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Recreational/Park Immunity and Exceptions to Immunity

The Georgia legislature has enacted special laws to protect areas set aside for recreational purposes, including those that are private property. As a result of these rules, owners of parks and other recreational areas may claim that they are immune from liability for Georgia personal injuries that happen on their properties.

Georgia Recreational Property Act and Immunity

The Georgia legislature made its general intention clear in passing this set of laws, as set forth in Code section (OCGA § 51-3-20): "this article is to encourage owners of land to make land and water areas available to the public for recreational purposes by limiting the owners' liability toward persons entering thereon for recreational purposes." 

The Georgia legislature therefore has expressed an intent to protect certain land owners against claims for injuries. If someone lets the public come on his or her property for free (without charging members of the public to visit), they are generally protected from being sued. The Georgia Code (OCGA § 51-3-22) says:

an owner of land owes no duty of care to keep the premises safe for entry or use by others for recreational purposes or to give any warning of a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity on the premises to persons entering for recreational purposes.

Therefore, if you are injured on someone else's property (including, in some cases, a government-owned property, such as a park), the owner may be able to claim immunity from injuries that happen.

But you may still be liable based on the following rules (provided by OCGA §  51-3-25):

(1) For willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity; or
(2) For injury suffered in any case when the owner of land charges the person or persons who enter or go on the land for the recreational use thereof, except that, in the case of land leased to the state or a subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for the lease shall not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this Code section.


Ga. Code Ann. § 51-3-25 (West)
(1) For willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity; or
(2) For injury suffered in any case when the owner of land charges the person or persons who enter or go on the land for the recreational use thereof, except that, in the case of land leased to the state or a subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for the lease shall not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this Code section.


Ga. Code Ann. § 51-3-25 (West)

(1) For willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity; or
(2) For injury suffered in any case when the owner of land charges the person or persons who enter or go on the land for the recreational use thereof, except that, in the case of land leased to the state or a subdivision thereof, any consideration received by the owner for the lease shall not be deemed a charge within the meaning of this Code section.

Determining whether the immunity provided by this legislation can be complicated, and a number of appellate court decisions have considered how expansive the rules are.

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