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SB473 SUB1 Senate Bill 473 History

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SB473 SUB1
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 473

(By Senators Fanning and Chafin)

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[Originating in the Committee on Natural Resources;

reported February 18, 2010.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §20-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to empowering conservation officers to stop vessels to conduct safety checks under certain circumstances; and permitting officers to board vessels only with consent or upon probable cause that there is criminal activity on board .

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §20-7-4 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 7. LAW ENFORCEMENT, MOTORBOATING, LITTER.
§20-7-4. Powers and duties of conservation officers.
(a) Conservation officers and other persons authorized to enforce the provisions of this chapter are under the supervision and direction of the director in the performance of their duties. (b) Conservation officers have statewide jurisdiction and have authority to:
(1) Arrest on sight, without warrant or other court process, any person or persons committing a criminal offense in violation of the laws of this state in the presence of the officer, but no arrest may be made where any form of administrative procedure is prescribed by this chapter for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter;
(2) Carry such arms and weapons as may be prescribed by the director in the course and performance of their duties, but no license or other authorization shall be required for this privilege;
(3) Search and examine, in the manner provided by law, any boat, vehicle, automobile, conveyance, express or railroad car, fish box, fish bucket or creel, game bag or game coat or other place in which hunting and fishing paraphernalia, wild animals, wild birds, fish, amphibians or other forms of aquatic life could be concealed, packed or conveyed whenever they have reason to believe that they would thereby secure or discover evidence of the violation of the provisions of this chapter;
(4) Execute and serve a search warrant, notice or other process of law issued under the authority of this chapter or other law relating to wildlife, forests and all other natural resources, by a magistrate or court having jurisdiction in the same manner, with the same authority and with the same legal effect as a sheriff;
(5) Require the operator of any motor vehicle or other conveyance on or about the public highways or roadways, or in or near the fields and streams of this state, to stop for the purpose of allowing the conservation officers to conduct game-kill surveys;
(6) Summon aid in making arrests or seizures or in executing warrants, notices or processes in the same manner as sheriffs; (7) Enter private lands or waters within the state while engaged in the performance of their official duties;
(8) Arrest on sight, without warrant or other court process, subject to the limitations set forth in subdivision (1) of this subsection, any person or persons committing a criminal offense in violation of any law of this state in the presence of the officer on any state-owned lands and waters and lands and waters under lease by the Division of Natural Resources and all national forest lands, waters and parks and U.S. Corps of Army Engineers' properties within the boundaries of the State of West Virginia and, in addition to the authority conferred in other subdivisions of this section, execute all arrest warrants on these state and national lands, waters and parks and U.S. Corps of Army Engineers' properties, consistent with the provisions of article one, chapter sixty-two of this code;
(9) Arrest any person who enters upon the land or premises of another without written permission from the owner of the land or premises in order to cut, damage or carry away, or cause to be cut, damaged or carried away, any timber, trees, logs, posts, fruit, nuts, growing plants or products of any growing plant. Any person convicted of cutting, damaging or carrying away, or causing to be cut, damaged or carried away, any timber, trees, logs, posts, fruits, nuts, growing plants or products of growing plants is liable to the owner in the amount of three times the value of the timber, trees, logs, posts, fruit, nuts, growing plants or products of any growing plant, in addition to and notwithstanding any other penalties by law provided by section thirteen, article three, chapter sixty-one of this code;
(10) Make a complaint in writing before any court or officer having jurisdiction, and procure and execute the warrant, when the officer knows or has reason to believe that a person has violated a law of this state. The actions of the conservation officer have the same force and effect as if made by a sheriff;
(11) Serve and execute warrants for the arrest of any person and warrants for the search of any premises, buildings, properties or conveyances issued by a properly constituted authority in the same manner with the same authority, and with the same legal effect, as a sheriff; and
(12)
Stop any vessel subject to this chapter for the purpose of conducting random, non-discriminatory safety checks in accordance with predetermined operational guidelines: Provided, that a conservation officer may only board the vessel upon probable cause that there is criminal activity on board the vessel or with the consent of the operator or owner of the vessel; and
(12)(13) Do all things necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter.


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(NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize conservation officers to conduct safety checks
of boats to ensure they are properly equipped and licensed .

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
)
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