You are currently viewing In California, can a guard remove you from a bar?

You met me at a very strange time in my life.

Fight Club

Can a guard remove you from a bar?

The short answer is no, generally speaking. Here’s why.

Private security guards are not police. Don’t forget that. They are employees of a private business open to the public. They are not police.

Security guards are there to prevent, observe, and report. In that sense, security guards have no greater right than you to perform a civilian’s arrest. If they perform a civilian’s arrest, security guards must use reasonable force. Otherwise, a security guard should not touch anyone, unless the guard is trying to protect a person, the employer’s property, or act in self-defense. If they do touch someone, they may have committed an assault or battery, a civil and criminal wrong.

Because a bar is private property, however, you have no right to be there. If bar management tells you to leave and you don’t, arguably you’re trespassing. At that point, a security guard should call the police. But he or she may argue that you were a danger to others and had to be physically removed before the police could arrive. That scenario, however, should be rare. Most cases simply involve a security guard removing a person from a bar. Generally speaking, they are not supposed to do that.

There’s more to discuss, but this is a general introduction.

Have questions? Contact Me for a free consultation.

Evan Walker

Evan W. Walker is a La Jolla attorney who has practiced law since 2008. He has practiced law throughout California, Connecticut, and Louisiana.

Evan worked for and defended insurance companies during the first 7 years of his practice. Since 2015, he has represented people with personal injury and property damage claims and insurance disputes.

Evan’s practice is devoted to serious personal injury claims and catastrophic property damage claims. Areas of focus include security claims against bars and other businesses, government tort claims, fire and flood claims, and inverse condemnation. On behalf of clients, Evan has fought insurance firms, international companies, cities, bars, and casinos.

Evan regularly shares his expertise with other attorneys by teaching courses on insurance and inverse condemnation. He has taught several continuing legal education courses to Attorney Credits, a nationwide CLE company, and ProLawCLE, another nationwide CLE company. He also contributes to various podcasts and publications.


  • Member, State Bar of California
  • Member, San Diego Bar Association
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of California
  • Member, Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
  • Member, La Jolla Bar Association
  • Member, La Jolla Village Merchants Association
  • Member, San Diego Chamber of Commerce