Lets say Bob is right next to utility power lines poles and within the public easement of a road. The location adjacent the road is a government property. He is recording anything he can see in public and that causes the Police to see Bob as suspicious. When approached by the Police and asked for id. Bob refuses because he has not broken a law. For the context of this question, we will say Bob is in Florida and the relevant law the Police use as context for the stop is 901.151.

  • Can Police LEGALLY trespass Bob for being on a public easement even thou he broke no laws?
  • Can Police FORCE Bob to leave the area?

1 Answer 1


A public road easement is a right of way recognized under Florida law which includes the right to enter for certain purposes, which limits a property owner's otherwise exclusive right to his property. If a road easement exists, that means that at some point the county or an adjacent property owner could put in a road. It does not make that land public property: Bill still owns the land. Bob is trespassing on Bill's land, and can call the police to have Bob ejected. The situation is not substantially changed if there is also a power line easement, though of course if he is trespassing next to power lines there is some additional urgency to ejecting the trespasser. It is reasonable to suspect an intent to violate Fla. Stat. 812.14 "Trespass and larceny with relation to utility fixtures".

It would be a violation of 810.09 to enter and remain if notice against entering has been given, or the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender has the intent to commit an offense (e.g. 812.14). Bill or his agents can order Bob to leave, and if he does not comply, he has committed a crime. However, the police are not empowered to serve such notice on Bob, in case Bill is a regular old landowner. That opinion only applies to private landowners, so if the landowner is a government agency, they could well be enabled to serve the requisite notice to leave.

  • How do you get to "It is reasonable to suspect an intent to violate Fla. Stat. 812.14 "Trespass and larceny with relation to utility fixtures" for standing next to power line pole? Does not seem reasonable at all.. Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 22:10
  • Vandalism of power lines is a real problem.
    – user6726
    Commented Mar 4, 2023 at 23:17
  • Seems unreasonable to assume anyone standing next to a power line pole is suspected of vandalism, especially given that many bus stops around the country usually sit next them as well. Under this opinion, any person standing next to a power line pole would be suspected of a crime. Commented Mar 6, 2023 at 1:00

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