South Carolina

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Collection of Information:

Ag-Gag Law:

“Without the effective consent of the owner, and with the intent to disrupt or damage the enterprise conducted at the animal facility, it is unlawful for a person to:

     (1) enter an animal facility, not then open to the public, with intent to commit an act prohibited by this section;

      (2) remain concealed, with intent to commit an act prohibited by this section, in an animal facility; or

      (3) enter an animal facility and commit or attempt to commit an act prohibited by this section.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 47-21-50.

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  “Notice . . . prohibiting . . . entry” is a necessary element of criminal trespass, and it may be provided by posting notice in four places around the perimeter of the property.  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-11-600.

Other Provisions:

See supra “Ag-Gag Law.”

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“As used in this article:

    (A)  “Harassment in the first degree” means a pattern of intentional, substantial, and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person and would cause a reasonable person in his position to suffer mental or emotional distress. Harassment in the first degree may include, but is not limited to:

        (1)  following the targeted person as he moves from location to location;

        (2)  visual or physical contact that is initiated, maintained, or repeated after a person has been provided oral or written notice that the contact is unwanted or after the victim has filed an incident report with a law enforcement agency;

        (3)  surveillance of or the maintenance of a presence near the targeted person’s:

            (a) residence;

            (b) place of work;

            (c) school; or

            (d) another place regularly occupied or visited by the targeted person; and

        (4)  vandalism and property damage.

    (B)  “Harassment in the second degree” means a pattern of intentional, substantial, and unreasonable intrusion into the private life of a targeted person that serves no legitimate purpose and causes the person and would cause a reasonable person in his position to suffer mental or emotional distress. Harassment in the second degree may include, but is not limited to, verbal, written, or electronic contact that is initiated, maintained, or repeated.”  S.C. Code Ann. § 16-3-1700; cf. S.C. Code Ann. §§ 16-3-1710, 1720.

 

 

Use of Information:

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 “there is good ground to support” the claim.  S.C. 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.”  S.C. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Jones standard to determine reliability; Daubert standard is instructive.  See State v. Council, 515 S.E.2d 508, 518 (S.C. 1999); State v. Jones, 259 S.E.2d 120, 124 (S.C. 1979).

Discussion

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