Virginia v. Hicks, 539 U.S. 113, 4 (2003)

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116

VIRGINIA v. HICKS

Opinion of the Court

use and travel and abandoned as streets of the City of Richmond.' " App. to Pet. for Cert. 93-94.

The city then conveyed these streets by a recorded deed to the RRHA (which is a political subdivision of the Commonwealth of Virginia). This deed required the RRHA to " 'give the appearance that the closed street, particularly at the entrances, are no longer public streets and that they are in fact private streets.' " Id., at 95. To this end, the RRHA posted red-and-white signs on each apartment build-ing—and every 100 feet along the streets—of Whitcomb Court, which state: " 'NO TRESPASSING[.] PRIVATE PROPERTY[.] YOU ARE NOW ENTERING PRIVATE PROPERTY AND STREETS OWNED BY RRHA. UNAUTHORIZED PERSONS WILL BE SUBJECT TO ARREST AND PROSECUTION. UNAUTHORIZED VEHICLES WILL BE TOWED AT OWNERS EXPENSE.' " Pet. for Cert. 5. The RRHA also enacted a policy authorizing the Richmond police

" 'to serve notice, either orally or in writing, to any person who is found on Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority property when such person is not a resident, employee, or such person cannot demonstrate a legitimate business or social purpose for being on the premises. Such notice shall forbid the person from returning to the property. Finally, Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority authorizes Richmond Police Department officers to arrest any person for trespassing after such person, having been duly notified, either stays upon or returns to Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority property.' " App. to Pet. for Cert. 98-99 (emphasis added).

Persons who trespass after being notified not to return are subject to prosecution under Va. Code Ann. 18.2-119 (1996):

"If any person without authority of law goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of an-

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