An Act To Protect the Privacy of Citizens from Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Uses
Sec. 1. 25 MRSA Pt. 12 is enacted to read:
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
REGULATION OF UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLES
§ 4501. Definitions
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.
§ 4502. Operation of unmanned aerial vehicles
§ 4503. Exceptions; allowed use of unmanned aerial vehicle
Notwithstanding any other provision in this chapter, the following are not prohibited uses of unmanned aerial vehicles.
(1) That threatens national security;
(2) That threatens state or local security; or
(3) That threatens the life or safety of one or more individuals.
§ 4504. Warrant provisions
(1) That notification of the warrant or court order was delayed;
(2) What law enforcement agency made the request for delayed notice;
(3) What court made the determination to delay notice; and
(4) Which provision of subsection 3 supported the court's determination.
§ 4505. Violations; private right of action
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 bill regulates unmanned aerial vehicles, including their acquisition and lawful operation by law enforcement agencies. The bill requires approval of the acquisition of an unmanned aerial vehicle by the governing body overseeing the 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 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. It permits the deployment of an unmanned aerial vehicle or any component parts by a manufacturer, subcontractor of a manufacturer, testing company or educational institution for the purposes of research, testing, training and manufacture of such vehicles. The bill also creates a private right of action against a law enforcement agency for violations of the provisions of the bill.
The bill includes a moratorium on all unmanned aerial vehicle use, with the exception of emergency enforcement situations, until July 1, 2017.