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#2414022 - Wed Oct 26 2011 07:36 AM Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws
Bluetick Offline
Stopped counting

Registered: Fri Oct 31 2003
Posts: 23971
Loc: Franklin County
There is a bill in the senate to allow a WCO to cite for trespass on contact where there is no game violation. Currently, to cite a WCO needs to find a game code violation to cite for trespass.

My contention is that the legislature needs to undertake a comprehensive review and revision of all trespass laws in Pennsylvania. Bring them all under one title, and ensure that fines and penalties are consistent. It would also enable them to address the current realities landowners face.


Currently the trespass laws are scattered across the PA Code. The fines and penalties are a mish mash of this and that and are not consistent in most cases.

Beyond trespass where hunting or fishing are the activities at hand, we have an ATV issue, hiker issue, biking issue, horse issue, hiking issue and a lot more. Then there are the issues more common in the suburban / urban areas.


Again, why not visit all the statutes, put them under one heading and cross reference them to the other sections? While at it, why not put in some language to address the relaity of the situation and the real problems being faced by landowners?



///// This is a compilation of a project i have had for some time. So If you see Pennsylvania mentioned below - or PA 18 somewhere, most likely it was put in by me as an example.

Just a FYI ////




For instance, other states have language stating the following:

Refusal to provide identifying information to the land owner or other authorized person upon demand shall increase the fines imposed by one and one half times.

Fleeing or eluding landowner, other authorized persons, or law enforcement, by any means, shall increase grading by one step.




Trespass with ATV or snowmobile
1. ATV or snowmobile trespass is the entering or remaining on anotherís land, without permission or privilege, regardless of notice prescribed by law, and is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine of up to $500 and jail time of up to 30 days for the first offense.

2. A second trespass conviction, without regard for offense location within the Commonwealth, is a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by a fine of $1000 and jail time of up to 30 days.

3. A Third trespass conviction, without regard for offense location within the Commonwealth, is a misdemeanor of the first degree punishable by a fine of $2500 and jail time of 45 days. The court shall also impound the registration and license plate of the vehicle for at least 120 days one year following completion of sentence.


Parental ATV or snowmobile responsibility

The juvenal trespasserís parent or guardian and the vehicle owner with civil liability are responsible for any damages caused by a juvenal trespasser under 18 who uses a recreational motor vehicle and are liable for all fines imposed in 1, 2, 3 above.



The offending juvenile

(a) For the first offense shall be offered ARD, or public service of up to thirty days.

(b) For the second offense, public service of 45 days, and a restriction on obtaining or suspension of driving privileges for six months.

(c) A third or subsequent offense doubles any driving license restriction or suspension in effect from (2) (b) and two points on any existing driving license. In the absence of any restrictions or suspension, a one year restriction on obtaining a drivers license or one year suspension of driving privileges and two points on any existing driving license.[/i]



More controversial things other states have:



A person who knowingly propels or causes to be propelled any potentially lethal projectile over or across private land without authorization also commits trespass. A potentially lethal projectile includes any projectile launched from any firearm, bow, crossbow or similar tensile device. An offense is a summary of the third degree.
Trespassing is permitted by unarmed licensed hunters in order to pursue a wounded game bird or animal, except that if the owner of the land instructs the hunter to leave, the hunter must leave immediately. The most direct route into and off the property shall be observed. Any person who fails to leave such land when instructed is subject to the provisions of .........: Simple Trespass.

A person other than a person possessing a firearm may, unless previously prohibited in writing or orally by the property owner, enter on foot upon the property of another person for the sole purpose of retrieving a hunting dog. The person shall not remain on the property beyond the reasonable time necessary to retrieve the dog



Loss of civil complaint


1. Injury occurring during trespass removes legal recourse from the trespasser to collect any damages from the landowner or designated agent.
2. Trespass shall be universal in meaning for any activity including hunting and trapping.
3. The immunity from unlawful trespass is lost to the landowner or lawful agent in the event of the use of devices or methods designed to harm, immobilize, or cause monetary damage to person, equipment or machine, or any device or method reasonably expected to cause harm or damage to prevent trespass


Posting in a manner prescribed by law


(1) It is recognized that all land in ......, other than that owned by the state or itís agencies, are private property.

(2) Reasonable and obvious notice is required by landowner or authorized person to prosecute under 18 Pa. C.S. ß3503 as defined.
a. Reasonable and obvious are defined as:
(1) Verbal order of landowner or authorized person to leave property.

(2) Properly served, or letter by certified mail with return reciept, stating actor(s) are not to enter onto property for any, or specific, activity.

(3) Posting upon treeís, posts, or other fixtures to the property signs advertising that trespass is not allowed.

(4)
(a) Signs not required to be of any fixed size.

(b) Signs not required to have landowner or authorized persons contact information.

(c) Signs shall be of a color and size that make them noticable in all seasons.

(d) Signs shall be located in a manner that an observer should be able to see signs to his left and right when standing between signs from a reasonable distance to the front of the signs.


(e) Landowner or authorized person has no requirement to provide written permission to any person (s) so authorized entry onto posted land though the practice is encouraged

(f) Landowner or authorized person retains absolute authority to order those with permission off the property at any time and the right to bring charges for those so refusing the order.

(5) The use of bright blue oil base paint on trees to mark property boundaries. The paint mark must be a vertical mark at least 2 inches wide and at least 8 inches in length. The mark must be at least 3 feet from the ground but no more than 6 feet high. An observer should be able to see marks to his left and right when standing between marked trees from a reasonable distance to the front of the signs.

(5) Signage or paint marks advertising against trespass shall be universal in meaning for any activity including hunting and trapping.
_________________________
Is your position a short term gain - or a long term loss?

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#2414065 - Wed Oct 26 2011 08:14 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: Bluetick]
zimmerstutzen Offline
The man

Registered: Fri Oct 19 2001
Posts: 9728
Loc: lancaster
Well you left out motor vehicle trespassing, airplane trespassing, and I keep hearing, but have never seen, that there is a special railroad trespassing law.
Being able to see a sign to the left and to the right, isn't always possible when approaching a corner.

We have an Equine activities immunity law in pa. The landowner posts a sign that pretty much says "Hey stupid, horses can be dangerous" and any adult entering the property who is injured by a horse is barred from suing the landowner, stable operator etc., unless someone intentionally injures the person.

A trespassing sign should be exactly the same as that equine sign. Anyone who enters onto, under or over, should be barred from suing for any injury except those that may be intentionally caused by the landowner or tenant.

Giving a landowner the right to revoke permission and throw folks off immediately. Does that apply to tenants who pay rent? I would agree that tenants who are 45 days behind on rent should be expelled as trespassers.

I agree that the trespass laws need to be strengthened and made a bit more clear.

Several states particularly those out west have very simple statutes. Any entry onto property without permission of the owner/tenant or another legal right to do so, is a misdemeanor punishable by fine of $500 and up to 6 months in jail. No ifs or buts.

If somebody wants to permit hunting fishing, birdwatching, dog walking, etc, let them post their property that it is open for such use.

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#2414095 - Wed Oct 26 2011 08:32 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: zimmerstutzen]
JB#24 Online   content
old hand

Registered: Tue Feb 26 2008
Posts: 736
Loc: pa
 Originally Posted By: zimmerstutzen
Well you left out motor vehicle trespassing, airplane trespassing, and I keep hearing, but have never seen, that there is a special railroad trespassing law.
Being able to see a sign to the left and to the right, isn't always possible when approaching a corner.

We have an Equine activities immunity law in pa. The landowner posts a sign that pretty much says "Hey stupid, horses can be dangerous" and any adult entering the property who is injured by a horse is barred from suing the landowner, stable operator etc., unless someone intentionally injures the person.

A trespassing sign should be exactly the same as that equine sign. Anyone who enters onto, under or over, should be barred from suing for any injury except those that may be intentionally caused by the landowner or tenant.

Giving a landowner the right to revoke permission and throw folks off immediately. Does that apply to tenants who pay rent? I would agree that tenants who are 45 days behind on rent should be expelled as trespassers.

I agree that the trespass laws need to be strengthened and made a bit more clear.

Several states particularly those out west have very simple statutes. Any entry onto property without permission of the owner/tenant or another legal right to do so, is a misdemeanor punishable by fine of $500 and up to 6 months in jail. No ifs or buts.
If somebody wants to permit hunting fishing, birdwatching, dog walking, etc, let them post their property that it is open for such use.



I like this just like in Illinois. It is the hunters responsibility to know boundaries and who owns the land you are on. Does not have to be posted or anything. Wow, Imagine that one having to do a little work before you go out and just hunt where ever you want. People that do not own land will not understand how much of pain some people can be that have "no" respect for others private property.

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#2414126 - Wed Oct 26 2011 08:53 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: Bluetick]
Fleroo Offline
The man

Registered: Thu Jan 16 2003
Posts: 11790
Loc: 2A-Wash. Co.
Trespassing is not cut -n- dried in all cases. I'm a landowner that deals with ALL KINDS of trespassing.

Ex.
Bertha owns 280 acres of a once family farm. Joe, her brother that hates everything (he even hates puppy's), has an adjoining 20 acres from the once family farm. Bertha loves hunting, horses, and life. Bertha gives two teens permission to hunt the 280 acres. One of the teens is leaning against a large Oak tree hunting Squirrel. It's windy, and his hat blows 30 feet away ON JOE'S PROPERTY. Like any other person would, the teen retrieves his hat. You guessed it. Hateful Joe pops out from behind a tree with a camera and a mouthful of choice words for the young Squirrel hunter. Ma and Pa receive a certified letter to appear in court. \:\/

How bout Bertha giving the teens permission to ride quads on her 280 acres. Bertha loves the sound of 2-stroke engines in the morning. The same two teens are out leisurely riding one morning, and one of em turns around at an Apple tree. You guessed it again. That Apple tree is a prperty boundary, and there again waits Joe with his camera and same mouthful of naughty words. Again, ma and pa get the certified letter in the mail. If I'm not mistaken, under your scenario, ma and pa are facing this.

 Quote:
1. ATV or snowmobile trespass is the entering or remaining on anotherís land, without permission or privilege, regardless of notice prescribed by law, and is a misdemeanor of the third degree punishable by a fine of up to $500 and jail time of up to 30 days for the first offense.


REALLY ? Once written to law, the courts can't "take into account" certain situation based on who, what, where, when there is irrefutable evidence of trespass. So if despicable Joe pursues it hard, a judge can certainly, within the law, send the teens pa to the klink for 30 days.

Trespass ENFORCEMENT needs to be tightened up in many cases, but watch what you wish for. I'm a landowner that deals with it consistently, but I'm not a "Joe".
_________________________
2A-Wash. Co.

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#2414151 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:03 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: Fleroo]
John S Offline
Stopped counting

Registered: Tue Jul 25 2000
Posts: 38864
Loc: Lancaster,PA,Lancaster
Actually, the courts take circumstances into consideration every day and modify penalties accordingly and in some cases, they waive the penalty and or order conditions that expunge the record of individuals. In addition, Juvenile court is an entirely different animal that is designed to be lenient to youthful offenders. The odds of a teen under 18 without a lengthy juvenile record spending any time in detention for trespass on land are so small that it is not even worthy of concern. I wouldn't worry too much about excessive penalties being applied by the court.
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Life is short, Eat dessert first!

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#2414161 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:08 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: John S]
Fleroo Offline
The man

Registered: Thu Jan 16 2003
Posts: 11790
Loc: 2A-Wash. Co.
They can take into account each situation regarding leniency, but in the hypothetical case described, it is indeed vehicular trespassing.... Joe even caught it on camera. \:\/

Let me put it another way. The judge is Joe's drinkin buddy, and hates ATV's as much as Joe. He has the choice to NOT provide leniency under the proposal. Then what appeal ? How much are ma and pa gonna have to pay for a boy simply turning around on the wrong side of an Apple tree ?


Edited by Fleroo (Wed Oct 26 2011 09:12 AM)
_________________________
2A-Wash. Co.

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#2414162 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:10 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: Fleroo]
John S Offline
Stopped counting

Registered: Tue Jul 25 2000
Posts: 38864
Loc: Lancaster,PA,Lancaster
Again, the juvenile justice system is an entirely different animal and if anything the court bends over backwards to avoid meaningful punishment to juvenile offenders. Your concerns are way, way over blown and really a stretch. Worrying about Hypothetical situations is what causes no action to be taken on a problem. The world is full of people who can't get off dead center because they spend all their time worrying about the bad what ifs instead of the good what ifs. To you amendmant to your last post: Come on, now, it is getting ridiculous.
_________________________
Life is short, Eat dessert first!

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#2414182 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:18 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: John S]
Fleroo Offline
The man

Registered: Thu Jan 16 2003
Posts: 11790
Loc: 2A-Wash. Co.
John, as written by Bluetick.

 Quote:
Parental ATV or snowmobile responsibility

The juvenal trespasserís parent or guardian and the vehicle owner with civil liability are responsible for any damages caused by a juvenal trespasser under 18 who uses a recreational motor vehicle and are liable for all fines imposed in 1, 2, 3 above.


I'm simply responding to HIS proposed penalties. HIS proposed penalty is putting the penalty squarely on the parents..... not a juvie going thorugh the justice system.

Is my scenario outlandish and far-fetched ? Well, no. If the door is open for Joe's of the world, you think it won't be taken advantage of ? My thoughts are... watch how you open that door. \:\/
_________________________
2A-Wash. Co.

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#2414187 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:21 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: Fleroo]
John S Offline
Stopped counting

Registered: Tue Jul 25 2000
Posts: 38864
Loc: Lancaster,PA,Lancaster
If we all sat around and worried about opening doors, we would never leave our homes.
_________________________
Life is short, Eat dessert first!

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#2414230 - Wed Oct 26 2011 09:39 AM Re: Is It Time To Revise ALL Trespass Laws [Re: John S]
Fleroo Offline
The man

Registered: Thu Jan 16 2003
Posts: 11790
Loc: 2A-Wash. Co.
 Quote:
If we all sat around and worried about opening doors, we would never leave our homes.


Catchy. New sig. line perhaps ?
_________________________
2A-Wash. Co.

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