Report Title:

Public Lands; Liability

 

Description:

Declares that the government is not liable for accidents and injuries occurring on unimproved public property; requires the State or county operating a public beach park to develop and implement a plan for warning of dangerous natural conditions; repeals Act 190, SLH 1996.

 

 

THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

918

TWENTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2001

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO PUBLIC LAND LIABILITY IMMUNITY.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"CHAPTER

PUBLIC LAND LIABILITY IMMUNITY

   -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:

"Government" means any unit of government in this State, including any county or combination of counties, any department, agency, institution, board, commission, district, council, bureau, office, governing authority, or other instrumentality of state or county government, or any corporation or other establishment owned, operated, or managed by or on behalf of this State or any county.

"Public beach" means beaches and shoreline fronting public beach parks and public beach accesses.

   -2 Natural condition of unimproved public land; liability. Neither a government nor a government officer or employee shall be liable for an injury caused by a natural condition of any unimproved public land, including but not limited to any natural condition of any lake, stream, bay, river, ocean, trail access, or beach.

   -3 Public beaches; other public lands. (a) Public beaches shall be deemed to be in a natural condition and unimproved notwithstanding the provision or absence of public services such as lifeguards, police or sheriff patrols, medical services, fire protection services, beach cleanup services, restrooms, parking lots, seawalls, revetments, groins, signs, or other shore protection structures.

(b) Public lands shall be deemed to be in a natural condition and unimproved notwithstanding the existence of or maintenance of trails and pathways on the land.

   -4 Rescue services. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to immunize the government from liability for the negligent performance of rescue services.

   -5 Public beach; warnings and signage. The State or county entity operating a public beach park shall submit to the chairperson of the board of land and natural resources, a comprehensive plan of signage to be posted, warning of dangerous natural conditions in the ocean adjacent to a public beach. The chairperson shall review the plan for adequacy of the warning as well as the design and placement of the warning signs, devices, and system. The chairperson shall approve or amend each plan within ninety days of submission; provided that plans not approved by the chairperson within ninety days of submission shall be deemed approved. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose liability to the State or counties with respect to signage."

SECTION 2. Act 190, Session Laws of Hawaii 1996, is repealed.

SECTION 3. Act 101, Session Laws of Hawaii, 1999, is repealed.

SECTION 3. This Act shall take effect on June 30, 2001.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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