Vermont

(information last updated Fall 2017)

Trespass:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  Entry upon property does not constitutes criminal trespass unless “notice against trespass is given by . . . signs or placards so designed and situated as to give reasonable notice.”  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 3705.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“Any person who intentionally stalks another person shall be imprisoned not more than two years or fined not more than $ 5,000.00, or both.”  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 1062.

 

“‘Stalk’ means to engage purposefully in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that the person engaging in the conduct knows or should know would cause a reasonable person to fear for his or her safety or the safety of another or would cause a reasonable person substantial emotional distress.”  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 13, § 1061(4).

Drone Laws:

“Any use of drones by any person, including a law enforcement agency, shall comply with all applicable Federal Aviation Administration requirements and guidelines.”  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 20, § 4623(a).

Use of Information:

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

Explicitly Allows:

“The [Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation] shall investigate all citizen complaints of a violation of a federally authorized or delegated program and shall respond to known complaints in writing.”  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 10, § 8020.

Explicitly Prohibits:

“[L]aw enforcement shall not use a drone or information acquired through the use of a drone for the purpose of investigating, detecting, or prosecuting crime” unless the drone is operated “for a purpose other than the investigation, detection, or prosecution of crime, including search and rescue operations and aerial photography for the assessment of accidents” or pursuant to a warrant.  Vt. Stat. Ann. tit. 20, § 4622.  “Information or evidence gathered in violation of this section shall be inadmissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding.”  Id.

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.”  Vt. 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.”  Vt. R. Evid. 901.

Expert Testimony:

Daubert standard.  See State v. Brooks, 643 A.2d 226, 229 (1993).

Discussion

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