Kentucky

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

State Project:

The Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) runs a volunteer water quality monitoring program: Kentucky Water Watch.  See Kentucky Water Watch, Ky. Dep’t for Envtl. Protection, http://water.ky.gov/ww/Pages/default.aspx (last visited Apr. 10, 2017).  We were unable to find statutory authority for the program, which DEP appears to have created it on its own initiative.

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“(3) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner and with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, the person enters an animal facility, not then open to the public, with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this section, remains concealed, with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this section, in an animal facility, or enters an animal facility and commits or attempts to commit an act prohibited by this section.

(4) A person commits an offense if, without the effective consent of the owner and with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, the person enters or remains on an animal facility, and the person had notice that the entry was forbidden, or received notice to depart but failed to do so.”  Ky. Rev. Stat. § 437.420.

 

Violators “shall be subject to a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) or imprisoned for not less than six (6) months but not more than one (1) year, or both, for each violation.”  Ky. Rev. Stat. § 437.429.

 

“Animal facility” means “any vehicle, building, structure, or premises, where an animal or animal records are kept, handled, housed, exhibited, bred, or offered for sale” Ky. Rev. Stat. § 437.410.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  Third degree criminal trespass requires only that a person “knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.”  Ky. Rev. Stat. § 511.080(1).

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“(1) A person is guilty of stalking in the second degree when he intentionally:

    (a) Stalks another person; and

    (b) Makes an explicit or implicit threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear of:  sexual contact as defined in KRS 510.010; physical injury; or death.

 (2) Stalking in the second degree is a Class A misdemeanor.”  Ky. Rev. Stat. § 508.150.

Civil Law:

“A civil action may be maintained under this section against any person who commits the conduct prohibited under KRS 508.140 or 508.150.  A civil action may be maintained under this section whether or not the individual who is alleged to have violated KRS 508.140 or 508.150 has been charged or convicted of the alleged crime.  Liability under this section shall include the actual damages caused by the violation and may include punitive damages, court costs, and reasonable attorney's fees.  An action under this section shall be brought within two (2) years of the last act of conduct in violation of this section.”  Ky. Rev. Stat. § 411.220.

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 claim is “is well grounded in fact.”  Ky. R. Civ. P. 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.”  Ky. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard, but don't need to establish steps for DNA evidence.  See Fugate v. Com., 993 S.W.2d 931, 937–938 (Ky. 1999); Mitchell v. Com., 908 S.W.2d 100, 101 (Ky. 1995).

Discussion

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