Criminal Trespass

Trespassing is entry onto another person’s land without permission.  Michigan state law forbids trespassing and contains provisions for trespassing in specific situations.  In addition, townships and cities generally have ordinances prohibiting trespassing that are not covered here.

General Trespassing

It is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both, to;

Enter the land or premises of another without lawful authority after have been forbidden to do so by the land’s owner,

Remain on the land of another after having been notified to depart by the land’s owner, or

Enter or remain on posted farm land with the owner’s permission except entry, by the most direct route, to contact the owner.

MCL 750.552

State Correctional Facilities

Trespassing upon the property of a state correctional facility is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both.  MCL 750.552b

Key Facilities

Trespassing on the property of a key facility is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both.  MCL 750.552c.  A key facility is defined as a structure completely enclosed by a physical barrier of any kind, including a barrier made of water designed to impede entrance.  A key facility also includes;

Chemical manufacturing plant

Refinery

Electric utility facility, such as a power plant

Water treatment center

Natural gas utility facility, not including a gas pipeline that is not completely enclosed

Gasoline, propane, or liquid natural gas fuel terminal or storage facility

Transportation facility such as a port, railroad switching yard, or trucking terminal

Pulp or paper manufacturing facility

Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility

Hazardous waste storage, treatment, or disposal facility

Telecommunication facility, including a central office or cellular telephone tower

Any facility substantially similar to the above facilities

A key facility must have signs that are posted in a conspicuous manner against entry.  The minimum letter height on the posting signs shall be 1 inch.  Each posting sign shall not be less than 50 square inches, and the signs shall be spaced to enable a person to observe not less than 1 sign at any point of entry upon the property.

The prohibition against trespassing at a key facility does not prohibit lawful assemblies or a peaceful and orderly petition for the redress of grievances, such as a labor dispute between an employer and its employees

Specific Trespassing Laws

The following are all misdemeanors:

Trespass by cutting or destroying property.  MCL 750.546

Trespass upon the improved land of another with the intent to injure or destroy.  MCL 750.547

Trespass upon Cranberry Marshes – A person may not enter a cranberry marsh and taking any cranberries or destruction of the plants.  MCL 750.548

Trespass upon Huckleberry and Blackberry Marshes – A person may not enter such marshes and take or destroy the berries without the permission of the owner.  The owner must have posted conspicuous notice in at least three locations that trespass is forbidden.  MCL 750.549

Trespass on Vineyards, Orchards, or Gardens – A person may enter such areas without the consent of the owner and pick, take away, or destroy any of the fruits.  MCL 750.5510

Trespass; Injuring and Destroying Medicinal Plants – A person may not trespass upon areas where plants such as ginseng are growing and take or destroy the plants or their seeds.  MCL 750.551

Trespass in order to unlawfully dump, deposit, or place on property of another trash or refuse.  MCL 750.552a

If you have been charged with trespassing contact ArborYpsi Law at 734.883.9584 or at bernstein@arborypsilaw.com to speak with attorney Sam Bernstein.

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