The story is rather worse than the headline suggests. A family went out of town to a funeral, and came home to find that someone had not only broken in, he had dumped all their stuff outside, changed the locks and claimed the place as his own. He’s one of those “Sovereign Citizen” jackasses, and he thinks that he can just take other peoples property with a magical wave of a piece of paper he dreamed up. The family is now trying to take him to court.
The thing I don’t get: clearly, he broke in. The house was not his. His setting up shop didn’t make it his; it remains theirs. And Ohio seems to have “Castle Doctrine,” meaning a homeowner has not only no duty to retreat in his own home… and they can use deadly force against an intruder:
to create a rebuttable presumption that a person acted in self defense or defense of another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if the person against whom the defensive force is used is in the process of entering or has entered, unlawfully and without privilege to do so, the residence or vehicle occupied by the person using the defensive force
So if I’m reading this right, the homeowners, upon returning home and finding their home invaded, could have:
1) Kicked in the front door
2) Gone inside, brandishing firearms
3) Ordered the intruder out
4) Shot him deader’n hell if he refused.
Where am I wrong here?
I’ve yammered about this sort of thing happening over in Britain a few times. It’s beyond disgusting to see it happening in the US, where property rights are supposed to be held sacrosanct. How is it that the cops haven’t chucked this guy out?