Connecticut

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project:

The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) manages a volunteer water quality monitoring group: Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers (RBV).  See Riffle Bioassessment by Volunteers Program, Conn. Dep’t of Energy & Envtl. Protection, http://www.ct.gov/deep/cwp/view.asp?a=2719&q=325606&deepNav_GID=1654%20 (last visited Apr. 3, 2017).  We were unable to find statutory authorization for RBV, which DEEP appears to have created on its own initiative.  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 not can it be used to identify low or impaired water quality.”  Conn. Dep’t of Energy and Envtl. Protection, 2015 RBV Program Annual Summary Report 2 (2015), available at http://www.ct.gov/deep/lib/deep/water/volunteer_monitoring/2015_rbv_report.pdf.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  To commit criminal trespass, a person entering private property must “know[] that such person is not licensed or privileged to do so . . .”  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-110a.

Other Provisions:

A person who trespasses against public land is guilty of second degree trespass (a Class B Misdemeanor), whereas a person who trespasses against private land is guilty of third degree trespass (a Class C Misdemeanor).  Compare Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-108 (2nd Degree trespass) with Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-109 (3rd degree trespass).

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

    (2) 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.

    (c) Stalking in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor.”  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:

“A pleading should allege facts upon which plaintiff proposes to rely in such a way as fairly to apprise court and opposing party as to basis upon which plaintiff claims relief.”  Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-91.

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.

Expert Testimony:

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

Discussion

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