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SB 303 - Torts - no civil action, injured while committing criminal act
Brown, Robert (26th)
Status Summary SC: Judy HC: FR: 01/12/00 LA: 01/12/00 S - Read 1st time

First Reader Summary

A bill to be entitled an Act to amend Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to torts, so as to prohibit recovery of damages by certain persons who are injured while committing a criminal act; to proscribe the proof that a victim could use in support of his or her immunity; to allow a civil action against a victim by the perpetrator of a crime to be stayed pending the final outcome of the criminal trial of the perpetrator; to allow for the award of attorneys' fees and costs to a victim who is a defendant in a civil case under certain circumstances; to provide for matters relative to the foregoing; to provide an effective date; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Page Numbers: 1 2 3
Code Sections - 51-1-13.1

Senate Action House
1/12/00 Read 1st time
Version by LC Number
LC 19 4397 As Introduced

SB 303 00                                          LC 19 4397 
 
      SENATE BILL 303 
 
      By:  Senator Brown of the 26th 
 
 
                        A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 
                               AN ACT 
 
 
  1- 1  To amend Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of 
  1- 2  Georgia Annotated, relating to general provisions relative 
  1- 3  to torts, so as to prohibit recovery of damages by certain 
  1- 4  persons who are injured while committing a criminal act; to 
  1- 5  proscribe the proof that a victim could use in support of 
  1- 6  his or her immunity; to allow a civil action against a 
  1- 7  victim by the perpetrator of a crime to be stayed pending 
  1- 8  the final outcome of the criminal trial of the perpetrator; 
  1- 9  to allow for the award of attorneys' fees and costs to a 
  1-10  victim who is a defendant in a civil case under certain 
  1-11  circumstances; to provide for matters relative to the 
  1-12  foregoing; to provide an effective date; to repeal 
  1-13  conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 
 
  1-14       BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: 
 
  1-15                           SECTION 1. 
 
  1-16  Chapter 1 of Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia 
  1-17  Annotated, relating to general provisions relative to torts, 
  1-18  is amended by inserting immediately following Code Section 
  1-19  51-1-13 a new Code Section 51-1-13.1 to read as follows: 
 
  1-20    "51-1-13.1. 
 
  1-21    (a) As used in this Code section, the term: 
 
  1-22      (1) 'Criminal activity' means any action that 
  1-23      constitutes a felony offense, an attempt of a felony 
  1-24      offense, or any other crime involving physical harm or 
  1-25      the risk of physical harm to a victim, even if the 
  1-26      person who has engaged in the criminal activity is not 
  1-27      subsequently charged or convicted. 
 
  1-28      (2) 'Perpetrator' means a person who has engaged in any 
  1-29      action that constitutes a felony offense, an attempt of 
  1-30      a felony offense, or any other crime involving physical 
  1-31      harm or the risk of physical harm to a victim. 
 
  1-32      (3) 'Victim' means a person who owns the property upon 
  1-33      which criminal activity takes place, an invited guest on 
 
 
                                 -1- 
 
 
 
  2- 1      that property, or a person providing assistance to 
  2- 2      another victim.  The term includes a person who in 
  2- 3      self-defense injures another person engaging in an 
  2- 4      action that constitutes a felony offense, an attempt of 
  2- 5      a felony offense, or any other crime involving physical 
  2- 6      harm or the risk of physical harm to another person. 
 
  2- 7    (b) A perpetrator assumes the risk of loss, injury, or 
  2- 8    death resulting from or arising out of a course of 
  2- 9    criminal activity engaged in by the perpetrator or an 
  2-10    accomplice. 
 
  2-11    (c) A victim is immune from civil damages as a result of 
  2-12    acts or omissions of the victim in resisting criminal 
  2-13    conduct or from other harm to a perpetrator, except that a 
  2-14    victim is not immune from civil liability if he or she is 
  2-15    found guilty of criminal conduct resulting from his or her 
  2-16    actions taken in response to criminal activity of a 
  2-17    perpetrator. 
 
  2-18    (d) Conclusive proof of criminal activity of a perpetrator 
  2-19    includes, but is not limited to, the following: 
 
  2-20      (1) A certified copy of a guilty plea; 
 
  2-21      (2) A court judgment of guilt; 
 
  2-22      (3) A court record of conviction; and 
 
  2-23      (4) An adjudication of delinquency of a child. 
 
  2-24    (e) A victim is immune from civil damages to a perpetrator 
  2-25    if he or she by a preponderance of the evidence proves the 
  2-26    criminal activity of the perpetrator. 
 
  2-27    (f) The immunity granted to a victim is not precluded if a 
  2-28    perpetrator pleads guilty to or is found guilty of a 
  2-29    lesser included offense that is not a felony. 
 
  2-30    (g) Except to the extent needed to preserve evidence, a 
  2-31    civil action in which a defense of immunity is pled shall 
  2-32    be stayed by the court on the motion of the defendant 
  2-33    during the pendency of any criminal action against the 
  2-34    plaintiff based on the alleged criminal activity. 
 
  2-35    (h) In a civil action that is subject to this Code 
  2-36    section, the court shall award reasonable expenses, 
  2-37    including attorneys' fees and costs to the victim, if he 
  2-38    or she prevails on  grounds of immunity as set forth in 
  2-39    subsections (b) and (c) of this Code section." 
 
 
 
 
                                 -2- 
 
 
 
  3- 1                           SECTION 2. 
 
  3- 2  This Act shall become effective on July 1, 2000, and shall 
  3- 3  apply to civil actions commenced on or after such date. 
 
  3- 4                           SECTION 3. 
 
  3- 5  All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 
  3- 6  repealed. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                 -3- 

Secretary of the Senate
Frank Eldridge, Jr., Secretary
Last Updated on 05/15/00