University of Vermont AAHS

Massachusetts Recreational Use Statute

MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL LAWS
PART I. ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
TITLE II. EXECUTIVE AND ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMMONWEALTH
CHAPTER 21. DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT
DIVISION OF WATER RESOURCES

17C. Public use of land for recreational, conservation, scientific educational and other purposes; landowner's liability limited; exception

(a) Any person having an interest in land including the structures, buildings, and equipment attached to the land, including without limitation, wetlands, rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, and other bodies of water, who lawfully permits the public to use such land for recreational, conservation, scientific, educational, environmental, ecological, research, religious, or charitable purposes without imposing a charge or fee therefor, or who leases such land for said purposes to the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof or to any nonprofit corporation, trust or association, shall not be liable for personal injuries or property damage sustained by such members of the public, including without limitation a minor, while on said land in the absence of wilful, wanton, or reckless conduct by such person. Such permission shall not confer upon any member of the public using said land, including without limitation a minor, the status of an invitee or licensee to whom any duty would be owed by said person.

(b) The liability of any person who imposes a charge or fee for the use of his land by the public for the purposes described in subsection (a) shall not be limited by any provision of this section. The term "person" as used in this section shall be deemed to include the person having an interest in the land, his agent, manager, or licensee and shall include without limitation, any governmental body, agency or instrumentality, nonprofit corporation, trust or association, and any director, officer, trustee, member, employee or agent thereof. A contribution or other voluntary payment not required to be made to use such land shall not be considered a charge or fee within the meaning of this section.


Amended in 1998.
Reviewed by AAHS in July 2001.


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