Alaska

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

 

Federal Project Operating in the State:

The University of Alaska has established a program called the Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration (“ACUASI”) “to maintain a world class research center for unmanned aircraft systems, providing integration of unique payloads and supporting pathfinder missions within government and science communities, with a special emphasis on the Arctic and sub-Arctic regions.”  ACUASI, About Us, http://acuasi.alaska.edu/about (last visited Apr. 10, 2017); see also Alaska Stat. § 14.40.082 (“The University of Alaska may establish a training program in the operation of unmanned aircraft systems.”).  The program was selected as a test site by the FAA in 2013.  ACUASI, About Us, http://acuasi.alaska.edu/about (last visited Apr. 10, 2017).

 

Trespass Laws:

 

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. A person is not liable for trespass if she enters “unimproved and apparently unused land, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed . . . unless notice against trespass is given” by signs posted on the property or personally by the owner.  Alaska Stat. § 11.46.350(b).

 

Other Provisions:

“A person who trespasses upon the land of another to gather geotechnical data . . . is liable to the owner for treble the amount of damages that may be assessed in a civil action.”  Alaska Stat. § 09.45.735.  If the trespass was unintentional, however, only actual damages may be recovered. Id.

 

Stalking Laws:

 

Criminal Law:

“(a) A person commits the crime of stalking in the second degree if the person knowingly engages in a course of conduct that recklessly places another person in fear of death or physical injury, or in fear of the death or physical injury of a family member . . .

(c) Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.”  Alaska Stat. § 11.41.270.

 

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 “the factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, will likely have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  Alaska R. Civ. P. 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, except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) below:

   (a) Whenever the prosecution in a criminal trial offers (1) real evidence which is of such a nature as not to be readily identifiable, or as to be susceptible to adulteration, contamination, modification, tampering, or other changes in form attributable to accident, carelessness, error or fraud, or (2) testimony describing real evidence of the type set forth in (1) if the information on which the description is based was acquired while the evidence was in the custody or control of the prosecution, the prosecution must first demonstrate as a matter of reasonable certainty that the evidence is at the time of trial or was at the time it was observed properly identified and free of the possible taints identified by this paragraph.

   (b) In any case in which real evidence of the kind described in paragraph (a) of this rule is offered, the court may require additional proof before deciding whether to admit or exclude evidence under Rule 403.”  Alaska R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard.  See Thompson v. Cooper, 290 P.3d 393, 399-400 (Alaska 2012).

Discussion

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