Alabama Governor Kay Ivey on Thursday signed legislation authorizing law enforcement to remove guests of recreational vehicle parks at the request of the RV park operator. House Bill 555 was sponsored by state Rep. Phillip Pettus, R-Killeen.
Pettus explained that HB555 simply puts RV parks on the same footing under the law as hotels and motels, who can call law enforcement and ask that a guest be removed and have law enforcement enforce that removal.
HB555 amends “Section 35-15-30, Code of Alabama 1975, to provide an affirmative duty of law enforcement officers to remove a guest illegally present at the park upon request by the park operator.”
“The operator of a recreational vehicle park may request a guest of the park who, while on the premises of the park, illegally possesses or deals in a controlled substance, as defined in Section 20-2-2; who disturbs the peace and comfort of other persons; or who causes damage to the park, to leave the park,” the bill reads.
The bill requires the operator of a recreational vehicle park to notify the guest in writing that the park no longer desires to entertain the guest and may request the guest immediately depart from the park. If the guest has paid in advance, the park operator, at the time the notice is given, shall tender to the guest the unused portion of the advance payment.
“Any guest who remains or attempts to remain in the park after being requested to leave pursuant to this subsection is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor,” it reads. “In the event any guest is unlawful on or about the premises of a recreational vehicle park as provided in subsection (c), the operator may call to his or her assistance any policeman, constable, deputy sheriff, sheriff, or other law enforcement officer, and it shall be the duty of the law enforcement officer, upon request of the operator of the recreational vehicle park, to immediately remove or eject any such guest, using force if necessary.”
The bill requires that “the operator of the park shall employ all reasonable and proper means to care for any personal property left on the premises by a guest who has been removed as a result of this section and refund any unused portion of monies paid by the guest for the occupancy of the premises.”
Some state representatives said that law enforcement could already do this. Pettus said that that was not clear in the law and that some law enforcement agencies wanted this bill to clarify the situation regarding the eviction of RV park guests.
The legislation passed the House on a 68 to 22 vote but passed the Senate unanimously 31 to 0.