SB213 (2019) Detail

Relative to immunity for private campground owners.










AN ACT relative to immunity for private campground owners.


SPONSORS: Sen. Ward, Dist 8; Sen. Birdsell, Dist 19; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Rep. Aron, Sull. 7; Rep. Hunt, Ches. 11; Rep. Steven Smith, Sull. 11


COMMITTEE: Judiciary






This bill establishes limited immunity from civil liability for private campground owners.


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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen


AN ACT relative to immunity for private campground owners.


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


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

Private Campground Immunity

216-I:16  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

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

II.  "Private campground" means a facility that provides sites on which recreational vehicles, camping units, and tents may be placed for transient occupancy, and which are owned and operated by a private property owner.

III.  “Inherent risk of camping” means a danger or condition that is part of camping, including dangers posed by any of the following, whether or not they have been altered by human actions:

(a)  Features of the natural world, such as trees, naturally occurring infectious agents, tree stumps, roots, brush, rocks, mud, sand, standing water, and soil, lose or firm, and changes caused or created by storms or natural disasters.

(b)  Uneven or unpredictable terrain.

(c)  Natural bodies of water and accessories permitting the use of natural bodies of water including piers, docks, and decks; mounted, inflatable, or floating recreational equipment; or participation in swimming and aquatic sports or recreation facilities or areas.

(d)  Injuries resulting from the actions or omission of another camper or visitor at the private campground, where the campground owner or employees are not involved.

(e)  A lack of lighting, including lighting at campsites.

(f)  Campfires in a fire pit or enclosure.

(g)  Weather.

(h)  Insects, birds, and other wildlife.

(i)  Participation in any recreation including but not limited to baseball, football, soccer, dodgeball, and running.

216-I:17  Immunity.  

I.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, the owner or operator of a private campground, or an employee or officer of a private campground, shall be immune from civil liability for acts or omissions related to camping at a private campground if a person is injured or killed or property is damaged as a result of an inherent risk of camping.

II.  Paragraph I shall not apply if the owner, operator, employee, or officer of a private campground:

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

(b)  Acts with a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of the party or the property damaged.  In this paragraph, "willful or wanton disregard" means conduct committed with an intentional or reckless disregard for the safety of others.

(c)  Fails to conspicuously post warning signs of a dangerous inconspicuous condition known to him or her on a private campground if he or she is aware of the danger posed by the condition by reason of a prior injury involving the same location or the same cause of injury.

(d)  Injures a person through the operation of a motor vehicle, all-terrain vehicle, golf cart, or motorcycle.

III.  A visitor to a private campground shall assume full responsibility for:

(a)  Violation of safety rules or disregard for signs communicating warnings, including those visiting or staying at the visitor's site assigned by the campground.

(b)  Actions which exceed the visitor's physical limitations or abilities.

(c)  Improper use or lack of use of clothing, footwear, or safety gear whether mandated or optional, or the improper use of equipment or recreational items brought into the area, and any resulting consequences.

IV.  Animals accompanying a visitor camping at a private campground shall be the responsibility of the animal's owner or caretaker, and the owner or caretaker shall assume full responsibility for the animal and any contact with humans or other animals it may have, unless the private campground has accepted responsibility for care of the animal.

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

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


SB213 at GenCourtMobile
SB213 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 7, 2019 Senate Hearing

Bill Text Revisions

SB213 Revision: 5181 Date: Jan. 22, 2019, 10:21 a.m.


Date Status
Jan. 3, 2019 Introduced 01/03/2019 and Referred to Judiciary; SJ 4
Feb. 7, 2019 Hearing: 02/07/2019, Room 100, SH, 09:40 am; SC 9
March 27, 2019 Committee Report: Rereferred to Committee, 03/27/2019; SC 15
March 28, 2019 Committee Report: Rereferred to Committee, 03/28/2019; SC 15
March 28, 2019 Sen. Levesque Moved Laid on Table, RC 12Y-11N, MA; 03/28/2019; SJ 11
March 28, 2019 Pending Motion Rerefer to Committee; 03/28/2019; SJ 11
Sept. 25, 2019 Inexpedient to Legislate, Senate Rule 3-23, Adjournment 09/25/2019; SJ 1