Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers.

Send questions for consideration to youasked@starherald.com or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.

Officers of the Scottsbluff Police Department would like to start out this week by saying thank you to the community. Every holiday season local police, fire, EMS, and dispatchers receive thank you cards and goodies from members of the public. This holiday season was exceptional. Not only the cards and treats but the amount of people who stopped in or stopped officers on the street simply just to say thank you was tremendous and appreciated. Please know that officers appreciate the support from the community.

I need to know what qualifies you as a resident of a home. My daughter allowed a friend to stay with her; it was supposed to be for a couple of weeks which turned in to about 5 months. The “friend” informed my daughter that my daughter was going to have to give her friend a 30-day notice of eviction. The “friend” pays no bills, has no mail delivered to the address. What options does my daughter have?

This is a great question regarding a potentially messy topic. There is a line here between the criminal element law enforcement can act on versus the civil aspect where law enforcement will be unable to intervene. Different departments also have different policies and procedures regarding this topic. This answer is specific to the Scottsbluff Police Department.

In the situation described above, the friend pays no bills and is truly just staying at the house; they would be considered a guest. An eviction is not required to remove a guest. If law enforcement were involved in this particular situation, the guest would be asked to leave the residence. If the guest refused to leave, they would be cited for trespassing.

There is also a lot of misinformation on whether or not someone has to be on a lease to be subject to protection under the landlord/tenant statutes. Let’s say you allow a friend to stay with you for a three-month period and they agree to pay half of the bills during the three months. The friend only pays for the first two months and then falls behind. In this situation, they would be considered a resident, not a guest. So if you asked them to leave and they refused, you would in fact have to go through the eviction process in order to have them removed.

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