Georgia

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project:

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) manages the Georgia Adopt-A-Stream program, which uses volunteers to collect water quality baseline data across the state.  See About Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, Georgia Adopt-A-Stream, http://www.georgiaadoptastream.com/db/about.html (last visited Nov. 20, 2016).  We could not find statutory authority for the program, which EPD appears to have created on its own initiative using a Clean Water Act Section 319(h) grant.  See id.

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“(c)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person . . . enters or remains on an animal facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, and the person:

     (A) Had notice that the entry was forbidden;

     (B) Knew or should have known that the animal facility was or had closed to the public; or

     (C) Received notice to depart but failed to do so.

(c.1)(1) A person commits an offense if, without the consent of the owner, the person . . . enters or remains on a crop facility with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the crop facility, and the person:

     (A) Had notice that the entry was forbidden;

     (B) Knew or should have known that the crop facility was or had closed to the public; or

     (C) Received notice to depart but failed to do so.”  Ga. Code § 4-11-32.

 

     “‘Animal facility’ includes any vehicle, building, structure, pasture, paddock, pond, impoundment, or premises where an animal is kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale and any office, building, or structure where records or documents relating to an animal or to animal . . . production . . . are maintained.”  Ga. Code § 4-11-31.  “‘Crop facility’ means any field, building, greenhouse, structure, or premises where crops are grown or offered for sale and any office, building, or structure where records, documents, or electronic data relating to crops or crop . . . production . . . are maintained.”  Id.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. A person is guilty of trespass if she enters land “after receiving . . . notice from the owner” that such entry is prohibited.  Ga. Code § 16-7-21(b).  The statute does not define “notice.”

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the offense of stalking when he or she follows, places under surveillance, or contacts another person at or about a place or places without the consent of the other person for the purpose of harassing and intimidating the other person.”  Ga. Code § 16-5-90.

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 a “showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.”  Ga. Code § 9‑11-8.

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

“The requirement of authentication or identification as a condition precedent to admissibility shall be satisfied by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what its proponent claims.”  Ga. Code § 24-9-901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard for civil suits; Harper standard for criminal suits.  See Vaughn v. State, 646 S.E.2d 212, 215 (2007).

Discussion

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