senate Bill S4645

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Provides for certain uses of premises for which no duty is owed to keep premises safe

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 04, 2012 referred to judiciary
Apr 14, 2011 referred to judiciary

S4645 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
Current Committee:
Law Section:
General Obligations Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยง9-103, Gen Ob L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S1030, A2958

S4645 - Bill Texts

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Provides that the owner, lessee or occupant of premises owes no duty to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others engaged generally in recreational activities.

view sponsor memo

An act
to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duty to
keep premises safe for certain uses

To ensure that the law applies in the case of newly developed uses
al1d uses not listed in the original act.

This bill adds to the list of specific activities enumerated in GOL
section 9-103 1.a, a generic description of these activities to
encompass similar activities which have been developed, and new
activities of a similar nature which continue to be developed

In subdivision 2, paragraphs band c contain references to the above
list of activities. This bill makes technical changes in these
references to conform with the changes in subsection 1, noted above,
by changing the term "activities enumerated" to "activities described."

The list of activities which appear in this recreational use statute
is incomplete. Because of this, the law has failed to exempt
landowners from liability for the actions of those engaged in
activities similar to those listed, but not included in the
activities enumerated. Further, since new activities periodically are
developed, the law would continually be inadequate if specific
activities are periodically added to the list. Some examples of
activities which the law fails to address are ice boating, snow
boarding, sail boarding}ballooning, training birds for falconry, rock
climbing, running, rock collecting, bottle collecting, nature study,
bird watching, photography, and drawing or painting, as well as a
host of aquatic activities.

The present law has been judged not to encompass ice sailboat racing
while it does cover liability for sledding and boating. Similarly, a
landowner would presumably be protected against liability
for use by hunters but not birdwatchers; subterranean rock climbers
("speleological activities") but not above-ground rock climbers; hang
gliders but not balloonists; dirt bikers but not runners;
etc. The addition of the generic description of "recreational"
activities will provide more equitable protection to landowners.

2009: S.1030, A.2958

The courts have indicated that this law does apply to relatively
undeveloped publicly-owned property. Thus, the protection afforded
landowners, both public and private, should be enhanced by this
amendment, possibly resulting in reduced legal and insurance costs.



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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K

    S. 4645                                                  A. 7153

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

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

                             April 14, 2011

IN  SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. O'MARA -- read twice and ordered print-
  ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Judiciary

IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. FRIEND -- read once  and  referred
  to the Committee on Judiciary

AN  ACT to amend the general obligations law, in relation to the duty to
  keep premises safe for certain uses


  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  to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for hunt-
ing, 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 gliding, motorized vehicle opera-
tion for recreational purposes, snowmobile operation, cutting or gather-
ing  of wood for non-commercial purposes [or], training of dogs OR OTHER
RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES, or 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. Paragraphs b and c of subdivision  2  of  section  9-103  of  the
general  obligations law, as amended by chapter 408 of the laws of 1979,
are amended to read as follows:
  b. for injury suffered in any case where permission to pursue  any  of
the  activities [enumerated] DESCRIBED in this section was granted for a
consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to  said  land-
owner  by  the  state or federal government, or permission to train dogs

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

S. 4645                             2                            A. 7153

was granted for a consideration other than that provided for in  section
11-0925 of the environmental conservation law; or
  c.  for injury caused, by acts of persons to whom permission to pursue
any of the activities [enumerated] DESCRIBED in this section was  grant-
ed,  to  other persons as to whom the person granting permission, or the
owner, lessee or occupant of the premises, owed a duty to keep the prem-
ises safe or to warn of danger.
  S 3.  This act shall take effect immediately.


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