Idaho's New Trespass Law Set To Go Into Effect July 1

Jun 27, 2018

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Idaho’s new trespass law goes into effect July 1. That means some changes when it comes to access to private property.

Earlier this year, the Idaho Legislature updated the state's trespass law that changed how land owners label private property and increased penalties.

Ryan Stoa is an associate professor of law at Concordia University. He says there are inconsistencies in the measure. In one section of the bill, written permission is required to enter private land. But in another section, the bill says permission might be implicitly provided.

“So it’s not really clear. Can permission be given verbally, is that sufficient or is written permission required in every case? It’s also not clear who must give that invitation. Must it be the landowner with title to the property or can someone in legal possession, such as a lessee, give permission to the public?” asks Stoa.

The new law has a provision that says if you trespass three times and cause $1,000 worth of damage, the penalty goes up to a felony. Violators could face up to five years in jail and a $50,000 fine.

Speaking on Idaho Matters, Stoa says he believes the legislature may revisit the law next year and clean up inconsistencies.

Idaho Governor Butch Otter let the measure become law without his signature because he said he had concerns the proposal could have unintended consequences.

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