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Old May 28, 2010, 09:23 PM   #1
Wrothgar
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Castle Doctrine and Rental Property in TX

I'm moving into a rental house tomorrow - its a nice neighborhood, but I just want to check. Does castle law still apply to rental property? (in Texas)
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Old May 28, 2010, 09:57 PM   #2
44 AMP
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Castle doctrine/stand your ground laws are generally worded to say that they apply any place you have a legal right to be.

However, check your state and local laws carefully. They are not all the same.

And remember that castle doctrine does not remove your moral duty to flee, if possible, what they do is provide legal protection if you cannot.

Note the difference.
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Old May 28, 2010, 10:13 PM   #3
ScottRiqui
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Texas doesn't have a "duty to retreat" law as part of its Castle Doctrine. Texas also shields a legitimate user of deadly force from civil liability for death or injury resulting from the use of deadly force.
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Old May 28, 2010, 10:17 PM   #4
knight0334
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Castle Doctrine applies to your place of abode. It does not matter if you own, rent, or lease it - just that you call it home and is your residence.
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Old May 29, 2010, 07:49 AM   #5
Bartholomew Roberts
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Texas "Castle Doctrine" protects your habitation, vehicle, and business or place of employment. Habitation is defined as:

Quote:
(1) "Habitation" means a structure or vehicle that is adapted for the overnight accommodation of persons, and includes:

(A) each separately secured or occupied portion of the structure or vehicle; and

(B) each structure appurtenant to or connected with the structure or vehicle.
So a rental house would easily qualify as your habitation, though the number of people who have a right to enter it might be larger than if it was just your home.

The actual Texas statute for use of deadly force in defense of person is:

Quote:
Sec. 9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if the actor would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.31; and

(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

(A) to protect the actor against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery.

(b) The actor's belief under Subsection (a)(2) that the deadly force was immediately necessary as described by that subdivision is presumed to be reasonable if the actor:

(1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used:

(A) unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment;

(B) unlawfully and with force removed, or was attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment; or

(C) was committing or attempting to commit an offense described by Subsection (a)(2)(B);

(2) did not provoke the person against whom the force was used; and

(3) was not otherwise engaged in criminal activity, other than a Class C misdemeanor that is a violation of a law or ordinance regulating traffic at the time the force was used.

(c) A person who has a right to be present at the location where the deadly force is used, who has not provoked the person against whom the deadly force is used, and who is not engaged in criminal activity at the time the deadly force is used is not required to retreat before using deadly force as described by this section.

(d) For purposes of Subsection (a)(2), in determining whether an actor described by Subsection (c) reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary, a finder of fact may not consider whether the actor failed to retreat.
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Old May 29, 2010, 11:47 PM   #6
csmsss
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Quote:
And remember that castle doctrine does not remove your moral duty to flee, if possible
Your morality and mine couldn't be farther apart. I can't imagine anything LESS moral than requiring someone who is in his own premises to run away from someone intending to do him harm.
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Old May 30, 2010, 11:21 AM   #7
HeadShotsOnly
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This is yet another reason why Texas is awesome. The situations where you CAN'T use deadly force are few and far between, as far as criminal acts against a person are concerned.
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Old May 31, 2010, 09:12 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
And remember that castle doctrine does not remove your moral duty to flee, if possible, what they do is provide legal protection if you cannot.

Note the difference.
First, you are confusing "Castle Doctrine" with "No duty to retreat." I think every state provides a version of the Castle Doctrine, but comparatively few have enacted no duty to retreat laws.

Second: WHAT moral duty to retreat? If I am in my home (my "castle") and someone breaks in, what could possibly generate any moral duty on my patrt to attempt to flee? In fact, I attended a talk a number of years ago by a nationally-known spiritual educator who stated point-blank that if someone breaks into your home, your moral duty is to shoot him. No less a spiritual authority than the Dalai Lama was once asked about the morality of using a firearm in self defense. His response was something like, "If confronted by a man wielding a gun, wisdom would dictate that you draw your gun and shoot him."

Whether or not you are a Roman Catholic, would you be willing to agree that catholic teachings are generally "moral"? If so, how about looking at the Catholic Catechism:

Quote:
Legitimate defense

2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... The one is intended, the other is not."[65]

2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.[65]

2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.[66]
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Old June 1, 2010, 06:50 AM   #9
ClydeFrog
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rental property-lease agreements; real estate law, Texas..

I'd add that you may want to read over your rental property or lease agreement to know & understand any documented issues re; firearms, ammunition, reloading-handloading supplies or equipment, etc.
When I first moved to my state in May of 2000, I lived & worked in a apt complex with about 150 units. The lease agreement had policies about firearms and weapons but was not restrictive.
I had a big arguement with a female police officer too about 3 years ago over a rental tenants legal rights. I informed the cop that a apt tenant does not OWN the property and only leases the unit IAW the terms & conditions of the property owners/mgmt lease agreement(that the tenant reads & signs).
State & local laws or ordanances may vary but in general, it's always a good idea to read all legal contracts, documents, forms, etc.
Tenants would often storm into the rental office and hoot & holler but fail to read the lease rules/SOPs. It was almost comical.
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Old June 2, 2010, 02:43 PM   #10
44 AMP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
And remember that castle doctrine does not remove your moral duty to flee, if possible, what they do is provide legal protection if you cannot.

Note the difference.

First, you are confusing "Castle Doctrine" with "No duty to retreat." I think every state provides a version of the Castle Doctrine, but comparatively few have enacted no duty to retreat laws.

Second: WHAT moral duty to retreat?
No, I'm not confusing anything. But I could have been more explicit. I'll try to be clearer.

I am not confusing moral self defense with a legal requirement. We have a moral obligation to avoid using deadly force, if possible. However I recognize that it is not always possible. And when not possible, it is morally justified.

I grew up in an era when many states actually had a legal requirement for you to flee your home (if possible) before resorting to deadly force. This, I have always felt is morally wrong. Even Jesus stated that one may "smite" a thief who breaks into your home.

Castle doctrine is a good and common sense rule, protecting lawful and moral self defense from prosecution. And, extending it to any place one has a legal right to be is not a bad thing either. If you cannot do anything else, protecting us from prosecution for defending ourselves or others is not a bad thing.

However, too many people seem to be thinking that castle doctrine means that they do not need consider fleeing or avoiding the use of deadly force (if such a possibility exists).

We all want to flatter our self image with the belief that we should always "stand your ground", and in some situations, that is completely necessary. But we should always remember that shooting someone should only happen in "gravest extreme".

I worry that un/under informed people would consider Castle Doctrine as a get out of jail free card, to shoot when it is not absolutely needed.

It may just be internet bluster, but often I hear people saying things like "castle doctrine means if they break in to my house, I can shoot them!" And while that may be legal under castle doctrine (dependant on specific wording of the applicable statute), it isn't the moral choice unless you believe you are in physical danger.

In other words, castle doctrine doesn't mean its moral for you to shoot a burgular making off with your family silver, if they never evidence any threat to your person. On the other hand, if there is a threat, I fully agree one has a legal right, and a moral duty to defend yourself, with deadly force if needed.

That is clear to me, but I'm not sure that I'm being clear explaining my point to you. Have I?
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Old June 2, 2010, 02:55 PM   #11
ScottRiqui
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Quote:
Even Jesus stated that one may "smite" a thief who breaks into your home.
A little off-topic, but that wasn't Jesus:

"If the thief be found breaking in, and be smitten so that he dieth, there shall be no bloodguiltiness for him." - Exodus 22:2
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Old June 2, 2010, 07:27 PM   #12
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Thank you, I stand corrected.
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