Alabama

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to do any of the following:

   (3) Obtain access to an animal or crop facility by false pretenses for the purpose of performing acts not authorized by that facility.

   (5) Knowingly obtain control by theft or deception that is unauthorized, or to exert control that is unauthorized over any records, data . . . for the purpose of depriving the rightful owner or facility of records, . . . data . . .

   (6) Possess or use records, . . . data, . . . in any way to copy or reproduce records or data of an animal or crop facility knowing or reasonably believing that the records, . . . data, . . . have been obtained by theft or deception, or without authorization of the rightful owners or administrators of the animal or crop facility.

   (7) Enter or remain on an animal or crop facility with the intent to commit an act prohibited under this section.”  Ala. Code § 13A-11-153.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  A person is not liable for criminal trespass if she enters “unimproved, apparently unused land, . . . neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed . . . unless notice against trespass . . . is given” by signs posted on the property or is communicated personally by the owner.  Ala. Code § 13A-7-1.

Other Provisions:

 

Trespass against “critical infrastructure” carries a heightened penalty.  Ala. Code § 13A-7-4.3.  Critical infrastructure “includes, but is not limited to,” facilities that manufacture, store, process, treat, or transmit chemicals, oil, gas, electricity, and water.  Id.

 

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal stalking:

“(a) A person who, acting with an improper purpose, intentionally and repeatedly follows, harasses, telephones, or initiates communication, verbally, electronically, or otherwise, with another person, any member of the other person's immediate family, or any third party with whom the other person is acquainted, and causes material harm to the mental or emotional health of the other person, or causes such person to reasonably fear that his or her employment, business, or career is threatened, and the perpetrator was previously informed to cease that conduct is guilty of the crime of stalking in the second degree.

(b) The crime of stalking in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.”  Ala. Code § 13A-6-90.1.

Use of Information:

Although incomplete, our research has not found any provisions relating to the use of information collected by citizens in enforcement or administrative/legislative actions.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that “there is good ground to support” the claim.  AL ST RCP Rule 11.

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

 

“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Ala. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard for DNA evidence; Frye standard for other scientific evidence.  See Bagley v. Mazda Motor Corp., 864 So. 2d 301, 310 (Ala. 2003).

Discussion

Please note that this discussion is not moderated by the Emmett Environmental Law & Policy Clinic.