Q&As

A university is having problems with an individual entering campus buildings without permission and who is suspected to be stealing items. The matter has been reported to police but nothing is being progressed. The university would like to consider securing a prohibitory injunction preventing further trespass onto the campus. Is this likely to be successful and should it seek both an interim and final injunction? Would the university need only show that he is entering the campus without permission (ie trespass) or a different underlying cause of action (ie conversion)—taking the stolen items?

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Published on LexisPSL on 10/01/2018

The following Property Disputes Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • A university is having problems with an individual entering campus buildings without permission and who is suspected to be stealing items. The matter has been reported to police but nothing is being progressed. The university would like to consider securing a prohibitory injunction preventing further trespass onto the campus. Is this likely to be successful and should it seek both an interim and final injunction? Would the university need only show that he is entering the campus without permission (ie trespass) or a different underlying cause of action (ie conversion)—taking the stolen items?

This question raises the issue of the right of a landowner to restrict the ability of third persons to enter onto and remain on its land.

The individual in the present case is said to be entering the land without permission. It is assumed therefore that the person in question is not a student member of the university. Subject to complying with any rules of code of conduct by which he or she has agreed to be bound, a student would have an implied licence to be on the university premises.

For whatever reason however, this individual does not have the permission of the university to be on its premises. Whether this is a consequence of having been suspected of stealing or simply never having had it at all, the person does not have permission to enter its premises. It is not clear whether the person is aware that the matter has been reported to the police.

It would be prudent to make clear to the individual that entry onto the university’s property is without its consent. Putting it into writing would avoid any scope for doubt and would be easier to prove if ever the need arose, but it would generally not be necessary to do so. The o

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