What Constitutes Criminal Trespass?

Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.

If I put up a fence on my property, does the homeowners association have the right to hire a surveyor and survey my property without my permission? Wouldn’t this constitute criminal trespassing? It is very unsettling to come home and find people in your yard without knowing who they are, where they came from, or what they are doing there.

In many states, surveyors (acting in the course of their employment) are specifically exempted from the trespassing laws, so you may not have much luck, there.

As for the HOA, you would need to review their documents to see what the extent of their authority is. Clearly, whether they’re allowed to do this or not, it would have been appropriate to give you notice of the fact.