STAND. COM. REP. NO. 588
RE: S.B. No. 1468
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirty-Second State Legislature
Regular Session of 2023
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.B. No. 1468 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RIGHT OF ENTRY FOR PROFESSIONAL SURVEYORS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Authorize professional land surveyors to enter any private property to perform land surveying, subject to certain provisions regarding notice, identification, and liability; and
(2) Shield land surveyors from prosecution under criminal trespass laws when performing their duties.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the City and County of Honolulu; Board of Professional Engineers, Architects, Surveyors, and Landscape Architects; DLB & Associates, LLC; and nine individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of the Attorney General and Hawaii Association of REALTORS.
Your Committee finds that professional land surveyors often require the right to access private property for the purposes of producing a thorough and complete land survey. The current practice for surveyors and assistants is to verbally ask for permission to enter a property for purposes of surveying. However, without a right of entry, a professional land surveyor conducting a land survey is subject to trespass laws, prohibiting them from conducting a land survey required to ensure the public's interest in maintaining a sound and uniform real property system. This measure seeks to mitigate certain risks while balancing property rights and protect land surveying professionals.
Your Committee acknowledges the testimony of the Department of the Attorney General, which raises concerns that enabling the right of access onto private property beyond the property of the person requesting a survey could be considered a regulatory taking of property, which could expose the government to financial liability. Your Committee notes, however, that twenty-six other states have enacted legislation that grants a right of entry to land surveyors in the performance of their duties, similar to this measure. Additionally, your Committee finds the amendments proposed by the Department of the Attorney General help to clarify this measure, and further believes that extending the notice requirement improve this measure.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Clarifying that a land surveyor's right of entry is granted to a land surveyor's assistant only if the assistant is under the direct supervision of the land surveyor;
(2) Clarifying that the land surveyor is required to send a written notice to the owner of, or person with an interest in, the property to be surveyed;
(3) Inserting a requirement that a land surveyor entering private property must carry a government issued identification in addition to the surveyor's certificate of licensure or authorized seal or stamp;
(4) Extending the required written notice a land surveyor must provide before entering private property from five days to ten days' written notice; and
(5) Inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 1468, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 1468, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection,
JARRETT KEOHOKALOLE, Chair