Liability

CALIFORNIA CODES (2004)

CIVIL CODE

SECTION 846

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
.