Missouri

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“3. 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; . . .

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

 

“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, 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.  The term shall include the owner, operator, and employees of any animal facility and the offices and vehicles of any such persons while engaged in duties related to the animal facility, and any premises where animals are located.”  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 578.405(2)(2).

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

Yes.  Second degree criminal trespass does not require notice; it is “an offense of absolute liability.”  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.150.

Other Provisions:

“A person commits the crime of trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters unlawfully or knowingly remains unlawfully in a building or inhabitable structure or upon real property or uses an unmanned aircraft over another person’s real property without that person’s consent.”  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 569.140.

 

“A person does not commit the offense of trespass in the first degree by entering or remaining upon real property unless the real property is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders or as to which notice against trespass is given by: (1) Actual communication to the actor; or (2) Posting in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.”  Id.

 

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Drone Laws:

Trespass by Drone Use:

See supra “Trespass Laws.”

 

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the offense of stalking in the first degree if he or she purposely, through his or her course of conduct, disturbs or follows with the intent of disturbing another person” and “[m]akes a threat communicated with the intent to cause the person who is the target of the threat to reasonably fear for his or her safety, the safety of his or her family or household member, or the safety of domestic animals or livestock.”  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.225.

 

“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.

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.

Authentication or Chain of Custody:

Missouri Statutes do not contain an equivalent general provision to FRE 901.  Different types of evidence have different requirements for authentication.  These requirements are enacted in Mo. Ann. Stat. § 490.680.  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. App. W.D.1999).

Expert Testimony:

“1. In any civil action, if scientific, technical or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.

2. Testimony by such an expert witness in the form of an opinion or inference otherwise admissible is not objectionable because it embraces an ultimate issue to be decided by the trier of fact.

3. The facts or data in a particular case upon which an expert bases an opinion or inference may be those perceived by or made known to him at or before the hearing and must be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field in forming opinions or inferences upon the subject and must be otherwise reasonably reliable.

4. If a reasonable foundation is laid, an expert may testify in terms of opinion or inference and give the reasons therefor without the use of hypothetical questions, unless the court believes the use of a hypothetical question will make the expert's opinion more understandable or of greater assistance to the jury due to the particular facts of the case.”  Mo. Rev. Stat. § 490.065.

Discussion

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