Thursday, September 01, 2011
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Don't want trespassers? Paint your trees purple

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[September 01, 2011]  SPRINGFIELD -- A new law signed recently by Gov. Pat Quinn allows Illinois landowners or lessees the option of using purple paint markings on trees or posts on their property as a "no trespassing" notice. The "Purple Paint Law" is designed as an alternative Illinois landowners can use to protect their property from trespassing.

The new law, Senate Bill 1914, was signed by the governor on Aug. 22 and took effect immediately.

While the new law gives Illinois landowners or lessees the option of marking their property with a series of defined purple paint markings on trees or posts, additional notice is still required through 2012. Until Jan. 1, 2013, landowners using purple marks must continue to issue a "no trespassing" notice, either by oral or written notice to individuals or by posting appropriate signage at the main entrance to the property in question.

Provisions of the new law require that the purple paint marks used to designate "no trespassing" notice must be either:

  1. A vertical line of at least 8 inches in length. The bottom of the mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet high. Each mark shall be no more than 100 feet from another such mark and be readily visible to any person approaching the property.

  2. A post capped or otherwise marked on at least its top 2 inches. The bottom of the cap or mark shall be between 3 feet and 5 feet, 6 inches high. Posts so marked shall be no more than 36 feet apart and be readily visible to any person approaching the property. Prior to applying a cap or mark that is visible from both sides of a fence shared by different property owners or lessees, all such owners or lessees must agree to the decision to post their own property.

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Trespassing on property marked for "no trespassing" is a Class B misdemeanor except in certain circumstances. The trespassing constitutes a Class A misdemeanor when a person trespasses using a motor vehicle if the marked area is an orchard, an enclosed area containing livestock, a barn or other agricultural building containing livestock, or a field that is used or capable of being used for growing crops.

No landowner or lessee is authorized to post purple marks if doing so would violate any applicable law, rule, ordinance, order, covenant, bylaw, declaration, regulation, restriction, contract or other instrument.

The law on purple markings does not apply to real property located in a municipality of over 2,000,000 inhabitants.

For more details on the new law, visit

[Text from news release from the Illinois Government News Network]

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