California Recreational Use Statute

CIVIL CODE
DIVISION 2: Property
PART 2: Real or Immovable Property
TITLE 3: Rights and Obligations of Owners
CHAPTER 2: Obligations of Owners

846. Duty of care or warning to persons entering property for recreation; Effect of permission to enter

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for any recreational purpose or to give any warning of hazardous conditions, uses of, structures, or activities on such premises to persons entering for such purpose, except as provided in this section.

A "recreational purpose," as used in this section, includes such activities as fishing, hunting, camping, water sports, hiking, spelunking, sport parachuting, riding, including animal riding, snowmobiling, and all other types of vehicular riding, rock collecting, sightseeing, picnicking, nature study, nature contacting, recreational gardening, gleaning, hang gliding, winter sports, and viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, natural, or scientific sites.

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, who gives permission to another for entry or use for the above purpose upon the premises does not thereby (a) extend any assurance that the premises are safe for such purpose, or (b) constitute the person to whom permission has been granted the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed, or (c) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of such person to whom permission has been granted except as provided in this section.

This section does not limit the liability which otherwise exists (a) for willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity; or (b) for injury suffered in any case where permission to enter for the above purpose was granted for a consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to said landowner by the state, or where consideration has been received from others for the same purpose; or (c) to any persons who are expressly invited rather than merely permitted to come upon the premises by the landowner.

Nothing in this section creates a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to person or property.

HISTORY: Added Stats 1963 ch 1759 s 1. Amended Stats 1970 ch 807 s 1; Stats 1971 ch 1028 s 1; Stats 1972 ch 1200 s 1; Stats 1976 ch 1303 s 1; Stats 1978 ch 86 s 1; Stats 1979 ch 150 s 1; Stats 1980 ch 408 s 1; Stats 1988 ch 129 sec 1.



SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Text of Code also available at http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cacodes/civ/840-848.html on 11/13/00.


846. An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for any recreational purpose or to give any warning of hazardous conditions, uses of, structures, or activities on such premises to persons entering for such purpose, except as provided in this section.

A "recreational purpose," as used in this section, includes such activities as fishing, hunting, camping, water sports, hiking, spelunking, sport parachuting, riding, including animal riding, snowmobiling, and all other types of vehicular riding, rock collecting, sightseeing, picnicking, nature study, nature contacting, recreational gardening, gleaning, hang gliding, winter sports, and viewing or enjoying historical, archaeological, scenic, natural, or scientific sites.

An owner of any estate or any other interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, who gives permission to another for entry or use for the above purpose upon the premises does not thereby (a) extend any assurance that the premises are safe for such purpose, or (b) constitute the person to whom permission has been granted the legal status of an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed, or (c) assume responsibility for or incur liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of such person to whom permission has been granted except as provided in this section.

This section does not limit the liability which otherwise exists (a) for willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity; or (b) for injury suffered in any case where permission to enter for the above purpose was granted for a consideration other than the consideration, if any, paid to said landowner by the state, or where consideration has been received from others for the same purpose; or (c) to any persons who are expressly invited rather than merely permitted to come upon the premises by the landowner.

Nothing in this section creates a duty of care or ground of liability for injury to person or property.

846.1. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), an owner of any estate or interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, who gives permission to the public for entry on or use of the real property pursuant to an agreement with a public or nonprofit agency for purposes of recreational trail use, and is a defendant in a civil action brought by, or on behalf of, a person who is allegedly injured or allegedly suffers damages on the real property, may present a claim to the State Board of Control for reasonable attorney's fees incurred in this civil action if any of the following occurs:

(1) The court has dismissed the civil action upon a demurrer or motion for summary judgment made by the owner or upon its own motion for lack of prosecution.

(2) The action was dismissed by the plaintiff without any payment from the owner.

(3) The owner prevails in the civil action.

(b) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a public entity, as defined in Section 831.5 of the Government Code, that gives permission to the public for entry on or use of real property for a recreational purpose, as defined in Section 846, and is a defendant in a civil action brought by, or on behalf of, a person who is allegedly injured or allegedly suffers damages on the real property, may present a claim to the State Board of Control for reasonable attorney's fees incurred in this civil action if any of the following occurs:

(1) The court has dismissed the civil action upon a demurrer or motion for summary judgment made by this public entity or upon its own motion for lack of prosecution.

(2) The action was dismissed by the plaintiff without any payment from the public entity.

(3) The public entity prevails in the civil action.

(c) An owner of any estate or interest in real property, whether possessory or nonpossessory, or a public entity, as defined in Section 831.5 of the Government Code, that gives permission to the public for entry on, or use of, the real property for a recreational purpose, as defined in Section 846, pursuant to an agreement with a public or nonprofit agency, and is a defendant in a civil action brought by, or on behalf of, a person who seeks to restrict, prevent, or delay public use of that property, may present a claim to the State Board of Control for reasonable attorney's fees incurred in the civil action if any of the following occurs:

(1) The court has dismissed the civil action upon a demurrer or motion for summary judgment made by the owner or public entity or upon its own motion for lack of prosecution.

(2) The action was dismissed by the plaintiff without any payment from the owner or public entity.

(3) The owner or public entity prevails in the civil action.

(d) The State Board of Control shall allow the claim if the requirements of this section are met. The claim shall be paid from an appropriation to be made for that purpose. Reasonable attorneys' fees, for purposes of this section, may not exceed an hourly rate greater than the rate charged by the Attorney General at the time the award is made, and may not exceed an aggregate amount of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000). This subdivision shall not apply if a public entity has provided for the defense of this civil action pursuant to Section 995 of the Government Code. This subdivision shall also not apply if an owner or public entity has been provided a legal defense by the state pursuant to any contract or other legal obligation.

(e) The total of claims allowed by the board pursuant to this section shall not exceed two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000) per fiscal year.

846.2. No cause of action shall arise against the owner, tenant, or lessee of land or premises for injuries to any person who has been expressly invited on that land or premises to glean agricultural or farm products for charitable purposes, unless that person's injuries were caused by the gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct of the owner, tenant, or lessee. The immunity provided by this section does not apply if the owner, tenant, or lessee received any consideration for permitting the gleaning activity.

846.5. (a) The right of entry upon or to real property to investigate and utilize boundary evidence, and to perform surveys, is a right of persons legally authorized to practice land surveying and it shall be the responsibility of the owner or tenant who owns or controls property to provide reasonable access without undue delay. The right of entry is not contingent upon the provision of prior notice to the owner or tenant. However, the owner or tenant shall be notified of the proposed time of entry where practicable.

(b) The requirements of subdivision (a) do not apply to monuments within access-controlled portions of freeways.

(c) When required for a property survey, monuments within a freeway right-of-way shall be referenced to usable points outside the access control line by the agency having jurisdiction over the freeway when requested in writing by the registered civil engineer or licensed land surveyor who is to perform the property survey. The work shall be done within a reasonable time period by the agency in direct cooperation with the engineer or surveyor and at no charge to him.