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Can a property manager in gated community make a minor open door or interrogate him without a parent present?

West Palm Beach, FL |

My friends' dog nipped the property managers kid . Immediately , the Property manager and staff went to the scene and made my friends' 14 year old brother bring the dog outside to take pictures . They interrogated him without a parent present . They asked him for his mothers phone number , for vaccination records , etc . The property manager had no records of their pet vaccinations in the office . The 14 year old and his mother wanted to take pictures of the child that was bit and the property manager would not let them do so until she had proof of vaccination . She received proof that same day but would not let them take pictures of her sons supposed wound .

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Attorney answers 2


It is not illegal for the property manager to do what he did. Is it appropriate? Probably not. The best way to eliminate something like this from happening is teaching the14 year old that it is not his job to answer inquiries like this or to provide information. He should call his parent right away.

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It would be illegal for the police to engage in this type of activity, but not a property manager. It was not handled the best way, but the property manager was probably acting as a parent and not as the property manager. When children are bitten by dogs the parents react in different ways. Some people are so frightened by dogs, even small ones, that it is a big deal and traumatic to them for their child to be bitten, even if it's a minor "nip." Other people who have been around animals a lot and do not react the same and do not make a big deal of it.

A person cannot take pictures of someone else without their permission, especially of children. Unfortunately the dog is the culprit and the dog's owner is in no position to make demands. Hopefully nothing will become of this, but the dog owner is at risk of being sued.

This communication is not intended to create an attorney/client relationship. It is always recommended you consult an attorney in person to discuss your case. The Law Offices of Stage & Associates practices state-wide and represents homeowners and community associations. Please visit our website at