Iowa Trespass Law with Recording Device Upheld by Eighth Circuit

Today’s court opinion states that Iowa’s trespass-surveillance law penalizes those who use cameras or electronic surveillance devices during criminal trespass. The Act imposes harsher penalties for trespass with a recording device than for a general trespass. The court assumes that making and sharing videos is protected under the First Amendment, so the law must be reviewed under the appropriate level of scrutiny. The State argues that the law serves significant interests by protecting privacy rights and property, preventing theft, and deterring trespassers.

The court also holds that the Act is not unconstitutionally overbroad because the restrictions on recording devices only apply to unlawful trespasses. Thus, the law does not significantly restrict protected speech and targets the harm caused by trespassers using such devices. This decision upholds Iowa’s law increasing penalties for trespassing with a recording device.