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Chapter 61     Entire Code
‹ Chapter 60A  |  Chapter 62 › Printer Friendly Versions
Chapter 61  |  Article 61 - 3B  |  Section 4
WVC 61- CHAPTER 61. CRIMES AND THEIR PUNISHMENT.
WVC -3B- ARTICLE 3B. TRESPASS.

WVC 61-3B-1 §61-3B-1. Definitions.
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 curtilage thereof.

(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 conveyance.

(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 land. The 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. It shall not be 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 rotation.

(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 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 herein, then such lands, for the purpose of this article, shall be 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 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 right-of-way or easement whether by written or prescriptive right.

(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 not be 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 owner's property.

WVC 61-3B-2 §61-3B-2. Trespass in structure or conveyance.
Any person who knowingly enters in, upon or under a structure or conveyance without being authorized, licensed or invited, or having been authorized, licensed or invited is requested to depart by the owner, tenant or the agent of such owner or tenant, and refuses to do so, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.

If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon while in the structure or conveyance, with the unlawful and felonious intent to do bodily injury to a human being in said structure or conveyance at the time the offender knowingly trespasses, such offender shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or be confined in the county jail for a period not to exceed twelve months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

WVC 61 - 3 B- 3 §61-3B-3. Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.
(a) It is an unlawful trespass for any person to knowingly, and without being authorized, licensed or invited, to enter or remain on any property, other than a structure or conveyance, as to which notice against entering or remaining is either given by actual communication to such person or by posting, fencing or cultivation.

(b) First offense conviction. -- Upon a first trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a):

The person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.

(c) Second offense conviction. -- Upon a second trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a):

The person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.

(d) Third offense conviction. -- Upon a third and subsequent trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a):

The person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500.

(e) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to him by the owner, tenant or agent of such owner or tenant, or if the offender opens any door, fence or gate, and thereby exposes animals, crops or other property to waste, destruction or freedom, or causes any damage to property by such trespassing on property other than a structure or conveyance, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisoned in the county jail for a period not to exceed six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(c) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon with the unlawful and felonious intent to do bodily injury to a human being during his commission of the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance, such offender shall, notwithstanding section one, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be confined in the county jail for a term not to exceed six months, or fined not more than $100, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) 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 shall be liable to the property owner in the amount of twice the amount of such damage. However, this article shall not apply in a labor dispute.

WVC 61 - 3 B- 4 §61-3B-4. Trespass on student residence premises or student facility premises of an institution of higher education.
(a) For the purposes of this section:

(1) "Residence hall" means housing or a unit of housing provided primarily for students as a temporary or permanent dwelling place or abode and owned, operated or controlled by an institution of higher education.

(2) "Student facility" means a facility owned, operated or controlled by an institution of higher education at which alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer is purchased, sold or served to students enrolled at such institution, but does not include facilities at which athletic events are regularly scheduled and an admission fee is generally charged.

(3) "Institution of higher education" means any state university, state college or state community college under the control, supervision and management of the West Virginia board of trustees or West Virginia board of directors, or any other university, college or institution of higher education in the state subject to rules for accreditation under the provisions of section seven, article four, chapter eighteen-b of this code.

(4) "Person authorized to have access to a residence hall or student facility" means:

(A) A student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or

(B) An invited guest of a student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or

(C) A parent, guardian or person who has legal custody of a student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or

(D) An employee of the institution of higher education who is required by such employment by such institution to be in the residence hall or student facility and who is acting within the scope of his or her employment; or

(E) A delivery person, repair person or other such person who is not an employee of the institution of higher education but who nonetheless has a legitimate commercial reason to be in the residence hall or student facility and who is acting pursuant to such legitimate commercial reason.

(b) If a person authorized to have access to a residence hall or a student facility enters such residence hall or student facility and by such presence or acts interferes with the peaceful or orderly operation of such residence hall or student facility, such person may be asked to leave such residence hall or student facility. If a person not authorized to have access to a residence hall or student facility enters such a residence hall or student facility, that person may be asked to leave such residence hall or student facility notwithstanding the fact that he or she has not interfered with the peaceful or orderly operation of such residence hall or student facility or otherwise committed a breach of the peace or violated any statute or ordinance. Such request to leave may be made by the president or other administrative head of the institution of higher education, an employee designated by the president to maintain order in the residence hall or student facility, a campus police officer appointed pursuant to the provisions of section five, article four, chapter eighteen-b of this code, or a municipal police officer, a sheriff or deputy sheriff, or a member of the West Virginia state police.

(c) It shall be unlawful for a person to remain in a residence hall or student facility after being asked to leave as provided for in subsection (b) of this section.

(d) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined fifteen dollars. For any second or subsequent conviction for a violation occurring within one year after a previous violation for similar conduct, such person shall be fined an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.

(e) This section shall not be construed to be in derogation of the common law, nor shall the provisions of this section contravene or infringe upon existing statutes related to the same subject.

WVC 61 - 3 B- 5 §61-3B-5. Trespass on state government property; aiding and abetting; penalties.
(a) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, any person who knowingly and willfully violates an administrative order of a court, a rule or emergency rule promulgated by the secretary of administration, a joint rule of the Senate and House of Delegates or a rule of the Senate or House of Delegates relating to access to government buildings or facilities or portions thereof under their control or who knowingly and willfully aids or abets another to violate such an order, rule or joint rule is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined for not more than thirty days or fined more than five hundred dollars, or both.

(b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section with the intent to commit a crime which constitutes a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.

(c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section with the intent to commit a crime which constitutes a felony is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be incarcerated in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2014 1st Special Session
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