PA 17-134—HB 7080

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING LEGAL PROTECTIONS FOR PERSONS ENTERING PASSENGER MOTOR VEHICLES TO RENDER EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE TO CHILDREN

SUMMARY: Under certain circumstances, this act provides an affirmative defense against civil damages or criminal penalties for entering another person's passenger motor vehicle, including forcibly, to remove a child. It covers the person's actions or omissions in removing the child as long as the person:

1. reasonably believes, at the time of entry, that entering the vehicle is necessary to remove the child from imminent danger of serious bodily injury;

2. uses no more force than is reasonably necessary, under the circumstances the person knows at the time, to enter the vehicle to remove the child;

3. reports the entry and related circumstances to a law enforcement or public safety agency within a reasonable time after entering the vehicle; and

4. takes reasonable steps to ensure the child's safety, health, and well-being after removing the child from the vehicle.

The affirmative defense provided under the act is in addition to defenses or immunities available under federal, state, or common law but does not apply to acts or omissions constituting gross, willful, or wanton negligence. Under the act, a person may still be liable for civil damages if he or she attempts to provide aid to the child in addition to the actions the act authorizes.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017

DEFINITIONS

Under the act:

1. a “passenger motor vehicle” is a motor vehicle used for private transportation of people and their belongings, designed to carry up to 10 passengers, including the operator, in comfort and safety and

2. a “public safety agency” is a functional municipal or state division that provides firefighting, law enforcement, ambulance, medical, or other emergency services.