Just received a trespassing warning

I wasn’t exactly sure where to put this, so I decided to put it here.

I just received a trespassing warning for praying in front of a Planned Parenthood near where I work. The secretary, or whatever she was, came out and told me to move off of their property, as it was private property. This is not marked anywhere, nor was she able to provide documentation attesting to the fact when asked.

When the police officer got there, I told her that I had asked for documentation, or a person to verify the fact that it was, indeed, private property. I told her that all I required was verification, and I would gladly move. The officer went in and talked to the woman, the secretary came out and gave me an official warning, and I have been told that, should I return to their (unmarked, and undefined) private property, I shall be jailed and prosecuted.

… Is it just me, or is it ridiculous to ask me to take some secretary at her word about what is and isn’t their property? … Without any identifying markings (fence, signage, paint line…) nor the ability to provide supporting documentation, There is still no proof that I was on private property, and yet, here I sit with a warning… What’s more, I was unable to ascertain what, exactly, constituted their private property, and am left with absolutely no knowledge about what would and would not constitute further trespass… seriously, if it’s private property, it needs to be marked as such, or adequate documentation needs to be available on request which outlines that fact…

I don’t really want to tell my wife about it, because she’ll get angry at me…

Sorry, needed to vent… it is so frustrating…

evil seeks to draw its own property lines…

God owns everything :slight_smile:

I want to tell my wife, but I’m also scared to death to tell her. If I had been arrested, I probably would have lost my job…

Has anyone else been in this situation? Advice would be greatly appreciated…

You will have to weigh such…

and if your going to loose your Job --I would say pray (even from an entirely different place) but do not go where one is not to go according to them…

Yeah, I have no intent of testing the waters.

Part of me thinks it’d be better to just rip the bandage off and tell her. She’ll be mad for a couple days, but then calm down…

On the other hand, since I’ve no intent of going back, it should never become an issue; so no preparation or good is gained from telling her… The prospect of telling her is making me feel physically ill… I feel like a child who just go found out doing something he shouldn’t >_> Yet I’m conflicted, because I know I did nothing wrong, so I feel that I shouldn’t have anything to fear from her…

There are laws and ordinances about protesting at an abortion clinic…things you can and cannot do, how many feet you have to stay away from the door, etc.

Check with your town or state to see what you have to do to remain in compliance with the law.


Could you ask the law - the police or a lawyer about this? Ask exactly where the property and public property lines are drawn in this location. Sounds like you’re experiencing a great blessing of one of the Beatitudes…

God is very much with you and my hat is off to you.

Will keep you in my prayers - please pray for me.

I’ve heard that possession is 9 tenths of the law. It wouldn’t be up to them to prove it, it’d be up to you to prove that it is not.

Perhaps, you should talk to a lawyer (one that knows tort law).


However, a misdemeanor charge for trespassing can result in a prison sentence of up to six months plus additional fines that can be as high as $1,000. If the trespass is at a greater level, one done maliciously and/or causing harm to person or property, the charge can be upgraded to a felony trespass, where jail time may be inevitable and the fines greater.

Probably not valid where you live, but you never know.

Were you by yourself or with a group? Usually, a group will investigate the property lines (it might require a trip to city hall) before they go out to pray, to avoid such confrontations. If you just have a warning, no harm done. Next time be sure you know where the public land stops and the clinic’s, private land starts. You might want to consult an attorney or maybe your local prolife group before you go out next time. Thank you for taking a risk for the unborn! :thumbsup:

I’m not fan of Planned Parenthood but I think it is unrealistic to think that planned parenthood or anyone else would have their property lines marked and notification posted that it is private. My front yard is not marked that way. The grocery store is not marked that way. My doctor’s office has no property lines marked and does not have private property warnings.

Why ask for confirmation of private property? What are they supposed to do, pull out a survey map or the deed or lease?


Honestly… yes… if the property was considered theirs I expected a copy of the lease. Every business renting property in a strip mall or complex should keep a copy of their lease on hand, that’s common sense. Things like what is and is not considered a part of their lease would be covered in the lease. Housing properties are a different beast, as their line are generally readily apparent by the outline of a street or something similar. This, however, was part of a shopping complex. It may be unreasonable, I’m not sure, I only asked her for some form of validation, but instead she told me to leave or she would call the cops. I told her that if they told me I was trespassing I would gladly leave their property.

For those who asked, I was by myself; and I did ask the officer if the property in front of a place like that is generally considered the property of the store, or a public through way, but she was unable to answer. I do not intend to go back, as I do not think I would retain my job if I were arrested.

were you praying on the sidewalk near the abortuary? Was there a safe place that is more public that would be close enough you would not be blocking foot traffic? I don’t mean blocking “patients” just other foot traffic.

You said this is in a shopping center type place?

I know the place in my city…they used to be in a RESIDENTIAL AREA (I don’t know what it was before it was the killing center) and the local right to life group bought the house next door so pro lifers could have a safe place to pray the rosary on abortion days and during 40 days for Life. Now that they moved, we can only pray on the sidewalk in front of the shopping area where the killing center is now located. It makes it difficult for the sidewalk counselors to keep track of cars (they used to write down observations like what county (by the # on the plate) or even out of town state, how many passengers) so they could estimate how many innocent lives would be taken that day.

if they are going to make such a claim that you are on “private property” then they need to PROVE it.

I am not aware of your state’s laws or local ordinances about protests, licensed or otherwise, however, if they are claiming property, you can determine ownership and general dimensions ( online usually) through the respective county assessor’s website. Most information there is free and parcel mapping is also provided (although you have to be very careful with your interpretation of the maps as the depictions of property lines can be somewhat notional).

You may be too pretty for prison, ;), I would not let them take you alive.

So if I came over to your house and set up my lawn chair, grill, keg and boombox in your front yard you’d be able to show me documentation that the specific patch of grass I was set up on belongs to you??

Is your front yard marked with a “fence, signage or paint”? If not, why should I take you at your word??

BTW, if you don’t believe the business that occupies the property “owns” it, who do you think does?

Actually, a secretary probably would not have access to a lease, and if she did, you probably cannot compel her to produce it. The officer took her at her word, as most officers probably would.
Most county property tax authorities have websites that clearly spell out where the property lines are. You can find it in a matter of minutes. If you decide to go back, take a copy of the plat with you and stay well away from the property line.
Others are certainly free to disagree with me, but this is not worth losing your job over. God cn hear your prayers from anywhere, not just in front of an abortion mill.

Actually, yes, I could demonstrate that it is private property because my wife and I keep a copy of our lease in our apartment, and it clearly outlines what is considered ours to decorate / call our ‘property’. Similarly, when we lived in a house, we kept proof of ownership.

That being said, I realize that I -may- have been out of line making the demands I did. However, I was sitting in front of their door, I was out of the prominent path of travel, leaning against a column in an area that would serve as elevator access more than business space. I was not hindering traffic to the business or to the complex’s elevator in any way.

I think the building owner owns the space I was in, as it was part of a shopping complex. Generally, when laying out property divides in a shopping complex, a company only has control over the area within the confines of the building; the walkway out front of it is considered public domain for the purposes of rent determination.

I probably should have taken her at her word, it was stupid of me not to; but at the same time, I genuinely believe that I was in public domain space, and that they had not legitimate claim to that area since it would have been considered a public walkway for purposes of life-safety inspection, fire code, rent assessment and other such building codes.

I was in the public walkway out front of their “shop”, which also served as public access to the elevators. I was not blocking traffic.

I don’t know about your state, but in my state, Colorado, we have a Abortion Protest Buffer Zone Law. Sidewalks are off limits. You might check and see if your state has a similar law.

As to producing, a rental agreement. This is ridiculous! If someone camps out on my front lawn, I have to produce my house deed to get them to leave??? :confused:

If the Planned Parenthood building is a ‘private’ place, then neither should their customers feel welcome (they do receive ‘customers’ i guess?). It would be an idea to hang out a piece of paper on the windows where you work, stating that PP doesn’t welcome you, so it’s better not to go there :D.

Generally, I’d agree with you, but this is not a person’s house; this is a shopping complex, with public walk paths out front of each shop, and where I was could just have easily been considered an elevator lobby.

I recognize that not moving was probably pretty stupid of me, however, I don’t think they should be able to claim that something is their property, when it could just as easily be deemed a public path, and not have any way of demonstrating that it is, in fact, theirs. The equivalent would be someone in an conference room across from the elevators in a hotel asking you to leave the elevator area.

Regardless, I realize that I acted stupidly, whether I think they’re right or not.

If it was in a shopping center, why didn’t you just pray in your car in the parking lot? God can hear your prayers from anywhere.

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