The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:20 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
Confusing the polarity
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Somewhere fictional
Posts: 8,608
"Posted": Why do signs say this?

I was driving home today and saw something I've wondered about for awhile: a sign that read:

POSTED
No Trespassing


(some small print I couldn't read from the car)

I've seen signs like this before. What's up with the word "POSTED" on the sign? Isn't it obvious that if it's there nailed to a signpost or stuck to the side of a building, it's posted? Is there some legal requirement that you have to add this?

Just curious.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:22 PM
Lukeinva Lukeinva is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
It means they're not fucking around.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:27 PM
Chessic Sense Chessic Sense is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
The sign isn't posted, the land is posted. It means it's privately owned, so you can't hunt, fish, or otherwise trespass there.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:42 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
At 1d of this definition of the verb
Quote:
d : to forbid (property) to trespassers under penalty of legal prosecution by notices placed along the boundaries
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 04-09-2012, 02:56 PM
brad_d brad_d is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
It sounds as if the words "no trespassing" are neither necessary nor sufficient, legally, but are instead just a translation into plain language of the legal term "Posted". Is that correct?

Would a sign simply stating "POSTED" have the same legal significance? Or is there more than one variety of "posting" such that a more specific description is required?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:06 PM
njtt njtt is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
OK, explain this one then!
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:13 PM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
I think "posted" is added to no trespassing signs for legal purposes. Such signs must be posted to be binding, and adding the word ensures there is no misunderstanding. (The signs, obviously, must be placed at conspicuous places and not, for example, under a rock.)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:13 PM
sevenwood sevenwood is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by brad_d View Post
Would a sign simply stating "POSTED" have the same legal significance? Or is there more than one variety of "posting" such that a more specific description is required?
The latter, I believe.

As I recall, where/when I grew up (New Jersey in the sixties) the POSTED - NO HUNTING signs had to be no more than a specified distance apart (and it was a ridiculously small distance) or hunters could claim that they didn't see one when they entered the property.

Last edited by sevenwood; 04-09-2012 at 03:14 PM.. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:14 PM
Joey P Joey P is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 21,080
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
OK, explain this one then!
I agree, the word "notice" really doesn't need to be there.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:15 PM
running coach running coach is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 14,965
Quote:
Originally Posted by njtt View Post
OK, explain this one then!
It means you can shoot it. Yee-haw!!!!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-09-2012, 04:26 PM
Al Bundy Al Bundy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Read the small print

The small print is generally a citing of the local ordinance under which the trespass is illegal. Posting the land eliminates any question of illegal trespass and defines the area.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:08 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
Confusing the polarity
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Somewhere fictional
Posts: 8,608
Ah, okay, thanks. I had no idea that the "posted" referred to the land and didn't just mean "Hey, I'm posting this sign."
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:13 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbitu8 View Post
I think "posted" is added to no trespassing signs for legal purposes. Such signs must be posted to be binding, and adding the word ensures there is no misunderstanding. (The signs, obviously, must be placed at conspicuous places and not, for example, under a rock.)
We were taught in a small rural grade school that the language had something to do with legalities. Too long, I cannot recall anymore about it.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-09-2012, 05:32 PM
Polycarp Polycarp is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: A better place to be
Posts: 26,718
Note that the posting can specify what forms of trespass are prohibited, as for example 'POSTED / No Hunting or Fishing' where people may use the land for nature walks, etc., but the owner does not want hunters or fishermen using his land.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-09-2012, 07:27 PM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
A sign that used to be common around here read, "IF YOUR LAND IS POSTED, KEEP THE HELL OFF OF MINE". (Caps included)

Last edited by BrotherCadfael; 04-09-2012 at 07:27 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 04-09-2012, 07:40 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
The sign isn't posted, the land is posted. It means it's privately owned, so you can't hunt, fish, or otherwise trespass there.
This is sort of it. "Legally posted" means the tract of land complies with the applicable requirements under the local trespass signage law.

For example, in Florida, "posted" land is:
Quote:
...land upon which 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.

Lewis v. State, 932 So. 2d 357, 358 (Fla. 2d DCA 2006)
Under normal circumstances, you cannot be prosecuted for trespass unless you refuse the property owner's order to leave.

If land is posted, unauthorized entry becomes prima facie evidence that the intruder intended to trespass. In other words, you can be prosecuted simply for being on the land; the signage is notice that you do not have license to enter the property and substitutes for the property owner's instruction.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 04-09-2012 at 07:41 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-09-2012, 10:30 PM
GaryM GaryM is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: St. Louis, MO 50mi. West
Posts: 3,251
In Missouri, and many other states, you no longer have to post signage. All you have to do is paint purple paint on trees or fence posts along the property edge.

Makes it harder for vandals to remove or deface the signs.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-10-2012, 04:11 AM
barbitu8 barbitu8 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
There's a sign on a tract of land in my neighborhood. This tract has a driveway leading up to a hill. You cannot see what is on that land unless you trespass and go up the hill, but there's a sign at the entrance: "No trespassing. Violaters will be shot." (We have a very liberal "castle" law here.)
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 04-10-2012, 08:31 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2003
And spelling.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.