The Pokémon Go craze is causing lots of nuisances, with people ending up in private residences or getting injured. If a Pokémon Go player wandered onto your property, you might be tempted to sue them for trespassing. However, it's good to know the kind of proof the courts will require from you before instigating such a lawsuit. Here are the two tests needed to prove a trespass on your property:
The Entry Was Unlawful
The first thing you need to prove is that the Pokémon Go player did not have your permission to enter your property; trespassing basically means unlawful entry onto a property. As the plaintiff, the burden of proof is on you to prove that you did not give the person permission to enter your property. The player doesn't have to use force for the entry to be unlawful.
It is the rare Pokémon player that stops and asks for permission before entering a private residence. Also, the player may not be able to use the defense of implied consent if your compound is fenced or when you have a "no trespassing" sign on your property's boundary.
The Person Intended To Enter Your Property
The second thing you will need to prove is that the Pokémon Go player entered your property intentionally. You don't have to prove that they intended to commit a criminal act or to trespass; you just need to show that the entry wasn't accidental and they could have prevented it. For example, a motorist isn't guilty of trespassing if they lose control of their car after their steering fails, causing them to end up in your front yard. In that case, the driver clearly did not intend to enter your property.
Contrast that with an example of a Pokémon Go player who is so intent on playing that they stop paying attention to the real world. If the player pushes on your gate and tramples on your freshly-grown lawn, then you can accuse them of trespassing because their entry was intentional (the player could have stopped if they so wished).
If you can prove the trespassing charge, then the defendant is liable for all your damages, such as damaged lawn, broken flower pots, or any other kind of damage. Note that you may only receive nominal compensation if the Pokémon Go player that trespassed on your property did not cause any harm other than unlawfully entering your property.
For more information, contact a real estate attorney, like one from Souders Law Group.