CALIFORNIA HAZING LAW

Matt’s Law SEC. 3. Section 245.6

245.6 (a) This section shall be known and may be cited as “Matt’s Law” in memory of Matthew William
Carrington, who died on February 2, 2005 as a result of hazing.
(b) As used in this section “hazing” or “haze” is conduct which causes, or is likely to cause,
bodily danger, physical harm, or personal degradation or disgrace resulting in physical or mental
harm to another person in the course of the other person’s preinitiation into, initiation into,
affiliation with, holding office in, or maintaining membership in any organization. The terms
“hazing” or “haze” do not include customary athletic, fire department, police department, military,
or quasi-military training, conditioning, or similar events or activities.
(c) Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing is guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100), nor more than five thousand
dollars ($5000), or imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by both fine and
imprisonment.
(d) Any person who hazes or conspires to participate in hazing which results in death, great bodily
injury, or great psychological injury is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state
prisons.
(e) An organization is guilty of violating subdivisions (b) or (c) if the organization’s agents,
directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged,
participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing.
(f) The implied or expressed consent of the person or persons against whom the hazing was directed
shall not be defense to any action brought under this section.
(g) This section does not apply to the person against whom the hazing was directed.
(h) This section shall not, in any manner, limit or exclude prosecution or punishment for any other
crime or any civil remedy.
(1) The person against whom the hazing is directed may commence a civil action for injury or
damages, including mental and physical pain and suffering that results from the hazing. The action
may be brought against any participants in the hazing, or any organization, whose agents,
directors, trustees, managers, or officers authorized, requested, commanded, encouraged,
participated in, ratified, or tolerated the hazing. If the organization is a corporation, whether
for profit or not, the individual directors of the corporation may be held individually liable for
damages.