Senate File 449 - Introduced SENATE FILE 449 BY COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY (SUCCESSOR TO SF 288) A BILL FOR An Act relating to purple marks or caps on top of trees or 1 posts to indicate that unlawful entry constitutes criminal 2 trespass and making penalties applicable. 3 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA: 4 TLSB 1113SV (1) 88 asf/jh
S.F. 449 Section 1. Section 716.7, subsection 2, paragraph a, 1 subparagraph (2), Code 2019, is amended by adding the following 2 new subparagraph division: 3 NEW SUBPARAGRAPH DIVISION . (c) (i) Identifying purple 4 marks or caps have been placed on trees or posts around the 5 area where entry is forbidden. Each purple mark must be either 6 of the following: 7 (A) A vertical line on a tree of at least eight inches in 8 length and the bottom of the mark must be no less than three 9 feet and no more than five feet above the ground. Such marks 10 must be placed no more than one hundred feet apart and must be 11 readily visible to any person approaching the property. 12 (B) A fence post capped or otherwise marked on at least the 13 post’s top two inches. The bottom of the cap or mark must be 14 no less than three feet and no more than five feet, six inches 15 above the ground. Posts so capped or marked must be placed no 16 more than thirty-six feet apart and must be readily visible 17 to any person approaching the property. Prior to applying 18 a cap or mark which is visible from and could reasonably be 19 construed to apply to property on both sides of a fence shared 20 by different property owners, lessees, or others in lawful 21 possession, all such owners, lessees, or others in lawful 22 possession shall concur in the decision to apply a cap or mark 23 to the fence. 24 (ii) (A) This subparagraph division (c) shall not be 25 construed to authorize an owner, lessee, or other person in 26 lawful possession of any property to place any purple marks or 27 caps on any tree or post or to install any post or fence if 28 doing so would violate any applicable law, rule, ordinance, 29 order, covenant, bylaw, declaration, regulation, restriction, 30 or instrument. 31 (B) This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to real 32 property located in a city with a population of more than sixty 33 thousand. 34 (C) This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to the 35 -1- LSB 1113SV (1) 88 asf/jh 1/ 4
S.F. 449 persons described in section 716.7, subsection 3. 1 (D) This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to public 2 utility property. 3 (E) Prior to July 1, 2020, notice provided by the method 4 described in this subparagraph division (c) is not valid or 5 enforceable. This subparagraph part is repealed July 1, 2024. 6 Sec. 2. DISSEMINATION OF INFORMATION REGARDING MARKING 7 PROCEDURES. The departments of agriculture and land 8 stewardship and natural resources shall conduct an information 9 campaign for the public concerning the implementation and 10 interpretation of section 716.7, subsection 2, paragraph 11 “a”, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (c). The 12 information provided shall inform the public about the 13 marking requirements, including information regarding the 14 size requirements of the markings as well as the manner 15 in which the markings must be placed. The departments of 16 agriculture and land stewardship and natural resources shall 17 also include information in the campaign that, prior to 18 July 1, 2020, any owner, lessee, or other person in lawful 19 possession who chooses to place purple markings or caps on 20 such person’s property, must comply with one of the other 21 notice requirements listed in section 716.7, subsection 2, 22 paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), to meet the definition of 23 trespass. The departments of agriculture and land stewardship 24 and natural resources may prepare a brochure, disseminate the 25 information through agency internet sites, or collaborate with 26 nongovernmental organizations to assist in the dissemination 27 of the information. 28 EXPLANATION 29 The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with 30 the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly. 31 This bill relates to notice that entry in or on property is 32 trespassing. 33 Under current law, criminal trespass includes entering or 34 remaining upon or in property without justification after being 35 -2- LSB 1113SV (1) 88 asf/jh 2/ 4
S.F. 449 notified or requested to abstain from entering or to vacate 1 the property. Current notification methods include personal 2 notice, orally or in writing, and posting a printed or written 3 notice. 4 The bill establishes a new method for property owners, 5 lessees, and other lawful possessors to provide notice 6 that entry onto the property without permission constitutes 7 criminal trespass. Specifically, proposed new Code section 8 716.7(2)(a)(2)(c) indicates that purple marks or caps on trees 9 or posts around an area serves as notice that entry without 10 permission into that area constitutes criminal trespass. This 11 new method of notification of trespass is an independent 12 alternative to preexisting, codified methods of notification 13 in Code section 716.7(2)(a)(2). 14 The bill does not apply to certain employees entering onto 15 property to perform certain work. The persons defined in Code 16 section 716.7(3) do not commit trespass when they enter upon 17 such property to perform defined work. 18 The bill specifies the size requirements of the marks and 19 caps and when they may be used. Marks and caps shall not be 20 used and posts shall not be installed if doing so would violate 21 any law or lawful agreement. Additionally, this method shall 22 not be used in a city with a population greater than 60,000 or 23 on public utility property. 24 The marks on trees must consist of at least an eight-inch 25 vertical line that is above the ground at between three feet 26 and five feet. Additionally, the marks must be no more than 27 100 feet apart and they must be readily visible to a person 28 approaching the property. 29 Purple caps on fence posts must meet the following 30 requirements. The fence posts must be no more than 36 feet 31 apart and readily visible to a person approaching the property. 32 The cap or mark must be on the top two inches of the post. The 33 bottom of the cap must be between three feet and five feet, 34 six inches above the ground. Before putting a cap or mark on 35 -3- LSB 1113SV (1) 88 asf/jh 3/ 4
S.F. 449 a post that is visible from both sides and could reasonably 1 be construed to apply to property where another side is on 2 property that is owned, leased, or lawfully possessed by 3 someone else, the property owner must obtain agreement by that 4 other person. 5 The new method of providing notification applies on July 6 1, 2020. Prior to that date, property owners must use the 7 methods currently provided for in the Code to place potential 8 trespassers on notice. 9 Prior to the applicability date of the purple marking notice 10 method, the departments of agriculture and land stewardship 11 and natural resources shall conduct an information campaign on 12 the method, how it is defined in the Code, and how it is to 13 be interpreted and implemented. The departments may prepare 14 a brochure, place information on agency internet sites, or 15 collaborate with nongovernmental organizations to disseminate 16 the information. 17 The different levels of penalties provided for trespass 18 that are set forth in Code sections 716.8, 481A.134, and 19 481A.135 are applicable to a trespass committed pursuant to the 20 provisions of the bill. 21 -4- LSB 1113SV (1) 88 asf/jh 4/ 4