WEST virginia legislature
2020 regular session
Senate Bill 490
Senators Sypolt, Smith, Rucker, Beach, Baldwin, Jeffries, and Pitsenbarger, original sponsors
[Passed March 6, 2020; in effect 90 days from passage]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §61-3B-7, relating to creating the offenses of trespass upon an animal or crop facility and conspiracy to trespass upon an animal or crop facility; defining terms; establishing criminal penalties; creating an enhanced felony offense for second and subsequent violations; authorizing double damages for injuries to animal and crop facilities; and allowing injunctive relief.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 3B. TRESPASS.
§61-3B-7. Animal or crop facilities trespass; penalties; injunctive relief.
(a) As used in this section:
(1) “Animal” means poultry, livestock, domestic animals, and captive cervids owned and possessed by persons licensed pursuant to §19-2H-1 et seq. of this code. The term does not include an animal used for illegal gaming.
(2) “Animal or crop facility” means a facility that is used in the production, management, sale, or processing of animals or crops. The term includes, but is not limited to:
(A) A building, greenhouse, structure, laboratory, pasture, field, paddock, pond, impoundment, or premises where animals or crops are located;
(B) A managed bee colony;
(C) A livestock market;
(D) A facility used for the preparation of, or processing of, animals, crops, or value-added foods for sale; and
(E) A facility used to carry out any agritourism activity, as that term is defined and used in §19-36-1 et seq. of this code.
(3) “Crop” means a shrub, vine, tree, seedling, shoot, slip, or other plant capable of producing food, fiber, medicine, nursery stock, floral products, or aesthetic beauty.
(b) Any person who willfully trespasses on the property of another which constitutes an animal or crop facility with the intent to commit larceny, destroy property, or disrupt the operation of the facility is guilty of willful trespass upon an animal or crop facility.
(c) Any person who conspires with one or more persons to violate subsection (b) of this section and commits an overt act in furtherance thereof is guilty of conspiracy to willfully trespass upon an animal or crop facility.
(d) Any person who violates subsection (b) of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or confined in jail not more than 30 days, or both fined and confined.
(e) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, any person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of subsection (b) or a violation of subsection (c) of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $5,000 nor more than $10,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.
(f) Notwithstanding and in addition to any other penalties provided by law, any person who performs, or causes damage to property in the course of, a willful trespass in violation of this section is liable to the owner or operator of the animal or crop facility in the amount of twice any damage caused.
(g) The owner or operator of an animal or crop facility may bring an action for injunctive relief against a person who engages in, or threatens to engage in, conduct that constitutes a violation of this section:
(1) The action may be brought in the circuit court of any county in which any part of the conduct or threatened conduct occurs or is threatened to occur.
(2) The circuit court may grant any appropriate injunctive relief to prevent or abate the conduct or threatened conduct, including a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, or permanent injunction.
(3) The circuit court may issue injunctive relief without the owner or operator of an animal or crop facility giving security for its issuance.