Thus Saith the Court
As bills continue to move through both the House and Senate chambers, there is one issue that seems to have come out of nowhere, but has a significant impact on Iowa landowners’ liability. The issue stems from a recent Iowa Supreme Court decision, Sallee v. Stewart, where the court essentially invalidated the Iowa recreational use statute in its present form.
To be more specific, this decision has the real potential of ending recreational use of privately owned land, such as hunting, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, hiking, school field trips, et cetera. I probably had most everyone’s attention at “hunting and fishing.”
The nearly 50-year-old recreational use statute in Iowa Code has provided liability protection primarily for farmers and other rural landowners who allow public access to their lands for recreational purposes. With the court’s Salle decision, those protections seem to have been dismantled via judicial interpretation.
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