Trespassing Laws & Punishments in Kansas

By Liza Martin
Kansas has criminal and civil laws and penalties for trespassing.

No Trespassing sign image by J Elkins from Fotolia.com

It is against the law in all states to trespass on private property without the owner's permission or without having an official reason. There are two types of trespass: criminal and civil. Police officers, sheriffs or park rangers enforce criminal trespassing, while civil trespassing requires a landowner to file a court action to collect any damages the trespasser caused, even if no crime was committed. The state of Kansas has laws pertaining to both types of trespassing.

Criminal Trespass

It is illegal to enter or remain on any land, non-navigable body of water, structure, vehicle, aircraft or watercraft, or nuclear or healthcare facility without the owner or other authorized person's consent, according to Kansas Statute 21-3721.

It's considered trespassing if there are signs or postings, or if there are fences, locks or other means of enclosed, shut or secured passages of entry.

Criminal trespassing in Kansas is a Class B nonperson misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of no less than 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment and up to six months in jail.

Civil Trespass

It's considered trespassing when a person enters private property against the owner's consent, if there are "no trespassing" signs posted or when land is fenced. However, unwittingly entering private property does not constitute civil trespass. Civil trespassing lawsuits are typically initiated when a trespasser has damaged private property. The property owner must file a court action against the person accused of trespassing and may be awarded monetary damages, a restraining order or both.

Computer Trespass

Under Kansas Statute 21-3755, it is unlawful to access or attempt to access another person's computer, computer network, software, programs, systems, services, data, property or computer-related documentation without the owner's consent. Computer trespass is a Class A nonperson misdemeanor and punishable by up to one year in jail.

Trespassing Livestock

Kansas statutes say it is unlawful for any domestic animal (primarily livestock) to run at large. If the owners are negligent in the care and custody of their livestock, they can be held responsible for any damage their animals caused to another's property. If livestock do trespass and cause damage to another's property, that landowner may retain these animals until the livestock's owner has paid for damages.

Hunting

In Kansas, licensed hunters are permitted to trespass on private property to pursue a wounded game bird or animal. However, if the landowner instructs the hunter to leave, he must leave immediately. If a hunter fails to leave when told, he may be subjected to provisions of the criminal trespass law.

Railroads

It is against the law for anyone to enter or remain on railroad property without the owner or his agent's consent. Kansas statute 21-3761 defines "railroad property" as including, but not limited to, railroad tracks and cars, trains, locomotives, cabooses, rails, bridges, rolling stocks, work equipment, safety devices, switches, electronic signals, connections, trestles, right-of-ways or other property a railroad company owns, leases, operates or possesses.

Violation of this law is a Class A misdemeanor and considered a severity level 8, nonperson felony if the trespass results in more than $1,500 in monetary loss, damage or destruction of railroad property.

About the Author

Based in Dayton, Ohio, Liza Martin began writing in 2005. Her work has appeared in "The Destin Log," "The Newark Advocate," Metromix, and in Columbus publications "City Scene Magazine," "Dublin Magazine," "Upper Arlington Magazine" and "Westerville Magazine." Her areas of expertise include education, music, literature, and health. Martin has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Ohio University.

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