Full Statute Name:  West's Annotated Indiana Code. Title 34. Civil Law and Procedure. Article 30. Immunity from Civil Liability. Chapter 30. Immunity for Removing a Domestic Animal from a Locked Motor Vehicle

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Primary Citation:  I.C. 34-30-30-1 - 4 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  October, 2019 Alternate Citation:  IN ST 34-30-30-1 - 4 Date Adopted:  2017 Historical: 
Summary: This Indiana chapter on pets in motor vehicles was enacted in 2017. Under the chapter, "domestic animal" means a dog, cat or other vertebrate animal kept as a household pet (not including livestock). Section 34-30-30-3 provides that a person who forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove a domestic animal from a motor vehicle is liable for one-half the cost of repairing the damage to the motor vehicle caused by the forcible entry. To meet this immunity, the person must reasonably believe that the domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily harm. The person must do all the following first: (1) determine the motor vehicle is locked and forcible entry is necessary to remove the domestic animal; (2) call 911 or attempt to contact law enforcement/animal control; (3) use no more force than is necessary to remove the domestic animal from the vehicle; and (4) remain with the animal until first responders or law enforcement arrive. The statute gives complete immunity from the costs of damage to any first responder, law enforcement/animal control officer, public safety government employee, or veterinary professional. Finally, the chapter immunizes the owner of the domestic animal from liability for bites or physical injury to the rescuer.

 

 

34-30-30-1 “Domestic animal”

34-30-30-2 “Motor vehicle”

34-30-30-3 Procedure for removing domestic animal from motor vehicle

34-30-30-4 Domestic animal bites during removal

 

34-30-30-1 “Domestic animal”

Sec. 1. (a) As used in this chapter, “domestic animal” means a dog, cat, or other vertebrate animal that is domesticated and:

(1) kept as a household pet; or

(2) intended to be kept as a household pet.

(b) The term does not include an animal to which the definition of “livestock” set forth in IC 15-11-5-1 applies.

Credits

As added by P.L.186-2017, SEC.4, eff. July 1, 2017.

 

34-30-30-2 “Motor vehicle”

Sec. 2. As used in this chapter, “motor vehicle” means an automobile, truck, or other conveyance that:

(1) is designed to transport people or objects on roads and highways; and

(2) contains an enclosed space into which a domestic animal may be put.

Credits

As added by P.L.186-2017, SEC.4, eff. July 1, 2017.

 

34-30-30-3 Procedure for removing domestic animal from motor vehicle

Sec. 3. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c), a person who forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove a domestic animal from the motor vehicle:

(1) is liable to the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle for one-half ( ½ ) of the cost of repairing the damage to the motor vehicle directly caused by the person's forcible entry, unless the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle waives the person's liability under this subdivision; and

(2) is immune from any other criminal or civil liability for other property damage resulting from the person's forcible entry of the motor vehicle;

if all the conditions set forth in subsection (b) are satisfied.

(b) For subsection (a)(1) and (a)(2) to apply to a person who forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove a domestic animal from the motor vehicle, all the following conditions must be satisfied:

(1) A domestic animal must be present in the enclosed space of the motor vehicle, and the person must reasonably believe that the domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily harm if the domestic animal remains in the motor vehicle.

(2) The person must determine that:

(A) the motor vehicle is locked; and

(B) forcible entry of the motor vehicle is necessary to remove the domestic animal from the motor vehicle.

(3) The person must call telephone number 911 or otherwise attempt to contact:

(A) a law enforcement officer;

(B) a firefighter;

(C) an animal control officer; or

(D) another emergency responder;

before the person forcibly enters the motor vehicle.

(4) The person must use no more force than is reasonably necessary to enter the motor vehicle and remove the domestic animal from the motor vehicle.

(5) The person must remain with the domestic animal until a law enforcement officer, firefighter, animal control officer, or other emergency responder arrives at the scene.

(c) If any of the following persons, acting in the course and scope of the person's employment, forcibly enters a motor vehicle to remove a domestic animal from the motor vehicle, the person is not liable for the cost of repairing damage to the motor vehicle caused by the person's forcible entry:

(1) A law enforcement officer.

(2) A firefighter.

(3) A government officer or employee whose primary duty is to ensure public safety.

(4) An emergency responder other than those identified in subdivisions (1) through (3).

(5) An animal control officer.

(6) A veterinarian who is licensed or otherwise authorized to practice veterinary medicine in Indiana under IC 25-38.1-3.

(7) A veterinary assistant, as defined in IC 25-38.1-1-14.7.

For the purposes of this subsection, a law enforcement officer may be considered to be acting in the course and scope of the law enforcement officer's employment even if the law enforcement officer is off duty.

Credits

As added by P.L.186-2017, SEC.4, eff. July 1, 2017.

 

34-30-30-4 Domestic animal bites during removal

Sec. 4. If:

(1) a person forcibly removes a domestic animal from a motor vehicle as described in section 3 of this chapter; and

(2) the domestic animal bites or otherwise physically injures the person during the removal;

the owner of the domestic animal is immune from civil liability for any injuries sustained by the person during the forcible removal of the domestic animal.

Credits

As added by P.L.186-2017, SEC.4, eff. July 1, 2017.

 

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