My vacation house has been squatted in. I was told that, the period of 48 hours having elapsed, I must initiate a legal proceeding. What does this time period of 48 hours correspond to?

The 48-hour period (to be counted from the effecting of entry by the squatters into the locations), which arises from the practice in judicial police matters, permits police officers to act “in the course of commission of offence”. This may involve either the offence of “home invasion” provided under Article 226-4 of the French Penal Code, which only concerns the “home” strictly speaking, i.e. the primary residence (in which case the 48 hours’ time period never expires because the home invasion offence punishes not only the effecting of entry into the premises but also the “continuance” in the premises), or the offence of vandalism and defacement of personal property, whether this involves a secondary residence in the broad sense, which is an instantaneous offence (such that the period of 48 hours expires after the commission of the infraction in actuality, and not from its observation). Learn more about squatted property.