Blocked access to house - Alwyn
Any legal eagles know the answer to this?

I have just been approached by a local chap who is complaining that his driveway is being obstructed by the local idiot. (Yes he really is, knife threats to neighbours etc.)

This access is from his property onto an un-made/unadopted road which he has used for 40 years. There is room inside the property to park his caravan but he is unable to do so because the idiot insists on parking across the entrance and refuses to move his car to allow access. Because of this, the complainant has to pay £10 per week to park the caravan elsewhere.

The property is surrounded by Comomon land but nevertheless, I feel he is entitled to access his own property without interference from idiots or anyone else.

Is there anything we can do to pressurise the landlord as his tenant is a nuisance to others?

Thanks in advance.
Blocked access - Alwyn
How is Common spelt? OOOOPs
Blocked access - Mark (RLBS)

You can do something about this, but you're gonna need a real legal eagle - and I haven't seen pugugly in here for a while.

Its not quick, and it involves using the civil law, not criminal, but it can be done.

If you need, I can dig around my old stuff if you want, but I still think you'll be better with a real practising lawyer.
Blocked access - Dwight Van Driver
The fact that the the "Road" is unadopted opens up a can of worms on the criminal side as it may be argued that it is not a road under the Road Traffic Act or Highways Acts that deal with obstruction etc.Further, I doubt that the circumstances can be stretched to cover unlawful imprisonment.

Would seem from first glance that it is towards the Civil side, as Mark suggests, that a remedy lies.

Unless Pug Ugly from his vast store of J.P's can come up with some Case Law for this matter will have raised its ugly head before.

Blocked access - Alwyn
Yes I thought the unadopted bit could be a problem, though there must surely be a remedy against this clown.

Anti-social behaviour? Nuisance? Behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace? Obstruction - not of the highway but the access to caravan man's property.

Does the landlord bear any reponsibility for his tenants behaviour if it is persistent, as in this case?

It is astonishing to me that some folks can behave in this manner and our civilised society seems not to have a remedy.

Caravan man now wants to leave the property where he has lived in peace for 40 years because of the behaviour of this fool.

A nearby town has a "security company which, I am informed, can deal with this sort of thing. Gently spoken words, eg "Some of the things you are doing are causing problems for friends of ours. Be a good neighbour or we will be back" It works a treat in their town.

I need to be careful as caravan man is not in the best of health and his wife has to do all the driving; if it came to a ruckus, he may have a problem.

Given the type of people who have lived in the idiots rented house in recent years, I believe it may be rented out to Social Services for their "Care in the Community" programme.

For ex-pats, this is a scheme where folks who would normally have been kept in supervised accomodation because of their behaviour, for whatever reason, are released into the community and sometimes as in this case, have a terrifying and disruptive effect in what was a peaceful hamlet.
Blocked access - Alwyn
Thanks Mark, but don't go to any trouble.

Our council if off on a visit to the police control room at Wrexham, North Wales, next week so if I get a chance, I will have a word with them.

I guess they will say it is a dispute between neighbours and not a police matter. Seems *very* wrong to me.
Blocked access - Ian (Cape Town)
I guess they will say it is a dispute between neighbours
and not a police matter. Seems *very* wrong to me.

"knife threats to neighbours etc." makes it a police matter, I would have thought.
I'd suggest mentioning this to plod.
Blocked access - Alwyn

The knife incident was last year and against different neighbours. Police were called and eventually turned up, by which time the knife had disappeared.

They were told the idiot had two young children in his house and police said they would mention the incident to child protection officers, but as far as we know, there it ended, with a verbal warning.
Blocked access - Pugugly {P}
Sorry, been too busy to do antyhing other than pop my head around the door to the Backroom, as it where.

No way is this legal advice by the way (!)

Presented with the facts as they are given by Alwyn I would tend to agree with DVD, there is a stock of case law, what I would suggest is a visit to your local CAB with the Injured Party. You will normally find that they have a brief on their books who salves his self respect respect by doing a free turn at the Office. Backroom advice on this case would be very dodgy. I will
try to remember to dig out the Case Law on MOnday (SWMBO has the Stones CD Rom under lock and key at this time)
Blocked access - Alwyn

What helpful folks you all are in here.

Sorry to be Philistine, but when you mentioned Stones, I immediately thought of Jagger.

They say we can tell if have any class or not if we can listen to the William Tell Overture and not think the Lone Ranger.

Thanks again to all.
Blocked access - Flat in Fifth

Just thinking outside the box, is there any roundabout way this character could be a tenant of the local council. Might not apply here but quite a surprising number of councils have a clause banning antisocial behaviour of tenants and their families with summary eviction being a penalty.

It might be a way to get them moved as behaviour is unlikely to improve. Like the idea of the "local security company" though, but actually worrying what some people are prepared to do to another person and for how little remuneration.

Blocked access - Cliff Pope
I think the fact of it's being unadopted is not relevant. That simply means that the local authority is not responsible for the maintenance of the surface.

The relevant point is, is it a public highway, for vehicles? The local authority will know this. It is a criminal offence to obstruct a public highway.
If it is not a public highway, then it comes down to the access covenants affecting the property. 40 years of using it will have established the right to do so, but it will need legal advice and be a civil matter.
Blocked access - Alwyn
FiF and Cliff,

The owner of the property is the local chapel group. As for a public highway, probably not as it is a rubble surfaced "road" across the common and in fact could well be a bridleway with grace and favour access granted by the Duke of Westminster, who owns the common. The double gates open out from the caravan mans house onto this "road"
Blocked access - Mark (RLBS)

Now you\'re talking.

If it is from a local church or similar, there will be an absolutely horrendous amount of covenants.

Any of these I have come across seem to have endless things to say about annoying things you must not do.

You need to get hold of them and have a careful look; this may well solve your problem.

Just be aware, there could be something about not parking caravans as well.

Blocked access - Alwyn
Thanks Mark, that's interesting. Luckily the caravan chap's house is owner occupied and freehold in his ownership, though I am aware there could still be some restrictive convenants.

The rented property, known as Chapel House, is the one with the problem tenant.

I will seek permission from caravan man to write - as his councillor - to the chapel group. As mentioned, I need to be careful in case the wrath of the tenant comes down on the frailish caravan chap. Knives at midnight and all that!

Blocked access - HisHonour {P}
If access has been permitted for the last 40 years then the access is your friend's in law by common usage. It is unlikely that any covenant in place can gainsay that, especially if a covenant denies access but has been ignored during that time - especially for the last 12 years. While the antisocial behaviour in itself is not a matter for the police, the fact that this moron insists on obstructing your friend's property may be seen as an action likely to cause a breach of the peace - and thus becomes a police matter. Point this out in a friendly way to the local Mr Plod.
Blocked access - cholin
Don't keep us in suspense Alwyn. What has happened in the intervening year?
Blocked access to house - teabelly
More unreasonable remedies that should be considered if only for the entertainment factor:

blocking idiot in with another vehicle (preferably one that belongs to someone 8 feet tall).
letting idiot's tyres down repeatedly until he gets fed up.
putting up a notice saying very clearly that all vehicles obstructing the road will be clamped, then get a local security firm to clamp him with large release fee and get the vehicle towed away if he doesn't.
stage prop smoke bombs up the exhaust so he thinks his car is billowing smoke.
Hire a tank and drive over his car if he refuses to move it out of the way, or even set him up so he *believes* you have driven over his car with a tank. It would certainly make interesting viewing!

Does anyone else need to use that road? If not, perhaps large concrete rising bollards could be placed at the entrance way preventing idiot from parking there in the first place. Does he ever go on holiday? If so that would be the perfect time to do it as they would be there when he got back and no confrontation would be needed.

Blocked access to house - eMBe {P}
I am amazed to see replies to a thread dating from June 2002!!
Blocked access to house - teabelly
That's only because I misread it as 2003 and thought it was one I missed...... Still itching to find out what happened though!
Blocked access to house - Pugugly {P}
I thought Alyn had re-appeared.
Blocked access to house - matt35 {P}
it's deja vu all over again

Blocked access to house - Miat
re "knife threats" if the cops wont do anything make a citizens arrest and use minimum force to drag him to local court house, should give the judges something interesting to do tomrorrow morning

also take advice, may be criminal obstruction going on here, again various remedies available
Blocked access to house - Pugugly {P}
Agree with Miat, Threats with knives are a Police matter as is the obstruction if there is a Breach of the Peace involved, I am rather suprised bi HH's advice in this respect. The response by the Police is another matter.
Blocked access to house - HisHonour {P}
Criminal obstruction? Obstruction is an offence only if it is the obstruction of a police officer in the execution of his duty.

There is also the traffic violation of causing an obstruction which cannot apply on private property.
HisHonour the Judge - eMBe {P}

Just one question, HH - what made you reply to a thread over 1 year old?
HisHonour the Judge - Rob the Bus {P}
I don\'t know about any other Backroomers, but I have found both Pugugly and David HM\'s posts both very informative and very useful and I get the distinct impression that David is the type of chap who would do anything for anybody.

Pugugly and David - keep on posting your invaluable replies. I, at least, enjoy your wealth of knowledge.

HisHonour the Judge - Miat
oh dear "Obstruction is an offence only if it is the obstruction of a police officer" is just plain wrong, sounds like a probationary copper to me with next to no law knowledge...

HisHonour the Judge - Rob the Bus {P}
Miat - while I've got my obstreperous head on. I have my doubts about HisHonour. Surely a crown court judge would be forbidden from appearing on a forum such as this due to impartiality?? HisHoniur - if I am wrong them I am quite prepared to eat vast quantities of humble pie. It wouldn't be the first time...

"Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast."
HisHonour the Judge - frostbite
it has
rattled my cage somewhat.

Cage likewise rattled!
HisHonour the Judge - SteveH42
I agree with the rest of you - PugUgly and DavidHM do a good job of dishing out useful advice which is much appreciated by those on the receiving end, whether it be what we want to hear or not!
HisHonour the Judge - SteveH42
HisHonour the Judge - DavidHM
eMBe, all I can say is that it's nice to have someone back me up, which is all that HH has done.

I haven't been contradicted - yet - and PU's advice is far more in depth than mine because he's more experienced, but then he is also more worried about being sued so he tends to stick to areas that he works in whereas if I did that, I wouldn't be anywhere near a motoring forum.

I won't stick my neck out too much though - if I'm on dodgy ground, as I would be with regard to land law if you excuse the pun (and especially the niceties of dealing with a nutter on it) I will shut up.
HisHonour the Judge - Andrew-T
It's always amusing listening to people rejecting advice they don't agree with .. ..
HisHonour the Judge - Pugugly {P}
Advice - a very dangerous word in legal circles. My only disagreemnt with HH is when to call the Peelers in. I have been known to argue with HHs in the real world as well !
HisHonour the Judge - HisHonour {P}
Someone impugning my impartiality? This is the reason I have not given a lot of information in my profile. However, just like the rest of you, I am permitted to have opinions. I just have to be a little careful how I express them and so I remain largely anonymous.

Perhaps I should have made plain that obstruction is a criminal offence only when it is the obstruction of a police officer in the execution of his duty - it is the same as the obstruction of justice. There are many forms of obstruction - such as obstructing the traffic - but these are not criminal offences; i.e. being guilty of such an obstruction does not leave you with a criminal record. If the road in question was a public highway then the moron would be guilty of obstructing the Queen's Highway and could be dealt with officially. However, it is not possible to commit such an obstruction on private property. There still remains the fact that this man's actions constitute behaviour likely to lead to a breach of the peace and could be dealt with under the law. The problem there, however, is that the police are unlikely to wish to become involved in what is, after all, a private affair.

I am not aware that I have contradicted PugUgly or David whose advice on most things seems to be pretty sound. Being a Judge, I am of course a lawyer so do profess to know a little about such matters but it may not have escaped your notice that even judges are not infallible and have been known to make the odd mistake.

I rejuvenated this old thread as it struck me as being an interesting point. Judging by the response I was not wrong!
HisHonour the Judge - Mark (RLBS)
I just cleaned this thread up.

eM.Be - that was either a very mean spirited comment or a very careless one. Either way, probably best it doesn't happen again.

HisHonour the Judge - pdc {P}
Shame the 'local nutter' doesn't let caravan man park his caravan at back of house, and then block it in! One less delay on the summer roads ;-)
HisHonour the Judge - eMBe {P}
Mark (RLBS) : It was just a badly worded comment. It was meant to say that it was nice to also have views from the other side of the bench.
HisHonour the Judge - Mark (RLBS)

Thanks for the clarification.

HisHonour the Judge - HisHonour {P}
I did not intend to poke a hornets' nest here. Sorry!
HisHonour the Judge - Technoprat {P}
You can always trust a lawyer not to let sleeping dogs lie!

Please note this comment is left in jest. I am casting no nasturtiams.
HisHonour the Judge - Pugugly {P}
Indeed its in the genes. The only sleeping dog allowed to sleep is the Springer I own - see previous threads. I'll need my hands to bang my gavel (with any luck) in the future.
HisHonour the Judge - Technoprat {P}
Why? Are you planning to become an auctioneer?

Value my car