No trespassing

One problem we consistently hear about from Farm Bureau members is trespassing. Unfortunately, the amount of land that farmers have can often times be enticing to those who want to hike, ride ATVs, or just cause trouble. Members also are often concerned about what their liability is in certain situations, if visitors to their property get hurt. Here are five things to know about Ohio’s trespassing and landowner liability laws:

1. Trespassing is a crime under Ohio Revised Code 2911.21, and is typically a fourth degree misdemeanor. Landowners should contact local authorities if they see trespassers on their property, but should not attempt to detain a trespasser themselves.

2. Trespassing can also be the basis of a civil lawsuit. Most civil cases dealing with trespassing are concerned chiefly with recovering damages from trespassers. If landowners are interested in a civil claim, they should contact private legal counsel.

3. Under Ohio law, a person takes on a certain status when they enter the property of another. Depending on why or how the person has entered the property, they may be considered a trespasser, a known trespasser, a licensee/social guest or a business invitee.

4. Whether or not a landowner will be liable for a visitor’s injuries is somewhat dependent on the visiting person’s status. The status determines what duty the landowner owes to that visitor. Liability questions are largely based on the specific facts of the situation.

5. Ohio has created special protection for landowners in certain situations. First is a liability protection when land is opened to the public for recreational uses like hunting and fishing. Another protects landowners when they are using the property for public access to growing agricultural products, commonly referred to as “U-Pick” or “Pick Your Own” type establishments. However, landowners have no protection from liability for injuries that they may cause through intentional, willful or wanton misconduct.

More Landowner Information

For further explanation of these tips and other information on other topics impacting landowners, Ohio Farm Bureau members can log in and download the Landowner Toolkit. Not a member? Join today!

Also, listen to Legal with Leah, a podcast featuring Ohio Farm Bureau’s Leah Curtis discussing topics impacting landowners.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
Ernie Welch's avatar
Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
Austin Heil's avatar
Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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