H. B. 2615
(By Delegates Beach and Perry)
[Introduced February 23, 2005; referred to the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources the the
A BILL to amend and reenact §20-2-8 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §61-3B-1 of said
code, all relating to posting of property to prohibit hunting
or trespassing, and to allow posting by clearly visible paint
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-2-8 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; and §61-3B-1 of said code be amended and
reenacted, all to read as follows:
CHAPTER 20. NATURAL RESOURCES.
ARTICLE 2. WILDLIFE RESOURCES.
§20-2-8. Posting unenclosed lands; hunting, etc., on posted land.
The owner, lessee or other person entitled to possession of
unenclosed lands may have erected and maintained signs or placards
legibly printed, easily discernible, conspicuously posted and
reasonably spaced, or in some other manner as may be otherwise
provided by section one, article three-b, chapter sixty-one of this
so as to indicate the territory in which hunting, trapping or
fishing is prohibited.
Any person who enters upon the unenclosed lands of another
which have been lawfully posted, for the purpose of hunting,
trapping or fishing,
shall be is guilty of a misdemeanor. The
officers charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this
chapter shall have the duty to enforce the provisions of this
section if requested to do so by such an owner, lessee, person or
agent, but not otherwise.
CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENTS.
ARTICLE 3B. TRESPASS.
As used in this article:
(1) "Structure" means any building of any kind, either
temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the
(2) "Conveyance" means any motor vehicle, vessel, railroad
car, railroad engine, trailer, aircraft or sleeping car, and "to
enter a conveyance" includes taking apart any portion of the
(3) An act is committed "in the course of committing" if it
occurs in an attempt to commit the offense or in flight after the
attempt or commission.
(4) "Posted land" is that:
Land, upon which reasonably maintained signs are placed not
more than five hundred feet apart, along and at each corner of the
boundaries of the land, upon which signs there appears, prominently
in letters of not less than two inches in height, the words "no
trespassing" and in addition thereto the name of the owner, lessee
or occupant of the
The These signs shall be placed along the
boundary line of posted land in a manner and in a position as to be
clearly noticeable from outside of the boundary line; and
, the boundaries of which are
marked with clearly
visible painted markings, consisting of two parallel lines, each no
less than two inches in width, affixed to immovable, permanent
objects and which are not more than one hundred feet apart. The
paint shall be orange or bright yellow in color and shall be
maintained so that the markings are reasonably visible from a
distance of one hundred feet. Where boundaries are clearly marked
with painted markings, signs, adhering to the standards prescribed
for posted signs in paragraph (A) of this subdivision, shall also
be posted at all roads, driveways or gates of entry onto the posted
shall not be is not necessary to give notice by posting on
any enclosed land or place not exceeding five acres in area on which
there is a dwelling house or property that by its nature and use is obviously private in order to obtain the benefits of this article
pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands
(5) "Cultivated land" is that land which has been cleared of
its natural vegetation and is presently planted with a crop,
orchard, grove, pasture or trees or is fallow land as part of a crop
(6) "Fenced land" is that land which has been enclosed by a
fence of substantial construction, whether with rails, logs, post
and railing, iron, steel, barbed wire, other wire or other material,
which stands at least three feet in height. For the purpose of
this article, it
shall not be is not necessary to fence any boundary
or part of a boundary of any land which is formed by water and is
posted with signs pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(7) Where lands are posted, cultivated or fenced as described
such these lands, for the purpose of this article,
shall be are considered as enclosed and posted.
(8) "Trespass" under this article is the willful unauthorized
entry upon, in or under the property of another, but
shall does not
include the following:
(a) Entry by the State, its political subdivisions or by the
officers, agencies or instrumentalities thereof as authorized and
provided by law.
(b) The exercise of rights in, under or upon property by virtue
of rights-of-way or easements by a public utility or other person owning
such a right-of-way or easement whether by written or
(c) Permissive entry, whether written or oral, and entry from
a public road by the established private ways to reach a residence
for the purpose of seeking permission
shall is not be a trespass
unless signs are posted prohibiting such entry.
(d) Entry performed in the exercise of a property right under
ownership of an interest in, under or upon such property.
(e) Entry where no physical damage is done to property in the
performance of surveying to ascertain property boundaries, and in
the performance of necessary work of construction, maintenance and
repair of a common property line fence, or buildings or
appurtenances which are immediately adjacent to the property line
and maintenance of which necessitates entry upon the adjoining
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is
to allow posting of real
property by clearly visible paint markings in order to prohibit
hunting or trespassing.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would