Delaware

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

Yes.  Third degree trespass requires only that a person “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully upon real property.”  Del. Code tit. 11, § 821.

Other Provisions:

Trespass when a person “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property which is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude intruders” carried a heightened penalty, and trespass against a “building used to shelter, house, milk, raise, feed, breed, study or exhibit animals” carries an even more heightened one.  Del. Code tit. 11, § 823(a).

Drone Laws:

Drone Law:

“(b) Prohibited Acts--Except as provided in this section, no person shall knowingly operate, direct, or program an unmanned aircraft system to fly:

     (2) over any critical infrastructure . . .”  Del. Code tit. 11, § 1334.

 

“(2) ‘Critical infrastructure’ means petroleum refineries, petroleum storage facilities, chemical storage facilities, chemical manufacturing facilities, fuel storage facilities, electric substations, power plants, electric generation facilities, military facilities, commercial port and harbor facilities, rail yard facilities, drinking water treatment or storage facilities, correctional facilities, government buildings, and public safety buildings or facilities.”  Id.

Limitations:

“(e) Preemption--Only the State may enact a law or take any other action to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operation of an unmanned aircraft systems in the State.  This Section preempts the authority of a county or municipality to prohibit, restrict, or regulate the testing or operating of unmanned aircraft systems and supersedes any existing law or ordinance of a county or municipality that prohibits, restricts, or regulates the testing or operating of unmanned aircraft systems.”  Del. Code tit. 11, § 1334.

Exceptions:

“(c) Exemptions--The prohibitions set forth in subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to: . . . (3) an unmanned aircraft system operated by an institution of higher education for educational purposes in compliance with Federal Aviation Administration regulations; (4) an unmanned aircraft system that is being used for a commercial or other purpose if the operator is authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration.”  Del. Code tit. 11, § 1334.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“(a) A person is guilty of stalking when the person knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person and that conduct would cause a reasonable person to:

    (1) Fear physical injury to himself or herself or that of another person; or

    (2) Suffer other significant mental anguish or distress that may, but does not necessarily, require medical or other professional treatment or counseling.”  Del. Code tit. 11, § 1312.

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 allegations and other factual contentions have evidentiary support or, if specifically so identified, are likely to have evidentiary support after a reasonable opportunity for further investigation or discovery.”  Del. Super. Ct. Civ. R. 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.”  D.R.E. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard.  See M.G. Bancorporation, Inc. v. Le Beau, 737 A.2d 513, 522 (Del. 1999).

Discussion

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