Can a cop breach a posted and locked gate onto private property to ask me about a friend’s whereabouts?

UPDATED: Sep 29, 2022

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Can a cop breach a posted and locked gate onto private property to ask me about a friend’s whereabouts?

The cop has a traffic warrant to serve to my friend.

Asked on August 16, 2015 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

No, the officer may not. He may certainly call out to you (or call you, use an intercome, ring a doorbell, etc.) to get you to open the gate and/or talk to him, but has no right to trespass--and opening a locked gate is clearly trespassing--for the reason you describe, without a warrant. You have grounds to file a complaint with the police department against him, but no grounds to sue unless he caused some property damage or other loss to you in doing this.

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