If a county is listed as the trustee of a property in a small town, does that make that property “public” property?

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If a county is listed as the trustee of a property in a small town, does that make that property “public” property?

Let’s say I wanted to go use my metal detector on that property looking for old coins. Do I have legal access to the property? Do I need permission to go on property?

Asked on January 8, 2016 under Real Estate Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You need permission from the owner.  A county can be a 'trustee', but not an owner.  If the owner has delegated that decision to the county, then the county would be the agent designated to make that decision.
Keep in mind that just because a piece of property is owned by a county, it does not mean that anyone can automatically enter when they would like to.  The county can close certain property to the public.  If the area that you are looking to enter on is normally open to the public, then you can go on and use your metal detector.  If the area is not normally open, seek permission first.


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