2013 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Staples
AN ACT TO CODIFY THE DUTY OF CARE OF A POSSESSOR OF REAL PROPERTY TO A TRESPASSER; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
Be it enacted by the LEGISLATURE of the State of MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 95-5-31, Mississippi Code of 1972:
95-5-31. Duty of possessor of real property to trespasser.
(1) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Possessor" means a person in lawful possession of real property, including an owner, lessee, renter, or other occupant, or a person acting on behalf of such a lawful possessor of real property.
(b) "Trespasser" means a person who enters upon the property of another without permission and without an invitation, express or implied, or other legal right.
(2) A possessor of real property owes no duty of care to a trespasser and is not subject to liability for any injury to a trespasser.
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (2), a possessor of real property may be subject to liability for physical injury or death to a trespasser in the following situations:
(a) If the possessor causes willful or wanton injury to that trespasser;
(b) If the possessor discovers the trespasser in a position of peril on the property and fails to exercise reasonable care to prevent injury to that trespasser; or
(c) If the trespasser is a child injured by an artificial condition on the possessor's property and all of the following apply:
(i) The place where the condition existed was one upon which the possessor knew or had reason to know that a child would be likely to trespass;
(ii) The condition is one of which the possessor knew or had reason to know and which the possessor realized or should have realized would involve an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to a child;
(iii) The injured child because of his or her youth did not discover the condition or realize the risk involved in intermeddling with it or in coming within the area made dangerous by it;
(iv) The utility to the possessor of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating the danger was slight as compared with the risk to the child; and
(v) The possessor failed to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise to protect the child.
(4) This section does not create or increase the liability of any possessor of real property and does not affect any immunities from or defenses to civil liability established by another section of the code or available at common law to which a possessor of real property may be entitled.
(5) Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter the provisions of Section 97-3-15.
SECTION 2. If any provisions of this section or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of this section or the application of the section to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2013.