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Old November 23, 2001, 01:49 PM   #1
Join Date: October 10, 2001
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Road spikes? Those pointy things you scatter in the path of a charging horde of cavalry or infantry way back in the day? Kind of like punji stakes on the quick? What do you think of them? Can you use them on your property? Is it legal?
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Old November 23, 2001, 01:54 PM   #2
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The idea was used in the movie "Heat" during the armored car robbery where they dragged a set of caltrops across the road to foil police pursuit. The same idea was used in the tank traps of WWII. Good idea!
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Old November 23, 2001, 02:25 PM   #3
Joe Demko
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Using them on your property is asking for legal trouble. Traps of all sorts (especially potentially lethal traps) have resulted in unfavorable legal decisions for property owners who set them over the years. The problem with traps, among other things, is that it doesn't discriminate. It will hurt or kill anyone who steps on/in it, whether that person was there with intent to harm you or not. The law takes a dim view of things of that nature.
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Old November 23, 2001, 06:29 PM   #4
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Well, alot of the liability depends on prior warning.

A set gun aimed at a window is considered a boobytrap and will get your ass in prison quick, regardless of the fact that a burglar would be the only person setting it off.

But, if there's clear warning of a hazard and the nature of the hazard, no "innocent" people can stumble across it (fencing), then your liability is greatly reduced.

Its like an electrical substation: Fenced off, barbed wire, signs warning of lethal electrical shock. Someone climbs in and gets zapped, the utilities aren't responsible.

If you had a bare wire running along the top of your fence that would kill the same way with no such precautions, then you've set a trap and are liable.

I'd imagine if you had a fenced off property with signs every 20 yards saying "DANGER! Ground Spikes!" (english and the local non-english language) with a drawing of a foot being impaled on a caltrop, then you've given adequate warning.

I'd imagine your reasons for having such things would have to be considerable though. Perhaps a car impound lot could justify it to prevent car theft, a house owner......hmmmm.

If you just wish to prevent tresspasser from driving on your road, you could buy one of those spike things that are at parking lots. They have retractable versions.
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Old November 23, 2001, 06:35 PM   #5
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nbk, that doesn't apply in wisconsin.

There was a business - a paper mill, I believe. 3 kids got in past the fence. Ignored the printed warnings about dangers and trespassing. One of the kids started a fire. Another was either killed or badly injured. The state supreme court ruled that the parents could sue because the business didn't do enough to prevent it - even though the hooligans broke at least 3 laws along the way.
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Old November 24, 2001, 01:37 AM   #6
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here in PRK, no can do.
If you set any trap with intent to injure, then you have legal problems afterwards.

Some examples...BG snuck up to a farm house with double hung windows. One of the windows had a bad bottom part of the frame...BG lifted up the bottom half of the window..he put hands on the window sill....bottom half of window came down on the severed the hands from the wrists.....BG survived and sued the heck out of the owner and was indiscriminate cruel and unusual punishment.

A little old lady in my jurisdiction decided one day to hook a little wire from an outlet to her chain link fence to keep her dogs in her yard. Little grandson, toddler, touched the fence when he was standing in water....he died....she was sued by her kids, but I think her mental punishment was much worse.

Some little punky kids broke onto the school grounds on the weekend to do mischieve (their words,more or less) of the kids picked up a stone and tossed it at the second story window...the principal was tired of the little punks breaking the windows on the second story, so he ordered his groundsmen to change the windows to lexan instead of windows made of glass.
You got it, the punk hit the window and the rock bounced off the plastic window and hit him in the head! the family sued and won. School districrt had to pay for the idiot's vandalism. Go figure.

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Old November 24, 2001, 04:54 AM   #7
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Unfortunately America has become a land of extremes.

You either follow the law and become someone elses BITCH.


You do what you've got to do and become a CRIMINAL.

We've lost the middle ground where normal people can protect what's theirs without having to worry about some thieving punk suing him for everything he has because the idiot hurt himself trying to steal it.

I used to work as a convienience store clerk and suggested to management that we have a button to lock the front door to keep the beer thieves from getting out with their ill-gotten gains.

Management said "No, they might run into the door and sue us.".


Oh, and no weapons of any sort allowed at work either. Never mind I worked the grave yard shift alone in a store in the middle of nowhere between two freeways.

Well, screw 'em. I carried anyways. Any job where you're 40x more likely to be killed than a cop, you NEED to be carrying.

Anyways, why isn't there a "good citizen" law like they have for good samaritians? If you stop a criminal from commiting a crime (even if it is a boobytrap on your own property) than you can't be sued by them.

Some common sense standards as to what constitutes criminal behavior would help too.

For instance:

Having to climb over a chain link fence.

Doing it at night.

Carrying a can of gasoline or a box of matches while doing so.

Wearing gloves and mask.

Climbing through a broken window.

Prying open a door.

Carrying a knife, rope, and duct tape while doing any of the above.

Basically, anything that any NORMAL person wouldn't be doing at that certain place at that particular time.
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Old November 26, 2001, 01:52 PM   #8
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"Do Not Back UP, Severe Tire Damage"

Ever seen these at parking structures? These are warning notices to inform people to the presence of road spikes.

Spikes are used to protect private property.
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