1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representatives Smith (39th), Janus
House Bill 100
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 97-17-97, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE PUBLIC HOUSING AREAS IN THE OFFENSE OF TRESPASS; TO BAR PERPETRATORS OF CRIMINAL TRESPASS FROM RECOVERING FOR INJURIES SUSTAINED DURING CRIMINAL TRESPASS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 97-17-97, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-97. (1) If any person or persons shall without authority of law go into or upon or remain in or upon any building, premises or land of another, including the premises of any public housing authority after having been banned from returning to the premises of the housing authority, whether an individual, a corporation, partnership, or association, or any part, portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing including any sign hereinafter mentioned, by any owner, or lessee, or custodian, or other authorized person, or by the administrators of a public housing authority regardless of whether or not having been invited onto the premises of the housing authority by a tenant, or after having been forbidden to do so by such sign or signs posted on, or in such building, premises or land, or part, or portion, or area thereof, at a place or places where such sign or signs may be reasonably seen, such person or persons shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by confinement in the county jail not exceeding six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
(2) The provisions of this section are supplementary to the provisions of any other statute of this state.
SECTION 2. (1) As used in this section:
(a) "Perpetrator" means a person who has engaged in criminal trespass and includes a person convicted of trespass under applicable state law;
(b) "Victim" means a person who was the object of another's criminal trespass and includes a person at the scene of an emergency who gives reasonable assistance to another person who is exposed to or has suffered grave physical harm;
(c) "Course of criminal conduct" includes the acts or omissions of a victim in resisting criminal conduct;
(d) "Convicted" includes a finding of guilt, whether or not the adjudication of guilt is stayed or executed, an unwithdrawn judicial admission of guilt or guilty plea, a no contest plea, a judgment of conviction, an adjudication as a delinquent child, an admission to a juvenile delinquency petition, or a disposition as an extended jurisdiction juvenile; and
(e) "Trespass" means an offense named in Sections 97-17-1 through 97-17-97, Mississippi Code of 1972, or any attempt to commit any of these offenses. Trespass includes crimes in other states or jurisdictions which would have been within the definition set forth in this subdivision if they had been committed in this state.
(2) A perpetrator assumes the risk of loss, injury or death resulting from or arising out of a course of criminal trespass, as defined in this section, engaged in by the perpetrator or an accomplice, and the crime victim is immune from and not liable for any civil damages as a result of acts or omissions of the victim.
(3) Notwithstanding other evidence which the victim may adduce relating to the perpetrator's conviction of the crime involving the parties to the civil action, a certified copy of a guilty plea, a court judgment of guilt, a court record of conviction or an adjudication as a delinquent child is conclusive proof of the perpetrator's assumption of the risk.
(4) In a civil action that is subject to this section, the court shall award reasonable expenses, including attorney's fees and disbursements, to the prevailing party.
(5) Except to the extent needed to preserve evidence, any civil action in which the defense set forth in subsection (2) is raised shall be stayed by the court on the motion of the defendant during the pendency of any criminal action against the plaintiff based on the alleged trespass.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.