(information last updated January 2019)

State Project(s): 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (“DEEP”) manages a volunteer water quality monitoring group: Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (“RBV”).  See Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV) Program, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). Through the program, volunteers collect data on macroinvertebrate populations, which DEEP uses as an indication of water quality.  See id.  However, “[b]ecause it is a screening approach and not a more in-depth assessment methodology, RBV cannot provide a detailed water quality assessment nor can it be used to identify low or impaired water quality.”  Conn. Dep’t of Energy and Envtl. Protection, 2016 RBV Program Annual Summary Report 2 (2016),


Other DEEP citizen science projects focus on wildlife monitoring, such as the CT Bird Atlas Project. See Wildlife Division - Citizen Science / Volunteer Opportunities, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Contributing Data, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 

Collection of Information: 

Scientific Collection Permits:

A scientific collection permit is required to take plants, fish, and wildlife for research purposes. See Contributing Data, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). Collection of minerals for research and educational purposes also requires a permit. See Educational Mineral Collecting for Mineral Clubs, Nature Centers, Schools and Connecticut Museums, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. If there is no notice, you are subject to a fine, but not to criminal liability.


  1. Simple Trespass: Infraction

Trespass without notice (but with knowledge that one is not licensed or privileged to enter the property) is an infraction.  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-110a(a)-(b).  An infraction is subject to a fine of between $35 and $90. See id. § 51-164m(c)(1).  Punishment for such an infraction is therefore not considered a criminal prosecution.  State v. Caracoglia, 38 A.3d 226, 235 (Conn. App. Ct. 2012).


  1. Third Degree Criminal Trespass: Class C misdemeanor

“A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when, knowing that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so…[she] enters or remains in premises which are posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders or are fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders[.]” Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-109(a)(1). A violation of this section is a crime. Id. § 53a-109(b).

Drone Laws:


Municipalities are barred from regulating possession or use of drones, outside of water companies and utilities regulating drones over public water supply or related lands. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-149b(b).

State Parks:

“The use of remote controlled model aircraft or ‘drones’ is prohibited at Connecticut State Parks, State Forests or other lands under the control of [DEEP], unless specifically authorized by the Commissioner in a Special Use License.” Use of Remote Controlled Aircraft or “Drones”, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). This policy is born from DEEP regulations, subsections 23-4-1(x) (prohibits noisy activities that infringe on the ability of others to enjoy state parks or forest property) and 23-4-1(b) (prohibits noisy activities that disturb wildlife). See id.; see also Conn. Agencies Regs. § 23-4-1(b) & (x).

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“(a) For the purposes of this section, “course of conduct” means two or more acts, including, but not limited to, acts in which a person directly, indirectly or through a third party, by any action, method, device or means, (1) follows, lies in wait for, monitors, observes, surveils, threatens, harasses, communicates with or sends unwanted gifts to, a person, or (2) interferes with a person’s property. 


(b) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when:


  1. Such person knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for such person’s physical safety or the physical safety of a third person; or 


  1. Such person intentionally, and for no legitimate purpose, engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear that such person’s employment, business or career is threatened, where (A) such conduct consists of the actor telephoning to, appearing at or initiating communication or contact at such other person’s place of employment or business, provided the actor was previously and clearly informed to cease such conduct, and (B) such conduct does not consist of constitutionally protected activity.”

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-181d.

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 by attorney that “there is good ground to support” the claim. Conn. Super. Ct. R. § 4–2(b).  

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

“The requirement of authentication as a condition precedent to admissibility is satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the offered evidence is what its proponent claims it to be.”  Conn. Code Evid. 9-1(a).

Expert Testimony:

Porter-Daubert standard.  See State v. Porter, 698 A.2d 739, 743-58 (Conn. 1997).


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