Visitor Question

Mental Anguish from Being Falsely Accused of Trespassing

Submitted By: Gary (Oceanside, California)

I was accused of committing a crime (trespassing) by someone that then called police. This, even after it was already established by him (the doorman) that my visit to the building I was at was legitimate, and that I was indeed awaiting a taxi that was called for me.

I was outside the building the entire time I awaited the cab. The doorman knew who I was there to see, and even verified said visit. He still called the police. I remained sitting in the same spot I began at 45 minutes earlier. A half hour later, three cops showed up. So, my cab still has not appeared, even after one and a quarter hours.

It is 2:45PM.

The police subsequently also accused me of trespassing. They asked me why I didn’t leave, and I told them that I was waiting for a cab.

They said I should go wait somewhere else, and I asked them how often they call a cab to an address and then go wait for it elsewhere.

Then, a cab showed up, and they took me out of the car (they had me in cuffs in the back seat) and said “Here, we called you a cab.”

And I said immediately “Are you paying him the $100 for the trip?”

And the cop laughed at me.

I said “Well, he isn’t going to take me anywhere for free, and I do not have $100 to pay your cabbie.”

The cop could not understand the fact that my cab was being paid for by others. So they sent that cab off, and then they CLAIMED to call my cab company and re-initiate the cab trip I originally had coming.

They then said “Well, you’re trespassing.”

They then FORCED me to leave the property and go wait next door on a property I had no right to be on, and commit the crimes they claimed I had committed next door at the place I was at with a legitimate reason. It was a Psych doctor. His receptionist called the cab at 1:15PM. After being severely harassed, I waited next door until about 4:45 PM. Finally I gave up and went up to the sports bar and called a cab.

I did not step across my threshold until 8:15 that evening. The doorman of the building was fully aware of my legitimate presence and had no call to come out and ‘declare’ me to be a trespasser.

I want damages for the mental anguish, and for the subsequent ‘sway’ the events had on the doctor I was there to see.

I would add that I was never cited for any of these claimed crimes (trespassing and loitering), and the doctor’s evaluation of me was severely convoluted by the “history of events” he retrieved from whatever non-credible source(s) he got the information from.

All this merely from waiting for a taxi. I’m just wondering if there is anything I can do to pursue compensation for the mental anguish this has all caused me. Thanks for any help you can give.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Gary,

Unfortunately this sounds like an odd turn of events for which there is likely no liability.

For one, during the entire turn of events, it does not appear that the individual you were legitimately there to see was ever available or present to question.

This may have resolved the entire situation much quicker than what you have described. At that point, the police and/or the doorman would have realized that it was a terrible misunderstanding. This however, did not occur.

There is a theory in the law called mitigation.

It requires people to help themselves in situations such as this and thereby, mitigate the damages of a third party. Here, you might have mitigated any alleged damages by having the person you were visiting clear things up, yet this did not happen.

Secondly, the only way that a mental anguish cause of action can arise is if the conduct of another is SO egregious as to cause the average reasonable person distress. I’m not so certain that the facts as described met this burden. Unfortunately, you may have to simply learn from this situation and do your best to avoid this happening again as it does not appear that there is any liability.

Learn more here: Liability for Defamation of Character

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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