Author Topic: Urge Your Senator to Restore Key Provision of SB 497  (Read 3382 times)

Rick_Bear

  • Hero Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 2077
  • Jeep Show Chairman
    • View Profile
Urge Your Senator to Restore Key Provision of SB 497
« on: January 11, 2008, 12:24:24 am »
Urge Your Senator to Restore Key Provision of SB 497
[/size]
     ARRA and the Pennsylvania Off-Highway Vehicle Association (PaOHV) have asked for your help several times over the past year with SB 497 and we could use your help once again.  As you will recall the original legislation would limit the liability of private landowners who allow recreational access on their land provided the owner did not charge a fee for use.  In addition, the bill would add a section to provide property owners the opportunity to recover their attorney's fees and costs when a civil action is dismissed or otherwise found to be without merit under the provisions of the Act. 
     In September, we alerted you that the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee would consider SB 497, and shortly before the Holidays the Committee passed the bill.  Unfortunately the bill was amended, and the provision that would allow property owners to recover attorney's fees and costs in the event of an unsuccessful plaintiff's action were stricken from the legislation.  So we are asking for your assistance another time.
     Please click the Take Action button below to send a letter to your Senator encouraging support for amendments that will be offered by Senator Robbins.  The bill is on the Senate Calendar and will be considered by the full Senate some time after the legislative session reconvenes on January 14th.  At that time Senator Robbins will offer an amendment to restore the ability of landowners to recover attorney's fees and costs in cases where the plaintiff was acting in "bad faith," as well as an amendment to specifically define snowmobile, ATV and motorcycle riding as "recreational activities" in the bill.

Send a letter to the following decision makers:
PA Senate Less Robbins
[/size]

Below is the sample letter:

     As a responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiast I write to encourage you to support Senator Robbins' amendments to SB 497 that would restore the ability of land owners to recover attorney's fees and costs in cases where the plaintiff was acting in "bad faith," and would specifically define snowmobile, ATV and motorcycle riding as "recreational activities" in the bill.
     SB 497 would limit the liability of landowners who open their land to recreational activities, including OHV access, provided that the landowner does not charge a fee for use. In addition, the original bill included a section that would provide property owners the opportunity to recover their attorney's fees and costs when a civil action is dismissed or otherwise found to be without merit under the provisions of the Act; however this provision was stricken by amendment in committee.
     Senator Robbins' recovery amendment provides that property owners can recover attorney's fees and costs in cases where the court finds that plaintiff was acting in "bad faith." The new language is intended to address concerns raised in committee. This provision is necessary to protect landowners from potential abusive and baseless lawsuits.
     Another of Senator Robbins amendment would specifically define snowmobile, ATV and motorcycle riding as "recreational activities" covered under the act. While we believe that the legislation as currently drafted would include OHV access, Senator Robbins' amendment would provide ironclad assurance that landowners who allow motorized access will have the same protections afforded property owners who allow other forms of recreation on their land.
     SB 497, including Senator Robbins' amendments, would protect private property owners and encourage recreation on private property. Privately owned riding areas would compliment current access to and reduce traffic on public lands, both State and Federal. While OHV clubs in Pennsylvania will continue to advocate for increased responsible access to public lands, we also understand that there are valuable riding opportunities available on private property.

Thank you for your consideration. Again, I urge you to support SB 497 with Senator Robbins' amendments.

Sincerely,

__________________



Do Your Duty And History Will Do You Justice...!
06' Wrangler Rubicon Unlimited, Clayton 4" Long Arm Suspension, Clayton Full Skid Plates, AtoZ Fabrication Rock Sliders, AtoZ Fabrication Cage Addition and More modifications to come...