purple paint law

Tennessee Purple Paint Law

The purple paint law is in effect for hunters and trespassers. Trespassing is a Class C Misdemeanor in the State of Tennessee which can result in a $50 dollar fine or up to 30 days in jail.

Many states use the what is called the Purple Paint Law, and this July it was passed for Tennessee. Property owners must do either of the following;

(1) Posts the property with signs that are visible at all major points of ingress to the property being posted and the signs are reasonably likely to come to the attention of a person entering the property; or

(2) Places identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on the property; provided, that at least one (1) sign is posted at a major point of ingress to the property in a manner that is reasonably likely to come to the attention of a person entering the property and that the sign includes language describing that the use of purple paint signifies “no trespassing.” If purple paint is used, then purple paint must be vertical lines of not less than eight inches (8″) in length and not less than one inch (1″) in width; placed so that the bottom of the mark is not less than three feet (3′) or more than five feet (5′) from the ground; and placed at locations that are reasonably likely to come to the attention of a person entering the property.

Signs or applicable purple marks should be posted every 100 yards on the barrier of your property. Signs must be visible from the outside of your property and not obstructed by shrubbery or trees. .

The law helps property owners and hunters. The idea is that individuals won’t miss the bright color. There is not a specific brand or brightness of the purple paint indicated in the law, so it’s the property owners/occupants preference. In the past property owners had a lot of problems with people tearing down signs so nobody else would know the signs were there so they could gain access and use the excuse “I didn’t know.” The “Purple Paint Law” makes it nearly impossible to remove or use as a defense identified in Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-14-405(b) relative to a criminal trespass charge when the applicable property owner has denoted that trespassing is prohibited with signs and purple paint markers.