(information last updated Fall 2017)

Collection of Information:


The Washington Department of Ecology (DE) has been directed to use citizen-collected water quality information.  See Wash Rev. Code § 90.48.570(1)(b).

Trespass Laws:

Criminal Liability for Trespass Despite Lack of Notice:

No.  “A person who enters or remains upon unimproved and apparently unused land, which is neither fenced nor otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders, does so with license and privilege unless notice against trespass is personally communicated to him or her . . . or unless notice is given by posting in a conspicuous manner.”  Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.52.010.

Stalking Laws:

Criminal Law:

“A person commits the crime of stalking if, without lawful authority and under circumstances not amounting to a felony attempt of another crime:

    (a)  He or she intentionally and repeatedly harasses or repeatedly follows another person; and

    (b)  The person being harassed or followed is placed in fear that the stalker intends to injure the person, another person, or property of the person or of another person.  The feeling of fear must be one that a reasonable person in the same situation would experience under all the circumstances; and

    (c)  The stalker either:

        (i) Intends to frighten, intimidate, or harass the person; or

        (ii) Knows or reasonably should know that the person is afraid, intimidated, or harassed even if the stalker did not intend to place the person in fear or intimidate or harass the person.”  Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.46.110.

Civil Law:

“In addition to the criminal penalty provided in RCW 9A.36.080 for committing a crime of malicious harassment, the victim may bring a civil cause of action for malicious harassment against the harasser.  A person may be liable to the victim of malicious harassment for actual damages, punitive damages of up to ten thousand dollars, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the action.”  Wash. Rev. Code § 9A.36.083.

Miscellaneous Laws:

“While the criminal code, particularly the malicious mischief crimes, adequately covers those who intentionally and without authority damage or destroy farm animals, the code does not adequately cover similar misconduct directed against research and educational facilities.”  Wash. Rev. Code § 9.08.080.  This language suggests that there is another provision which protects farm animals or maybe even farm animal facilities.  However, our research has not found any such provision.

Use of Information:

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

Prohibitive by Effect:

“[D]ata is considered credible data if:

    (a) Appropriate quality assurance and quality control procedures were followed and documented in collecting and analyzing water quality samples; . . . and

    (d) Sampling and laboratory analysis conform to methods and protocols generally acceptable in the scientific community as appropriate for use in assessing the condition of water.”  Wash. Rev. Code § 90.48.585.

Evidentiary Standards:

Pleading a Claim:

Requires certification that the claim “is well grounded in fact.”  Wash. Super. Ct. Civ. R. 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.”  Wa. R. Rev. ER 901.

Expert Testimony:

Frye standard.  See State v. Copeland, 922 P.2d 1304, 1315 (1996); State v. Riker, 869 P.2d 43 (Wash. 1994).


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