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3.9-1  Status of Parties - General

Revised to January 1, 2008

In determining whether the defendant is liable to the plaintiff, it is necessary for you, the jury, to decide what, if any, duty the defendant owed to the plaintiff.  Under our law, this depends on what the status of the plaintiff was in entering and remaining on the premises.  If the plaintiff was a trespasser, that may obligate the defendant to do or refrain from doing certain things about the premises.  If the plaintiff was a licensee (I will explain this term in a moment), then another set of obligations is due from the defendant.  If the plaintiff is an invitee, then a third set of legal duties is owed by the defendant.

[<If status is stipulated to or admitted:>  The (parties agree / defendant admits the allegation) that the plaintiff had the status of (a/an) (trespasser / licensee / invitee).  I will now explain what the law says about the duty of the defendant to one who has that status.]

[<If status of plaintiff is disputed:>  The determination of the plaintiff's status is a question of fact for you to determine.  Your decision about what the plaintiff's status was will then lead you to answer the question "what, if any, duty did the defendant owe to the plaintiff?" according to the instructions that follow.  Your first question in this premises liability case, however, is what was the status of the plaintiff?  The plaintiff claims (he/she) had the status of (a/an) (trespasser / licensee / invitee); the defendant claims the plaintiff had the status of (a/an) (trespasser / licensee / invitee).  Since you must resolve this dispute, I will now explain the definition of [trespasser], [licensee], and [invitee]; and in each case what the law says about the duty of the defendant.]

Notes

In charging on premises liability, the status of the plaintiff determines the standard of care the defendant owes to the plaintiff.  The following sections are arranged so that "Status of the Parties" includes the standard of care.
 


 

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