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3.9-2  Status of Parties - Trespasser

Revised to January 1, 2008 (modified May 12, 2014)

A trespasser is a person who enters or remains upon land in the possession of another without a privilege to do so.

A possessor of land owes no duty to safeguard from harm a person who comes upon the land as a trespasser.  The possessor has a right to assume that no one will trespass upon the land.  The possessor has no duty to keep the land reasonably safe for any adult trespasser.  Rather, there is only a duty to refrain from intentional, willful, wanton or reckless conduct that causes injury to the trespasser.

If a possessor of land has knowledge that trespassers constantly intrude upon a limited area of the land, the possessor of land is liable for an artificial condition that caused injury to the trespasser on that part of the land if all of the following are met:

  1. the condition is one that the possessor has created or maintains, and
  2. the condition is one that, to the possessor's knowledge, is likely to cause death or serious bodily harm to such trespassers, and
  3. the condition is of such a nature that the possessor has reason to believe that such trespassers will not discover it, and
  4. the possessor has failed to use reasonable care to warn such trespassers of the artificial condition and the risk involved.


Maffucci v. Royal Park Ltd. Partnership, 243 Conn. 552, 558-60 (1998).


This charge is drafted in the context where the dangerous condition on the property is artificial and the trespasser is an adult.  If the trespasser is a child, give the following charge instead: Status of Parties Children, Instruction 3.9-5.  Connecticut also recognizes liability to trespassers for dangerous activities on the property, as noted in Morin v. Bell Court Condominium Association, Inc., 223 Conn. 323 (1992) and Maffucci v. Royal Park Ltd. Partnership, 243 Conn. 552, 559 n.8 (1998), both of which cite to Carlson v. Connecticut Co., 95 Conn. 724 (1921) and Restatement (Second), Torts 334.  For dangerous activities, adjust this charge as necessary.



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