CHAPTER 384

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 823

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 14, TITLE 25, DELAWARE CODE, RELATING TO TIMBER TRESPASS

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend §1401, Chapter 14, Title 25, Delaware Code, by striking all of said section and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

§1401. Liability for damages; court's authority to determine whether trespass was intentional, exemplary and actual damages

(a) Whoever wilfully, negligently, or maliciously cuts down or fells or causes to be cut down or felled a tree or trees growing upon the land of another, without the consent of the owner, shall be liable for damages as set forth in subsection (b) of this section.

(b) In civil actions brought for an act of timber trespass the courts shall have the authority to determine whether such trespass was unintentional or wilful and award damages accordingly. If the plaintiff shall satisfy the court that the metes and bounds of his property at the place of the trespass were appropriately established and marked by reasonably permanent and visible markers, or established that the trespasser was on notice that the rights of the plaintiff were in jeopardy, the court shall find that the trespass was wilful and shall award exemplary damages equal to triple the fair value of the trees removed plus the cost of litigation. If, however, the court shall find that the trespass was unintentional, the court may award the plaintiff damages equal to the conversion value of the trees taken or damaged plus cost of litigation."

Approved June 29, 1978.