Oregon

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Ongoing Projects:

Federal Project Operating in the State:

EPA Region 10 operates a project in Portland that aims to incorporate citizen science into decision making as the city develops plans for school bus routes and stops.  See Making a Visible Difference (MVD) In N/NE Portland, Fed. Crowdsourcing and Citizen Sci. Catalog, https://ccsinventory.wilsoncenter.org/#projectId/228 (last visited Apr. 10, 2017). The project’s goal is “to make a visible difference with citizen science such that it becomes a bridge for the community to independently uncover links and solutions to local environmental concerns.”  Id.

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“(1) A person commits the crime of interference with livestock production when the person, with the intent to interfere with livestock production:

    (a) Takes, appropriates, obtains or withholds livestock from the owner thereof, or causes the loss, death or injury of any livestock maintained at a livestock production facility;

    (b) Damages, vandalizes or steals any property located on a livestock production facility; or

    (c) Obtains access to a livestock production facility to perform any act contained in this subsection or any other act not authorized by the livestock production facility.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 167.388.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  A person does not commit trespass if she enters land where “physical nature, function, custom, usage, notice or lack thereof . . . would cause a reasonable person to believe that no permission to enter or remain is required.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 164.205; see also id. § 164.245.

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Drone Laws:

Law:

“(1) Except as provided in subsections (2) and (3) of this section, a person who owns or lawfully occupies real property in this state may bring an action against any person or public body that operates an unmanned aircraft system that is flown over the property if: (a) The operator of the unmanned aircraft system has flown the unmanned aircraft system over the property on at least one previous occasion; and (b) The person notified the owner or operator of the unmanned aircraft system that the person did not want the unmanned aircraft system flown over the property.

(2) A person may not bring an action under this section if: (a) The unmanned aircraft system is lawfully in the flight path for landing at an airport, airfield or runway; and (b) The unmanned aircraft system is in the process of taking off or landing.

(3) A person may not bring an action under this section if the unmanned aircraft system is operated for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration.  This subsection does not preclude a person from bringing another civil action, including but not limited to an action for invasion of privacy or an action for invasion of personal privacy under ORS 30.865.”

 

Or. Rev. Stat. § 837.380.

 

“(2) Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section, a person commits a … violation if the person intentionally or knowingly:

(a) Operates an unmanned aircraft system over a critical infrastructure facility at an altitude not higher than 400 feet above ground level; or

(b) Allows an unmanned aircraft system to make contact with a critical infrastructure facility, including any person or object on the premises of or within the facility.”

 

2016 Or. Laws Ch. 72, § 13 (to be codified at Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 837.300–837.390).

 

“Critical infrastructure facility” includes, but is not limited to “if completely enclosed by a fence or other physical barrier that is obviously designed to exclude intruders, or if marked with a sign conspicuously posted on the property that indicates that entry is forbidden”: facilities that manufacture, store, process, treat, or transmit chemicals, oil, gas, electricity, and water.  Id.

Exception:

(3) This section does not apply to [among others]: “A person under contract with or otherwise acting under the direction or on behalf of the federal government, a public body or a law enforcement agency”; “A person operating an unmanned aircraft system for commercial purposes in compliance with authorization granted by the Federal Aviation Administration..”  2016 Or. Laws Ch. 72, § 13 (to be codified at Or. Rev. Stat. § 837.300–837.390).

Limits:

“Except as expressly authorized by state statute, the authority to regulate the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft systems is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly.  Except as expressly authorized by state statute, a local government, as defined ORS 174.116, may not enact an ordinance or resolution that regulates the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft systems or otherwise engage in the regulation of the ownership or operation of unmanned aircraft systems.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 837.385.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the crime of stalking if:

    (a) The person knowingly alarms or coerces another person or a member of that person's immediate family or household by engaging in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person;

    (b) It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victim's situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and

    (c) The repeated and unwanted contact causes the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family or household.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 163.732.

Civil Law:

“A person may bring a civil action in a circuit court for a court's stalking protective order or for damages, or both, against a person if:

    (a)  The person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly engages in repeated and unwanted contact with the other person or a member of that person's immediate family or household thereby alarming or coercing the other person;

    (b)  It is objectively reasonable for a person in the victim's situation to have been alarmed or coerced by the contact; and

 

    (c)  The repeated and unwanted contact causes the victim reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety of the victim or a member of the victim's immediate family or household.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 30.866.

 

Use of Information:

Although our research is incomplete, these provisions could be construed to allow the use of information collected by citizens.

Explicitly Allows:

“[A]ny credible evidence may be used for the purpose of establishing whether a person has violated or is in violation of” stationary source reporting requirements under the state’s air pollution control law.  Or. Admin. R. 340-214-0120.  “Credible evidence” is not defined.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that the claims “are supported by evidence.”  Or. R. Civ. P. 17.

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.”  Or. Rev. Stat. § 40.505.

Expert Testimony:

Brown-Daubert standard.  See State v. O’Key, 899 P.2d 663, 676 (Or. 1995).

Discussion

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