Wyoming officials request dismissal of the lawsuit challenging the state’s new data trespass law. (Flickr Creative Commons/AJ Schroetlin)

Here’s 10 points the state made in Oct. 20 filings seeking dismissal of the lawsuit challenging Wyoming’s new data trespass laws. Western Watersheds Project, the National Press Photographers Association, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Center for Food Safety filed the suit. The suit names as defendants members of the executive branch and those tasked with enforcement. Those include Gov. Matt Mead, Attorney General Peter Michael, Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality director Todd Parfitt, and the attorneys for Lincoln, Sublette, and Fremont counties. 

WWP and others’ suit fell short

  • Suit should be dismissed because plaintiffs have “lack of standing and for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”

Injuries have to be real

  • The Plaintiffs must allege facts sufficient to establish that their alleged injury is “distinct and palpable,” “concrete,” “direct,” and “both real and immediate, not conjectural or hypothetical.”

‘Fear-based lawsuit’

  • Plaintiffs assert attenuated harms and attempt to rely upon “fear-based standing” to bring this suit.

No First Amendment right to trespass

  • As an initial matter, this Court should look skeptically upon Plaintiffs’ assertion that their constitutional rights are harmed simply by the act of respecting the basic tenets of property ownership that are enshrined in the Constitution and that predate the founding of this nation.

Wyo laws don’t target content

  • The 2015 trespass statutes are aimed not at the content of the resource data but rather at the secondary effects of the data collection – illegal trespass.

Wyo laws don’t target viewpoints

  • It is plain from their language that the 2015 trespass statutes do not discriminate based on viewpoint.

Wyo laws don’t conflict with federal ones

  • Taken together, these facts show that: (1) there is no actual, meaningful conflict between the State and federal laws in question; (2) there is no evidence that Congress intended, even impliedly, to preempt trespass laws when Congress enacted the federal laws in question.

Wyoming has the authority to enact its data trespass laws

  • The discouragement of trespass and the preservation of property rights fall squarely within the realm of economic and general social welfare.

Dismiss Gov. Mead

• The Governor of Wyoming does not engage in criminal prosecutions. Nor does the Governor of Wyoming determine which resource data is acceptable to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

— Flickr Creative Commons photo by AJ Schroetlin.

Read the state’s memorandum supporting the motion to dismiss:


Read the data trespass lawsuit against the state:

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