Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation members are one step closer to having more protection regarding property rights. The Mississippi House passed the Landowner Protection Act this week after the bill passed out of the House Judiciary A Committee last Tuesday.

Protecting property rights has always been a critical piece of Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation’s advocacy efforts, and those efforts continue with the organization’s support of the Landowner Protection Act. This act will provide another layer of protection for property owners and give juries guidance in determining fault when a third party criminal action takes place.

The law will allow a landowner and criminal to stand in front of a jury to make their case on who should be responsible, giving the jury decision-making power.

“We are grateful to see the Mississippi House support the Landowner Protection Act,” Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation President Mike McCormick said. “This act will bring some relief to our farmers and ranchers who have suffered from the previous law.”

According to the current law, when a criminal commits a crime on someone else’s property, juries are prohibited from apportioning fault to the criminals in civil trials against landowners. This has left property owners with the financial burden of these cases, driving companies and capital investments out of Mississippi.

This act will allow juries to split fault between the premises owner and the criminal when there is a civil law suit. The act states the premises owner must actively and consciously allow for the crime to be committed.

The bill will now go back to the Senate. The Senate will either approve the changes from the house or they will not agree and the bill will go to conference.