Today I got one of those questions that makes me scratch my head and hit the books. My new client is alleged to have cut down a quarter acre’s worth of his neighbor’s trees as revenge for the neighbor failing to return some borrowed farming equipment. One of the client’s concerns was how much restitution he would have to pay his neighbor if convicted of this very unusual theft. To my great surprise, my research into this issue revealed that the Pennsylvania State Assembly has passed a specific statute on point.
According to Title 18, Section 1107, “any person convicted for the theft of standing timber…shall, in addition to any other sentence imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of the timber restitution in an amount twice the value of timber taken.”
So there you have it, folks. If you steal somebody’s trees, you must re-pay them double!