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Senate Bill 1345 — Private property

Senate Bill 1345 — Private property

Parrish Miller
February 19, 2024

Bill Description: Senate Bill 1345 would codify court precedents limiting government access to private land.

Rating: +1

Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?

Senate Bill 1345 would create Section 18-117, Idaho Code, which says in its intent language that, when landowners fence or post "No Trespassing" signs on their private property or, by some other means, indicate unmistakably that entry is not permitted, law enforcement must secure permission from the landowner, or obtain a search warrant, before entering the property, unless there are exigent circumstances. 

The law would say, "No law enforcement officer may, in the course of performing the duties of a law enforcement officer, enter onto any private property that is not open to the public unless the officer has a warrant or has explicit permission from the landowner or lessee."

The will provides broad exceptions, however. "Any officer may enter onto private property without permission if probable cause exists that a violation of a law that the officer is authorized to enforce has been, is being, or is about to be committed on the private property; to respond to emergency situations, accidents, or other imminent or immediate threats to public safety occurring on the private property; or during the course and scope of fulfilling his lawful duties, such as serving notice or evicting tenants."

This legislation is, according to its intent language, designed to ensure "that private property rights and privacy rights are protected and respected." This is directionally correct, though it is unclear what effect this proposal would have, given the broad exceptions it contains.

Senate Bill 1345 would also create Section 36-1306, Idaho Code, effectively mirroring the prior section and applying it to conservation officers. It would add an exception for when the officer needs to "dispatch crippled wildlife on the private property that the conservation officer has personally and lawfully observed prior to entering."


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