Chief Sponsor: Lincoln Fillmore

House Sponsor: Andrew Stoddard


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses liability related to dogs.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     clarifies language related to liability for an injury caused by a dog;
13          ▸     addresses the period within which a person may bring an action related to an injury
14     caused by a dog; and
15          ▸     makes technical changes.
16     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
17          None
18     Other Special Clauses:
19          None
20     Utah Code Sections Affected:
21     AMENDS:
22          18-1-1, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2021, Chapters 201, 257

24     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
25          Section 1. Section 18-1-1 is amended to read:
26          18-1-1. Liability and damages for dog injury -- Exceptions -- Statute of limitation.
27          (1) (a) Except as provided in Subsections (2) and (3), a person who owns or keeps a

28     dog is liable for an injury caused by the dog, regardless of whether:
29          (i) the dog is vicious or mischievous; or
30          (ii) the owner or keeper knows the dog is vicious or mischievous.
31          (b) Damages for an injury described in Subsection (1)(a) shall be determined in
32     accordance with Section 78B-5-818.
33          (2) Neither the state nor any county, city, metro township, or town in the state nor any
34     peace officer employed by the state, a county, a city, a metro township, or a town shall be liable
35     in damages for an injury caused by a dog, if:
36          (a) the dog and the dog's law enforcement handler are trained to assist in law
37     enforcement and are certified according to the standards adopted in Title 53, Chapter 6, Part 4,
38     Law Enforcement Canine Team Certification Act;
39          (b) the governmental agency has adopted a written policy on the necessary and
40     appropriate use of dogs in official law enforcement duties;
41          (c) the actions of the dog's handler do not violate the agency's written policy; and
42          (d) the injury occurs while the dog is reasonably and carefully being used in the
43     apprehension, arrest, or location of a suspected offender or in maintaining or controlling the
44     public order.
45          (3) A person who owns or keeps a dog is not liable for an injury or death caused by the
46     dog if:
47          (a) the injury or death is to another animal;
48          (b) the injury or death occurs:
49          (i) on the person's private property; and
50          (ii) while the dog is reasonably secured within a fence or other enclosure; and
51          (c) the animal described in Subsection (3)(a) entered the person's private property
52     without consent.
53          (4) Notwithstanding Title 78B, Chapter 2, Part 3, Other than Real Property, a person
54     may only bring an action under this section against an owner or keeper of a dog within four
55     years after the day on which the event giving rise to the action occurs if the event occurs on or
56     after May 1, 2024.
57          Section 2. Effective date.
58          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.