1997 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Bean
Senate Bill 2071
(As Sent to Governor)
AN ACT TO PROVIDE LAND SURVEYORS WITH IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL TRESPASS WHEN ENTERING IN OR UPON PUBLIC OR PRIVATE LANDS OR WATERS IN THE PERFORMANCE OF SURVEYING DUTIES; TO AMEND SECTIONS 97-17-85, 97-17-93 AND 97-17-97, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) For the purposes of this section, the term "surveyor" means a registered professional land surveyor as defined in Section 73-13-71, and any person who is employed by or under the direct supervision of a professional land surveyor registered under Sections 73-13-71 through 73-13-97.
(2) A surveyor may enter in or upon public or private lands or waters, except buildings, while in the lawful performance of surveying duties without criminal liability for trespass; however, a surveyor shall make a good faith attempt to announce and identify himself and his intentions before entering upon private property and must present documentation sufficient to identify him as a surveyor to anyone requesting such identification.
(3) The provisions of this section do not relieve a surveyor from any civil liability that otherwise is actionable at law or in equity, and do not relieve a surveyor from criminal liability for trespass if the entry in or upon the property extends beyond the property or area that is necessary to actually perform the surveying duties.
(4) Surveyors shall be personally liable for any damage caused to private property when exercising entry under this section. No cause of action shall lie against a landowner for damages to a surveyor while on such lands unless the damage is caused by the intentional tortious conduct of landowner or his agent.
SECTION 2. Section 97-17-85, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-85. Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 2071, 1997 Regular Session, if any person shall go upon the enclosed land of another without his consent, after having been notified by such person or his agent not to do so, either personally or by published or posted notice, or shall remain on such land after a request by such person or his agent to depart, he shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than Fifty Dollars ($50.00) for such offense. The provisions of this section shall apply to land not enclosed where the stock law is in force. SECTION 3. Section 97-17-93, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-93. (1) Any person who knowingly enters the lands of another without the permission of or without being accompanied by the landowner or the lessee of the land, or the agent of such landowner or lessee, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished for the first offense by a fine of not less than One Hundred Fifty Dollars ($150.00) nor more than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00). Upon conviction of any person for a second or subsequent offense, the offenses being committed within five (5) years of the last offense, such person shall be punished by a fine of not less than Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) nor more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00), and may be imprisoned in the county jail for a period of not less than ten (10) nor more than thirty (30) days, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
This section shall not apply to the landowner's or lessee's family, guests, or agents, to a surveyor as provided in Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 2071, 1997 Regular Session, or to persons entering upon such lands for lawful business purposes.
(2)(a) It shall be the duty of sheriffs, deputy sheriffs, constables and conservation officers to enforce this section.
(b) Such officers shall enforce this section by issuing a citation to those charged with trespassing under this section.
(3) The provisions of this section are supplementary to the provisions of any other statute of this state.
(4) A prosecution under the provisions of this section shall be dismissed upon the request of the landowner, lessee of the land or agent of such landowner or lessee, as the case may be.
SECTION 4. Section 97-17-97, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
97-17-97. (1) Except as otherwise provided in Section 1 of Senate Bill No. 2071, 1997 Regular Session, 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 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 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 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.