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What can I do if an employee or group of employees (like security guards), employed by me, stop me from entering my own building?

They don't let me enter my own building.

Lets say I own a company that makes videogames and I have security guards at the doors. They suddenly stop me from entering the building saying another employee of mine ordered them, and I told them they are fired and they just laugh at me and don't let me enter my building.

Can I call the police; can the police do something about it? Do I have to prove I own that company?

I'm in Mexico but I'm pretty sure laws are similar in both countries.

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    "I'm in Mexico but I'm pretty sure laws are similar in both countries." Definitely not. Oct 12, 2016 at 4:22
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    Both countries? What is the second country? Oct 12, 2016 at 10:40
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    I think you're trying to solve the wrong problem. You need to see a mental health professional about your anxiety as it's clearly grown to an unhealthy level. The situation you describe is incredibly far fetched, and if it did happen the guards in question would end up fired and replaced (which is one reason why it wouldn't ever happen).
    – Tim B
    Oct 12, 2016 at 11:56
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    In addition to firing the security guards, you should fire the person who told the security guards to exclude you from the building.
    – phoog
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:43
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    An "owner" or investor has no special right to access the operations of an enterprise (how many shares of Lockheed Martin would a foreign agent need to demand access to an F-35 production site?) Even a landlord's access to a property they own and lease out can be constrained by the agreements in place. So on the face of things, there are some details missing in this narrative. Are you in some way also a manager, i.e. the chief executive, a sole proprietorship or a managing partner of a partnership?
    – user662852
    Oct 14, 2016 at 14:41

5 Answers 5

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There are numerous practical solutions, such as calling their supervisor, or calling the employee of yours who set up this arrangement, or providing some kind of proof that you are the ultimate boss. From a legal perspective, (1) the guards are acting as your agents which gives them some authority to exclude people but (2) you can revoke that authority. There are many things that security guards can do to keep people out, and some of them would be technically illegal (others would be blatantly illegal and we can skip that). I'll cite Washington state criminal law, and you can probably find analogs in Mexican law.

First, are they on your property? If you revoke permission to be in the property, that is trespass:

(9A.52.070: Criminal trespass in the first degree.)

(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.

(9A.52.080 Criminal trespass in the second degree.)

(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree.

How are they stopping you? If they are physically stopping you, that is assault (battery), the severity of which depends in the degree of force:

(9A.36.031: Assault in the third degree)

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the third degree if he or she, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first or second degree:

(d) With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm to another person by means of a weapon or other instrument or thing likely to produce bodily harm; or (f) With criminal negligence, causes bodily harm accompanied by substantial pain that extends for a period sufficient to cause considerable suffering; or

(9A.36.041: Assault in the fourth degree)

(1) A person is guilty of assault in the fourth degree if, under circumstances not amounting to assault in the first, second, or third degree, or custodial assault, he or she assaults another.

Another possibility is 9A.40.040 Unlawful imprisonment:

(1) A person is guilty of unlawful imprisonment if he or she knowingly restrains another person.

They don't have to actually use force, they can simply threaten to do so, which is

9A.36.070: Coercion.

(1) A person is guilty of coercion if by use of a threat he or she compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from, or to abstain from conduct which he or she has a legal right to engage in.

Though the police are supposed to enforce the law, they may decline to act if it us not clear to them that there is a violation of the law. It would not really help to prove that you own the company, because nobody really knows the relationship between the company and the building – maybe you own the company, someone else owns the building, and you've been legally evicted. So looking for a legal solution isn't the most productive use of your time. Instead, make sure you can contact the guard supervisors, company colleagues in charge of security, and carry your ID badge with you.

Let us suppose that the guard company, guards, and your security chief are conspiring to rob you. The long-term and slow solution is to get a court order plus sue the pants of everybody who has done you wrong. The crux of the matter for the police would be, who owns the building (what evidence do you have that you own the building). I could actually show the police proof that I own my house. If the crooked security chief shows up with a document saying that he owns the building, you'd be stuck. But otherwise, establishing ownership of the building should cause them to stop the guards from blocking you. Unless the cops are part of the conspiracy. There's nothing you can do to absolutely protect yourself against a well-planned conspiracy (they make movies based on that).

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  • lets say I contact their supervisors, I contact the employee who ordered them to not let me in. And I have my ID badge with me. They still dont let me in. How do I get the police to enforce the law?
    – Daahrien
    Oct 11, 2016 at 23:48
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    @Lestat - You can't get the police to enforce the law, even in the U.S. where corruption is relatively rare. The law can be painfully slow even in a perfect system. That's why people still resort to the use of force -- e.g., probably why you would hire security personnel in the first place. Maybe you could hire a second, stronger, independent security force to protect you in the event that your first security force turns on you? ;)
    – feetwet
    Oct 12, 2016 at 1:09
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – feetwet
    Feb 25, 2018 at 4:05
  • "First, are they on your property" - You haven't clarified the distinction between "on property of which the OP is the registered owner" and "on property belonging to a company which is majority (or wholly) owned by the OP". Aug 12, 2019 at 9:52
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You have security for a reason. That is to prevent unauthorised persons from entering the building.

It would be unreasonable to fire someone for preventing you, an apparently unauthorised person, from entering the building, because that is exactly their job.

This can apply even if the guards knew you personally, depending on the authorisation protocol in place. For example, if you informed your secretary that from tomorrow onwards, only people who present a staff badge may be permitted to enter, and you do not present a staff badge, then the guard is absolutely correct to deny your entry - ownership or not.

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  • I'm not an "apparently unauthorised person". I am the owner of the company. And I didn't inform my secretary about having to present a staff badge.
    – Daahrien
    Oct 11, 2016 at 23:38
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    When "authorised person" is defined by "person who presents a staff badge", and you don't present a badge, then no, you are not an authorised person.
    – user4657
    Oct 11, 2016 at 23:42
  • well I'm presenting a staff badge, they still dont let me in.
    – Daahrien
    Oct 11, 2016 at 23:42
  • Then you contact the security company and inform them of their staff's error, and get them to sort it out.
    – user4657
    Oct 11, 2016 at 23:45
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    There is no law being broken. This is entirely an issue of contract, so contact the security company and tell them to sort it out.
    – user4657
    Oct 12, 2016 at 0:05
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If we rule out the possibility of honest identity mistake (that is if you are sure they know you own the property), and we rule out the fact that their action does not constitute a legal protest (employees sometimes have the right to peaceful protest with regard to labour laws then we are left with legal technicalities. If they have permitted access to the property, which had not been revoked as at the time they committed the said act, you can't hold them in trespass. However, if their presence on the property which by the way is legal, amounts to any form of disturbance then we are looking at nuisance. If they resort to violence or unconscionable physical contact then we are looking at assault/battery. It all depends on the facts, all what has been said is mere legal hypothesis.

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  • This supposes that knowing the owner is the same as the petitioner-for-entry, overrides any obligation to prevent entry except on agreed terms, or that right-of-entry-by-dint-of-ownership is implicitly or explicitly an agreed term (either through contract or law). Neither of those things have yet been demonstrated, and I'm not sure that the first even could be.
    – user4657
    Oct 12, 2016 at 9:57
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Depending on the situation, a good solution might be to simply stop paying them. They'll have to eat and pay their rent and once it's clear they aren't getting wages standing around in your lobby, they'll start looking for other jobs.

Also, in some jurisdictions you can just have the police throw them out. Where I live the rule is that you have to point out where the door is three times. If they aren't leaving by then, the police will not just forcefully remove them, but also arrest them for trespass. But the law is different everywhere.

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    1. If the guards are paid by a company or agency, this opens the asker up to breach of contract. 2. If they are direct employees, refusing to pay them because they did their job is opening the asker to breach of contract and breach of employment law too. 3. As a police officer arriving on scene, who are you going to arrest: a security guard with legitimate reason to be there, or the ranty guy who's yelling to be let in, and whom the guards are instructing to leave? Hint: it's the ranty guy.
    – user4657
    Oct 12, 2016 at 10:03
  • I've already said twice what you can do, @lestat. Call the company and make then sort it out. There's no "in the wrong" about it, you just can't get into the building until you deal with it.
    – user4657
    Oct 13, 2016 at 19:17
  • @Nij if the security company is in breach of contract because it is not executing the instructions given to it, then withholding payment may not in fact be breach of contract. In the present hypothetical, the company seems to be following its instructions, but it wouldn't take much to modify the hypothetical ("depending on the situation") such that it does make sense to stop paying them. With the hypothetical as asked, it may be acceptable to withhold pay from the rogue employee as a disciplinary action (depending on labor laws and the employee's contract, of course).
    – phoog
    Oct 14, 2016 at 14:19
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Another scenario that would be perfectly reasonable for a guard to keep you out would be if the building as a whole required a certain level of government security clearance. Not all employees of a company have a security clearance. For many companies that work on government projects (such as military suppliers), I would guess that there are definitely secure secret areas that even the president, owner, board of directors, etc. would not be given access to carte blanche. The security guards/system would rightly use any force and methods necessary to protect these secret work areas.

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