SB501 (2018) Detail

Relative to immunity for campground owners.



03/15/2018   1078s







AN ACT relative to immunity for campground owners.


SPONSORS: Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Innis, Dist 24; Rep. Burt, Hills. 39; Rep. Chandler, Carr. 1; Rep. O'Day, Ches. 11; Rep. Hopper, Hills. 2; Rep. Hunt, Ches. 11


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill provides immunity for campground owners and establishes exceptions to immunity under certain circumstances.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/15/2018   1078s 18-2708





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen


AN ACT relative to immunity for campground owners.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  Findings.  The state of New Hampshire finds that:

I.  Camping is a popular form of recreation in the state.  It affords residents of the state access to natural environments, outdoor activity and relaxation.  It is a major source of tourism visits from nonresidents which generate employment, taxes and economic activity for the state.  Camping, by its very nature, involves experiences in natural environments which inherently involve risks and hazards which are not present in the built environment.

II.  Persons who choose to camp must accept the inherent risks of camping, without an expectation that they may recover damages if they are injured as a consequence of the experience they have selected.

2  New Subdivision; Campground Immunity.  Amend RSA 216-I by inserting after section 15 the following new subdivision:

Campground Immunity

216-I:16  Definitions. In this subdivision:

I.  “Camping” means all aspects of visiting, staying at and using a recreational campground, or camping park.

II.  “Inherent risk of camping” means a danger or condition that is an integral part of camping, including but not limited to the following:

(a)  Naturally occurring features of the natural world, such as trees, infectious agents, tree stumps, roots, brush, rocks, mud, holes, sand, standing water, and soil.

(b)  Uneven or unpredictable terrain.

(c)  Natural bodies of water and the use of natural bodies of water, including swimming, and aquatic sports.

(d)  Another person at a recreational campground or camping park acting in a negligent

manner, where the campground owner or employees are not involved.

(e)  A lack of lighting at campsites.

(f)  Campfires in a properly constructed and maintained fire pit or enclosure provided by the recreational campground or camping park.

(g)  Weather.

(h)  Insects, birds, bears, and other wildlife.

(i)  Violation of safety rules or disregard for signs indicating danger.

(j)  Actions by campers or visitors which exceed their physical limitations or abilities.

(k)  Animals owned by other persons which cause injury or death, unless the recreational campground or camping park has accepted responsibility for care of the animal or has actual knowledge that the animal poses a hazard to the safety of other campers.

(l)  Activities undertaken by a camper or visitor, utilizing the camper’s own equipment, and undertaken for the purpose of exercise, relaxation, or pleasure, including but not limited to hunting, fishing, picnicking, exploring, bicycling, horseback riding, operation of a powered vehicle, cutting wood, water sports, harvesting the products of nature and any other outdoor sport, game, or educational activity.

III.  “Willful disregard” means conduct committed with an intentional or reckless disregard for the safety of the actor or others.

216-I:17  Immunity.

I.  Except as provided in paragraph II, a campground owner, including any employees, officers, and agents of a campground owner, shall be immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to camping at a recreational campground or camping park resulting in the death of or injury to a person, or damage to property, caused by the inherent risk of camping.

II.  The provisions of paragraph I shall not apply if the campground owner, including any employee, officer, and agent of a campground owner seeking immunity:

(a)  Intentionally causes death or injury to another person or intentionally causes damage to property.

(b)  Acts with willful disregard for the safety of another person or property.

(c)  Fails to conspicuously post warning signs of a dangerous, inconspicuous condition known to him or her on a recreational campground or camping park, if he or she is aware of the condition.

(d)  Is grossly negligent.  

III.  This section shall not be construed to limit the immunity created under RSA 212:34.

3  Effective Date. This act shall take effect upon its passage.


SB501 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 30, 2018 Senate Hearing
March 15, 2018 Senate Floor Vote
March 27, 2018 House Hearing
April 11, 2018 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
April 26, 2018 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

SB501 Revision: 3648 Date: May 1, 2018, 12:10 p.m.
SB501 Revision: 2737 Date: Dec. 20, 2017, 12:54 p.m.


April 26, 2018: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA DV 170-101 04/26/2018

April 26, 2018: Removed from Consent (Rep. Sanborn) 04/26/2018

: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate (Vote 16-0; CC)

April 26, 2018: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 04/26/2018 (Vote 16-0; CC) HC 16 P. 6

April 11, 2018: Executive Session: 04/11/2018 LOB 208

March 27, 2018: Public Hearing: 03/27/2018 01:00 PM LOB 208

March 15, 2018: Introduced 03/15/2018 and referred to Judiciary HJ 8 P. 70

March 15, 2018: Ought to Pass with Amendment 2018-1078s, MA, VV; OT3rdg; 03/15/2018; SJ 8

March 15, 2018: Sen. Carson Floor Amendment # 2018-1078s, RC 18Y-6N, AA; 03/15/2018; SJ 8

March 15, 2018: Sen. Carson Moved Ought to Pass; 03/15/2018; SJ 8

March 15, 2018: Inexpedient to Legislate, MF, VV; 03/15/2018; SJ 8

March 15, 2018: Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate, 03/15/2018; SC 12A

Jan. 30, 2018: Hearing: 01/30/2018, Room 100, SH, 10:00 am; SC 5

Jan. 3, 2018: To Be Introduced 01/03/2018 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 1