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Pennsylvania

Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes. Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses. Part II. Definition of Specific Offenses. Article C. Offenses Against Property. Chapter 33. Arson, Criminal Mischief and Other Property Destruction. Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes and Consolidated Statutes. Title 42 Pa.C.S.A. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Part VII. Civil Actions and Proceedings. Chapter 83. Particular Rights and Immunities. Subchapter A. Rights of Action. 8319. Ecoterrorism

Statute Details
Printable Version
Citation: 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3309 - 3311; 42 Pa.C.S.A. 8319

Citation: PA ST 18 Pa.C.S.A. 3309 - 3311; PA ST 42 Pa.C.S.A. 8319


Last Checked by Web Center Staff: 01/2014

Summary:   This collective set of laws comprises Pennsylvania's ecoterrorim and agroterrorism provisions. The state has an agricultural vandalism law (misdemeanor or felony, depending on pecuniary loss)  and law prohibiting the destruction of agricultural crops (felony). A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the person commits a specified offense against property by: intimidating or coercing a person participating in an activity involving animals, plants, or natural resources; or preventing or obstructing a person involved in such an activity. The law has a provision that states a person who is on public property, or on private property with permission, and is peaceable exercising his or her constitutional rights is immune from prosecution and from civil liability under Pa.C.S. § 8319.


Statute in Full:

Title 18 Pa.C.S.A. Crimes and Offenses. Part II. Definition of Specific Offenses. Article C. Offenses Against Property. Chapter 33. Arson, Criminal Mischief and Other Property Destruction.

§ 3309. Agricultural vandalism

§ 3310. Agricultural crop destruction

§ 3311. Ecoterrorism

Title 42 Pa.C.S.A. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Part VII. Civil Actions and Proceedings. Chapter 83. Particular Rights and Immunities. Subchapter A. Rights of Action.

§ 8319. Ecoterrorism

 


 

§ 3309. Agricultural vandalism

(a) Offense defined.--A person commits the offense of agricultural vandalism if he intentionally or recklessly defaces, marks or otherwise damages the real or tangible personal property of another, where the property defaced, marked or otherwise damaged is used in agricultural activity or farming.

(b) Grading.--Agricultural vandalism is a felony of the third degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $5,000, a misdemeanor of the first degree if the actor intentionally causes pecuniary loss in excess of $1,000 or a misdemeanor of the second degree if the actor intentionally or recklessly causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500. Pecuniary loss includes the cost of repair or replacement of the property affected. Otherwise, agricultural vandalism is a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(c) Definition.--As used in this section, the terms “agricultural activity” and “farming” include public and private research activity, records, data and data-gathering equipment related to agricultural products as well as the commercial production of agricultural crops, livestock or livestock products, poultry or poultry products, trees and timber products, milk, eggs or dairy products, or fruits or other horticultural products.

CREDIT(S)

1988, July 13, P.L. 500, No. 86, § 1, imd. effective. Amended 2001, June 22, P.L. 386, No. 27, § 1, imd. effective.

 

§ 3310. Agricultural crop destruction

(a) Offenses defined.--A person commits a felony of the second degree if he intentionally and knowingly damages any field crop, vegetable or fruit plant or tree that is grown, stored or raised for scientific or commercial purposes or for any testing or research purpose in conjunction with a public or private research facility or a university or any Federal, State or local government agency.

(b) Restitution.--Any person convicted of violating this section shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of the damaged field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees restitution. Restitution shall be in an amount equal to the cost of the financial damages incurred as a result of the offense, including the following:

(1) Value of the damaged crop.

(2) Disposal of the damaged crop.

(3) Cleanup of the property.

(4) Lost revenue for the aggrieved owner of the damaged crop.

(c) Exceptions.--The provisions of this section shall not apply to field crops, vegetable or fruit plants or trees damaged through research or normal commercial activity.

CREDIT(S)

2001, June 22, P.L. 386, No. 27, § 2, imd. effective. Amended 2006, April 14, P.L. 81, No. 27, § 1, effective in 60 days [June 13, 2006].

 

§ 3311. Ecoterrorism

(a) General rule.--A person is guilty of ecoterrorism if the person commits a specified offense against property intending to do any of the following:

(1) Intimidate or coerce an individual lawfully:

(i) participating in an activity involving animals, plants or an activity involving natural resources; or

(ii) using an animal, plant or natural resource facility.

(2) Prevent or obstruct an individual from lawfully:

(i) participating in an activity involving animals, plants or an activity involving natural resources; or

(ii) using an animal, plant or natural resource facility.

(b) Grading and penalty.--

(1) If the specified offense against property is a summary offense, an offense under this section shall be classified as a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(2) If the specified offense against property is a misdemeanor or a felony of the third or second degree, an offense under this section shall be classified one degree higher than the classification of the specified offense against property specified in section 106 (relating to classes of offenses).

(3) If the specified offense against property is a felony of the first degree, a person convicted of an offense under this section shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment fixed by the court at not more than 40 years and may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $100,000.

(c) Restitution.--Any person convicted of violating this section shall, in addition to any other penalty imposed, be sentenced to pay the owner of any damaged property which resulted from the violation restitution. Restitution shall be in an amount up to triple the value of the property damages incurred as a result of the specified offense against property. In ordering restitution pursuant to this subsection, the court shall consider as part of the value of the damaged property the market value of the property prior to the violation and the production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the property that was the subject of the specified offense.

(c.1) Immunity.--A person who exercises the right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the Constitution of Pennsylvania on public property or with the permission of the landowner where the person is peaceably demonstrating or peaceably pursuing his constitutional rights shall be immune from prosecution for these actions under this section or from civil liability under 42 Pa.C.S. § 8319 (relating to ecoterrorism).

(d) Definitions.--As used in this section, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this subsection:

“Activity involving animals or plants.” A lawful activity involving the use of animals, animal parts or plants, including any of the following:

(1) Activities authorized under 30 Pa.C.S. (relating to fish) and 34 Pa.C.S. (relating to game).

(2) Activities authorized under the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L. 784, No. 225) [FN1], known as the Dog Law.

(3) Food production, processing and preparation.

(4) Clothing manufacturing and distribution.

(5) Entertainment and recreation.

(6) Research, teaching and testing.

(7) Propagation, production, sale, use or possession of legal plants.

(8) Agricultural activity and farming as defined in section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism).

“Activity involving natural resources.” A lawful activity involving the use of a natural resource with an economic value, including any of the following:

(1) Mining, foresting, harvesting or processing natural resources.

(2) The sale, loan or lease of products which requires the use of natural resources.

“Animal, plant or natural resource facility.” A vehicle, building, structure or other premises:

(1) where an animal, plant or natural resource is lawfully housed, exhibited or offered for sale; or

(2) which is used for scientific purposes involving animals, plants or natural resources, including research, teaching and testing.

“Specified offense against property.” Any of the following offenses:

Section 3301(a), (c), (d), (d.1) and (f) (relating to arson and related offenses).

Section 3302 (relating to causing or risking catastrophe).

Section 3304 (relating to criminal mischief).

Section 3307 (relating to institutional vandalism).

Section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism).

Section 3310 (relating to agricultural crop destruction).

Section 3502 (relating to burglary) but only if the actor commits the crime for the purpose of committing one of the other offenses listed in this definition.

Section 3503 (relating to criminal trespass) but only if the actor commits the crime for the purpose of releasing a dangerous transmissible disease or hazardous substance, as those terms are defined under 3 Pa.C.S. § 2303 (relating to definitions), threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises, starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises or defacing or damaging the premises.

Section 3921 (relating to theft by unlawful taking or disposition).

Section 3922 (relating to theft by deception).

Section 4101 (relating to forgery).

Section 4120 (relating to identity theft).

CREDIT(S)

2006, April 14, P.L. 81, No. 27, § 2, effective in 60 days [June 13, 2006]. Amended 2010, Nov. 23, P.L. 1360, No. 125, § 3, imd. effective.

[FN1] 3 P.S. § 459-101 et seq.

HISTORICAL AND STATUTORY NOTES

2011 Electronic Update

Act 2010-125 legislation

Act 2010-125, § 3, in subsec. (d), in the definition of “specified offense against property”, in the paragraph referencing section 3503, inserted “releasing a dangerous transmissible disease or hazardous substance, as those terms are defined under 3 Pa.C.S. § 2303 (relating to definitions),".


 

Title 42 Pa.C.S.A. Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Part VII. Civil Actions and Proceedings. Chapter 83. Particular Rights and Immunities. Subchapter A. Rights of Action.

§ 8319. Ecoterrorism

(a) Civil action and relief.--An individual aggrieved by the offense of ecoterrorism as defined in 18 Pa.C.S. § 3311(a) (relating to ecoterrorism) may, in a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction, obtain appropriate relief, including compensatory and punitive damages, reasonable investigative expenses and reasonable attorney fees and other costs associated with the litigation. Upon a showing of cause for the issuance of injunctive relief, a court may issue temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions and permanent injunctions as may be appropriate under this section. During any period that an action under this section is pending, a court may order the cessation of the activity forming the basis of the complaint.

(b) Valuations.--In awarding damages under this section, a court shall consider the market value of the property prior to damage and production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the property that has been damaged as part of the value of the property as well as damage to any records, data and data-gathering equipment or devices.

(c) Limitations.--Damages recovered under this section shall be limited to triple the market value of the property prior to damage and actual damages involving production, research, testing, replacement and development costs directly related to the property that has been damaged.

CREDIT(S)

2006, April 14, P.L. 81, No. 27, § 3, effective in 60 days [June 13, 2006].

 



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