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3.9-3  Status of Parties - Licensee

Revised to January 1, 2008

A licensee is a person who is privileged to enter or remain on land only by virtue of the possessor's consent, that is, with the possessor's permission or with the possessor's express or implied consent.  A person who is a licensee has certain privileges that a trespasser does not have.  A possessor of land owes no duty to a licensee to keep the premises in a safe condition, because the licensee must take the premises as (she/he) finds them and assumes the risk of any danger arising out of an obvious condition.  If the possessor of the land has knowledge of the licensee's presence on the premises, the possessor must use reasonable care 1) not to subject the licensee to danger, and 2) to warn the licensee of any dangerous conditions that the possessor knows about but which the licensee could not reasonably observe.

A possessor of land is liable for bodily harm caused to a licensee by a natural or artificial condition, if a) the possessor knows of the condition, realizes that it involves an unreasonable risk to the licensee and has reason to believe that the licensee will not discover the condition or realize the risk, and b) invites or permits the licensee to enter or remain on the land, without exercising reasonable care 1) to make the condition reasonably safe, or 2) to warn the licensee of the condition and the risk involved.

If the possessor engages in activities or active operations on the land, there is a duty to exercise reasonable care for the protection of the licensee, that is, to act with due regard for the possibility that the licensee may be present.


See Salaman v. Waterbury, 246 Conn. 298 (1998) (absent hidden hazards, no duty to warn adult swimmer about the dangers of drowning in an observable body of water); Corcoran v. Jacovino, 161 Conn. 462, 467 (1971) (duty to licensee).  See also Morin v. Bell Court Condominium Assn., Inc., 223 Conn. 323, 327-28 (1992), citing W. Prosser and W. Keeton, Torts (5th Ed.) § 60, p. 416 (duty re: active operations).


Police officers who are on private property in the exercise of their duties are treated as licensees.  Morin v. Bell Court Condominium Assn., Inc., supra, 223 Conn. 328; Furstein v. Hill, 218 Conn. 610, 615-16 (1991).


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