Game wardens got a boost Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by a California man caught with an out-of-season lobster who said his rights were violated.
Bouhn Maikhio of San Diego was caught in 2007 with the lobster by a game warden who had been watching him, and others, from about 200 yards away. Maikhio said the ensuing search and seizure violated his rights under the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.
The California Supreme Court ruled last June that “people who hunt and fish have fewer of the privacy rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment,” according to the Sacramento Bee. The court said game wardens have the authority to stop, question and search citizens without a warrant or even without probable cause to believe a law has been broken.
It’s certainly an interesting precedent but not entirely surprising. What is, however, is that a state game and fish violation issue would make it to the highest court in the nation.
Read the full report in the Bee here: Click this link
What do you think? Should game wardens have the authority to stop anyone they see hunting and fishing, or should there be more specific cause for a search? Let us know your thoughts.