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  1. #1
    dmccaulley is offline Junior Member
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    PA Trespassing laws?

    I am trying to find a clear and accurate set of Tresspassing laws for Pennsylvania.

    I just had a brush with a very rude cop about an hour ago. My girlfriend and I were at our friends house all night, it was quite boring so we decided to go for a drive. We were driving for a while and I started to get kind of tired, so rather than drive tired I pulled into my old middle school parking lot (there are no "no trespassing" signs posted anywhere on the school grounds mind you). We just sat in the car, listened to some music and talked for a few hours. I noticed it was getting quite late so I decided to get back on the road. As I was pulling out of the parking lot I noticed a car slowly creeping down the road. I didnt think anything of it and just started driving. The car caught up to me so I turned off onto a side street thinking it might have been a drunk driver behind me. The car followed me and I then thought it could be a cop. I made sure I was doing 25mph and to come to a complete stop at all stop signs and all that good stuff. Eventually he flipped on his lights and pulled me over. When he came up to the window he asked me what we were doing. I told him the exact same story as I just mentioned here. I then asked him if I had done anything wrong and he replied "trespassing". He told me I was parked on private property (at the school) and that I was in trouble. I told him that I honestly was unaware that parking in the lot was a problem and that I was sorry for any trouble. He gave me a bunch of attitude and threats, but didnt give me a ticket or anything, he just told me to get lost. I am really curious to find out if it really is illegal to park in a school parking lot (or any parking lot for that matter) after operational hours, or if this cop was just pulling me over for the hell of it.
  2. #2
    JETX is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmccaulley
    I am really curious to find out if it really is illegal to park in a school parking lot (or any parking lot for that matter) after operational hours, or if this cop was just pulling me over for the hell of it.
    If your school district has a policy of not allowing 'loitering or trespassing' on their property, the officer had a valid reason to stop you.
    And if they don't, I am sure the officer could come up with a valid reason if he really wanted to.
  3. #3
    Bravo8 is offline Member
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    The offense of trespassing requires either posting in some manner likely to be noticed (signs, fencing, etc) or actual communication to leave.

    While it is possible that there exist no postings, I doubt it. Every school I have seen has some semblance of a sign prohibiting people being on the property after certain hours.
  4. #4
    dmccaulley is offline Junior Member
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    The parking lot I parked in last night is right here in my town, about 15 minutes away from my house. I am very farmiliar with the place, there is not a single "no trespassing" sign on the entire property. The only sign of any kind is a "no parking - fire lane" one right at the building entrance way, and a reserved parking sign for the principal. I was nowhere near that area... i was on the far side of the parking lot. Like I said, there is not a single sign that says "no trespassing", nor is there a fence around the lot, or the school (only one around the athletic field out in back of the school... which is only there to prevent soccer balls and whatnot from going out on to the street). There isnt even one of those swing gates blocking off the entrance way or exit... it is totally open.

    I just have a serious beef with this cop. I mean hell, that school was just rebuilt a few years ago, that parking lot was added when they rebuilt. I live in the same town where the school is and I pay taxes here... my tax dollars helped to pay for that school and that new parking lot. It is a public school, and there are no signs that say "no tresspassing" and the lot is in no way blocked off or even fenced in.

    I just want to get all the info I can on this incase for some reason I get a ticket in the mail later on for this. I want to have the state laws for trespassing on hand if I get a ticket because I want to dispute it... to me this just seems rediculous.
  5. #5
    Bravo8 is offline Member
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    [url]http://members.aol.com/StatutesPA/18.Cp.35.html[/url]

    Scroll down to section 3503.

    If what you are saying is correct, then you would have only committed the offense had the officer encountered you on the grounds and you refused to leave. Being that you were stopped already off the property, it does not appear that you were in violation of the statute.

    I sincerely doubt you will be cited.

    If you have an issue with the way the officer treated you, then take that issue up with the police department's administration.

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