forcible entry and detainer.

1. The act of violently taking and keeping possession of lands and tenements without legal authority. [Cases: Forcible Entry and Detainer 4.]

¡°To walk across another’s land, or to enter his building, without privilege, is a trespass, but this in itself, while a civil wrong, is not a crime. However, if an entry upon real estate is accomplished by violence or intimidation, or if such methods are employed for detention after a peaceable entry, there is a crime according to English law, known as forcible entry and detainer. This was a common-law offense in England, although supplemented by English statutes that are old enough to be common law in this country…. It has sometimes been said that there are two separate offenses ¡ª (1) forcible entry and (2) forcible detainer. This may be true under the peculiar wording of some particular statute, but in general it seems to be one offense which may be committed in two different ways.¡± Rollin M. Perkins & Ronald N. Boyce, Criminal Law 487¨C88 (3d ed. 1982).

2. A quick and simple legal proceeding for regaining possession of real property from someone who has wrongfully taken, or refused to surrender, possession.

¡ª Also termed forcible detainer. See EVICTION; EJECTMENT. [Cases: Forcible Entry and Detainer 6; Landlord and Tenant 287.]¡°Forcible entry and detainer is a remedy given by statute for the recovery of possession of land and of damages for its detention. It is entirely regulated by statute, and the statutes vary materially in the different states.¡± Benjamin J. Shipman, Handbook of Common-Law Pleading ¡ì 74, at 188 (Henry Winthrop Ballantine ed., 3d ed. 1923).

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