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Fishy Vehicle Stops

Today the California Supreme Court decided People v. Maikhio, S180289.  From the Notice of Forthcoming Filing:

This case includes the following issue: Is a fish and game warden statutorily authorized to stop a vehicle occupied by a person the warden reasonably believes has recently been fishing or hunting to request the display of all fish or game that the angler or hunter has caught or taken, even when there is not reasonable suspicion that the angler or hunter has violated a fish and game statute or regulation? If so, does such a suspicionless stop of a vehicle by a fish and game warden violate the Fourth Amendment?

Answers: Yes and no.  This is an authorized administrative search.  It is well established that those who engage in hunting and fishing must show their licenses and catch on request.  The game warden in this case saw the fisherman catch something and then get in his car.  Just making it to your car doesn't get you out of an otherwise authorized inquiry.  Oh, and lying to the warden is not a good idea.  Telling him you caught nothing when you saw you catch something, even though he's not sure what, results in getting your car searched.

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