Is a security guard allowed to kick out a person who hasn’t done anything wrong other than going to visit a family member in an apartment complex?

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Is a security guard allowed to kick out a person who hasn’t done anything wrong other than going to visit a family member in an apartment complex?

My cousin came to my apartments to visit me one night, and the security guard came up to him and started telling him things and kicked him out the apartment complex. My cousin got mad because he was getting all roughly and he fought the security guard. Now he has court this month. Is there anything he can do to defend himself?

Asked on February 9, 2017 under Criminal Law, Nevada

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

A landlord may ban people from the complex or kick them out after they are there, even if they are visiting family members. The problem is, the family member only controls the inside of their apartment, and subject to the terms of the lease and any "house rules"; the landlord controls everything else, and can choose to exclude people.
More importantly, even if the security guard had, for the sake of argument, been wrong, your cousin could *NOT* fight him: being improperly asked to leave a space does not in any way allow you to fight or use force, so your cousin may be prosecuted for assault or battery. Most likely his only viable legal defense would be if the security guard attacked him--not merely tried to move him along or out, but actually swung at him or something similar without provocation--and your cousing could therefore show he fought back only in self defense.


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