Good Samaritan Laws Regarding
Unattended Children in Vehicles Laws
Jan Null, CCM
"Good Samaritan" laws, which most states have in one form or another,
generally provide basic legal protection for those who assist a person
who is injured or in danger. In essence, they protect the “Good
Samaritan” from civil and/or criminal liability if unintended
consequences result from their assistance.
In recent years, a number of states have written laws that specifically add language offering at least some protection to persons who enter a vehicle, even by breaking a window, to "rescue" a child. It should be noted that there may be additonal limitations such as requirement to call 911 first. This list below was last updated in July 2016.
GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS REGARDING UNATTENDED CHILDREN IN VEHICLES
CS/CS/HB 131 - Unattended Persons and Animals in Motor Vehicles
General Bill by Judiciary Committee and Civil Justice Subcommittee and Young and Moskowitz (CO-SPONSORS) Artiles; Broxson; Gaetz; Gonzalez; Hager; Jones, S.; Magar; Metz; Moraitis; Pafford; Perry; Rader; Rehwinkel Vasilinda; Rouson; Steube; Williams, A.
Unattended Persons and Animals in Motor Vehicles: Providing immunity from civil liability for damage to a motor vehicle related to the rescue of a person or animal under certain circumstances; providing applicability, etc.
Effective Date: March 8, 2016
Last Event: Chapter No. 2016-18 on Wednesday, March 09, 2016 9:51 AM
House Bill 1161
Enrolled House Bill (H)
Authored by Rep. Philip GiaQuinta.
Co-Authored by Rep. Gregory Steuerwald, Rep. Jud McMillin, Rep. Vernon Smith.
Sponsored by Sen. Brent Steele, Sen. John Broden, Sen. Lonnie Randolph.
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Authors / Sponsors
Immunity for damage caused rescuing a child. Grants civil immunity to a person who forcibly enters a locked motor vehicle for the purpose of rescuing a child. Does not extend civil immunity to acts involving gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.
SB16 (BR65) - D. Carroll, C. Girdler, C. Embry Jr., D. Parrett
AN ACT relating to the safety of minors and declaring an emergency.
Create a new section of KRS Chapter 411 to provide civil immunity for damaging a vehicle to a person who enters a vehicle with the reasonable, good faith belief that a minor is in imminent danger of harm if not removed from the vehicle; encourage Transportation Cabinet to implement education on children left in vehicles; EMERGENCY.
Establishes the Rescue the Forgotten law to provide immunity from civil liability for persons who render assistance to children trapped in motor vehicles
Sponsor: Haahr, Elijah (134)
Effective Date: Emergency Clause
LR Number: 4153S.03T
Governor Action: 07/01/2016 - Approved by Governor (G)
Last Action: 07/01/2016 - Delivered to Secretary of State (G)
Bill String: SCS HCS HB 1649
Next Hearing: Hearing not scheduled
Calendar: Bill currently not on a House calendar
Senate Bill 215
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General Assembly: 131
Short Title: Forcibly enter motor vehicle-rescue minor/animal-immunity [ Show Long Title ]
Primary Sponsor: Senator Jim Hughes, Senator Frank LaRose
Status: As Enrolled
Legislation Text : View Current Version
Oklahoma House Bill 1902 (Prior Session Legislation)
OK State Legislature page for HB1902
Completed Legislative Action
Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Republican 8-4)
Status: Passed on May 18 2015 - 100% progression
Action: 2015-05-18 - Approved by Governor 05/18/2015
Text: Latest bill text (Enrolled) [PDF]
Summary: Motor vehicles; providing civil immunity for removing child from motor vehicle using forcible entry; emergency.
HOUSE BILL 537
AN ACT to amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 29,
Chapter 34, Part 2, relative to immunity for the
forcible entry into a motor vehicle under certain
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Section 29-34-209, is amended by deleting
the section in its entirety and substituting instead the following:
(a) A person whose conduct conforms to the requirements of subsection (b)
shall be immune from civil liability for any damage resulting from the forcible entry of a
motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a minor or an animal from the vehicle.
No. 147 Page 30 of 36
VT LEG #317863 v.1
* * * Immunity for Forcible Entry of Motor Vehicle for Rescue Purposes * * *
Sec. 24. 12 V.S.A. § 5784 is added to read:
§ 5784. FORCIBLE ENTRY OF MOTOR VEHICLE TO REMOVE
UNATTENDED CHILD OR ANIMAL
A person who forcibly enters a motor vehicle for the purpose of removing a
child or animal from the motor vehicle shall not be subject to civil liability for
damages arising from the forcible entry if the person:
HB 2082 Emergency care; forcible entry of motor vehicle to remove a minor.
Christopher K. Peace
Summary as passed House: (all summaries)
Civil immunity for rendering emergency care; forcible entry of motor vehicle to remove a minor. Provides that the civil immunity granted for rendering emergency care or assistance includes the forcible entry of a motor vehicle to remove an unattended minor at risk of serious bodily injury or death, provided the person has attempted to contact a law-enforcement officer, a firefighter, emergency medical services personnel, or an emergency 911 system prior to such entry, if feasible under the circumstances.
Date of enactment: November 11, 2015
2015 Assembly Bill 308 Date of publication*: November 12, 2015
* Section 991.11, Wisconsin Statutes: Effective date of acts. "Every act and every portion of an act enacted by the legislature over the governor's partial veto which does not expressly prescribe the time when it takes effect shall take effect on the day after its date of publication."
2015 WISCONSIN ACT 103
An Act to create 895.484 of the statutes; relating to: providing an exemption from civil liability for forcibly entering a vehicle under certain circumstances.
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