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Trespassing on a closed road.

Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
I was just curious if anyone had any info on this because I was ticketed 125.-- on a road that had no signs or gates at all! I asked the officers why we wheren't getting a warning and they said because it was a closed road. I figured arguing wouldn't get me anywhere so I took the ticket and a left. From what I've gathered about florida law and tresspassing there must be signs and/or a gate to let people know the road is closed. Without these signs it is nearly impossible for someone to tell if its tresspassing. Am I off on thinking this? Not to mention me and a few friends have been fishing there for over 2 months, a couple times a week and never ever had a problem until this.:nono

Thanks for any help or suggestions ahead of time!
2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25

Replies

  • 2centsworth2centsworth Posts: 1,221 Officer
    Go take pics of the road, better yet take video if possible to indicate that no signage exists. Then go to court.
    Original member 3093. Sign on date August 23, 2001
  • FrisbeeFrisbee Posts: 2,315 Officer
    land owners/ taxpayers get johnny law to work for them. They do more for them than for the common man. they know they aren't being fair. They are just doing what the powerful people want. Judges will be fair if you have your ducks in a row
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    Thanks! I'm going to do my best, it was an honest mistake so hopefully it will workout in my favor. I'll definitely have pics and video showing there is no visable sign.
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,693 AG
    Frisbee wrote: »
    land owners/ taxpayers get johnny law to work for them. They do more for them than for the common man. they know they aren't being fair. They are just doing what the powerful people want. Judges will be fair if you have your ducks in a row
    Maybe the landowner/taxpayer got tired of the non taxpaying, littering, POS trespassers tearing down his signs and gate. Just because it isn't posted don't make it yours to do with what you want.

    If your were in a WMA then you should have had the brochure showing the open and closed roads.
    Pay your fine and learn from this.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Maybe the landowner/taxpayer got tired of the non taxpaying, littering, POS trespassers tearing down his signs and gate. Just because it isn't posted don't make it yours to do with what you want.

    If your were in a WMA then you should have had the brochure showing the open and closed roads.
    Pay your fine and learn from this.

    LoL, not in this case bud... There where never any signs in this spot since the day I started fishing it let alone gates that where ripped down, lol ! I don't liter and I follow the laws on the water to the T so go bash someone elses thread with your negativity... I will take my chances in court thanks anyway. The only people that new about this spot where me and a friend and I know this because no one else ever came to the spot before FWC in the 2 month period I was fishing it. Its simple if there was a gate or a sign I wouldn't have went down the road in the first place.
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • TripleXTripleX Posts: 1,774 Moderator
    What was the exact statute you were cited for?
  • ruskinredneckruskinredneck Posts: 1,121 Officer
    TripleX wrote: »
    What was the exact statute you were cited for?
    ^ This is need to know information. And what county? If you are near west central, I might try the case for you.
  • spinfreakspinfreak Posts: 5,204 Admiral
    I don't know if this is accurate or not, but I remember a few years back, several people said that in FL, a landowner does not need to post signs on his property, and you could be fined/arrested if you trespass onto private land even if it's not posted.
    Exiled Dungeon Master of The Freakshow :cool:
    YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP! Seriously. Do it for yourself and loved ones. You have issues
  • 9-Lives9-Lives Posts: 2,124 Captain
    Thanks! I'm going to do my best, it was an honest mistake so hopefully it will workout in my favor. I'll definitely have pics and video showing there is no visable sign.

    I hope you don't get another ticket while trying to get the pictures and video, but I must say, it would be funny. Good luck.
    marlin_baitball.gif
  • SCFD rtrd.SCFD rtrd. Posts: 1,390 Officer
    Why are you so upset about getting a ticket? All property is owned by someone ( Feds, State, County, City, Corporations, Associations, or a private citizen). You obviously knew that the land was not yours. I'm not sure that any land has to be legally posted (with signs), but let me ask you a question. I'll bet you don't have posted signs in your front yard, however you would be very upset if someone decided to set-up a duck blind on your lawn.

    You may worm your way out of this ticket, but remember this. All land belongs to someone, if it's not yours, do not enter.
  • LODI QUACKERLODI QUACKER Posts: 149 Deckhand
    SCFD rtrd. wrote: »
    Why are you so upset about getting a ticket? All property is owned by someone ( Feds, State, County, City, Corporations, Associations, or a private citizen). You obviously knew that the land was not yours. I'm not sure that any land has to be legally posted (with signs), but let me ask you a question. I'll bet you don't have posted signs in your front yard, however you would be very upset if someone decided to set-up a duck blind on your lawn.

    You may worm your way out of this ticket, but remember this. All land belongs to someone, if it's not yours, do not enter.

    Yep it does, quite a bit to the state, which usually alows ingress and egress for people to conduct normal recreational purposes. "Worm your way out of it" you know good and well if you were talking face to face to a stranger, this is not what you would say.

    Why all the bitterness?
  • deervalley27deervalley27 Posts: 155 Deckhand
    SCFD rtrd. wrote: »
    Why are you so upset about getting a ticket? All property is owned by someone ( Feds, State, County, City, Corporations, Associations, or a private citizen). You obviously knew that the land was not yours. I'm not sure that any land has to be legally posted (with signs), but let me ask you a question. I'll bet you don't have posted signs in your front yard, however you would be very upset if someone decided to set-up a duck blind on your lawn.

    You may worm your way out of this ticket, but remember this. All land belongs to someone, if it's not yours, do not enter.


    I BET ALL YOUR NEIGHBORS REALLY LOVE YOU....
  • tennmiketennmike Posts: 400 Deckhand
    It's pretty simple to find out who a piece of property belongs to that you want to hunt or fish. Just go to the Registrar of Deeds, or the equivalent where you live, at the county courthouse. Makes contacting the owner easy to ask for permission to be on their land. They have the right to regulate access to their property, period.

    There's lots of reasons that property owners regulate access. If someone is on private property and gets hurt, they are likely to sue for damages. They also need to know who is on their property, and if they have permission to be there. Courtesy and respect for the property owner go a long way.

    All those No Trespassing signs started to proliferate because the legal system decided it was the property owner's fault for having an 'attractive nuisance' like a lake or good hunting area, or a swimming pool. Since the landowner is legally liable for injury in this litigious society, the No Trespassing signs are the only protection they have to protect from ruinous lawsuits. It's easier to find out who owns the land and ask permission than to deal with the ticket you get for trespassing. Do the right thing; ask first.
  • ZenoZeno Posts: 19 Greenhorn
    If you are going to court you should arm yourself with knowledge. Go to the law library. Show the ticket to the librarian and ask her to help you find the violation in Mc Kinney's laws. Read the statute and the prior cited cases and photocopy them for yourself. Go to court on the proper date and ask for a trial. If the LEO fails to come to court ask the judge to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute the matter. If the judge refuses to do so ask him ( nicely ) if you had not come to court would he extend the same courtesy to you if the situation was reversed? If the judge adjourns the matter you should ask him to mark it final for trial. Bring your friend to court to tell the Judge that the road has never been posted. If you can find a notation in the law that says that land ( notice ) must be posted make a copy of that and ask the judge to take ""judicial notice" of the law. If the LEO comes to court and tells the judge that you are guilty ( and believe me he will do so ) read the back of the summons to him and ask him if he appeared before a ( I think the term is swearing officer ) his sergeant and took an oath to tell the truth and if he does so tell the judge to give you an adjournment for the court to have the clerk issue a subpoena for his boss. Also ask him if he is actually aware of when the enabling statute giving the state to close off a road ( it is a big deal to close a road ) is and who owns the road if the state of florida ( small f on purpose ) owns the road how does he know that? If he says that someone told him object on the grounds of hearsay. He must know of his own personal knowledge. To be honest I think that this summons if baloney and then are relying on you playing the part of the local bumpkin to get you to do their job for them. Good luck with this. Win or lose go down swinging.
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,982 Admiral
    In other words you are probably going to be paying the fine.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • bebrownbebrown Posts: 340 Deckhand
    As a land manager of thousands of acres, I can tell you that getting FWC or LEO to help "patrol or catch" trespassers is next to impossible. I had a situation where I had a person on camera where you could see his face and full body, dressed in full camo, carrying a gun, and the FWC told me that unless they saw them in the act, they couldn't issue a citation. I understand that they could set up on an area for 6 days a week, and the perp will come on the 7th.

    I recall back in the 80's we used to contact the farmer/landowner for permission first. Usually they would say yes and we would go fish the farm ponds and clean up after our self. Nowadays, I have trespassers that come onto the property, fish in the man made, stocked pond, take the fish with them and leave all sorts of bread bags, worm containers, beer cans, big gulp cups etc. It took 2 cases of young adults 18 and 20 (both of whom i warned when they were 13 and 15) and word got out that it isn't worth fishing and hunting on this property. There is no respect so I show them no respect. Trespass, get caught, go to jail!! My favorite is when the accused says "I didn't know this was private property." I use the same example above about going into their home and not knowing that it was private property. You know what is yours, if you don't then you should stay out until you have permission or know for sure.


    On a different note, I asked an FWC officer what I should do if I catch them on my land, and he said try and get them to stay but don't use a weapon. I could then be charged with aggravated kidnapping for holding someone against their will with a weapon. Isn't that some BS!!
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    9-Lives wrote: »
    I hope you don't get another ticket while trying to get the pictures and video, but I must say, it would be funny. Good luck.

    Yes, that would have sucked! Luckily for me I took the video and pics with no problems.
    spinfreak wrote: »
    I don't know if this is accurate or not, but I remember a few years back, several people said that in FL, a landowner does not need to post signs on his property, and you could be fined/arrested if you trespass onto private land even if it's not posted.

    I don't believe this is the case after reading the post of florida tresspassing laws above but I will know soon unfortunatley.
    ^ This is need to know information. And what county? If you are near west central, I might try the case for you.
    I'm East central, this was Kennedy Space center Property. Not sure if that makes a difference legally but there are plenty of roads around the area that people fish from and plenty of roads that are closed. Thats what makes this ticket so frustrating! Any tips or help is much appreciated!
    TripleX wrote: »
    What was the exact statute you were cited for?
    hard to read the writing but its

    50cfr 26.21a
    16 USC 668dd
    Yep it does, quite a bit to the state, which usually alows ingress and egress for people to conduct normal recreational purposes. "Worm your way out of it" you know good and well if you were talking face to face to a stranger, this is not what you would say.

    Why all the bitterness?

    Seems to be a few of those on here, I guess what these people dont realize is there are people fishing this property every day in different spots. I just happened to stumble across a non marked road thats not even really a road that your not allowed to park on. Without warning I guess they can give you a ticket but I'd rather pay a few extra dollars to find out if they are really in the right here..
    I BET ALL YOUR NEIGHBORS REALLY LOVE YOU....
    LoL, his point isn't even worth replying to but thanks!
    tennmike wrote: »
    It's pretty simple to find out who a piece of property belongs to that you want to hunt or fish. Just go to the Registrar of Deeds, or the equivalent where you live, at the county courthouse. Makes contacting the owner easy to ask for permission to be on their land. They have the right to regulate access to their property, period.

    There's lots of reasons that property owners regulate access. If someone is on private property and gets hurt, they are likely to sue for damages. They also need to know who is on their property, and if they have permission to be there. Courtesy and respect for the property owner go a long way.

    All those No Trespassing signs started to proliferate because the legal system decided it was the property owner's fault for having an 'attractive nuisance' like a lake or good hunting area, or a swimming pool. Since the landowner is legally liable for injury in this litigious society, the No Trespassing signs are the only protection they have to protect from ruinous lawsuits. It's easier to find out who owns the land and ask permission than to deal with the ticket you get for trespassing. Do the right thing; ask first.

    I would be more than happy to ask permission! In fact, I metioned that to the FWC officer and she kinda laphed and said unless you know the mayor you can't get permission to fish here. Well actually Park on this road, the fishing wasn't an issue!
    Zeno wrote: »
    If you are going to court you should arm yourself with knowledge. Go to the law library. Show the ticket to the librarian and ask her to help you find the violation in Mc Kinney's laws. Read the statute and the prior cited cases and photocopy them for yourself. Go to court on the proper date and ask for a trial. If the LEO fails to come to court ask the judge to dismiss the case for failure to prosecute the matter. If the judge refuses to do so ask him ( nicely ) if you had not come to court would he extend the same courtesy to you if the situation was reversed? If the judge adjourns the matter you should ask him to mark it final for trial. Bring your friend to court to tell the Judge that the road has never been posted. If you can find a notation in the law that says that land ( notice ) must be posted make a copy of that and ask the judge to take ""judicial notice" of the law. If the LEO comes to court and tells the judge that you are guilty ( and believe me he will do so ) read the back of the summons to him and ask him if he appeared before a ( I think the term is swearing officer ) his sergeant and took an oath to tell the truth and if he does so tell the judge to give you an adjournment for the court to have the clerk issue a subpoena for his boss. Also ask him if he is actually aware of when the enabling statute giving the state to close off a road ( it is a big deal to close a road ) is and who owns the road if the state of florida ( small f on purpose ) owns the road how does he know that? If he says that someone told him object on the grounds of hearsay. He must know of his own personal knowledge. To be honest I think that this summons if baloney and then are relying on you playing the part of the local bumpkin to get you to do their job for them. Good luck with this. Win or lose go down swinging.

    Thanks a lot for this info! I feel the same way, I actually brought my younger friend out to fish this day and he caught his first red and trout but it didn't end so well with both of us getting the ticket. We both where obviously clueless when it came to our right, not that it would have mattered but they where definitely set on giving us the sitation! I did mention a warning because I thought it would be only fair with no signs let alone a gate anywhere near the area but she said its a closed road so there is only the ticket.. I really feel like they are attempting to take advantage of us and they probably do it often out there so I will go down swinging if thats the case!!
    bebrown wrote: »
    As a land manager of thousands of acres, I can tell you that getting FWC or LEO to help "patrol or catch" trespassers is next to impossible. I had a situation where I had a person on camera where you could see his face and full body, dressed in full camo, carrying a gun, and the FWC told me that unless they saw them in the act, they couldn't issue a citation. I understand that they could set up on an area for 6 days a week, and the perp will come on the 7th.

    I recall back in the 80's we used to contact the farmer/landowner for permission first. Usually they would say yes and we would go fish the farm ponds and clean up after our self. Nowadays, I have trespassers that come onto the property, fish in the man made, stocked pond, take the fish with them and leave all sorts of bread bags, worm containers, beer cans, big gulp cups etc. It took 2 cases of young adults 18 and 20 (both of whom i warned when they were 13 and 15) and word got out that it isn't worth fishing and hunting on this property. There is no respect so I show them no respect. Trespass, get caught, go to jail!! My favorite is when the accused says "I didn't know this was private property." I use the same example above about going into their home and not knowing that it was private property. You know what is yours, if you don't then you should stay out until you have permission or know for sure.


    On a different note, I asked an FWC officer what I should do if I catch them on my land, and he said try and get them to stay but don't use a weapon. I could then be charged with aggravated kidnapping for holding someone against their will with a weapon. Isn't that some BS!!

    That is a great point and it must be frusrating to be on the other end of it! If there where any way for me to get permission I would have, just realize that this wole area is open for fishing and depending on the road "Ones not marked" you can poll off and launch your boat or in my case wade from the bank. So how is it fair for us to get ticketed when there was no way for us to know we where tresspassing in the first place? Its not like this is privitely owned, when I asked the officer how I could get permission to fish here like I said above she laphed and said unless you know the mayor you wont.

    Thanks again for everyones help and suggestions, with the exception of a few pointless comments this has helped a lot! I will keep you guys posted on what happens for those that are interested!:thumbsup
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    With the links above for florida law I think this is what applies to us, Lmk if I'm wrong at assuming this. Also I didn't see anything mentioned about a "Closed Road"

    (5)(a) “Posted land” is that land upon which:
    1. Signs are placed not more than 500 feet apart along, and at each corner of, the boundaries of the land, upon which signs there appears prominently, in letters of not less than 2 inches in height, the words “no trespassing” and in addition thereto the name of the owner, lessee, or occupant of said land. Said signs shall be placed along the boundary line of posted land in a manner and in such position as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line; or
    2.a. Conspicuous no trespassing notice is painted on trees or posts on the property, provided that the notice is:
    (I) Painted in an international orange color and displaying the stenciled words “No Trespassing” in letters no less than 2 inches high and 1 inch wide either vertically or horizontally;
    (II) Placed so that the bottom of the painted notice is not less than 3 feet from the ground or more than 5 feet from the ground; and
    (III) Placed at locations that are readily visible to any person approaching the property and no more than 500 feet apart on agricultural land.
    b. Beginning October 1, 2007, when a landowner uses the painted no trespassing posting to identify a “no trespassing” area, those painted notices shall be accompanied by signs complying with subparagraph 1. and placed conspicuously at all places where entry to the property is normally expected or known to occur.
    (b) It shall not be necessary to give notice by posting on any enclosed land or place not exceeding 5 acres in area on which there is a dwelling house in order to obtain the benefits of ss. 810.09 and 810.12 pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands.
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • tennmiketennmike Posts: 400 Deckhand
    50cfr 26.21a
    16 USC 668dd


    Looks like you got cited on federal trespass statutes.

    The first one refers to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
    The second one is United States Code 668dd
    50 CFR 26.21
    Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries

    CHAPTER I: UNITED STATES FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (CONTINUED)

    SUBCHAPTER C: THE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE SYSTEM

    PART 26: PUBLIC ENTRY AND USE

    Subpart B: Public Entry

    26.21 - General trespass provision.(a) No person shall trespass, including but not limited to entering, occupying, using, or being upon, any national wildlife refuge, except as specifically authorized in this subchapter C or in other applicable Federal regulations.

    (b) No unconfined domestic animals, including but not limited to dogs, hogs, cats, horses, sheep and cattle, shall be permitted to enter upon any national wildlife refuge or to roam at large upon such an area, except as specifically authorized under the provisions of ? 26.34, ? 27.91 or ? 29.2 of this subchapter C.

    Here's the link to the text of U.S.C Title 16 Section 668dd:

    http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2010-title16/html/USCODE-2010-title16-chap5A-subchapIII-sec668dd.htm
  • Egreen cobraEgreen cobra Posts: 230 Deckhand
    That's a Federal citation. FYI, read the ticket carefully.
    Federal court is a whole different animal.

    Generally:

    The fine amount on the ticket is a "make it go away" fee. It is not the true fine amount for the particular violation.
    If you elect to try the ticket and are found guilty by the judge/magistrate you are subject to the true fine amount which is much higher...

    Pay the fine @ $125 or challenge Goliath and be on the hook for say $500.

    FWIW
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    That's a Federal citation. FYI, read the ticket carefully.
    Federal court is a whole different animal.

    Generally:

    The fine amount on the ticket is a "make it go away" fee. It is not the true fine amount for the particular violation.
    If you elect to try the ticket and are found guilty by the judge/magistrate you are subject to the true fine amount which is much higher...

    Pay the fine @ $125 or challenge Goliath and be on the hook for say $500.

    FWIW

    Thanks cobra after doing some digging and with the help of you guys thats what I was affraid of... Unfortunatley I can't afford to take the chance on this one even though I strongly feel we where in the right. Thanks for the help!
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • LittleBertLittleBert Posts: 203 Deckhand
    Well this whole thing stinks. We used to run all over the refuge legally as long as the roads were not posted. I was unaware they were patrolling non-marked roads and claiming they are limited access. For as long as I remember sine the 70's you could legally access any area not marked. By the way, you maybe were not on KSC property but on the refuge. Nearly all of KSC is unaccessible to the public. KSC is within the refuge boundaries for the most part.

    First thing I would do is contact the superintendent of the park. He/she may be willing to help you out. I think they have an office in the park building on the main road. Go in person and ask for an appointment if they will not see you immediately. If they can't help, at least ask how they interpret the access restrictions.
  • SebastianRedSebastianRed Posts: 22 Deckhand
    Just taking a stab here, but from what you have described, You were probably on refuge property. Being that the citation is Federal, the officer was probably USFWS, not FWC. I don't think the fine was for where you parked as you said both of you got a ticket. I'm guessing you were in an area closed to fishing, there are several areas (black point etc) that have sections closed to fishing. You can read about them here http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/
    Maybe this info will help. Best Regards, Red
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,982 Admiral
    Just tell the judge you are an illegal alien and he will let you off.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • Settin_HooksSettin_Hooks Posts: 237 Deckhand
    Just taking a stab here, but from what you have described, You were probably on refuge property. Being that the citation is Federal, the officer was probably USFWS, not FWC. I don't think the fine was for where you parked as you said both of you got a ticket. I'm guessing you were in an area closed to fishing, there are several areas (black point etc) that have sections closed to fishing. You can read about them here http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/
    Maybe this info will help. Best Regards, Red

    The ticket was for "parking on a closed road" and the fishing wasn't the issue it was the area we parked. There are many boats that role through there which I plan to do here soon :) I even asked FWC and they said it was fine to fish from a boat.

    Thanks for the link though, that will help with avoiding any further problems!!
    2006 Maverick Master Angler SOLD
    2016 Sea Hunt Gamefish 25
  • LittleBertLittleBert Posts: 203 Deckhand
    From the refuge website:

    Traveling outside of designated routes of travel is prohibited. Designated routes of travel are shown on the Refuge maps or as posted with road closed, no vehicle, or foot traffic only signs.

    http://www.fws.gov/merrittisland/Regulations.html

    So if the road was not marked and is shown as an access route on the refuge map, I'd be going to court and arguing.
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