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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: October 31, 2017 01:15 PM
From: Representative John Taylor
To: All House members
Subject: Public Removal of Trespassers (New & Improved Version)
I originally introduced legislation regarding the public removal of trespassers which is now HB 1874. In the meantime, this legislation has been tweaked to make some adjustments to the original version.

This legislation continues to be aimed at addressing illegal trespassers in residential properties, and at the same time, help the police to enforce the law.

This legislation is meant to address situations where a person requests that the police remove illegal trespassers or squatters from a residential property, but the person claims to be living there legally. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon situation, and it happens in both urban and rural areas. This can be a financial and legal nightmare for the property owner. When it is essentially one person's word against another's, the police often hesitate to remove the trespasser because the property owner could be trying to illegally evict rightful tenants. Typically, in these situations, they advise the owner to pursue legal eviction action, which can be time consuming and very expensive.

this bill states that if a police officer has probably cause to believe that a person is trespassing on residential property, the officer has the authority to remove the person from the premises. They must allow a reasonable opportunity to secure and present any proof they may have that they are on the property legally before removing them. Probably cause may be based on a signed affidavit from the property owner stating, among other things, that the person is not and was not in the past a tenant, and that the owner has demanded that the person vacate the premises.

This bill does not affect landlord-tenant disputes, and a property owner making a false statement can be held criminally and civilly liable. I thank you for your support for this much-needed legislation.

Those members who cosponsored the original legislation are as follows: Reps. Matthew Baker, Robert Godshall, Mark Keller, Jared Solomon, Russ Diamond, David Millard, Angel Cruz, Alexander Charlton, Stephen Kinsey, Bernie O'Neill, Harry Readshaw, Keith Greiner, Michael Driscoll, Craig Staats, Maria Donatucci, Anthony DeLuca, Dom Costa, Jeff Wheeland and Emilio Vazquez.

Introduced as HB1931