Minnesota

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Collection of Information:

Explicitly Allow:

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (PCA) “may encourage citizen monitoring of ambient water quality for public waters[.]”  Minn. Stat. § 115.06.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  In order for a person’s entry upon property to constitute criminal trespass, either (1) the person must “refuse[] to depart from the premises on demand of the lawful possessor;” or (2) the property must be “locked or posted[.]”  Minn. Stat. § 609.605.

Other Provisions:

Trespasses against a property on which “species of domestic animals for commercial production are kept” and against “critical public service facilit[ies], utilit[ies], [and] pipeline[s]” carry a heightened penalty.  See Minn. Stat. § 609.605(5)(a) (commercial agriculture); Minn. Stat. § 609.6055 (critical public service facility).  “‘Critical public service facility’ includes . . . enclosed property . . . of mass transit facilities; oil refineries; and storage areas or facilities for hazardous materials, hazardous substances, or hazardous wastes.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.6055.

Stalking Laws

Criminal Laws:

“As used in this section, ‘stalking’ means to engage in conduct which the actor knows or has reason to know would cause the victim under the circumstances to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated; and causes this reaction on the part of the victim regardless of the relationship between the actor and victim.”  Minn. Stat. § 609.749.

 

 

Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, these provisions address the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allow:

PCA should “maximize use of available . . . resources . . . including use of citizen monitoring and citizen monitoring data . . . that meets the requirements . . . of the Volunteer Surface Monitoring Guide” in implementing the state clean water act. Minn. Stat. § 114D.20.  Additionally, PCA “may encourage citizen monitoring of ambient water quality for public waters by: (1) providing technical assistance . . .; (2) integrating citizen monitoring data into water quality assessments and agency programs provided that the data adheres to agency quality assurance and quality control protocols; and seeking public and private funds” to develop guidelines and improve monitoring activities.  Minn. Stat. § 115.06.

Prohibitive by Effect:

PCA may only consider citizen-collected data that “meets the requirements . . . of the Volunteer Surface Monitoring Guide,” Minn. Stat. § 144D.20, or that “adheres to agency quality assurance and quality control protocols.”  Minn. Stat. § 115.06.

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.”  Minn. R. Civ. P. 11.02.

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.”  Minn. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Mack-Frye standard.  See State v. Mack, 292 N.W.2d 764, 768 (Minn. 1980).

Discussion

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