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The City of Dubuque - Masterpiece on the Mississippi
Trespass Information
Dubuque Police Department's Trespass Procedures
A property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property may authorize the Dubuque Police Department to enforce Iowa's trespass law on private property, by issuing a citation or making an arrest when an officer witnesses a violation. Without such an authorization the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property would be able to sign charges against an offender at a later time. However, when the police are granted enforcement authority, immediate enforcement action can be taken. In order to assist with such requests the Dubuque Police Department has established the following procedures.
  
Please note that in cases of rented or leased residential property, the person renting or leasing the property has the sole authority to determine who is a guest at the premises (unless other restrictions such as those that are mutually agreed upon in a rental or lease agreement apply). A property owner or owner's agent can issue a no trespass notice regarding common areas of the building and exterior spaces, but not for inside the rented or leased area. Likewise, a renter or lessee can not control who is on/in the common areas of the property. The Dubuque Police Department recommends consulting with a private attorney for questions or concerns about landlord-tenant issues.
 

Types of Trespass Authorization
The Dubuque Police Department classifies trespass authorization into two types, general and individual. Either type of authorization can be applied to any type of property.
 

General Authorization
A general authorization is used when the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property desires a ban against any person on/in the property without consent or lawful purpose.

Individual Authorization
An individual authorization is used when the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property desires a ban against a known and specifically named person on/in the property without consent or lawful purpose. The property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property can specify conditions that will or will not constitute a violation (see "No Trespassing Notice" below).

Completing the Trespass Authorization & Notice Form
Once a property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property has determined which type of trespass authorization is desired, a Dubuque Police Department Trespass Authorization & Notice form must be completed. This form must be submitted to the police department for the police department to have trespass enforcement authority.
 
The written authorization is valid for a maximum period of twelve (12) months and can be renewed annually. It is the responsibility of the person completing the authorization form to keep track of its expiration date. Authorization can be revoked at any time by providing written notice to the police department. The Dubuque Police Department reserves the right to reject incomplete or fraudulent trespass documents.
 
DOWNLOAD A TRESPASS AUTHORIZATION & NOTICE FORM BY CLICKING HERE.
(This form can be opened and completed using Adobe Reader. Get it free by clicking here.)
 
Below is a step-by-step guide to completing the Trespass Authorization & Notice Form.  Click here for a printer-friendly copy.
 

Person Completing This Form
In the first section, the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property enters their name, full address, phone number(s), and indicates their relationship to the property.
  
Property Where Trespassing Is Prohibited
If the property of the trespass ban is a business, the name should be entered on the "Business Name" line; if it is not a business this space should be left blank.  The next line should contain a street address of the property.  All forms must include the street address to be valid and enforceable.  The person completing the form then checks a box to indicate the type of property the listed address refers to.
  
Authorization Type
Select the authorization type desired, general or individual.  Only one box should be checked.

General
If a general ban is desired, check the "General" box and proceed to the "Disclaimer and Signature of Person Completing This Form" section.
  
Individual
If an individual ban is desired, check the "Individual" box and enter the identifying information of the person to be banned, including their name, date of birth, and complete address.  If you need help properly identifying someone, please contact the police department for assistance.
 
By law, a person to be banned must be notified before enforcement action can take place (see "Service of Paperwork", below, for additional information).  The person submitting trespass documentation to the police department is responsible for serving the paperwork on the person to be banned by one of the methods listed below.  The Dubuque Police Department will not serve paperwork on the person to be banned.
 
 
The person completing the form must indicate how the banned person was served.  Check all that apply.

  • For a new ban: if a copy of the Dubuque Police Department Trespass Authorization & Notice form was served on the person, indicate if that was done in person, by certified mail, and/or by law enforcement.
  • For a new ban: if a copy of a different notice was served on the person (see "No Trespassing Notice" below for additional information), indicate if that was done in person, by certified mail, and/or by law enforcement.  If a different notice was used, a copy of that notice must be provided to the police department with the authorization form.
  • For a renewal of authorization only (when a notice was previously served on the banned person and a copy has already been provided to the police department): check the "authorization renewal only" box.

Notice To Individual Named (If Applicable)
In cases of an individual ban, this section provides the necessary language to notify the person to be banned that they are no longer welcome on/in the listed property and they may face criminal charges for violations.  The notice to the banned person does not expire unless revoked in writing.

The person completing the Trespass Authorization & Notice form may choose to use their own notice.  See "No Trespassing Notice", below, for additional information.
  
Disclaimer And Signature Of Person Completing This Form
This section contains the legal language necessary to authorize the Dubuque Police Department to act on behalf of the person completing the form.  Important points of this section include:

  • The person completing the form will cooperate with any prosecution resulting.
  • The authorization expires after twelve (12) months but may be revoked in writing prior to that time.
  • The person completing the form is responsible for renewing authorization if necessary.
  • The person signing the form has the legal authority to do so.
  • The property has been posted "No Trespassing" (for general bans) or the banned person has been notified (for individual bans).

The person completing the form must then sign and date it.  For forms submitted electronically, typing a name on the signature line substitutes for an ink signature.  Forms are not valid unless signed and dated.

No Trespassing Notice
In cases of an individual ban (this section does not apply to a general ban, proceed to "Submission of Forms", below) the person to be banned must be notified before enforcement action can take place.  As noted above, the Dubuque Police Department Trespass Authorization & Notice form contains the necessary language to notify the person to be banned that they are no longer welcome on/in the listed property and they may face criminal charges for violations.  Thus, service of the DPD Trespass Authorization & Notice form on the person to be banned satisfies legal requirements and a separate notice is not required.

However, a property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property may wish to use their own no trespassing notice in place of the language on the authorization & notice form; doing so allows for greater flexibility, including establishing specific terms or conditions that constitute a violation or establishing an expiration date of the notice.  Any notice should warn the person to be banned that they are no longer allowed in/on the listed property and that they will be charged with trespassing upon their return.
 
If a different no trespassing notice is used, a copy must be provided to the police department with the completed Trespass Authorization & Notice form.  Please note that a different notice does not substitute for the trespass authorization form; both must be submitted for the police department to take enforcement action.
 
The person submitting trespass documentation to the police department is responsible for serving the paperwork on the person to be banned.
 
Service of Paperwork
For individual bans (this section does not apply to a general ban, proceed to "Submission of Forms", below) the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property may choose one of the following options to serve paperwork on the person to be banned:
 

In Person
Although in person service meets the requirements of Iowa law, it is more difficult to prove in court; service by certified mail with return receipt or by law enforcement is preferred.

If in person service is used to serve a no trespassing notice to the person being banned from a property, it is preferred to have the banned person sign the form to indicate they received notification. A witness to the service is also preferable.

Certified Mail
Certified mail can be used to serve the no trespassing notice on the person to be banned. Regular mail does not offer sufficient proof that the person received the notice.

If certified mail is used for service, the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of the property is responsible for maintaining the certified mail receipt. The police department requests that a copy of the certified mail receipt be forwarded to the police department for inclusion with other paperwork.
 
Under Iowa law, certified mail is considered received four days after it is postmarked, which is when enforcement can begin.

By Law Enforcement
The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office will serve such a notice for a fee of $15 plus mileage--$0.50 per mile, round trip--if the address of the person to be served is within Dubuque County. This is a flat fee, regardless of how many attempts are needed to actually serve the person.  Rates are set by the DCSO and are subject to change without notice. 

A person desiring the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office to serve a no trespassing notice needs to provide the following:

    • Two copies of the Trespassing Authorization & Notice form or no trespassing notice*
    • Name of the person that needs to be served
    • Where to serve the person
    • How to serve the person (any special instructions)
    • Who is having the person served
    • Billing information

    This information can be provided to the sheriff’s office:
    • In person at the Dubuque Law Enforcement Center, 770 Iowa Street, during the hours of 8AM-5PM Monday-Friday
    • By mail to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office, 770 Iowa Street, Dubuque, IA 52001
    • By fax to the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office at (563) 589-7882

    *Copies of the Trespassing Authorization & Notice form or no trespassing notice required by the sheriff's office are in addition to the copy required to be submitted to the Dubuque Police Department.

    Questions concerning service by the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office can be directed to (563) 589-4404 during the hours of 8AM-5PM Monday-Friday.


    Submission of Forms
    A completed Trespass Authorization & Notice form (and no trespassing notice, if a different form was used for individual bans) must be forwarded to the Dubuque Police Department in order for the police department to be able to act as an agent of the property owner, owner's agent, lessee, or person in lawful possession of property.  Include copies of certified mail or proof of service documents with the submission.

    Documents can be submitted:
     
    Records Maintenance
    Persons submitting trespass documentation to the Dubuque Police Department should be aware of the following information:

     
    Electronic Records
    The Dubuque Police Department will maintain only electronic copies of trespass authorization forms and no trespass notices. The person completing the document(s) should maintain copies for their records.

    Expired Trespass Authorization & Notice Forms
    The Dubuque Police Department will maintain trespass documents for one week past their expiration date. If a renewed Trespass Authorization & Notice form has not been received prior to the end of that week then the expired documentation will be deleted.

    Assistance
    For assistance with trespass related issues or documentation please contact Community Oriented Policing.


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