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Does a zoning officer need probable cause to enter your property and do they not need a court issued warrant to trespass legally

East Hanover, NJ |

It came to my understanding that a neighbor lied to a zoning officer to bring him out to my residence. She falsely stated that i was operating a business from my residence. This is fictitious and with malice because she does not like my classic cars parked legally with QQ plates on my widened driveway.

Additionally the letter I received harasses me with the intent to have my legal vehicles removed from my property. I feel my civil rights are being violated. The letter goes on to state, I cannot maintain cars which may have some minor rust on them in plain sight, even though they are all drive-able cars and older restorations.
Furthermore states, I can not maintain a low-rise lift which has been on this property since the 1980's and my uncle owned the home ?

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Attorney answers 3


You made statement that definitely you should discuss with your lawyer if you are being cited in City or Municipal Court. To answer the question does a zoning officer need probable cause to enter your property the answer is yes, whether by 3rd party complaint or by general observation.

Providing general answers are meant to help the poster to understand some complex legal concepts and in no way creates an attorney-client relationship.


As a constitutional matter, a zoning officer needs a warrant supported by probable cause to search an area where you have a REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY that society (and the court) is willing to recognize and protect. I think that most courts are going to find that you don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy in your driveway (unless you live in a walled in compound). You should raise all of these issues with a seasoned zoning/real estate attorney


I agree with the answer of my distinguished colleagues. Probable cause is required and you need an experienced attorney to handle this matter for you. Good luck.

Leonard R. Boyer, Esq. 201-.675-.5577. If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer" Please be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.