Medina County Courthouse

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Transportation Budget Bill Contains Changes to Definition of "Recreational User"

This is from the analysis of the recently passed Transportation Budget Bill prepared by the Legislative Services Commission of the Ohio General Assembly. Governor Strickland used his line-item veto on one part of the bill, but the part that concerns the change in the definition of "recreational user" was not the item the Governor vetoed.

Property owner immunity for recreational four-wheel drive motor vehicle
operation on privately owned or leased property
(R.C. 1533.18)

Current law establishes that no owner, lessee, or occupant of premises (1) owes any duty to a recreational user to keep the premises safe for entry or use, (2) extends any assurance to a recreational user that the premises are safe for entry or use, or (3) assumes responsibility for or incurs liability for any injury to person or property caused by any act of a recreational user (R.C. 1533.181, not in the bill). For purposes of this immunity from liability, "premises" generally are privately owned or leased property and a "recreational user" includes a person to whom
permission has been granted, without charge, to enter upon premises to hunt, fish, trap, camp, hike, swim, operate a snowmobile or all-purpose vehicle, or engage in other recreational pursuits. Under the bill, a recreational user also includes a person who operates a four-wheel drive motor vehicle on the property, with permission, and without paying a charge.

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