Why Is There a Pokemon Go Trespassing Problem?
The wildly popular mobile game, Pokemon Go, meshes the virtual world with the real by making players visit specific locations to play the game. The app is based on a database of player submitted data and other location-based online information.
The issue with linking a mobile game to real locations is that not all land is intended for public use. Pokemon Go can lead players onto private land which can result in trespassing violations and frustrated landowners.
The Trespassing Law
Simply put the Texas trespassing law (penal code § 30.05. Criminal Trespass) states that an offense occurs when a person knowingly enters or stays on private land without effective consent.
For a trespassing violation to occur there needs to be a form of communication between the landowner and the visitor. An owner can communicate that a land is private a few ways, some of them are somewhat vague so it is important to be informed of the signs.
Trespassing is a major offense in Texas and can result in a misdemeanor violation and even up to 180 days in jail if you are prosecuted. Trespassing should be taken seriously, and so should Pokemon Go, so follow these tips to catch em’ all, safely.
Trespassing Is About Consent
Whether or not you are trespassing relies on consent. Just because a property is private does it necessarily mean you are prohibited from it. All shopping centers, businesses, and restaurants are on private property, but these areas give anyone reasonable consent to use the land.
The law is that you are allowed to be on open private land until someone asks you to leave. Anybody with an authority of the land, employees, security guards, owner’s, police, organizers and anybody in between have the legal authority to restrict the use of private property.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
If you are trying to get to a new poke-stop, gym or chasing down a Pokemon’s location, stay aware of the land you are on. You can quickly find yourself on restricted private property, and sometimes the boundaries between private and public land are hard to spot.
A no trespassing sign may seem obvious, but it counts as a written notice that a visitor does not have consent to enter a property. Legal written notice must be posted at a reasonable place of entry, and should specify that entrance is forbidden. There are many acceptable variations of no trespassing signs including “No Entrance” and “Do Not Enter.”
Fences, specifically those intended to hold livestock, count as a notice of private property in Texas. The code is written to protect farmers and ranchers from livestock damage and potentially serious liability cases. A fence establishes a boundary that should not be crossed and requires consent of the landowner to enter.
Purple Paint Markers
In Texas, a purple painted line on a tree or pole can count as written notice of private property. The purple line should be easy to spot and should be around an inch of width and eight inches in vertical height. Usually, it will appear as a large purple painted section of a tree. The color purple was used to specify property lines because it is recognizable even by people that are colorblind.
Find Pokemon Somewhere Else
If you notice any of the signs of restricted private land, it is best to move along. Online maps are a great resource when trying to catch a particular Pokemon. Some maps use location services which show a live feed of Pokemon’s locations, and there are maps that are user submitted and vetted. Online Pokemon Go maps show areas where you can go, legally, to catch them all.
If you are having trouble with Pokemon Go trainers being on your land, there are a few solutions to choose from. The best of which is to have a conversation with them The Pokemon Go community is very friendly and respectful, simply informing them about your issues should work. Some locations like museums, cemeteries, and government buildings should post specific Pokemon Go specific signs that inform visitors to be respectful and mindful of their surroundings.
If you remain to have safety issues with Pokemon Go trainers entering your property you should follow these options.
Remove Your Location From The App
The Pokemon Go game developers, Niantic Labs, are working to take down any listing that is on private land, unwanted by a business owner, or found dangerous. You can request to remove a location from Pokemon Go by stating that a location is either on private property or is dangerous.
Install A Fence
A fence is the best way to keep people from accessing your property. A fence both counts as a property line border and will prevent Pokemon go trainers from entering your property. Discount Fence can work with you to find acceptable fencing options for your land. No matter how large or small, we have affordable fencing options to choose from.
Post No Trespassing Signs
No trespassing signs are the most specific nonverbal form of informing visitors that land is not permitted for public use. No trespassing signs must be posted in an area of reasonable entry, such as dirt roadways, trails, along fences, and gates.
Mark Trees or Posts With Purple Lines
Purple painted lines on posts or trees with 8 inches in vertical height, and more than one inch of horizontal length work great for large properties. In Texas, purple painted trees are a common demarcation of property lines and act as written notice of trespassing. The purple painted lines must be at a place visible to people going towards the property and should be no more than 100 feet apart in the wooded areas and 1,000 feet apart in open land.
Protect Your Property
We at Discount Fence can walk you through all of the preeminent property line and fencing options that you have to choose from. Contact us today to get your free on-site consultation.