2020 Georgia Code
Title 51 - Torts
Chapter 3 - Liability of Owners and Occupiers of Land
Article 1 - General Provisions
§ 51-3-3. Lawful Possessor of Land Owes No Duty of Care to Trespasser

Universal Citation: GA Code § 51-3-3 (2020)
  1. As used in this Code section, the term "possessor of land" means the landowner, occupant of the land, holder of any easement to the land, or lessee of the land.
  2. A lawful possessor of land owes no duty of care to a trespasser except to refrain from causing a willful or wanton injury.
  3. Georgia common law as it exists and is applied to the doctrine of attractive nuisance, in effect as of January 1, 2014, shall not be construed to be altered by this Code section.
  4. This Code section shall not affect any immunities from or defenses to civil liability to which a lawful possessor of land may be entitled.

(Code 1981, §51-3-3, enacted by Ga. L. 2014, p. 351, § 2/SB 125.)

Editor's notes.

- Ga. L. 2014, p. 351, § 1/SB 125, not codified by the General Assembly, provides that: "It is the intent of the General Assembly to codify and preserve Georgia common law regarding the duties owed by possessors of land to trespassers as of January 1, 2014. The General Assembly finds that the provisions of the American Law Institute's Restatement of the Law Third, Torts: Liability for Physical and Emotional Harm, §§ 50-52 (2012), which seek to impose broad new duties on those who own, occupy, or control premises, including the duty to exercise reasonable care to all trespassers, do not reflect the public policy of the State of Georgia. It is also the intent of the General Assembly to preserve the attractive nuisance doctrine and Georgia common law as it relates to the attractive nuisance doctrine."

Law reviews.

- For annual survey on real property, see 66 Mercer L. Rev. 151 (2014). For annual survey on trial practice and procedure, see 66 Mercer L. Rev. 211 (2014). For article on the 2014 enactment of this Code section, see 31 Ga. St. U.L. 217 (2014).

ARTICLE 2 OWNERS OF PROPERTY USED FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES

Cross references.

- Snow skiing safety, T. 43, C. 43A.

Roller skating safety, § 51-1-43.

Law reviews.

- For annual survey of administrative law, see 56 Mercer L. Rev. 31 (2004).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Constitutionality.

- Recreational Property Act, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-20 et seq., is not unconstitutionally vague as applied to the facts in suits arising out of the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympic Games because it provides fair notice to persons of normal intelligence that a park created to celebrate the spirit of a historic athletic and cultural event and to provide a gathering place for visitors to relax and enjoy themselves constitutes property available to the public for recreational purposes so as to come within the immunity provisions of the Act. Anderson v. Atlanta Comm. for the Olympic Games, Inc., 273 Ga. 113, 537 S.E.2d 345 (2000).

The Recreational Property Act, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-20 et seq., did not unconstitutionally violate the plaintiffs' due process and equal protection rights in suits arising out of the bombing in Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Olympic Games because the Act reasonably promotes the legitimate governmental purpose of making recreational property more accessible to the public and the classification it draws between those persons injured while on recreational property and those persons injured on other premises is rationally related to this legitimate purpose. Anderson v. Atlanta Comm. for the Olympic Games, Inc., 273 Ga. 113, 537 S.E.2d 345 (2000).

The Recreational Property Act, O.C.G.A. § 51-3-20 et seq., does not violate the provision in Ga. Const. 1983, Art. III, Sec. V, Par. III, prohibiting the passage of a law which refers to more than one subject matter. Anderson v. Atlanta Comm. for the Olympic Games, Inc., 273 Ga. 113, 537 S.E.2d 345 (2000).

Commercial interests mixed with recreational activities.

- In situations where commercial interests are mixed with recreational activities, a balancing test to determine whether an activity is "recreational" requires that all social and economic aspects of the activity be examined; relevant considerations on this question include, without limitation, the intrinsic nature of the activity, the type of service or commodity offered to the public, and the activity's purpose and consequence. Anderson v. Atlanta Comm. for the Olympic Games, Inc., 273 Ga. 113, 537 S.E.2d 345 (2000).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

School's Failure to Maintain Children's Play Area Properly, 9 POF2d 729.

Defectively Designed or Constructed Swimming Pool, 12 POF2d 545.

Sport Injury - Negligence, 15 POF2d 1.

Playground Accidents - Human Impact Tolerance, 21 POF2d 701.

Dangerous or Defective Amusement Ride, 25 POF2d 613.

Negligent Operation or Public Swimming Pool, 34 POF2d 63.

Negligent Operation of Private Swimming Pool, 38 POF2d 1.

Inadequate Protection of Spectator at Sporting Event, 45 POF2d 407.

Liability for Trampoline Injury, 45 POF2d 469.

Assumption of Risk Defense in Sports or Recreation Injury Cases, 30 POF3d 161.

Liability for Errant Golf Ball Shots, 31 POF3d 87.

Negligent Operation of Gymnasium, Health Club, or Similar Facility, 40 POF3d 111.

Liability of Ski Area Operator for Skiing Accident, 45 POF3d 115.

ALR.

- Effect of statute limiting landowner's liability for personal injury to recreational user, 47 A.L.R.4th 262.

Liability to one struck by golf ball, 53 A.L.R.4th 282.

Ski resort's liability for skier's injuries resulting from condition of ski run or slope, 55 A.L.R.4th 632.

Baseball player's right to recover for baseball-related personal injuries from nonplayer, 55 A.L.R.4th 664.

Liability of owner or operator of skating rink for injury to patron, 38 A.L.R.5th 107.

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