this spurious attack and the associated traversals of our private sphere are very much undermining my wife and my quality of life, including our mental and emotional health.

Any and all advice gratefully received,

Dave M
Unless they do any damage very little. Why not erect a fence or wall?
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Old 20.07.2017, 18:41
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

Thanks for the quick response and I should have clarified that I do not think the trespassing has ever involved damage to our property in any way.

We do not wish to erect a fence for aesthetic reasons but the lateral borders of our parcel are clearly demarcated in the sense that we have landscaped our parcel in a manner so there is some sort of vegetation down both lateral borders with the exception of two 1 meter wide openings. Visually, it is very clear where our parcel begins.
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Old 20.07.2017, 18:49
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

If you don't want to put up a fence, then put up a sign. Also tell them to leave when they enter your property.

Not sure how easy it is to enforce your rights without a fence. I'm not sure the Swiss equivalent of trespass is even applicable if your land is not enclosed in some way.
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Old 20.07.2017, 18:57
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a186
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Old 20.07.2017, 18:59
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Thanks. I did some searching on this forum (trespass has come up now and again but the issue of punishment and legal remedies has not really been commented upon too much) and the relevant article appears to be Article 186 of the Swiss Criminal Code.

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...ndex.html#a151

The wording of that article is somewhat ambiguous but one reading is that unlawful entry into a garden (without the need for that to be enclosed) is sufficient. The article refers to a monetary penalty and the little I have read about this is that the penalty is somehow linked to financial means.

Thanks Phil, looks like our postings crossed.

As I say, I would like to hear more about the monetary penalty that a court would likely impose if there were no damage done but a clear trespass from someone with significant financial means.

Last edited by 3Wishes; 20.07.2017 at 22:30. Reason: merging consecutive replies
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:06
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

Have you already looked on the Cadastre to see where the boundaries are?
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:15
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

You can go to court to ask the judge to tell them that they should stop trespassing, at first that's imho legally your only option.

Quote:
Art. 928
1 A possessor disturbed by trespass may bring an action against the
trespasser even if the latter claims to be in the right.
2 The claim is for cessation of trespass, prohibition of further trespass
and damages.
https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...010000/210.pdf

And:
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But this spurious attack and the associated traversals of our private sphere are very much undermining my wife and my quality of life, including our mental and emotional health.
Really....

Put up a fence, would also block people from looking inside.
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:16
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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Thanks Phil, looks like our postings crossed.

As I say, I would like to hear more about the monetary penalty that a court would likely impose if there were no damage done but a clear trespass from someone with significant financial means.
Only if they don't leave when asked, as no offence has been committed. The fine will likely be suspended for 2 years .

If the person with significant financial means is local & Swiss then don't even waste your time.
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:34
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

What happens with trespassing in regards to cars parking on your property is that you get a judge to issue a ban then you put a sign with the ban number. If this is violated, you send a picture of the car/plate with the appropriate form to the police and they will issue a fine. The fine doesn't go to the property own, by the way.

Not sure if you can get a ban for the rest of the property and for people walking.

Call the juge de la paix. That's who issues these bans.
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:35
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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Have you already looked on the Cadastre to see where the boundaries are?
That should also list any servitude (right of way).
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Old 20.07.2017, 19:40
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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That should also list any servitude (right of way).
Yes, this.

If there is one, you can't even put up a fence.

Tom

P.S. Now that you have your 10 posts, what crap are you looking to sell?
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:27
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

Sorry for the delay was tied up in meetings all of last night.

Neddy thanks - we have examined the cadastre and know precisely where our limits are. There are no servitudes, nor any kind of droit de passage across our parcelle privé. We have even identified our bournes and so we have probably greater awareness of where our private property begins and ends than most people.

Fatmanfilms are you saying that the mere act of walking on to someone else's private property is not an offense in and of itself? One needs to be asked to leave and refuse to comply (or commit some other offense) before one can be charged with unlawful entry? If that is the case I see no point whatsoever in installing a videosurveillance camera. Also Fatmanfilms, please let me know if you happen to be a lawyer.

EdwinNL we really do not want to put up a fence. Doing so would greatly deteriorate the aesthetic appearance of our garden and our enjoyment thereof and I fail to see why we should undertake to degrade the enjoyment of our personal sphere when others are passing on to our private property.

To reiterate the gist of my original post - what I am trying to understand is whether the evidence that could be provided by a videosurveillance camera could result in a legal punishment, and if so what would be the nature of this punishment?

Thanks again for all of your replies, they have been very helpful.

Best wishes,

Dave M
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:38
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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Sorry for the delay was tied up in meetings all of last night.

Neddy thanks - we have examined the cadastre and know precisely where our limits are. There are no servitudes, nor any kind of droit de passage across our parcelle privé. We have even identified our bournes and so we have probably greater awareness of where our private property begins and ends than most people.

Fatmanfilms are you saying that the mere act of walking on to someone else's private property is not an offense in and of itself? One needs to be asked to leave and refuse to comply (or commit some other offense) before one can be charged with unlawful entry? If that is the case I see no point whatsoever in installing a videosurveillance camera. Also Fatmanfilms, please let me know if you happen to be a lawyer.

EdwinNL we really do not want to put up a fence. Doing so would greatly deteriorate the aesthetic appearance of our garden and our enjoyment thereof and I fail to see why we should undertake to degrade the enjoyment of our personal sphere when others are passing on to our private property.

To reiterate the gist of my original post - what I am trying to understand is whether the evidence that could be provided by a videosurveillance camera could result in a legal punishment, and if so what would be the nature of this punishment?

Thanks again for all of your replies, they have been very helpful.

Best wishes,

Dave M
"the evidence that could be provided by a video surveillance camera could result in a legal punishment" Did you take a look at the Swiss privacy laws? It gets quite complicated about data protection and invasion of privacy, look here! For example, you have to show your Video surveillance may only be conducted if other measures that are less of an intrusion on privacy were taken; I assume you do not have privacy notices or a fence?
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:41
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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what I am trying to understand is whether the evidence that could be provided by a videosurveillance camera could result in a legal punishment, and if so what would be the nature of this punishment?
Most likely YOU would be fined for breaking privacy laws.

Tom
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:49
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

I think I must be missing something....?


We have an open plan garden which borders with two neighbours. Frequently kids will come into "our part" and will even come up to me to chat or ask for water when it's really hot. I have no issue with this as both of my kids do the same. My husband frequently ends up on others land to retrieve lost balls, paper airplanes etc and none of us have an issue with this. In fact we find it very pleasant that we all just all get along. To clarify, none of us are "friends" in the sense of going for tea or coffee in each others homes but we all seem to have the attitude of live and let live.


If anyone stepped on my land in a threatening behaviour then that would be different....


If you are talking about a thoroughway which means random folks walking through your land purely for access to other areas, then this is different and I could understand how having any Tom, Dick or Harry traipsing up and down at the bottom of your private garden is quite annoying and disturbing. Have you tried to talk to the people that are getting on your nerves?


What is it that bothers you the most and what do you wish tro achieve with CCTV or some such?
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Old 21.07.2017, 10:59
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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Sorry for the delay was tied up in meetings all of last night.

Neddy thanks - we have examined the cadastre and know precisely where our limits are. There are no servitudes, nor any kind of droit de passage across our parcelle privé. We have even identified our bournes and so we have probably greater awareness of where our private property begins and ends than most people.

Fatmanfilms are you saying that the mere act of walking on to someone else's private property is not an offense in and of itself? One needs to be asked to leave and refuse to comply (or commit some other offense) before one can be charged with unlawful entry? If that is the case I see no point whatsoever in installing a videosurveillance camera. Also Fatmanfilms, please let me know if you happen to be a lawyer.

EdwinNL we really do not want to put up a fence. Doing so would greatly deteriorate the aesthetic appearance of our garden and our enjoyment thereof and I fail to see why we should undertake to degrade the enjoyment of our personal sphere when others are passing on to our private property.

To reiterate the gist of my original post - what I am trying to understand is whether the evidence that could be provided by a videosurveillance camera could result in a legal punishment, and if so what would be the nature of this punishment?

Thanks again for all of your replies, they have been very helpful.

Best wishes,

Dave M
Read what is written on the legal link provided. Do NOT interpret the law, just EXACTLY a written. Unlawful entry to an open space without any fence........ followed 30 seconds later by an exit from the open space the judge will smile especially in Geneva where nobody gives a shit about anything.

I am not a Lawyer but several wrote to me when I lived in CH, telling them to take a hike generally did the trick
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:04
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

If its locals using your garden as a shortcut, I would be wary about trying to threaten or even persuing them with threats of fines. You wont make many friends in the neighbourhood.

Just put up some signs stating it is private land and that it is not a thoroughfare. If that doesnt work, try and confront people as they pass and tel them personally that you dont like it.

Or invest in a couple of Rottweilers, that usually does the trick.
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Old 21.07.2017, 11:29
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

It seems that the only real way of achieving your goal is to put up a fence. Have you spoken to other neighbours about the situation? Would you mind it if some of the neighbours used your property to pass through?
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Old 21.07.2017, 12:01
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Re: What punishment for documented property trespass?

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The wording of that article is somewhat ambiguous but one reading is that unlawful entry into a garden (without the need for that to be enclosed) is sufficient. The article refers to a monetary penalty and the little I have read about this is that the penalty is somehow linked to financial means.

Thanks Phil, looks like our postings crossed.
In the German version the wording is clear, key is "umfriedet", which means some kind of visible separator, typically in the form of a fence or wall or hedge. This separator may well be interrupted without losing its significance, for instance if the driveway interrrupts a hedge fence.

However, civil law §695 rules that the respective Kanton may have additional regulations so additional rules may apply.
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