First, if you want to hear some excellent commentary by knowledgeable folks, as well as yours truly trying to sound intelligent, check out my first podcast:
Alabama lawmakers are meeting in Montgomery, but what are they talking about? We asked the experts and got an education.
Dave White, who covers the State House for The Birmingham News and [Wheeler], author of Alablawg join us to discuss pending legislation, including that pay raise lawmakers just approved for themselves, reform bills and what could be coming for educators.
Second, I just got back from court where the judge tossed what was a really stupid case against my client.
Basically, my client was attempting to repossess a vehicle from a delinquent debtor, and ended up being charged with criminal trespass. There were no allegations of violence or danger, all my guy did was go into her garage to make sure the vehicle was the one he was trying to repossess. She told my client to leave, and he did.
Why that led to an arrest and prosecution for criminal trespass, I don’t know. A criminal trespass is the knowingly unlawful entry into a dwelling. Given that the law, and most installment contracts, allow the creditor to enter the debtor’s property to recover the collateral, this was not an unlawful entry. Even if it was, a garage is not a place where a person usually resides, i.e., it is not a dwelling. Finally, even if the entry was unlawful, it was not done knowingly. By virtue of his job as the repo man, my client had a good faith belief that he was privileged to be in the garage. This just was not a crime.
The ADA, though, disagreed. Who is right? Me, of course, but what counts is that the judge interrupted my motion for a judgment of acquittal in order to grant it for us.
Like I said, a really stupid case, but one that caused my client – a young guy with a wife and two little kids – a lot of stress. All he was doing was his job. Thankfully, the judge recognized that and tossed the case.