(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project:

The state of Illinois has created a state task force to develop regulations governing use of unmanned aerial systems.  See 20 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5065/1, et seq.  This may offer an opportunity for advocates to help shape the law.

     “(e) The Task Force shall consider commercial and private uses of drones, landowner and privacy rights, as well as general rules and regulations for safe operation of drones, and prepare comprehensive recommendations for the safe and lawful operation of UAS in this State.

     (g) The Task Force shall submit a report with recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly no later than July 1, 2017.”  20 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5065/15.

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“It shall be unlawful for any person:

    (3) to obtain access to an animal facility by false pretenses for the purpose of performing acts not authorized by that facility;

    (4) to enter into an animal facility with an intent to destroy, alter, duplicate, or obtain unauthorized possession of records, data, materials, equipment, or animals;

    (6) to enter or remain on an animal facility with the intent to commit an act prohibited under this Section.”  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/48-2.


“Animal facility” means “any facility engaging in . . . agricultural production of or involving the use of animals including any organization with a primary purpose of representing livestock production or processing, any organization with a primary purpose of promoting or marketing livestock or livestock products, . . . and any organization with a primary purpose of representing any such person, organization, or institution.  ‘Animal facility’ shall include the owner, operator, and employees of any animal facility and any premises where animals are located.”  Id.

Trespassing Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  In order to commit trespass, a person must first receive “notice from the owner or occupant [of the land] that the entry is forbidden[.]”  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/21-3.  Such notice is given if communicated personally or if “a printed or written notice forbidding . . . entry has been conspicuously posted or exhibited at the main entrance to the land or the forbidden part thereof.”  Id.

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits stalking when he or she knowingly engages in a course of conduct directed at a specific person, and he or she knows or should know that this course of conduct would cause a reasonable person to:

    (1) fear for his or her safety or the safety of a third person; or

    (2) suffer other emotional distress.”  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/12-7.3(a).


However, the Appellate Court of Illinois has held that this statute “lacks a mens rea requirement and is therefore facially unconstitutional under the due process clause of the fourteenth amendment.”  People v. Relerford, 2016 IL App (1st) 132531, ¶ 27, 56 N.E.3d 489, 495–96, appeal allowed, 65 N.E.3d 845 (Ill. 2016).  This decision is currently under appeal at the Illinois Supreme Court.

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:

“No complaint should not be dismissed for failure to state cause of action unless it clearly appears that no set of facts could be proved under pleadings which would entitle plaintiff to relief.”  735 Ill. Comp. Stat. 5/2-612.

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.”  IL R EVID Rule 901.

Expert Testimony:

Frye standard but subject to de novo review; only for “new” or “novel” evidence.  See People v. McKown, 924 N.E.2d 941, 944 (2010); In re Commitment of Simons, 821 N.E.2d 1184, 1189 (2004); Donaldson v. Central Illinois Public Service Co., 767 N.E.2d 314, 324–5 (2002).


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