1998 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Barnett (92nd)
House Bill 748
AN ACT TO PROVIDE IMMUNITY FOR LANDOWNERS ALLOWING OTHERS TO USE THEIR LAND FOR OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS IMMUNITY SHALL NOT APPLY IN CERTAIN INSTANCES SUCH AS GROSS NEGLIGENCE OR WILLFUL MISCONDUCT; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DOCTRINE OF ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE SHALL NOT BE AFFECTED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following words and phrases shall have the meanings ascribed herein unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
(a) "Charge," means the admission price or fee asked in return for invitation or permission to enter or go upon the land. Any nonmonetary gift to an owner that is less than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) in value may not be construed to be a charge;
(b) "Land," means land, trails, water, watercourses, private ways and agricultural structures, and machinery or equipment if attached to the realty;
(c) "Outdoor recreational purpose," includes, but is not limited to, any of the following activities, or any combination thereof: hunting, fishing, swimming other than in a swimming pool, boating, canoeing, camping picnicking, hiking, biking, off-road driving, nature study, water skiing, winter sports, snowmobiling, viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic or scientific sites;
(d) "Owner," means the possessor of a fee interest, a tenant, lessee, occupant or person in control of the premises.
SECTION 2. Except as provided in Section 5 of this act, an owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the land safe for entry or use by others for outdoor recreational purposes, or to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on his land to persons entering for outdoor recreational purposes.
SECTION 3. Except as provided in Section 5 of this act, an owner of land who either directly or indirectly invites or permits without charge any person to use his property for outdoor recreational purposes does not thereby:
(a) Extend any assurance that the land is safe for any purpose;
(b) Confer upon any person the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; or
(c) Assume responsibility for, or incur liability for, any injury to persons or property caused by an act of omission of the owner as to maintenance of the land.
SECTION 4. Unless otherwise agreed in writing, the provisions of Sections 2 and 3 of this act apply to the duties and liability of an owner of land leased to the state or any political subdivision thereof for outdoor recreational purposes.
SECTION 5. Nothing in this act limits in any way any liability which otherwise exists:
(a) For gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct of the owner;
(b) For injury suffered in any case where the owner of land charges any person who enters or goes on the land for the outdoor recreational use thereof, except that in the case of land leased to the state or a political subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for such lease may not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this section nor may any incentive payment paid to the owner by the state or federal government to promote public access for outdoor recreational purposes be considered a charge; or
(c) For injury suffered in any case where the owner has violated a county or municipal ordinance or state law which violation is a proximate cause of the injury.
SECTION 6. The provisions of this act may not be construed to create a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to persons or property, or relieve any person using the land of another for outdoor recreational purposes from any obligation which he may have in the absence of the provisions of this act, to exercise care in his use of such land and in his activities thereon, or from the legal consequences of failure to employ such care.
SECTION 7. This act does not affect the doctrine of attractive nuisance or other legal doctrines relating to liability arising from artificial conditions highly dangerous to children.
SECTION 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1998.