Criminal Trespass; Illegal Campers or Squatters
Amends the criminal trespass laws to prohibit persons from entering or remaining unlawfully on certain public or private property for a specified time period, after a reasonable warning or request to leave the premises has been issued. (SD1)
TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to criminal trespass.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that persons who enter and unlawfully reside in tents or other temporary shelters at public or private campgrounds, parks, beaches, and other areas, also known as "squatters," are presently in violation of the "simple trespass" law under section 708-815, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
However, simple trespass is considered only a "violation" under that penal code provision, and does not constitute a crime pursuant to section 701-107(5), Hawaii Revised Statutes ("grades and classes of offenses"). Moreover, the legislature finds that unless the trespassers are in violation of some other penal provision, such as obstructing government operations, the police do not have the authority to place persons charged with simple trespass under physical arrest.
The legislature therefore finds that there is a need to provide for a more effective way to enforce the trespass laws to prevent persons from illegally entering or residing, or both, on beaches, campgrounds, and other real property.
Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to make these persons subject to the offense of criminal trespass in the second degree, which is a petty misdemeanor, rather than simple trespass.
SECTION 2. Section 708-814, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (1) to read as follows:
"(1) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass in the second degree if:
(a) The person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises that are enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or are fenced; or
(b) The person enters or remains unlawfully in or upon commercial premises, or any other public or private property, after reasonable warning or request to leave by the owner or lessee of the commercial premises [
or], the owner's or lessee's authorized agent, or a police officer; provided that this paragraph shall not apply to any conduct or activity subject to regulation by the National Labor Relations Act.
For purposes of this section, "reasonable warning or request" means a warning or request communicated in writing at any time within a one-year period inclusive of the date the incident occurred, which may contain [
but is not limited to] the following information:
(i) A warning statement advising the person that the person's presence is no longer desired on the property for a specified period of [
one year] time from the date of the notice, that a violation of the warning will subject the person to arrest and prosecution for trespassing pursuant to section 708-814(1)(b), and that criminal trespass in the second degree is a petty misdemeanor;
(ii) The legal name, any aliases, and a photograph, if practicable, or a physical description, including but not limited to sex, racial extraction, age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, or any other distinguishing characteristics, of the person warned;
(iii) The name of the person giving the warning along with the date and time the warning was given; and
(iv) The signature of the person giving the warning, the signature of a witness or police officer who was present when the warning was given and, if possible, the signature of the violator."
SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun, before its effective date.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.