Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #71
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Perhaps I missed some of this thread, but there is no requirement in PA for a "No Trespassing" sign to have the owner's name and/or address on it. There are a lot of folks who think you do. All that is required is that the signs be posted in a manner that a reasonable person would see them. I've seen some property owners post almost every tree and pole along the road or property line...that's overkill. In most cases one sign might be placed anywhere from 100' to 100 yds. apart. And yes, there are exceptions, due to terrain. It's best to ask your District Magistrate that will hear the complaint what he or she likes as far as sign placement is concerned.

    Also, direct communication by the owner, or his agent (neighbor, friend, other family member, employee, etc), a fence, or other barrier designed to exclude someone can also apply...but signs are best for prosecution.

  2. #72
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by rch105 View Post
    Perhaps I missed some of this thread, but there is no requirement in PA for a "No Trespassing" sign to have the owner's name and/or address on it. There are a lot of folks who think you do. All that is required is that the signs be posted in a manner that a reasonable person would see them. I've seen some property owners post almost every tree and pole along the road or property line...that's overkill. In most cases one sign might be placed anywhere from 100' to 100 yds. apart. And yes, there are exceptions, due to terrain. It's best to ask your District Magistrate that will hear the complaint what he or she likes as far as sign placement is concerned.
    Hi, I'm new here, but can you quote something that supports that?
    cause I disagree, and I'm gonna quote this:



    Pennsylvania's statute, 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. 3503 (West 2000), is
    based on the Model Penal Code's trespass provision, which does not
    specifically mention hunting but requires posting (or fencing or
    enclosing) to exclude all trespassers from land (posting is not
    required for buildings and occupied structures). See also infra notes
    \l "F88"- \l "F89"
    \l "B63"

    Pennsylvania courts generally hold that posting is required to exclude
    hunters. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Sweeley, 29 Pa. D. & C.4th 426, 433
    (C.P. 1995) ("Open lands that are not posted or fenced off are presumed
    open for recreational use by the public, especially in rural counties
    where hunting and outdoor activities are common."). Various secondary
    sources provide general insight about whether and when landowners must
    post to exclude hunters. The Model Penal Code's criminal trespass
    provision, on which Pennsylvania's trespass statute is based, \l "F88"
    requires landowners to post nonfenced land [*pg 565] (excluding
    buildings and occupied structures) to exclude any would-be trespassers,
    including hunters. \l "F89" The Restatement (Second) of Torts states
    that,

    [i]f. . . it is the custom in wooded or rural areas to permit the
    public to go hunting on private land . . . , anyone who goes hunting .
    . . may reasonably assume, in the absence of posted notice or other
    manifestation to the contrary, that there is the customary consent to
    his entry upon private land to hunt or fish." \l "F90"

    52 ("A license to hunt does not confer any right on the holder to go
    upon lands owned by another, or to enter the enclosure of another,
    without his permission. In the case of unenclosed land, however, the
    right has sometimes been conferred by immemorial usage or by
    constitutional provision." (footnotes omitted)).

    CONCLUSION:

    Twenty-nine states currently require private landowners to post their
    land to exclude hunters, twenty-seven of these states by statute. The
    posting statutes were an outgrowth of the American desire to ensure
    that hunting was available to everyone, not just the rich and landed.
    The statutes vary widely in their particulars, but the core idea behind
    them -- that landowners must take often onerous steps to [*pg 585]
    ensure that hunters do not enter their land -- exists in all
    twenty-seven statutes. Whatever the merits of these statutes when first
    formulated, as a result of social changes they now unfairly privilege
    hunters over landowners.

    TRESPASSING AND POSTING: THE LAWS
    Some states have laws that specifically address trespassing while
    hunting, and others rely simply on the general trespassing statutes of
    the state. In 22 states posting is not required; that is, it is against
    the law for hunters to trespass on private property without the
    landowner's permission even if the land is not posted. Where posting
    is required some states have laws specifying how to post land. But
    trespassing and posting laws can be somewhat confusing, so we recommend
    that you post your land even if you are not legally required to do so
    at a minimum, posting strengthens your case when trying to combat
    trespassing by hunters. Posting also identifies your property
    boundaries so that hunters and law enforcement officers know where your
    private property begins. We also recommend that you get to know the law
    enforcement and wildlife officers who would enforce the trespassing
    laws in your area so that they might better respond when you have a
    problem.

    The breakdown of states that do require posting of private property to
    exclude hunters/fishermen/trespassers, is as follows-Property Owner
    Must Post Land in the following states:

    Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana,
    Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New
    Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North
    Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont,
    Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin

    I have been told that a trespass violation cannot be enforced in
    Pennsylvania, unless a land owner has placed NO TRESPASSING signs at
    intervals not to exceed 50 feet around the entire property. The signs
    must be signed, dated, and replaced annually. Signs must be placed on
    their own standard, not on trees or posts.

    The posting statutes were designed to balance the rights of two
    different groups: hunters and landowners. For many Americans, hunting
    is an almost sacred activity, one enshrined in the national culture.

    The posting statutes create an obvious problem: they pit the rights of
    one group, hunters, against the rights of another group, landowners.
    The rights of both groups are powerful. For hunters, the right to hunt
    and trap on all land has its source in the early national egalitarian
    desire to allow everyone to hunt.

    Municipalities do face one impediment if they decide to take action
    against hunters -- preemption. The regulation of firearms (including
    ownership restrictions and licensing) is a field that states have
    traditionally occupied completely, thus preempting any municipal
    ordinances in conflict with state law. \l "F194"

    Basically a hunting and fishing license in the state of Pa. is a very
    powerful thing. These laws were written so someone like Bill Gates with
    his $80 billion is assets, can't buy up all the open land in a specific
    state, and close it all to public access and recreation. Without these
    posting statutes, we would live in a fiefdom/feudal state, where only
    the well monied enjoyed property rights and the outdoors. The bottom
    line is, if someone buys up a million acres somewhere, they better be
    prepared to post a million acres on a yearly basis, to keep people out.
    Otherwise it's considered open to public recreation.

    Old, ragged posters nailed to the trees themselves, don't stand up in
    court. I'm not advising walking into posted land that may have outdated
    posters, or is posted incorrectly- but if lands are not posted at all-
    you have the right to access- unless told to leave by the property
    owner. In effect, if a property owner only posts one side of a large
    square plot of land, the other 3 borderlines are still open to entry.

    I'd advise any outdoorsman in the state of Pa. to copy this writeup,
    and put a copy in your wallet- in case you are ever stopped while
    hunting or fishing. The reality is, most landowners, policemen, and
    outdoorsmen don't know the letter of the law.

    To anyone who is a property owner, take heed- post your property
    according to the letter of the law- and you won't have to patrol your
    property and tell trespassers to leave in person. It's a lot easier to
    update posters once a year, than to patrol it 24/7/365 days a year.

  3. #73
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by marlinmadness View Post
    Hi, I'm new here, but can you quote something that supports that?
    cause I disagree, and I'm gonna quote this:

    Pennsylvania's statute, 18 PA. CONS. STAT. ANN. 3503 (West 2000), is
    based on the Model Penal Code's trespass provision, which does not
    specifically mention hunting but requires posting (or fencing or
    enclosing) to exclude all trespassers from land (posting is not
    required for buildings and occupied structures). See also infra notes
    . . .
    Pennsylvania courts generally hold that posting is required to exclude
    hunters. See, e.g., Commonwealth v. Sweeley, 29 Pa. D. & C.4th 426, 433
    (C.P. 1995) ("Open lands that are not posted or fenced off are presumed
    open for recreational use by the public, especially in rural counties
    where hunting and outdoor activities are common."). Various secondary
    sources provide general insight about whether and when landowners must
    post to exclude hunters. The Model Penal Code's criminal trespass
    provision, on which Pennsylvania's trespass statute is based, \l "F88"
    requires landowners to post nonfenced land [*pg 565] (excluding
    buildings and occupied structures) to exclude any would-be trespassers,
    including hunters. \l "F89" The Restatement (Second) of Torts states
    that,
    . . .

    I'd advise any outdoorsman in the state of Pa. to copy this writeup,
    and put a copy in your wallet- in case you are ever stopped while
    hunting or fishing. The reality is, most landowners, policemen, and
    outdoorsmen don't know the letter of the law.

    To anyone who is a property owner, take heed- post your property
    according to the letter of the law- and you won't have to patrol your
    property and tell trespassers to leave in person. It's a lot easier to
    update posters once a year, than to patrol it 24/7/365 days a year.
    I wouldn't cite to any Restatements or Model Codes, when the actual PA statutes are available. If the point was that the "notices" don't require names or addresses, the citations in your post don't refute that at all, and the statute just requires reasonable notice:

    3503. Criminal trespass
    . . .
    (b) Defiant trespasser.--

    (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
    (i) actual communication to the actor;
    (ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders;
    (iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders;
    (iv) notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at each entrance of school grounds that visitors are prohibited without authorization from a designated school, center or program official; or
    (v) an actual communication to the actor to leave school grounds as communicated by a school, center or program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement officer.
    (2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it is a summary offense.

    (b.1) Simple trespasser.--

    (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place for the purpose of:
    (i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises;
    (ii) starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises; or
    (iii) defacing or damaging the premises.
    (2) An offense under this subsection constitutes a summary offense.

    (b.2) Agricultural trespasser.--

    (1) A person commits an offense if knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so he:
    (i) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands when such lands are posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention or are fenced or enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or to confine domestic animals; or
    (ii) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands and defies an order not to enter or to leave that has been personally communicated to him by the owner of the lands or other authorized person.
    (2) An offense under this subsection shall be graded as follows:
    (i) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year and a fine of not less than $250.
    (ii) An offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
    (3) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase "agricultural or other open lands" shall mean any land on which agricultural activity or farming as defined in section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism) is conducted or any land populated by forest trees of any size and capable of producing timber or other wood products or any other land in an agricultural security area as defined in the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L. 128, No. 43), [FN1] known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, or any area zoned for agricultural use.

    (c) Defenses.--It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

    (1) a building or occupied structure involved in an offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
    (2) the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
    (3) the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.


    I would discourage anyone, "outdoorsman" or not (and a lot of "outdoorsmen" these days seem to want to drive right up to where they take a shot, the better to bring the beer cooler, I suppose, and DRIVING across some stranger's property while "hunting" is a pretty assholish thing to do) from re-posting whatever legal opinions they come across. The DJ won't care that you relied on "stuff I read on the Web" when you're cited for trespassing.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  4. #74
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    I would discourage anyone, "outdoorsman" or not (and a lot of "outdoorsmen" these days seem to want to drive right up to where they take a shot, the better to bring the beer cooler, I suppose, and DRIVING across some stranger's property while "hunting" is a pretty assholish thing to do) from re-posting whatever legal opinions they come across. The DJ won't care that you relied on "stuff I read on the Web" when you're cited for trespassing.
    Not sure where alcohol or illegal vehicle hunting came into this... but ok.

    You have a good day now.

  5. #75
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by marlinmadness View Post
    Not sure where alcohol or illegal vehicle hunting came into this... but ok.

    You have a good day now.
    I generally do have good days, thanks.

    You're a youngster, so I'll help out with English As She Is Spoke: Comments within parentheses are known as "parenthetical comments", and not the main point. If you find that the only thing you have to challenge is your opponent's parenthetical comments, it's time to be quiet for a while, while the grownups talk amongst themselves. For a hypothetical example, let's say that I alleged that a former President raped a woman in a hotel (and he wore brown shoes); if your rebuttal is "he never owned brown shoes", you've lost that argument.

    Now please stop re-posting quasi-legal musings that you copied from elsewhere without comprehending what they mean. It's basically static, and lowers the overall level of competent advice.
    Attorney Phil Kline, AKA gunlawyer001@gmail.com
    Thanks to all who attended my Firearms Law Workshops this year!

  6. #76
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by marlinmadness View Post
    Not sure where alcohol or illegal vehicle hunting came into this... but ok.

    You have a good day now.
    Alcohol hunting I've done in my youth, but I'm a wee bit curious about illegal vehicle hunting. Is there a limit on the number of illegal vehicles one can bag?

  7. #77
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Thanks for clearing that up GunLawyer.
    Armalite AR-30, 6 AR15's, Glock 30, Rem 700 SPS Tac .308, 12GA, Yugo AK47 UF, AK47.

  8. #78
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by GunLawyer001 View Post
    I generally do have good days, thanks.

    You're a youngster, so I'll help out with English As She Is Spoke: Comments within parentheses are known as "parenthetical comments", and not the main point. If you find that the only thing you have to challenge is your opponent's parenthetical comments, it's time to be quiet for a while, while the grownups talk amongst themselves.
    Well then. I didn't mean to come off as challenging you at all. I don't see why feel the need to take a jab at my intelligence, that was a tad uncalled for. I thought you were ranting about something, and I wished you a good day, as in "hey, you sound angry, I'm just gonna walk away because this doesn't seem rational. I hope things get better."



    Such a warm welcome to this place. Group hugs!

  9. #79
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    In my previous post I commented on the so-called misunderstandings of posted property...the sign distance, name, address, telephone number, social security number, bank acount numbers, etc (lol)...the information I presented comes from 36 plus years as a full time Commonwealth MPOETC certified law enforcement officer.

    I value the opinion of GUNLAWYER, and will add again...your local District Magistrate handles and disposes of over 95% of the summary cases for trespassing...those that go to Summary Appeals, are then handled by the County's Court of Common Pleas. Most stop right there....I put it this way (as told to numerous Defendants) "What would you say to me if I pulled my truck up on your lawn, stepped out of the truck, walked up to your front porch, popped open a cold one and sat down for a few minutes, then left my garbage on your front porch, and spun the tires doing a doughnut on the front lawn as I left?" Most said I had no right doing it...funny...they essentially did the same thing.

  10. #80
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    Default Re: TRESPASSING QUESTION

    Quote Originally Posted by marlinmadness View Post
    Well then. I didn't mean to come off as challenging you at all. I don't see why feel the need to take a jab at my intelligence, that was a tad uncalled for. I thought you were ranting about something, and I wished you a good day, as in "hey, you sound angry, I'm just gonna walk away because this doesn't seem rational. I hope things get better."



    Such a warm welcome to this place. Group hugs!
    Ain't gonna happen........

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