February 24, 2016

Utah

Criminalizes “interference” with an agricultural operation.

This law makes it illegal to: (1) without consent, knowingly or intentionally record images or sounds from an agricultural operation by leaving a recording device on the premises; (2) obtain access to an agricultural operation under false pretenses; (3) apply for employment at an agricultural operation with the intent to record at the facility, with knowledge at the time of accepting employment that the owner prohibits the employee from recording at the facility, and while employed or present at the facility, recording images or sound at the operation; or (4) without consent, knowingly or intentionally recording images or sound from an agricultural facility while committing criminal trespass. Violation of this law may result in Class A or B misdemeanor charges.

This law was signed by Utah’s Governor on March 20, 2012, and became effective on May 8, 2012. On July 22, 2013, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, alleging the law infringes on free speech and violates equal protection. In August 2014, the court denied the state’s motion to dismiss, allowing the suit to move forward.

*     *     *

If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.