Senate File 449 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1relating to purple marks or caps on top of trees or
2posts to indicate that unlawful entry constitutes criminal
3trespass and making penalties applicable.
1   Section 1.  Section 716.7, subsection 2, paragraph a,
2subparagraph (2), Code 2019, is amended by adding the following
3new subparagraph division:
4   NEW SUBPARAGRAPH DIVISION.  (c)  (i)  Identifying purple
5marks or caps have been placed on trees or posts around the
6area where entry is forbidden. Each purple mark must be either
7of the following:
   8(A)  A vertical line on a tree of at least eight inches in
9length and the bottom of the mark must be no less than three
10feet and no more than five feet above the ground. Such marks
11must be placed no more than one hundred feet apart and must be
12readily visible to any person approaching the property.
   13(B)  A fence post capped or otherwise marked on at least the
14post’s top two inches. The bottom of the cap or mark must be
15no less than three feet and no more than five feet, six inches
16above the ground. Posts so capped or marked must be placed no
17more than thirty-six feet apart and must be readily visible
18to any person approaching the property. Prior to applying
19a cap or mark which is visible from and could reasonably be
20construed to apply to property on both sides of a fence shared
21by different property owners, lessees, or others in lawful
22possession, all such owners, lessees, or others in lawful
23possession shall concur in the decision to apply a cap or mark
24to the fence.
   25(ii)  (A)  This subparagraph division (c) shall not be
26construed to authorize an owner, lessee, or other person in
27lawful possession of any property to place any purple marks or
28caps on any tree or post or to install any post or fence if
29doing so would violate any applicable law, rule, ordinance,
30order, covenant, bylaw, declaration, regulation, restriction,
31or instrument.
   32(B)  This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to real
33property located in a city with a population of more than sixty
   35(C)  This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to the
-1-1persons described in section 716.7, subsection 3.
   2(D)  This subparagraph division (c) does not apply to public
3utility property.
   4(E)  Prior to July 1, 2020, notice provided by the method
5described in this subparagraph division (c) is not valid or
6enforceable. This subparagraph part is repealed July 1, 2024.
  The departments of agriculture and land
9stewardship and natural resources shall conduct an information
10campaign for the public concerning the implementation and
11interpretation of section 716.7, subsection 2, paragraph
12“a”, subparagraph (2), subparagraph division (c). The
13information provided shall inform the public about the
14marking requirements, including information regarding the
15size requirements of the markings as well as the manner
16in which the markings must be placed. The departments of
17agriculture and land stewardship and natural resources shall
18also include information in the campaign that, prior to
19July 1, 2020, any owner, lessee, or other person in lawful
20possession who chooses to place purple markings or caps on
21such person’s property, must comply with one of the other
22notice requirements listed in section 716.7, subsection 2,
23paragraph “a”, subparagraph (2), to meet the definition of
24trespass. The departments of agriculture and land stewardship
25and natural resources may prepare a brochure, disseminate the
26information through agency internet sites, or collaborate with
27nongovernmental organizations to assist in the dissemination
28of the information.
30The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
31the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   32This bill relates to notice that entry in or on property is
   34Under current law, criminal trespass includes entering or
35remaining upon or in property without justification after being
-2-1notified or requested to abstain from entering or to vacate
2the property. Current notification methods include personal
3notice, orally or in writing, and posting a printed or written
   5The bill establishes a new method for property owners,
6lessees, and other lawful possessors to provide notice
7that entry onto the property without permission constitutes
8criminal trespass. Specifically, proposed new Code section
9716.7(2)(a)(2)(c) indicates that purple marks or caps on trees
10or posts around an area serves as notice that entry without
11permission into that area constitutes criminal trespass. This
12new method of notification of trespass is an independent
13alternative to preexisting, codified methods of notification
14in Code section 716.7(2)(a)(2).
   15 The bill does not apply to certain employees entering onto
16property to perform certain work. The persons defined in Code
17section 716.7(3) do not commit trespass when they enter upon
18such property to perform defined work.
   19The bill specifies the size requirements of the marks and
20caps and when they may be used. Marks and caps shall not be
21used and posts shall not be installed if doing so would violate
22any law or lawful agreement. Additionally, this method shall
23not be used in a city with a population greater than 60,000 or
24on public utility property.
   25The marks on trees must consist of at least an eight-inch
26vertical line that is above the ground at between three feet
27and five feet. Additionally, the marks must be no more than
28100 feet apart and they must be readily visible to a person
29approaching the property.
   30Purple caps on fence posts must meet the following
31requirements. The fence posts must be no more than 36 feet
32apart and readily visible to a person approaching the property.
33The cap or mark must be on the top two inches of the post. The
34bottom of the cap must be between three feet and five feet,
35six inches above the ground. Before putting a cap or mark on
-3-1a post that is visible from both sides and could reasonably
2be construed to apply to property where another side is on
3property that is owned, leased, or lawfully possessed by
4someone else, the property owner must obtain agreement by that
5other person.
   6The new method of providing notification applies on July
71, 2020. Prior to that date, property owners must use the
8methods currently provided for in the Code to place potential
9trespassers on notice.
   10Prior to the applicability date of the purple marking notice
11method, the departments of agriculture and land stewardship
12and natural resources shall conduct an information campaign on
13the method, how it is defined in the Code, and how it is to
14be interpreted and implemented. The departments may prepare
15a brochure, place information on agency internet sites, or
16collaborate with nongovernmental organizations to disseminate
17the information.
   18The different levels of penalties provided for trespass
19that are set forth in Code sections 716.8, 481A.134, and
20481A.135 are applicable to a trespass committed pursuant to the
21provisions of the bill.