Qp Date
This Act has "Not in Force" sections. See the Table of Legislative Changes.

Trespass Act

[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 462

Contents
 1 Definitions
 2 Definition of lawful fence
 3 Owners in rural area responsible for lawful fence
 4 Trespass prohibited
 4.1 Defences to trespass
 5 Methods of giving or posting notice
 6 Prosecution not defeated by variation in fence
 7 Repealed
 8 Trespasser must give name and address
 9 Repealed
 9.1 Section 5 of the Offence Act
 10 Arrest without warrant
 11 Court may order compensation
 12–14 Repealed
 15 Power to make regulations

Definitions

1  In this Act:

"authorized person" means a person authorized by an occupier of premises to exercise a power or perform a duty of the occupier under this Act;

"enclosed land" includes land that is

(a) surrounded by a lawful fence defined under this Act,

(b) surrounded by a lawful fence and a natural boundary or by a natural boundary alone, or

(c) posted with signs prohibiting trespass in accordance with section 5 (1);

"occupier", in relation to premises, means

(a) if the premises are land, including enclosed land, foreshore and land covered by water, or are property described in paragraph (a) of the definition of "premises", a person entitled to maintain an action of trespass in respect of those premises,

(b) if the premises are property described in paragraph (b) or (c) of the definition of "premises", a person lawfully entitled to possession of those premises, and

(c) if the premises are water, a person described in paragraph (a) of this definition in relation to the land under the water,

and includes a person who

(d) has responsibility for and control over the condition of the premises or the activities there carried on, or

(e) has control over persons allowed to enter the premises;

"owner", in relation to land, means a person registered in the land title office as the owner of the estate in fee simple of the land;

"premises" means land, including enclosed land, foreshore and land covered by water, and anything on the land including

(a) a building or other permanent structure,

(b) a ship or vessel, train, railway car or vehicle, except while in operation,

(c) a trailer or a portable structure designed or used as a residence, for shelter or to house a business, and

(d) water;

"vehicle" has the same meaning as in the Motor Vehicle Act.

Definition of lawful fence

2  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may, by regulation, do one or more of the following:

(a) define a lawful fence for the purpose of this Act in the area described in the order;

(b) define a lawful fence for the purpose of dividing the right of way, grounds or property of a railway company to which the Railway Act applies from other land, whether belonging to the railway company or not;

(c) define a lawful fence for the purpose of protecting any stack of hay or grain.

Owners in rural area responsible for lawful fence

3  (1) Unless otherwise agreed, the owners of adjoining land in a rural area must make, keep up and repair the lawful fence and any natural boundary between their respective land.

(2) Each of the owners is liable to the other for 1/2 of any cost reasonably incurred for the purposes of subsection (1).

(3) This section is not binding on the government.

(4) This section does not apply on treaty lands.

Trespass prohibited

4  (1) Subject to section 4.1, a person commits an offence if the person does any of the following:

(a) enters premises that are enclosed land;

(b) enters premises after the person has had notice from an occupier of the premises or an authorized person that the entry is prohibited;

(c) engages in activity on or in premises after the person has had notice from an occupier of the premises or an authorized person that the activity is prohibited.

(2) A person found on or in premises that are enclosed land is presumed not to have the consent of an occupier or an authorized person to be there.

(3) Subject to section 4.1, a person who has been directed, either orally or in writing, by an occupier of premises or an authorized person to

(a) leave the premises, or

(b) stop engaging in an activity on or in the premises,

commits an offence if the person

(c) does not leave the premises or stop the activity, as applicable, as soon as practicable after receiving the direction, or

(d) re-enters the premises or resumes the activity on or in the premises.

Defences to trespass

4.1  A person may not be convicted of an offence under section 4 in relation to premises if the person's action or inaction, as applicable to the offence, was with

(a) the consent of an occupier of the premises or an authorized person,

(b) other lawful authority, or

(c) colour of right.

Methods of giving or posting notice

5  (1) For the purposes of paragraph (c) of the definition of "enclosed land", signs must be posted so that, in daylight and under normal weather conditions, from the approach to each ordinary point of access to the enclosed land,

(a) a sign is clearly visible,

(b) if a sign contains writing, the writing is clearly legible, and

(c) if a sign uses graphic representation, the graphic representation is clearly visible.

(2) For the purposes of section 4 (1) (b) or (c), notice may be given

(a) orally or in writing, or

(b) by means of a sign posted at or near an ordinary point of access to the premises so that, in daylight and under normal weather conditions from the approach to the ordinary point of access, the sign satisfies the requirements of subsection (1) (a), (b) and (c) of this section.

(3) In a prosecution for an offence under section 4 (1) (a), (b) or (c), proof that a sign that complies with subsection (1) or (2) (b) of this section, as applicable, was posted at the ordinary point of access used by the defendant to enter the premises is sufficient for the purpose of establishing, as applicable, that

(a) the premises are enclosed land, or

(b) notice was given for the purpose of section 4 (1) (b) or (c).

(4) A sign, posted in accordance with subsection (2) (b), that names an activity and has an oblique line drawn through the name or that shows a graphic representation of an activity and has an oblique line drawn through the representation is sufficient for the purpose of giving notice that the activity is prohibited.

(5) A notice under this section may relate to all or a part of premises and different notices may be given or posted in relation to different parts of premises.

(6) A person, other than an occupier or authorized person, must not remove, alter or deface signs posted for the purpose of subsection (1) or (2) (b).

(7) A person who contravenes subsection (6) commits an offence.

Prosecution not defeated by variation in fence

6  The prosecution of a person for an offence under section 4 (1) (a) is not defeated only because the fence is not of a uniform height, or that the spaces between the bars, boards or rails of the fence, or any of them, are larger than 150 mm.

Repealed

7  [Repealed 2004-73-5.]

Trespasser must give name and address

8  (1) On the demand of an occupier of premises, or an authorized person, who has reasonable grounds to believe that a person is on or in the premises, or was on or in the premises, in contravention of section 4 (1) (a), (b) or (c) or (3), the person must provide the occupier or authorized person with his or her correct name and address.

(2) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

(3) A person who contravenes subsection (1) and remains on or in the premises commits an offence.

Repealed

9  [Repealed 2004-73-5.]

Section 5 of the Offence Act

9.1  Section 5 of the Offence Act does not apply to this Act or the regulations.

Arrest without warrant

10  (1) In this section, "peace officer" means a peace officer described in paragraph (c) of the definition of "peace officer" in section 29 of the Interpretation Act and includes a conservation officer as defined in section 1 (1) of the Environmental Management Act.

(2) A peace officer may arrest without warrant any person found on or in premises if the peace officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds that the person is committing an offence under section 4 in relation to the premises.

(3) If a peace officer believes on reasonable and probable grounds that a person has committed an offence under section 4 and has recently departed from the premises, the peace officer may arrest the person without warrant if

(a) the person refuses to give his or her name and address to the peace officer on demand, or

(b) the peace officer believes, on reasonable and probable grounds, that the name or address given by the person to the peace officer is false.

Court may order compensation

11  (1) The Provincial Court, on application of an occupier of premises or another person injured, may order a person convicted of an offence under section 4 or 5 (7) in relation to those premises to pay restitution for the damage or loss that was sustained by the occupier or other person as a result of the commission of the offence.

(2) If an order is made against a defendant under subsection (1), no action for damage for trespass lies against the defendant for the loss or damage of the occupier or other person sustained as a result of the commission of the offence.

Repealed

12–14  [Repealed 2004-73-7.]

Power to make regulations

15  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may make regulations referred to in section 41 of the Interpretation Act.