(information last updated January 2019)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project(s) in the State:

The Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program (“LMVP”) is sponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) through a Section 319 grant under the Clean Water Act and managed by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (“MDNR”) and the University of Missouri. Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program, CitizenScience.gov, https://www.citizenscience.gov/catalog/460/# (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). LMVP provides training to citizens in order to educate them and utilize their work to monitor water quality in the state. See id.; see also About the LMVP, Lakes of Missouri Volunteer Program, http://www.lmvp.org/about.htm (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). 


The Missouri Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (“EPSCoR”) received grant money from the National Science Foundation (“NSF”) to research two areas related to climate change: infrastructure and plant responsiveness. See About Missouri EPSCoR, Missouri EPSCoR, https://missouriepscor.org/about (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). Citizen scientists interested in researching these areas can apply for money from the state of Missouri. See id. Under this broader program, Missourians Doing Impact Research Together (“MO DIRT”) specifically engages citizens and volunteers to monitor soil health. See MO DIRT: Missourians Doing Impact Research Together, Missouri EPSCoR, https://modirt.missouriepscor.org/ (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).


Missouri Stream Team (“MST”) is partially funded by EPA through a Section 319 grant and is a partnership between MDNR, the Missouri Department of Conservation, Conservation Federation of Missouri, and the citizens of Missouri. See Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program, Mo. Dep’t of Nat. Resources, https://dnr.mo.gov/env/wpp/VWQM.htm (last visited Feb. 7, 2019); see also Missouri Stream Team, http://www.mostreamteam.org/ (last visited Feb. 7, 2019). Volunteer citizens are responsible for mapping their watershed and collecting data on water quality which they then share with the public. See id. The MST is part of a coalition of citizens monitoring stream water quality. See Who We Are, Stream Teams United, http://mstwc.org/who-we-are/vision-mission-goals/ (last visited Feb. 7, 2019).

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“A person commits the offense of prohibited acts against animal research and production facilities if he or she: . . .

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

(4) Enters or otherwise interferes with an animal facility with the intent to destroy, alter, duplicate or obtain unauthorized possession of records, data, material, equipment, or animals; …or

(6) Enters or remains on an animal facility with the intent to commit an act prohibited by this section.”  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 578.405(3).


“Animal facility” is defined as “any facility engaging in . . . agricultural production or involving the use of animals, including any organization with a primary purpose of representing livestock production or processing, [and] any organization with a primary purpose of promoting or marketing livestock or livestock products . . . .”  Id. § 578.405(2)(2).


“The offense of prohibited acts against animal research and production facilities is a class A misdemeanor unless [the offense results in damages].” Id. § 578.405(4).

Wildlife Collector’s Permit:

“All persons who collect or attempt to collect, possess, mount or preserve wildlife (including body parts, blood, and tissue) for education, research or other scientific related purposes must possess a Wildlife Collector’s Permit or be in the presence of a Wildlife Collector’s Permit holder.” Mo. Dep’t of Conservation, Application for Wildlife Collectors Permit, https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/sites/default/files/downloads/WildlifeCollectorPermitApp_0.pdf; see also Mo. Code Regs. Ann. tit. 3, § 10-9.425.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No. While trespass in the second degree does not require notice and is “an offense of absolute liability,” Mo. Ann. Stat. § 569.150(1), it is considered an “infraction” (resulting in a fine) rather than a “crime,” id. § 569.150(2) and editor’s notes.


Trespass in the First Degree: 


“A person commits the offense of trespass in the first degree if he or she knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully … upon real property [that is fenced, otherwise enclosed, or as to which notice against trespass has been given by actual communication or posting].”  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 569.140(1)-(2).


“The offense of trespass in the first degree is a class B misdemeanor…. If the building or real property is part of a nuclear power plant, the offense of trespass in the first degree is a class E felony.” Id. § 569.140(3).


Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the offense of stalking in the second degree if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, disturbs, or follows with the intent to disturb another person.”  Mo. Ann. Stat. § 565.227(1).


As used in sections 565.227, “disturb” means “to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that serves no legitimate purpose and that would cause a reasonable person under the circumstances to be frightened, intimidated, or emotionally distressed.” Id. § 565.225(1).

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 “[t]he 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.”  Mo. Sup. Ct. R. 55.03(c)(3).

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

Authentication requirements are enacted through Mo. Ann. Stat. § 490.680:


A record of an act, condition or event, shall, insofar as relevant, be competent evidence if the custodian or other qualified witness testifies to its identity and the mode of its preparation, and if it was made in the regular course of business, at or near the time of the act, condition or event, and if, in the opinion of the court, the sources of information, method and time of preparation were such as to justify its admission.


Generally, courts have held that “the authenticity of a document cannot be assumed, and what it purports to be must be established by proof.  Thus, before a writing can be admitted into evidence and considered by the trial court, its proponent must show that it is, in fact, what it is purported to be.” Robin Farms, Inc. v. Bartholome, 989 S.W.2d 238, 252 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999) (internal citation omitted).

Expert Testimony:

The standard for the admission of expert testimony in civil cases is section 490.065, and the application of Frye or any other standard is incorrect. See State Bd. of Registration for Healing Arts v. McDonagh, 123 S.W.3d 146, 149 (Mo. 2003) (en banc).


Opinions and testimony “based on scientific tests are admissible if the scientific principle involved is generally considered by the scientific community as reliable.” State v. Hutching, 927 S.W.2d 411, 418 (Mo. Ct. App. 1996) (quoting State v. Williams, 659 S.W.2d 309 (Mo. Ct. App. 1983)).


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