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Castle Doctrine in an apartment?

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by ChrisMJX, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. ChrisMJX


    Sep 20, 2010
    I tried to do a search on the forums to answer this but I didn't find anything, so I apologize if it's already been answered elsewhere:

    I live in an apartment in Colorado, and this apartment is in a neighborhood with some questionable characters roaming the area at all hours. I also saw what I thought was a repo going down yesterday, I mean they had a tow truck and tools, but its that kind of neighborhood so...

    Does anyone know or can anyone point me to a resource that could tell me how the Castle Doctrine in Colorado applies to residents in an apartment? I mean, I assume if someone forces their way in my front door then I would be legally justified in the use of deadly force, should the situation demand it, correct? FYI...I keep my mag loaded with 3 frangibles, then hollow points. I figure if I need to fire more than 3 times to make my point, well...

    I'm maybe more interested in what the law says about protecting property in an apartment complex that is outside of my apartment, i.e. my truck parked in the spaces in front of my building. If I were to spot someone breaking in or just generally f*cking with my truck in a criminal way, does Castle Doctrine in Colorado allow for the use of deadly force in that situation, should the situation demand it? What if I had to go out there and hold one of these people at gunpoint until the cops could come take care of the situation?

    *Please do me and everyone else who reads this thread a favor and only respond if you're knowledgeable or have something useful to add; bad information getting passed around can result in otherwise innocent people being charged with gun crimes!
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    I'm glad you asked before anything happened.

    Chris, the true "Castle Doctrine" principle strictly applies only when attacked in your home by intruders who have no right to be there. It does NOT apply to people who are "f*cking with (your) truck" outside. A fundamental principle of law in this country, like it or not, is that human life is of much greater value than what the courts call "mere property."

    You ask in underlined Italics, double emphasis, to be pointed to an authoritative resource for Colorado. That would be the Colorado state attorney general's office. Such offices will generally answer such questions, though I would respectfully suggest that you leave the "f*cking with my truck" part out of your query, or at least rephrase it appropriately.

    The parking lot of an apartment building is questionable as to fitting the definition of curtilage, as in "house and curtilage," the typical definition of a home. At attached garage or carport might fit the definition of "curtilage"; a quasi-public parking lot, very likely not. In other words, it's not, strictly speaking, the "Castle" of "Castle Doctrine" anymore.

    Chris, you seem to be asking for a consensus here. You have, perhaps accidentally, posted in the GATE forum here at GT, where only the questioner and the designated "answerer" get to post. For a more general discussion in the true forum sense, you want to post in the tactics section.

    The short answer, however, is: "No, you can't use deadly force because people outside are 'f*cking with your truck.'"


  3. ChrisMJX


    Sep 20, 2010
    Ha ha, yeah the "f*cking with my truck" comment was probably out of line, and was really a more emotional response to some recent break-ins around here than was probably appropriate, but I'm sure you can understand.

    I suppose I did post in the wrong part of the forums; sorry about that, I'm still pretty new to the forums and learning the ways...

    Thank you VERY much for pointing me to the Attorney General's office for more info! I guess I should have thought of that, but that's why I really appreciate the GT community resource.

    Thanks again Mas!

    *edit: Of course human life is always more valuable than property, as it is correctly considered to be under U.S. law, and I believe this is and should be a universal value held by all of humanity, even though circumstances and individuals obviously stray from this broadly stated principle. I certainly didn't mean to convey a casual attitude that it was not, and I want to apologize if anyone else reads it that way; it was not my intention. I am a gun owner, and like most gun owners, I sincerely hope that I never, EVER have to use my gun against another person, ever. I prefer shooting at targets and competing with my friends. Also, like most of the GT community, I realize we live in an imperfect world and humanity is flawed, but that line of discussion heads off into familiar territory and I will leave it there.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011