Landowners' Liab.; Recrea. Use

Amends landowner liability law as to recreational use to clarify
purpose, include exceptions to immunity in liability and duty of
care provisions, relieve landowner from duty to investigate
risks, and make user liable for attorneys fees and court costs if
landowner is found not liable under an exception to immunity.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.1705       
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Section 520-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 2 amended to read as follows:
 3      "[[]520-1[]]  Purpose.  The purpose of this chapter is to
 4 encourage owners of land, including the state and county
 5 governments, to make land and water areas available to the public
 6 for recreational purposes by limiting their liability toward
 7 persons entering [thereon] those areas for [such] recreational
 8 purposes[.] and by making persons entering those areas
 9 responsible for their own personal safety and well-being."
10      SECTION 2.  Section 520-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
11 amended to read as follows:
12      "520-3 Duty of care of owner limited.  Except as
13 specifically recognized by or provided in [section]
14 sections 520-5 and 520-6, an owner of land owes no duty of care
15 [to]:
16      (1)  To keep the premises safe for entry or use by others
17           for recreational purposes[, or to];
18      (2)  To investigate the existence of any dangerous
19           conditions, uses, structures, or activities on the

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 1           premises; or
 2      (3)  To give any warning of a dangerous condition, use,
 3           structure, or activity on [such] the premises to
 4           persons entering for [such] recreational purposes, or
 5           to persons entering for a purpose in response to a
 6           recreational user who requires assistance, either
 7           direct or indirect, including but not limited to
 8           rescue, medical care, or other form of assistance."
 9      SECTION 3.  Section 520-4, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
10 amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:
11      "(a)  Except as specifically recognized by or provided in
12 [section] sections 520-5 and 520-6, an owner of land who either
13 directly or indirectly invites or permits without charge any
14 person to use the property for recreational purposes does not:
15      (1)  Extend to any person any assurance that the premises
16           are safe for any purpose;
17      (2)  Confer upon [the] any person the legal status of an
18           invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed;
19      (3)  Assume responsibility for, or incur liability for, any
20           injury to person or property caused by an act of
21           omission or commission of [such] those persons; and
22      (4)  Assume responsibility for, or incur liability for, any
23           injury to person or persons who enter the premises in

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                                     H.B. NO.1705       

 1           response to an injured recreational user."
 2      SECTION 4.  Section 520-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is
 3 amended to read as follows:
 4      "[[]520-5[]]  Exceptions to limitations.  Nothing in this
 5 chapter limits in any way any liability [which] that otherwise
 6 exists: 
 7      (1)  For wilful or malicious failure to guard or warn
 8           against a dangerous condition, use, or structure
 9           [which] that the owner knowingly creates or perpetuates
10           and for wilful or malicious failure to guard or warn
11           against a dangerous activity [which] that the owner
12           knowingly pursues or perpetuates. 
13      (2)  For injury suffered in any case where the owner of land
14           charges the person or persons who enter or go on the
15           land for the recreational use thereof, except that in
16           the case of land leased to the State or a [political
17           subdivision thereof,] county, any consideration
18           received by the owner for [such] the lease shall not be
19           deemed a charge within the meaning of this section. 
20      (3)  For injuries suffered by a house guest while on the
21           owner's premises, even though the injuries were
22           incurred by the house guest while engaged in one or
23           more of the activities designated in section 520-2(3).

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                                     H.B. NO.1705       

 1 In any action brought pursuant to this section, if the owner of
 2 the land is found not liable for the plaintiff's injuries, the
 3 plaintiff shall be responsible for payment of that owner's
 4 reasonable attorneys' fees and court costs."
 5      SECTION 5.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed.
 6 New statutory material is underscored.
 7      SECTION 6.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
 9                           INTRODUCED BY:  _______________________