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Thread: SB22 - No liability of property owners to trespassers?

  1. #1
    Regular Member xenophon's Avatar
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    SB22 - No liability of property owners to trespassers?

    http://legis.wisconsin.gov/insession...s/SE1SB-22.pdf

    "This bill sets forth limits on the civil liability of private property owners to
    trespassers. Under the bill, a private property owner, including a lawful tenant or
    other occupant of private property, owes no duty of care to a trespasser on his or her
    property and may not be found liable for an act or omission relating to a condition
    on his or her property that causes injury or death to a trespasser, except under
    certain circumstances. The bill defines a trespasser as anyone who enters onto
    private property without the express or implied consent of the property owner and
    sets forth criteria for determining whether the owner gave implied consent to enter
    onto the property.
    Under the bill, a private property owner may be liable for injuries that he or she
    intentionally causes to a trespasser, unless the private property owner was acting
    reasonably in self−defense or in the defense of another."

    Interesting.....

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    I think that means if someone trespasses and say, falls into your swimming pool you are not liable. But if you put up invisible razor wire with the intent of keeping people out and they are injured, you are liable. IDK, but that's what I get from it.
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    I think the implication is that you are civily liable to a trepasser if you cause them harm through an illegal act on your part. i.e. spite fences, bear traps, set guns, assault and battery etc..

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    I think that means if someone trespasses and say, falls into your swimming pool you are not liable. But if you put up invisible razor wire with the intent of keeping people out and they are injured, you are liable. IDK, but that's what I get from it.
    After reading the law, a "swimming pool" would probably be considered an "artificial condition" (I have yet to find an exact definition for that but have found examples that sound like a swimming pool would be considered as such). If it wasn't properly covered or fenced, and a kid fell in and drowned; it seems you'd still be liable. If they fell into my creek, I shouldn't be. I think....
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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    After reading the law, a "swimming pool" would probably be considered an "artificial condition" (I have yet to find an exact definition for that but have found examples that sound like a swimming pool would be considered as such). If it wasn't properly covered or fenced, and a kid fell in and drowned; it seems you'd still be liable. If they fell into my creek, I shouldn't be. I think....
    Heh, I was thinking empty swimming pool, but yeah pools have to be fenced in most places. So trespass, climb a fence and then...not actionable. But who knows. Anyone can sue.
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    Regular Member xenophon's Avatar
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    I'm just thinking as it relates to bad guys trying to get into your home (trespassing). If you chase them out of the house or out of your yard, and they trip and hurt themselves in your yard, then you aren't liable. Just an example of how I think SB22 might help.

    That's how I read part of this bill. Thoughts?

  7. #7
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    If your law gets interperted like our WA law (or actually lack of law) has been..this is kind of what you will see.: Note "implied consent" is important!

    If you have a pool with a fence around it, some neighborhood kids climb the fence and get hurt, you will not be liable.

    If you have a large property with a stock pond and someone climbs the fence and gets hurt, you will not be liable.

    If in either of these cases, if there is no fence or other obstruction (maybe warning?), you have given "implied concent" to the trespass and if a person was hurt, you could still be liable for their injuries. In WA the warning has to be verbal, signs don't work.

    If a burgler comes into your house and you shoot them, there is no civil liability. If someone breaks into you home while you are not there and hurts themselves, you are not liable. No implied concent to the trespass. Here in WA, "home invasion" (burglery while you are home) is automatically a justifiable reason for use of deadly force. This the courts will have to sort out in WI.

    Where this gets sticky is if you have left the house "open". That there are no barrier (locked door? depends on the court) difference between "entering" and breaking and entering...as I said, this gets sticky.

    If a traveling salesman is invited into your house and falls, you are still liable. If you kids friend comes over and the kids start doing something that causes injury to the visitor, you are still liable. This law does not only cover just shooting a dangerous intruder. It reads much broader than that and sounds like you will end up with something like we have here in WA.

    Remember, this is just what I see from what the WA courts have ruled over the last 100+ years. WI courts may see it differently.

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