SB-468 increases the amount of time that a 602 Trespass Letter request remains on file with Law Enforcement from 12 months to 3 years and allows for requests to be made electronically.
A 602 letter, or a Trespass Letter of Authority, is a formal request by a business or property owner to prosecute anyone who is loitering, or engaging in unlawful activity, on their property. Issued by a local Sheriff’s Department, this 602 letter must be on file in order to allow the Department the ability to detain or discourage people from loitering, trespassing or engaging in any other illegal behaviors in or around a property during the owner’s absence. The letter greatly improves a City’s and Sheriff Department’s abilities to act against unwelcome trespassers.
Trespass letters grant law enforcement permission to enforce trespassing laws upon, and within, private property with or without a call for service. If an individual is found to be trespassing on a property after being properly warned, and the property owner has submitted a 602 letter, and is off-site or the location is closed, law enforcement can take appropriate action. Completion of a 602 letter authorizes law enforcement to arrest and/or issue citations to trespassers for up to 12 months from the date the letter was signed.
Currently, 602 letters must be completed annually, requiring property owners to renew trespass letters year after year. This timeline has become burdensome for property owners, depletes resources from law enforcement, and is needless repetition for businesses and landowners. Without these letters on file with law enforcement, efforts to deal with chronic trespassers can be significantly hindered. These requests for assistance have proven to be incredibly beneficial, and are key to ensuring expedited response calls for service. Allowing additional time between renewals streamlines the process and helps provide relief to law enforcement, and businesses or property owners.
SB 468 amends Section 602 of the penal code to increases the amount of time 602 letters can be on file from 12 months to 3 years. It additionally clarifies the request for assistance can be made using an electronic form which is notarized.