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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> So, I got run off public property without cause
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08/08/2011 02:30:02 PM · #1
State of Alabama state laws deems all “natural bodies of water such as rivers, creeks, brooks, lakes, bayous, bays, channels, canals or lagoons or [waters that] are dug, dredged or blasted canals and if these waters traverse, bound, flow upon or through or touch lands title to which is held by more than one person, firm, or corporation. Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) to be public land.

Today, Mobile Police decided to ask me to leave a creek, stating it wasn't a public place. Normally, I would put a police officer in his place when confronted unjustly, but I wasn't prepared to have to state specific law at the moment.

So, what am I gonna do about it? I'm gonna be printing Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) on some cards for my next shoot there Wednesday.

Message edited by author 2011-08-08 14:36:31.
08/08/2011 02:37:30 PM · #2
i have re-read that code section you posted 5 times and it still doesn't make sense to me....
08/08/2011 02:43:52 PM · #3
Mike, it basically says that water is open to the public unless it's completely land locked by a single owner. As long as there is a place to get into and stay in this water from a publicly accessible place, then you have not trespassed.

Wisconsin has the same (or very similar) law, which is indeed handy to know.
08/08/2011 02:45:03 PM · #4
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

State of Alabama state laws deems all “natural bodies of water such as rivers, creeks, brooks, lakes, bayous, bays, channels, canals or lagoons or [waters that] are dug, dredged or blasted canals and if these waters traverse, bound, flow upon or through or touch lands title to which is held by more than one person, firm, or corporation. Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) to be public land.

Today, Mobile Police decided to ask me to leave a creek, stating it wasn't a public place. Normally, I would put a police officer in his place when confronted unjustly, but I wasn't prepared to have to state specific law at the moment.

So, what am I gonna do about it? I'm gonna be printing Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) on some cards for my next shoot there Wednesday.
Well, they are going to play the place may be public land but it is not a public place. Do they have a grow-op near by?
08/08/2011 02:45:08 PM · #5
Originally posted by mike_311:

i have re-read that code section you posted 5 times and it still doesn't make sense to me....


Basically, unless water is totally surrounded by private land, the public can be on it.
08/08/2011 02:46:26 PM · #6
Honestly, this is a hazardous thing you are planning on doing. Not in respect of physical damage to you, but possibly your equipment, reputation, and standing with local law enforcement. Your state law is valid (if you accessed your place solely by water, as the land around said creeks and lagoons may or may not be owned, and thus trespassing applies as you have to access and egress through owned property without water conveyance).

However, you are forgetting one thing. The Police just view themselves as doing their "job", right or wrong. And if you start flashing cards at them and telling them you don't have to leave due to an obscure--or not--state law, they will likely accidentally drop your camera in said creek during your arrest for obstruction and resisting arrest....which, of course, you will appeal and likely lose.

The best method for doing said shot is to inform the Sherriff's office or Local Police before you do the shot, what happened during the last shot, and why you feel you have the right to shoot there. Then word can get out before you go so you don't get "caught" there again and arrested--cuz let's just face it, even if you are vindicated later in court, the difficulty of spending a weekend in jail on top of the possible damage and loss of equipment is not worth it.
08/08/2011 02:48:30 PM · #7
sorry, i get the jist of what it means i just have no idea how anyone deciphered it, on second thought maybe i am reading "blasted canals" as one term and that's throwing off the wording for me.

so did someone call the police or did they just happen upon you.
08/08/2011 02:57:49 PM · #8
Originally posted by crowis:

Honestly, this is a hazardous thing you are planning on doing....

The best method for doing said shot is to inform the Sherriff's office or Local Police before you do the shot, what happened during the last shot, and why you feel you have the right to shoot there. Then word can get out before you go so you don't get "caught" there again and arrested--cuz let's just face it, even if you are vindicated later in court, the difficulty of spending a weekend in jail on top of the possible damage and loss of equipment is not worth it.

This is the best advice I've seen in a while ...
08/08/2011 03:02:08 PM · #9
Originally posted by crowis:

Your state law is valid (if you accessed your place solely by water, as the land around said creeks and lagoons may or may not be owned, and thus trespassing applies as you have to access and egress through owned property without water conveyance).


Alabama trespass law is very open.

A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property which is fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders. ALA CODE § 13A-7-3.. I'm well versed in this code.

However, I didn't cross any private land to access the creek.
08/08/2011 03:14:51 PM · #10
Mike C does a make a good point in that you have to pick your battles. And if you extend the branch it might just be better off in the long run. From what I can tell you do most of your shooting in found locations. You'd hate to have to start looking over your shoulder.
08/08/2011 03:16:06 PM · #11
I guess my main point wasn't in regards to the law at all. It is in regards to delegated authority and the perception of the situation by law enforcement, which at THAT time, will be more important than the paper law -- Sadly enough. Again, if I were you, I would approach the law enforcement agency that covers that arena and clear it with them (EVEN IF YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TO) because that will cause the least trouble. And, if they know you a little bit, after some time they are typically more willing to give you some latitude if you end up on the wrong side of an issue. . .
08/08/2011 04:30:39 PM · #12
But how many naked women did you have in the creek with you at the time?
08/08/2011 04:32:22 PM · #13
** Warning: This post has been hidden as it may content mature content. Click here to show the post.
08/08/2011 04:34:03 PM · #14
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

Originally posted by JH:

But how many naked women did you have in the creek with you at the time?


Only one in a swimsuit.... luckily... LOL


I had forgotten about that possibility with Fotomann. LOL. That would have been funny (at least to hear about later).
08/08/2011 04:53:48 PM · #15
I just wish so called professionals, would act in such a manner. Know the laws you inforce, especially when inforcing them.
I have no quible with police, but a uniform does not make them always rite. Man, that must have been a slow day for them. Too many times, presious resources are wasted. I wonder how many more people, got mugged that day....
08/08/2011 04:57:37 PM · #16
Let's not get down on law enforcement here. No Police Officer has the ability to memorize that vagaries and delicacies of the law to the point that we might wish. There are no Joe Friday's in the real life enforcement world. Those folks become lawyers. These guys and gals are just trying to do what they think is right (for the most part) and occasionally make bad judgment calls. If an officer makes a bad call, instead of arguing with them (which can get you into huge trouble), just nod, walk off, and file a report later. Eventually officers who are abusive are put out of business this way in a much more efficient fashion. Often times, it is possible to get on the Law's good side in most communities, and if you are shooting in sometimes iffy situations, this is a great benefit.
08/08/2011 04:58:13 PM · #17
What kind of cops you got there Leroy?? In Uk, if they had happened upon you taking photos, they would have stayed to watch for a good while before stepping in to stop you!!
08/08/2011 05:40:27 PM · #18
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

State of Alabama state laws deems all “natural bodies of water such as rivers, creeks, brooks, lakes, bayous, bays, channels, canals or lagoons or [waters that] are dug, dredged or blasted canals and if these waters traverse, bound, flow upon or through or touch lands title to which is held by more than one person, firm, or corporation. Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) to be public land.

Today, Mobile Police decided to ask me to leave a creek, stating it wasn't a public place. Normally, I would put a police officer in his place when confronted unjustly, but I wasn't prepared to have to state specific law at the moment.

So, what am I gonna do about it? I'm gonna be printing Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) on some cards for my next shoot there Wednesday.


Just a quick read here Leroy, but the bolded portion could have a serious impact on your argument... but since I am NOT familiar with either the terrain nor your laws I will abstain from further discussion.

Sadly, there are some who would readily condemn the police officers even though they truly no nothing about either the situation or the law.

Ray
08/08/2011 06:06:25 PM · #19
Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by crowis:

The best method for doing said shot is to inform the Sherriff's office or Local Police before you do the shot, what happened during the last shot, and why you feel you have the right to shoot there. Then word can get out before you go so you don't get "caught" there again and arrested--cuz let's just face it, even if you are vindicated later in court, the difficulty of spending a weekend in jail on top of the possible damage and loss of equipment is not worth it.

This is the best advice I've seen in a while ...


+1, for the most part. It's all about sales, I would call the local police/sheriff office that has jurisdiction and ask to talk to a supervisor. Ask if there are any problems/issues with you photographing at that location. Then get the name/title (rank) of the person you talked to.

Originally posted by Magnumphotography:

I just wish so called professionals, would act in such a manner. Know the laws you inforce, especially when inforcing them.
I have no quible with police, but a uniform does not make them always rite. Man, that must have been a slow day for them. Too many times, presious resources are wasted. I wonder how many more people, got mugged that day....


-1, You don't know the circumstances on why fotomann was contacted ("run off").

Originally posted by RayEthier:

Sadly, there are some who would readily condemn the police officers even though they truly no nothing about either the situation or the law.

Ray


+1

My 2cents.
08/08/2011 06:16:24 PM · #20
Originally posted by The_Tourist:

Originally posted by GeneralE:

Originally posted by crowis:

The best method for doing said shot is to inform the Sherriff's office or Local Police before you do the shot, what happened during the last shot, and why you feel you have the right to shoot there. Then word can get out before you go so you don't get "caught" there again and arrested--cuz let's just face it, even if you are vindicated later in court, the difficulty of spending a weekend in jail on top of the possible damage and loss of equipment is not worth it.

This is the best advice I've seen in a while ...


+1, for the most part. It's all about sales, I would call the local police/sheriff office that has jurisdiction and ask to talk to a supervisor. Ask if there are any problems/issues with you photographing at that location. Then get the name/title (rank) of the person you talked to.



Ask him if he has naked pictures of his wife...then ask him if he wants some...
08/08/2011 06:16:43 PM · #21
Originally posted by RayEthier:

Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

State of Alabama state laws deems all “natural bodies of water such as rivers, creeks, brooks, lakes, bayous, bays, channels, canals or lagoons or [waters that] are dug, dredged or blasted canals and if these waters traverse, bound, flow upon or through or touch lands title to which is held by more than one person, firm, or corporation. Ala. Code § 9-11-80 (1996) to be public land.


Just a quick read here Leroy, but the bolded portion could have a serious impact on your argument.


I'm not sure I understand what you're saying, Ray. Let me offer a rough paraphrase the above-posted statute:

"All natural bodies of water (many examples given) AND all man-made canals are considered to be "public" if they are bordered by the property of more than one individual or entity."

I think that's pretty much what the law means: that a body of water can't be private unless it is entirely contained by within a single property.

So what's the serious impact you're referring to? I'm sure I'm missing something obvious...

R.
08/08/2011 06:25:45 PM · #22
Honestly, I think the best approach is to make an appointment to visit to the head of the law enforcement agency that ran you off and ask for an explanation. Don't throw a fit, get angry or otherwise blow your stack, but be prepared to explain the circumstances and what happened. He might want time to discuss the matter with the individual officer involved before getting back to you. If you don't receive an adequate explanation, simply work your way up the chain until you get an adequate explanation.
08/08/2011 06:27:19 PM · #23
Who tattoos their arm with an ice cream sunday and My Little Ponies?
08/08/2011 06:36:40 PM · #24
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Who tattoos their arm with an ice cream sunday and My Little Ponies?


LOL...I'm so glad I wasn't the only one to have that thought...

::promptly faints::
08/08/2011 06:41:30 PM · #25
I knew there was something missing in what you said. Navigable...

The test of navigability in Alabama is subjective and involves consideration of the following:
>
Whether the stream is fitted for valuable floatage;

>
Whether the public, or only a few individuals, are interested in transportation;

>
Whether any great public interests are involved in the use of the stream for transportation;
>
Whether the periods of the stream's capacity for floatage are sufficiently long to make it susceptible of use beneficial to the public;

>
Whether the stream has been previously used by people generally, and how long it has been so used;

>
Whether the stream was meandered by government surveyors, or included in the surveys; and

>
Whether, if declared public, the stream will probably in the future be of public use for carriage.5)


The burden of proof is upon the party claiming that a stream above tide water is public

.6)”[N]o one of these considerations, nor any number of them less than the whole, has been given controlling influence.”7)

Ref: //www.americanwhitewater.org/content/Wiki/access:al
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