"Open Fields" and Protecting Hunters' Constitutional Rights

Discussion in 'Hunters Rights Forum' started by 4thAmendmentLawyer, Mar 10, 2021.

  1. 4thAmendmentLawyer

    4thAmendmentLawyer New Member

    Mar 10, 2021
    Game wardens enforce states’ wildlife and hunting laws. In many of those states, the law says those wardens may “go upon any property, outside of buildings, posted or otherwise.” Wardens rely on this authority to routinely enter, wander around, and install surveillance cameras on rural private land.

    They can do this because the U.S. Supreme Court gutted crucial property and privacy protections with the “open fields” doctrine. That doctrine, first invented by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1924, says the Constitution does not protect any land beyond the home and its immediate surrounding area (known as the “curtilage”).

    But states can provide greater protections under their constitutions. My organization, the Institute for Justice, is a pro bono non-profit law firm that does not charge its clients for legal services. IJ has brought one case challenging game wardens' use of the open fields doctrine under the Tennessee Constitution, which protects each individual’s “persons, houses, papers and possessions” from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”

    We want to bring more such cases, particularly in the following states: Alabama, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Rhode Island. To that end, we are looking for hunters and private property owners who want to exercise their constitutional rights. For more information, check out IJ's lawsuit against the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency or go to Report Abuse at https://ij.org/report-abuse.
  2. honga

    honga Senior Refuge Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    So you are in favor of reduced protection for deer, elk, waterfowl and upland game. Wardens have to wait for an invitation to monitor hunting activity? What a joke, might as well abolish wildlife law enforcement.
    tomturkey likes this.

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