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#132860 - 01/03/02 09:04 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Todd Offline
Bumpin the 6X9's

Registered: 03/08/99
Posts: 25250
Loc: Seattle, Washington USA
Wes,

As I pointed out above, just because a state law gives the wardens "authority" to do anything does not make it legal or constitutional. Washington State still has a law on the books that makes it illegal for anyone on the basis of race (read that as "Indian") to not follow the exact same fishing regulations as members of another race (read that as non-Indian). The fact that it's there does not make it legal or enforceable.

To be constitutional, there must be some nexus between the search and the reason for it. Also, I did not intend anything above to state that "pot" (or anything else) would be suppressed because it's not fishing gear. I said it would be supressed if it was found in a film canister when the cop was searching for a fish. If a bag of pot was in the cooler, which is where a fish could be found, then you're busted.

Also, I still think this is a worthwhile topic that hasn't necessarily oustayed its welcome. Thanks for getting it started and keeping it going. smile

Fish on...

Todd.

P.S. I'm an attorney now, and I used to be an Assistant Attorney General, and represented the WDFW. Enforcement was one of my primary clients, and I wrote legal opinions on this very subject for our enforcement officers.

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#132861 - 01/03/02 10:53 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
R Ridgeway Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/04/99
Posts: 288
Loc: Seattle
When your rights are pushed so far as they take advantage my rights to participate equally in a fishery then I expect that our game enforcement will keep the playing field even to provide equal opportunity. I expect that your/my fishing gear,ice chest, boat, and whatever got us there will be "inspected" subject to the circumstances presented to the game cop. If that inspection is met with non-cooperation, attitude or paranoia then I would expect the inspection to deepen to the fullest interpretation of the law. I choose to cooperate fully and get back to fishing. That does not make me un-American or unappreciative of "our" constitutional rights. If you don't want to abide by game regs which include inspection....don't fish or hunt.

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#132862 - 01/04/02 01:50 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
DOG FISH, You made the statement "These are all laws we must abide by, {if you don't like it find another hobby"} This is what this topic is about. Which laws, and WHO must abide by them. We, as TAX paying sportsmen must and also the game wardens who work for Us, {we pay their salaries} must also abide by them. The on going subject is about "when do they over step the law and violate your Constitional Rights in searching your boat? TODD, I'm am so glad you are on this forum, you know the law very well and have continued to answer our many questions. Myself, even after going through the academy and 6 years of law enforcement I admit it, I don't know everything about the law, I'm still learning, so how can game wardens know it all? So why would some of you take for granted they do? Remember, there is a polite, but firm way to say no to an "Illegal Search" {If you have nothing to hide, and I hope you all don't} You say, "No, you don't have any probable cause to search my boat because I have nothing suspicious to make you believe I've done anything wrong, so you would only be wasting both of our time." I would not be offended by this statement nor should another human being. He will not "Make UP" any "Probable Cause" It's not worth losing his job over just to look through people's personal things. I have seen fellow officers "Let Go" because of too many complaints about them over stepping the law, by Tax Paying Citizens, which you are. You do what you want but I'm not going to give up my Constitional Rights for no one, not even for a few minutes. I'll give up my hunting and fishing rights before I'll give up my Constitional Rights.
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132863 - 01/05/02 03:15 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132864 - 01/05/02 03:58 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Chuckn'Duck Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 03/10/00
Posts: 356
Loc: West of Eden
Kent we 'jus settle 'dis ova a pint?!!! rolleyes
_________________________
Chasing old rags 500 miles from home.

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#132865 - 01/05/02 08:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Anonymous
Unregistered


Hey Kickmeter, I kick 'em too when they eat my quarter and don't give me the clock. And thanks for the printed info - I have printed a copy of it for my wallet. I knew that info, but now I don't have to waist my breath, I can just hand a copy of that one paragraph (without your moniker on it of course).

Hey C&D, let's share a pint while nate fishing in a few weeks up your way! And we can argue about the constitution too - not. laugh

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#132866 - 01/05/02 09:11 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Hi G-man,

Did the LE gig myself for a while, Whatcom SO. Yeah, I know enough of the law to get in trouble. Do you have to consent to a breathalizer or BAC test when pulled over for suspicion of DUI/DWI? No, but when you get your license, you acknowledge that failure to do so has consequences. Basically loss of your license for a specified period of time.

It is exactly the same thing with hunting and fishing. You agree to the inspection of your equipment to make sure you are in compliance. It is called "implied consent". Equipment includes everything you leave home with used in the pursuit of fish or game, everything. People strip eggs from hens and toss the fish, those eggs can fit just about anywhere. "Towel fish" can be stowed any number of places. That is why they can inpect AND search. A third pheasant can be stuffed in anywhere, etc.

There has yet to be a successful challenge as to the constituionality of this RCW, because it is still in place. If you make a stink, they dig further. If you protest and become belligerant, they'll take more of your valuable fishing time.

The basic stop takes the same time as an FIR, you know, detain and stop for "reasonable" period of time. Reasonable can vary depending upon the evasiveness of the subject, furtive movements, lack of cooperativeness, etc.

Again, my suggestion would be to say "hi", stay right there and take care of your gear, get info from them, thank 'em for doing a hard job, and say "bye". I have never had a stop last more than 5 minutes. I have yet to have a bad experience.

I'm not saying that anyone else here "looks like a meth head or a dirt bag", but if you do look like this, you might just draw a little more attention. Folks who don't take care of themselves, their gear, their kids, etc., might not care too much about following all of the rules. It was one constant that we would follow to find someone with an outstanding warrant on a slow night. It worked about 90% of the time.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132867 - 01/05/02 11:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Dogfish

There has been a lot of misinformation on this subject about what you are legally responsible to do if a game warden wants to search all your equipment, etc.

Some bb members have said that just because you have signed your fishing license, that it makes it legal for the game warden to check everything. Signing your license does not give them the authority to search your boat, gear, etc. The fact is; the only thing that you have agreed to do is clearly stated. This is what we have "agreed too"; "I certify under penalty of law that the information on this license is true and I meet the requirements for these licenses. I agree to show all licenses, transport tags, and catch card, my driver's license and any fish and game to a Department of Fish and Game employee when requested"

Nowhere does it say that we have agreed to allow a search of your personal property! I just wanted to set the record straight because some others have assumed that by signing your game license, you have also signed away your rights of rejecting an illegal search.

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132868 - 01/06/02 01:38 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
corky23 Offline
Egg

Registered: 11/17/01
Posts: 1
Loc: Eugene,OR
hey kickmeter do you work for the phone co now?
later
kris
Eugene or

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#132869 - 01/06/02 02:13 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Hi Bob,

I like debating with you.

I agree with most of what you say, but you and a lot of others omit the sections that pertain to exactly what everyone is discussing.

RCW 77.15.080 PLAINLY states that officers have the authority to....
(a) Temporarily stop you to inspect licenses, etc.
(b) Inspect any game in your possession.
(c) INSPECT THE EQUIPMET BEING USED, TO INSURE COMPLIANCE WITH GAME LAWS, etc.

Equipment/gear boils down to anything used to get to or from your chosen activity (car/truck), boat, poles, rods, coolers, etc.

RCW 77.15.470 goes on to state
(c) Produce for inspection upon request by a F&W officer:
(i) Hunting or fishing EQUIPMENT (this includes the boat and truck);
(ii) seaweed, fish, shellfish, or wildlife; or
(iii) licences, permits, tags, stamps, or catch record cards .......

FAILURE TO DO SO IS A GROSS MISDEMEANOR with the max penalty of 1 YEAR IN JAIL AND A $5000 FINE!

It does not give them the right to tear up your floorboards to look for dope, or rip out your fuel tank and cut it open.

The wording on your license give them implied consent for the inspection of tags, licenses, and game. The RCW's go on to include equipment. If they had to put EVERY RCW in the license, then your license would be a 5x9" book 3" thick.

To quote my favorite line from Dragnet, "Ignorance of the law is no excuse."

I am not saying that anyone is ignorant, but people are omitting specific parts of the written RCW's, including you. Just because I don't agree with the speed limt on a given road doesn't mean that I don't have to obey it, or that there aren't penalties if I don't follow it.

These laws are VERY PLAINLY STATED and are available for anyone to read, so before you refuse to submit to an inspection, think VERY CAREFULLY. THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES. THERE IS NO GREY AREA. Unless, of course, you have some spare time and cash.

Say "Hi", move the rods, say "Bye", and you'll have a nice day. Refuse and you will definitely have a bad day. You reap what you sow.

Here endeth the sermon.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132870 - 01/06/02 03:49 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132871 - 01/06/02 12:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
Andy,

It's been awhile since we had a good debate! It's good that people can openly discuss their different point of views without getting bent out of shape at each other when they don't quite agree. wink

With that being said, I will reinstate what I believe would be the final line if a person took this issue to court. I also believe this issue specifically applies to the RCW's that you have quoted and may not apply to other situations. The RCW's that have been quoted in this thread apply to our fishing rights. Specifically (and for good reason) they have chosen to use the word "inspect". If our legislators had intended otherwise, they would have used the appropriate word. That word would have been "search". That's why our legal system calls it a "search warrant" and not an "inspection warrant" It's a lot more then just an inspection!

The two words have some similar meaning, but also have specific meanings when used in defining law. I am not one of those people that wave my fourth rights every time an officer wants to check or "inspect" my possessions. I have never taken one illegal drug; don't smoke dope, or any other stuff. I do like my cocktails at home, at night (not in my car). I don't even mind it if an officer pulls me over and gives me a sobriety test.

But that's where I draw the line! If he or any other officer wants to start going through my stuff on their "Easter egg hunt", thinking that if he looks hard enough that he will eventually find something, he better damn well know that he will see me in court! I know that some of them take a lot of crap from people, but a lot of that comes from the way they approach people.

I personally think that if a game warden wants to "inspect" my "equipment" it's OK, but when the "inspections" stops and he starts advancing his "inspection" into what now would clearly become a "search mod" the new rules starts and it becomes an all new game (and game rules). My golden rule is a simple one. No reason, No search! The reason may not even have to be a "good one" that he gives. That means that the officers must first make it perfectly clear and plain why is going past the "inspection" stage into the next stage, which is clearly a "searching" stage.

I will be the first one to agree; don't try to physically resist his action. That will get you no where quick (well maybe in jail). That's what our courts are for! Like you and others have already stated, be polite, but be firm. Ask the officer what is his reason is for the "search". He must give you a reason, and he knows it! The reason, if not valid, will come back and bite him in the court home. Build your case by the facts, and those facts will prevail.

Remember, the only thing that we have agreed to do was to allow the Fish and Game "employee" to check our fish, game and equipment. We did not agree to any "searches". Don't you think that it was a little strange that they used the word "employee" instead of the word "officer"? Does that mean that any WDFW "employee" (fish counter, clerk, etc.) has the right to check your "equipment, car, truck etc?


Andy, it's kind of like what happened on the "Wallace Gravel Pit" issue. When the officer overstepped his bounties, I filed a complaint to his superiors and that officer will not make that same mistake a second time. I didn't argue with him at the time, I just got even through our legal system!


That's my opinion on this issue.

Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

[ 01-06-2002: Message edited by: cowlitzfisherman ]
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132872 - 01/06/02 12:53 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
Kickmeter, Bob,

There is nothing illegal about it. Remember "reasonable suspicion"? This is similar, but a combo of that and implied consent, but with not so stringent requirements. Basically the laws state that WDFW officers have the authority to temporarily stop/detain you. Just as in reasonable suspicion. They do need to have some articuable (sp?) facts, ie; your are fishing/hunting, you have equipment for such, or you may be on your way from such activity, etc. That is all they need for the stop. Plain and simple. There doesn't have to be the belief of an infraction.

The implied consent comes to the inpection of your equipment (includes cooler, truck, and boat), etc. If you refuse, then you just committed a Gross Misdemeanor, and then because of the commission of a crime, the immediate area and equipment becomes SUBJECT TO A SEARCH FOR FURTHER EVIDENCE OF SUCH AN INFRACTION. You are now not free to leave. A five minute conversation becomes an hour break with your hands clasped behind your back while seated on the back of the game agents truck while he or she searches EVERY inch of your truck, your boat, etc.

The issue about the wording on your license is only the tip of the iceberg. Remember the 5"x9" book?

I double dog dare ( wink ) anyone to head on down to their local WDFW hotspot where checks are a given and refuse, verbally. Let us know what happens.

Have a good day.

Andy
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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#132873 - 01/06/02 06:19 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
cowlitzfisherman Offline
Three Time Spawner

Registered: 06/14/00
Posts: 1866
Loc: Toledo, Washington
_________________________
Cowlitzfisherman

Is the taste of the bait worth the sting of the hook????

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#132874 - 01/06/02 07:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
bob b Offline
Smolt

Registered: 06/26/01
Posts: 80
Loc: Eugene,Or.
Cowlitzfisherman has hit the nail on the head. I have reasonable cause to believe we all carry our fishing license with us into our homes,if we follow the reasoning of some of the posts on this subject the police can enter our homes and conduct a search without a warrant. An attorney who represented Washington State,an ex OSP trooper,people whose was job was to interpret and enforce the law have explained very clearly we do not have submit to a search of our vehicles or boats. If a search is forced on an individual without consent or a warrant,the courts will follow the precedents of illegaly obtaining evidence. YES I have refused a safety inspection by a deputy in a parking lot at Odell lake,it was not a pleasant experience,but I knew I was right. The deputy backed off and returned later when we both calmed down,I did allow the inspection after I launched, he inspected from the dock and did not try to board. This may sound like splitting hairs but we both knew proper procedures.

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#132875 - 01/06/02 11:37 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
kickmeter Offline
Egg

Registered: 01/04/02
Posts: 3
Loc: Eugene

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#132876 - 01/07/02 02:31 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Kickmeter is right, there is a big differance between "Inspection" and "Search" When I "Inspect" your driver's license and smell Pot comming out of your window, then I can move onto the next step the "Search" because I now have "Probable Cause". {and I know what what dope smells like because I smoked alot of it in high school before I worked Narcotics. "Only in America"!! } laugh
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132877 - 01/08/02 12:27 AM Re: Illegal boat search?
G-MAN Offline
Returning Adult

Registered: 12/23/01
Posts: 403
Loc: BELLINGHAM / EVERSON
Kickmeter, I didn't realize that gammies and regulars were operating out of the same book. That was one of my questions. Thanks for that infomation.
_________________________
"Life is tough!, it's tougher when your STUPID!!
"What don't kill you, will only make you Stronger!'

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#132878 - 01/11/02 05:09 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Krome Brite Offline
Spawner

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 683
Loc: Washougal, WA
Are you a pothead, focker? eek laugh

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#132879 - 01/11/02 08:14 PM Re: Illegal boat search?
Dogfish Offline
Poodle Smolt

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 10979
Loc: McCleary, WA
There is no legal term "reasonable cause". There is "reasonable suspicion" ,(RS), which pertains to the belief of an officer of the law that a crime may have been committed, is about to be committed, or some other "articuable facts" giving the officer reason for a detain and stop, example being some guy in a dark alley behind a business at night.

Probable cause, (PC), is where there are facts and circumstances that support an arrest, example; eyewitness testimony, physical evidence, etc.

Implied consent is where you agree to something automatically when you get a license.

Kickmeter,

Officers only need RS for a detain and stop, not PC. State a legal precendent to prove me wrong.

The implied consent as it relates to hunting and fishing comes partly from signing your license, and also from RCW 77.15.470. Basically they say that you will submit to an inpection of your equipment. How do you inpect a cooler? Look inside.

Bob,

Regardless if it sounds to "copy", those are the rules. It opens the door for further scrutiny.
Let them look in you cooler, at your boat, check you gear, etc. You might just be sorry if you don't. I don't hide anything, so I have no worries. If I screw up, I take it like a man and that has gotten me out of more infractions (traffic) than excuses, defiance, or beligerence.

G-man,

WDFW are fully commission officers and can enforce all laws enacted in the state or Washington including Titles 9, 9A, 46 (traffic), etc., along with enforcing dept. of health regs relating to aquaculture.

Andy

P.S. Now if they want to inspect the boat that you use as your residence that opens up a whole other can o' worms. smile
_________________________
"Give me the anger, fish! Give me the anger!"

They call me POODLE SMOLT!

The Discover Pass is brought to you by your friends at the CCA.

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