Amend the bill by striking out everything after the enacting clause and before the summary and inserting the following:
‘Sec. 1. 25 MRSA Pt. 12 is enacted to read:
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
REGULATION OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, the following are not prohibited uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.
If a law enforcement agency violates any provision of this chapter, the person about whom information was collected, personally or as owner of a residence, property or area, in violation of this chapter may institute and prosecute in that person's own name and on that person's behalf a civil action for legal or equitable relief. In addition to compensatory damages, a person whose rights have been violated by a violation of this chapter may recover no more than $5,000 plus reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.’
This amendment is the minority report of the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary. It replaces the bill.
This amendment retains a broad definition of "unmanned aerial vehicle."
This amendment requires approval of the acquisition of an unmanned aerial vehicle by the governing body of a law enforcement agency. It prohibits a law enforcement agency from operating an unmanned aerial vehicle or collecting, disclosing or receiving information acquired through the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle except when pursuant to an emergency enforcement or administrative investigation exception, with the written consent of the person or property owner, pursuant to a warrant or pursuant to a court order.
This amendment prohibits the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle that employs the use of facial recognition technology or that is equipped with a weapon except for research and development purposes.
This amendment provides for emergency enforcement exceptions to the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle without a warrant or court order. An emergency enforcement exception may be required because a situation exists that threatens national security, state or local security or the life or safety of one or more individuals. When a law enforcement agency has used an unmanned aerial vehicle to collect or receive information under an emergency enforcement exception, the law enforcement agency is required to document the factual basis for the emergency enforcement exception in an affidavit that the law enforcement agency retains.
This amendment provides for administrative investigation exceptions for the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle by the State or any political subdivision of the State to investigate and respond to natural disasters, to monitor the status of dams and flood-control systems, to conduct surveys, including but not limited to surveys conducted by the Maine Geological Survey, and to aid in weather forecasting.
This amendment provides that if the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle is started before a warrant or court order is obtained and the information being sought is collected before the warrant or court order is obtained, the law enforcement agency must immediately terminate the operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle. If the warrant or court order is denied, the law enforcement agency must immediately terminate the operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle and the law enforcement agency may not retain or disclose any information obtained from the operation of the unmanned aerial vehicle.
When a warrant or court order is sought, the law enforcement agency may request an order delaying the notice required under the Maine Rules of Criminal Procedure. The delay may not exceed 10 days, and 10-day extensions may be granted. When the order for delayed notice has expired, the law enforcement agency is required to provide the notice to the person about whom the information was collected. The notice must include the nature of the law enforcement inquiry, the information that was collected and the justification for the delay.
This amendment creates a private right of action against a law enforcement agency for violations of the new law. A person may collect compensatory damages plus up to $5,000 and reasonable attorney's fees and court costs.