708-816 Defense to trespass. It is a defense to prosecution for trespass as a violation of sections 708-814 and 708-815 that the defendant entered upon and passed along or over established and well-defined roadways, pathways, or trails leading to public beaches over government lands, whether or not under lease to private persons, or for the purposes of and in compliance with section 708-804. [L 1972, c 9, pt of 1; am L 2019, c 13, 3]

 

COMMENTARY ON 708-816

 

This is a new section inserted by the legislature in 1972. It was not contained in the Proposed Draft. This addition provides that traveling to or from the beach over government land does not constitute trespass and is a defense to 708-814 and 815. Conference Committee Report No. 2 (1972).

 

SUPPLEMENTAL COMMENTARY ON 708-816

 

Act 13, Session Laws 2019, amended this section to provide a defense to prosecution for simple trespass and criminal trespass in the second degree for a property owner or agent who enters adjacent vacant property under certain conditions, including consulting with a tree arborist and providing written notice, to control albizia trees before the trees become hazardous. The legislature found that albizia trees are an invasive species that are prone to breaking and falling during high winds and tropical storms and, consequently, pose a hazard to public safety and critical infrastructure. Fallen albizia trees caused power outages and other structural damage on the island of Hawaii during tropical storm Iselle in 2014. Albizia trees fell over highways, roads, and driveways in such large numbers during that storm that many people were left trapped in their homes and rescue personnel were prevented from reaching them or, in some cases, returning to the rescuers' base of operations. The legislature further found that albizia trees located on private properties often create hazardous conditions for adjacent properties that should be prevented wherever possible. Albizia trees have been successfully eradicated on many properties, but some property owners have been unresponsive to inquiries from neighbors and repeated notices to control the trees on their property. Act 13 provided a way for neighbors to control adjacent albizia trees to prevent or address hazardous conditions, subject to certain conditions. Senate Standing Committee Report No. 597, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 1018.

 

 

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