“Today is the greatest [Mon]day I’ve ever known”

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.

Explore posts in the same categories: Alabama Bloggers, Trials

8 Comments on ““Today is the greatest [Mon]day I’ve ever known””

  1. Susan Says:

    Congrats on the recognition! You done fine.

  2. Dystopos Says:

    Moral of the story: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.”

  3. quaoar Says:

    Let’s review:

    Idiot does not have enough money to pay monthly car note, but apparently does have enough money to hire a lawyer to file a lawsuit against the Repo Man.

    Yep, that makes sense.

    She should get six months for aggravated stupidity.

  4. I agree with quaoar.

    I know this has nothing to do with the case in question, but my initial thought was, “Glad she didn’t have a gun.”

    I know that Alabama passed a law (last year?) that allows someone to shoot an intruder, and I remember thinking about situations like this. Given, I’m no lawyer. Would she have gotten away with it if that had happened?

  5. wheeler Says:

    “Would she have gotten away with it if that had happened?”

    no way to know, but you could certainly raise the defense. he was in her garage, and i don’t know off the top of my head if the new self-defense law is limited to the actual home, or if it would include a garage. or maybe it would include an attached garage, btu not a detached garage.

    anyway, she would be more likely to succeed on a self-defense claim than the state was to succeed yesterday. the issue yesterday was whether my client actually was trespassing. if it was a self-defense situation, the issue would be what the homeowner reasonably believed.

  6. Old Prosecutor Says:

    I agree the case sounds like BS but there is a real problem with private repos and the tactics used by some of those folks

  7. demopolite Says:

    There are also real problems with the tactics used by some debtors, Old Prosecutor. If some debtors would just go along with the consent orders that they sign rather than making the creditors, repossessors, and their attorneys jump through a thousand hoops just to find out that the debtor trashed the collateral and then ran off to parts unknown leaving the creditor with nothing but an uncollectible deficency and me with a b*tching client, higher personal bills because companies have to pass along the cost for these losers, and an unpaid bill of my own because my fees are based upon what I collect, then we’d all be a hell of a lot happier.

    Debtors have unbelievable protection under the law(s): FDCPA, FCRA, replevin statues, ejectment statutes, notice provisions, bankruptcy. Where the heck is the protection for the rest of us who actually pay our freaking bills?

    Sorry for the rant…creditor’s attorney here 🙂

  8. Greenshirt Says:

    I listened to the podcast: mellifluous tones!

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