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Old 09-26-2009, 07:15 AM   #41
 
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I know you said in your OP that the door knob was turned but are you 100% sure about that? Could the door have opened when they knocked on it?

My neighbor's son would ring the bell and walk in our house when he was 5 or 6. Or when the door was locked he would try to open it after ringing the bell.
It was both sweet and annoying... he didn't come here often so it wasn't a big deal.
He's now 17 and as far as I know, he's never had charges pressed against him.

This whole thing is ridiculous.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:19 AM   #42
 
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Maybe they should put up a sign by the bell: "WARNING! THIS HOUSE IS ALARMED. IF YOU SET OFF THE ALARM WITHOUT THE INTENT TO STEAL SOMETHING YOU WILL INCUR A 12.50 ENTRANCE FEE" Better yet, maybe they should just take credit card numbers upfront, like some hotels do.
Ha!
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:50 AM   #43
 
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I would ignore her. She can't possibly get that money from you. Video, no video. You have to pay to go to small claims court. Around here is about $15.
Plus she is just stupid. Any kid can walk into my house if the door is open. My son is 7 and I wouldn't put it past them to do that. They just want to play with someone.
I mean they should know not to go into someones house but they might not. They always come unannounced. The neighbors don't call each other to see if they can come over, they just walk over and knock the door.

But I like RCW's idea ---in pennies. Hehe.

The kids will probably still play together.
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #44
 
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If your child isn't the scaredy cat type, a trip to court might be a worthwhile learning experience.

I see kids being hauled into the People's Court, etc. all the time, though their parents are the ones actually named in the suit. Sometimes the wrongdoing committed is serious and the kids cry. But this is just bogus and if he feels his parents are on his side he shouldn't be worried.

Personally, I would tell her to kiss my ass...and let the chips fall where they may.

I would not pay in pennies. I don't get any thrill from playing those kinds of little passive-aggressive games. Either pay or tell them you'll see them in court.

I really doubt the court thing will happen. Didn't the fee for filing in Small Claims in Ohio just go up from $35 to $79. Yeah, that makes sense...
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Old 09-26-2009, 08:26 AM   #45
 
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I agree with spider - I would tell them I guess they will see me in court.

Also, I wouldn't let my kid go over there or hang out with their kid anymore. I have no tolerance for stupid parents and, since they are so petty about a $25 false alarm fee, I would be cringing with worry every time my kid was there or their kid was here - like, OMG, their kid scraped his knee on my property! NOW WHAT?! Will they sue? expect me to pay medical bills? Did my kid finish their Kool Aid, break something of the other kid's..etc. I would be worried about getting some phone call about this or that crap and it would make me insane. It's too much BS for my taste.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:06 AM   #46
 
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The neighbor is being a bit of a drama queen. ie pressing charges.
But

The boys were wrong wrong wrong. Don't care if the door was unlocked. I knew at that age you don't just walk into someones house. What if there wasn't an alarm? How far would they have enter?

Pay the fee.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:16 AM   #47
 
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The neighbor is being a bit of a drama queen. ie pressing charges.
But

The boys were wrong wrong wrong. Don't care if the door was unlocked. I knew at that age you don't just walk into someones house. What if there wasn't an alarm? How far would they have enter?

Pay the fee.
This.

Who cares if I leave mydoor unlocked and set the alarm? The boys had the intent of ENTERING the house that wasn't theirs. That is tresspassing.
If the neighbors are charged a fee due to a false alarm that these boys set, I do think that they should pay. I think the $12.50 is petty, but I do see that the neighbor is making a point.

I would also take the opportunity to teach the boys that they don't even TRY to enter a house that isn't theirs without permission, regardless if the door is locked or not.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:17 AM   #48
 
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Originally Posted by Csarac View Post
I agree with spider - I would tell them I guess they will see me in court.

Also, I wouldn't let my kid go over there or hang out with their kid anymore. I have no tolerance for stupid parents and, since they are so petty about a $25 false alarm fee, I would be cringing with worry every time my kid was there or their kid was here - like, OMG, their kid scraped his knee on my property! NOW WHAT?! Will they sue? expect me to pay medical bills? Did my kid finish their Kool Aid, break something of the other kid's..etc. I would be worried about getting some phone call about this or that crap and it would make me insane. It's too much BS for my taste.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trenell View Post
The neighbor is being a bit of a drama queen. ie pressing charges.
But

The boys were wrong wrong wrong. Don't care if the door was unlocked. I knew at that age you don't just walk into someones house. What if there wasn't an alarm? How far would they have enter?

Pay the fee.
Absolutely agreed with the bolded. But as adults we know enough to reason that the reaction/punishment needs to fit the crime to teach the most effective lesson.

Court is not equitable retribution. A reprimand, a respectful apology, and extraction of the understanding of WHY we dont do that, etc are reasonable and cpuld have been anticipated. Not so of an "entrance fee"....

The only thing this teaches him is that might makes right or to be a hothead.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:33 AM   #49
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trenell View Post
The neighbor is being a bit of a drama queen. ie pressing charges.
But

The boys were wrong wrong wrong. Don't care if the door was unlocked. I knew at that age you don't just walk into someones house. What if there wasn't an alarm? How far would they have enter?

Pay the fee.
I agree.

I would have the boys pay the fee, with their pocket money. They can pay in installments. With the first installment they can include a note stating something like that they only opened the door but did not enter the house. However, they realize that it was their opening an unlocked door caused the alarm to sound so they will take responsibility for the false alarm fee. Because they do not have a job they cannot afford to pay the entire fee at once so please accept their initial payment of 1 dollar and over the next few weeks they will make 50 cent payments. Etc etc.

It would be a good lesson for them that they made a mistake. Even if it was not intentional, they should pay for their mistakes. For example, if I accidentally break something in someone's house, I would offer to pay for it. It was not intentional, but someone was put out by it.

Hopefully the boys will learn not to open other people's doors without permission and the parents will learn not to leave their door unlocked. They are lucky someone more dangerous did not enter.

That said, I do not know if I would let my son play at their house again. The family sounds petty.
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:10 AM   #50
 
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I think what we are going to do is my DH is going to call her husband and ask him for the bill. Who knows if there is even a bill? Somebody on here said it takes several false alarms before you actually get charged and I have a couple of friends who have said the same thing. If there is a bill, we will just pay it and be over with it. Its not worth the BS.

This morning my husband was at the gas station and guess who he ran into inside the building while her 3 kids were inside the running car? You guessed it! Funny thing is she's been ARRESTED for this before. Lost her teaching license over it too. Some people never learn I guess. I would rather just put it behind us and let the boys play over here. Crazy world we live in isn't it?
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:27 AM   #51
 
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Oh my, yes.

Sounds like a troubled family.
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Old 09-26-2009, 06:56 PM   #52
 
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It sounds like the situation has gotten totally out of control and become absurd.

They should have locked the door but your son/friend shouldn't have entered the house without permission.Them doing so has cost your neighbour money. You should have offered to pay the fee upfront but they shouldn't have been petty enough to accept it.

This should have been an amusing story not a legal matter or incident that ruins the relationship.
I disagree. It became their responsibility when they installed the alarm to assume the charges of false alarms. Thats part of the package.

They are likely annoyed because their OWN kids have set it off a million times and its becoming expensive. TFB - its the cost of doing business. Its up to them to see to it that its on or off as needed.

Maybe they should put up a sign by the bell: "WARNING! THIS HOUSE IS ALARMED. IF YOU SET OFF THE ALARM WITHOUT THE INTENT TO STEAL SOMETHING YOU WILL INCUR A 12.50 ENTRANCE FEE" Better yet, maybe they should just take credit card numbers upfront, like some hotels do.

So, the kids opened their friends front door? Big deal. AND we are talking about 12.50. And you know what? I bet if they had asked nicely and sheepishly or even just hinted, OP would have OFFERED to pay it.

I say NO- they are being bullies. Go the charity donation route - makes them look bad. In fact, give the donation to whatever church/temple they attend regularly
LOL I like the alarm idea and I totally agree it is their responsibility to do simple things like lock their door to prevent people from entering their house. But I still think that an unlocked door doesn't mean enter at will. The boys were wrong in doing so and should be taught not to enter other people's houses even if the doors are unlocked.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #53
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Pay the fine & then tell them to go frig themselves...
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:06 PM   #54
 
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pay it and tell them to sod off. i mean really! but im sorry with people that nasty, if her house REALLY was broken into, i hope she doesn't expect the neighbors to come and help her or call the police. sometimes it pays not to be nasty. especially with your neighbors.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:27 PM   #55
 
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im not getting all the hostility towards this family. Its their choice to leave their door unlocked its their property. The kids shouldnt have opened the door period. If they dont yet know to knock and wait and if no one comes then leave, then they need to be supervised when they go visiting.

Pheonix had a very good point. You dont know their financial situation and even if they werent strapped. its still your and the others mother's responsibility to pay the fee.
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Old 09-26-2009, 07:54 PM   #56
 
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I'd pay them the $12.50...in pennies.
RCW: I love the way you think!! This is something my DH and I would have said at the same time!

OP: I would pay the fee and move on.
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Old 09-26-2009, 09:45 PM   #57
 
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I love ya PI, but IMO, you and your hubby are being petty. It's none of your biz about why this lady would have her door unlocked, but the alarm on. It's her house, she can do as she pleases. Or like others have said, maybe it was an accident, maybe one of her kids unlocked it. Had the alarm not sounded, maybe your son would have seen her having sex, or worse, maybe your son would have hurt himself accidently by playing with a firearm that they didn't have locked up. Maybe (even if they didn't have an alarm), your son could have been attacked by their dog, or, maybe their dog could have ran outside and still be missing. Your son was wrong. You owe them the measly 12 bux for their hearts beating 150 BPM after hearing the alarm sound, seeing the door wide open...etc. No excuses. If your son didn't know better, than he should not be unsupervised.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:21 PM   #58
 
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The problem is that the 8 year old is old enough to understand that going into someone's house uninvited is not something they should do.

The 6 year old, on the other hand, isn't old enough to understand that full concept yet. My neighbors son would be out back playing in his yard and would have to use the potty. He liked my house's bathroom better then his, for whatever reason, and he'd just bust in the backdoor of my house, use the potty, then walk right back out....completely unaware that we were standing there watching him.

If the adult or older child is there...it's their responsibility to stop the 6 year old when a motion towards opening was going to happen.....but a 6 year old is not going to remember that everytime on their own accord.

I'm also around 100 kindergartners all the time and trust me when I say certain things are out of their scope and need to be repeated on a daily basis.
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Old 09-26-2009, 10:36 PM   #59
 
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Old 09-26-2009, 11:25 PM   #60
 
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