senate Bill S5485

2009-2010 Legislative Session

Relates to the liability of landowners who permit recreational uses of their land

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 06, 2010 referred to judiciary
May 11, 2009 referred to judiciary

Co-Sponsors

S5485 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8258
Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §9-103, Gen Ob L

S5485 - Bill Texts

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Amends provisions relating to the liability of landowners who permit recreational uses of their land; provides that landowners owe no duty to keep premises safe for entry, passage or other recreational uses or to give warning of any hazardous condition, structure or activity on such premises to persons entering for such purposes.

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BILL NUMBER: S5485 REVISED 05/20/09

TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the
liability of landowners who permit recreational uses


PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :

This bill would enhance the availability of recreational activities on
undeveloped lands by clarifying the provisions of the General
Obligations Law (GOL) relating to landowner liability for providing
public access for recreational activities.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :

Section 1 of the bill would amend GOL §9-103 to provide that owners,
lessees and occupants of premises owe no duty of care: (i) to keep
their premises safe for passage over by persons engaging in specific
recreational activities; and (ii) to persons engaging in any
recreational use on the premises.

Section 2 provides that the bill would take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION :

This bill seeks to encourage the owners of land and water areas to
permit their use for recreational activities. About 85 percent of New
York State is privately-owned, and many people rely on private
landowners for access to outdoor recreational opportunities.
Landowners may be more receptive to opening their lands for
recreational use if they would not be subject to liability for doing
so. In order to promote the availability of recreational
opportunities, the liability of landowners is limited in GOL § 9-103.

GOL §9-103, commonly referred to as the Recreational Use Statute,
affords landowners immunity from liability based on a failure to keep
premises safe for entry and use by others for specific recreational
activities, including: hunting, fishing, organized gleaning, canoeing,
boating, trapping, hiking, cross-country skiing, tobogganing,
sledding, speleological activities, horseback riding, motorized
vehicle operation for recreational purposes, snowmobile operation,
cutting or gathering of wood for noncommercial purposes or the
training of dogs. One of the concerns for landowners is that this list
does not include all recreational activities for which a landowner may
make their land available to the public. For example, hiking is a
covered activity but walking is not. This bill would address this
incongruity by including all recreational activities in GOL §9-103. In
addition, this bill would clarify that property owners would be
protected if they allow individuals to pass over their land in order
to participate in a recreational activity.

This bill would not change the existing protection from a landowner's
willful or malicious failure to guard or to warn against a dangerous
condition, use, structure or activity. It would not apply in cases
where a fee is paid for any recreational use.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

2007-08: A.9116/S.2761 Judiciary in Assembly and Senate
2006: S.8188 Passed Senate
2004: A.9664 - Assembly Insurance Committee; S.1279-A Passed
Senate
2003: A.6342 - Assembly Insurance Committee;
Enacting clause stricken; S.1279 Passed Senate
2001-02: A.6101 Assembly Insurance Committee; S.2200 Passed Senate
2000: A.3810 Assembly Insurance Committee; S.3529 Passed Senate
1999: A.3810 Assembly Insurance Committee; S.3529 Passed Senate
1998: A.4793-B Assembly Insurance Committee; S.2803B Senate
Insurance Committee
1997: A.4793-A Assembly Insurance Committee; S.2803A Passed Senate
1996: A.9046-C Assembly Judiciary Committee; S.6269C Passed Senate

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :

There is no direct fiscal impact on the state or local government.
However, by opening more land for recreational activities, localities
may see an increase in tourism related tax revenues.

EFFECTIVE DATE :
The bill would take effect immediately.
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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

    S. 5485                                                  A. 8258

                       2009-2010 Regular Sessions

                      S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y

                              May 11, 2009
                               ___________

IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. WINNER, AUBERTINE, STACHOWSKI, VALESKY,
  YOUNG -- (at request of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources)
  -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to
  the Committee on Judiciary

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. KOON, LIFTON, BACALLES, BURLING --
  read once and referred to the Committee on Judiciary

AN  ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the liabil-
  ity of landowners who permit recreational uses

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph a of subdivision 1 of section 9-103 of the gener-
al obligations law, as separately amended by chapters 141 and 286 of the
laws of 1984, is amended to read as follows:
  a.  an owner, lessee or occupant of premises, whether or not posted as
provided in section 11-2111 of the environmental conservation law,  owes
no  duty: (1) to keep the premises safe for entry, PASSAGE OVER PREMISES
or use by others for hunting, fishing, organized gleaning as defined  in
section  seventy-one-y  of  the  agriculture  and markets law, canoeing,
boating, trapping, hiking, cross-country skiing, tobogganing,  sledding,
speleological  activities,  horseback riding, bicycle riding, hang glid-
ing, motorized vehicle operation for recreational  purposes,  snowmobile
operation,  cutting  or  gathering  of  wood for non-commercial purposes
[or], training of dogs, AND ANY OTHER RECREATIONAL USE; or (2)  to  give
warning of any hazardous condition or use of or structure or activity on
such premises to persons entering for such purposes;
  S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02459-02-9

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