What exactly does “enclosed” land means under the Massachusetts trespassing law? Does it mean land with defined boundarys such as old New England rock walls.

  • I don't know the answer, but try looking at the hunting laws. In some states, the hunting laws either define "enclosed", or refer to other laws that define "enclosed", and go on to specify the size, color, placement, and wording required for signs that prohibit others from hunting on your property. – Gerard Ashton Oct 11 '18 at 13:26

It appears to mean only that there is something surrounding the land to prevent someone from just walking in.

The enclosure requirement can be satisfied in "a great variety of cases and circumstances," Lyman v. Gipson, 35 Mass. 422, 426 (1836), and courts seem to have accepted various structures to satisfy the enclosure requirement, finding that land was enclosed by:

  • "a river, fence or road," Allen v. Holton, 37 Mass. 458, 458 (1838);
  • "a locked gate and cement bleachers," Com. v. Juvenile, 6 Mass. App. Ct. 106, 107, 373 N.E.2d 1202, 1203 (1978);
  • "stadium walls," Com. v. Juvenile, 6 Mass. App. Ct. 106, 108, 373 N.E.2d 1202, 1204 (1978);
  • "trees, a fence, shrubbery," Com. v. Simmons, 392 Mass. 45, 49, 466 N.E.2d 85, 88 (1984); and
  • "by stone walls and gates," Burlingame v. Gay, No. 00 MISC. 267626 KCL, 2011 WL 2762065, at *2 (Mass. Land Ct. July 18, 2011).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.