INTERSTATE WILDLIFE VIOLATOR COMPACT
ARTICLE I. FINDINGS AND DECLARATION OF POLICY AND PURPOSE.
(a) The participating states find that:
(1) Wildlife resources are managed in trust by the respective states for the benefit of all residents and visitors.
(2) The protection of the wildlife resources of a state is materially affected by the degree of compliance with state statues, rules, regulations and ordinances relating to the management of such resources.
(3) The preservation, protection, management and restoration of wildlife resources contributes immeasurably to the aesthetic, recreational and economic values of a state.
(4) Wildlife resources are valuable without regard to political boundaries; therefore, every person should be required to comply with wildlife preservation, protection, management and restoration statutes, rules, regulations and ordinances of the participating states as a condition precedent to the continuance or issuance of any license to hunt, trap, fish or otherwise possess wildlife.
(5) The violation of wildlife laws interferes with the management of wildlife resources and may endanger the safety of people and property.
(6) The mobility of many wildlife law violators necessitates the maintenance of channels of communication among the participating states.
(7) In most instances, a person who is cited for a wildlife violation in a state other than his home state is required to post collateral or a bond to secure appearance for trial at a later date, is taken into custody until the collateral or bond is posted or is taken directly to court for an immediate appearance.
(8) The purpose of the aforementioned enforcement practices is to ensure compliance with the terms of the wildlife citation by the cited person who, if permitted to continue on his way after receiving the citation, could return to his home state and disregard his duty under the terms of the citation.
(9) In most instances, a person receiving a wildlife citation in his home state is permitted to accept the citation from the officer at the scene of the violation and immediately continue on his way after agreeing or being instructed to comply with the terms of the citation.
(10) The aforementioned enforcement practices cause unnecessary inconvenience and, at times, a hardship for the person who is unable at the time to post collateral, furnish a bond, stand trial or pay a fine and thus is compelled to remain in custody until some alternative arrangement is made.
(11) The aforementioned enforcement practices consume an undue amount of law-enforcement time.
(b) It is the policy of the participating states to:
(1) Promote compliance with the statutes, rules, regulations and ordinances relating to the management of wildlife resources in their respective states.
(2) Recognize the suspension of wildlife license privileges of any person whose license privileges have been suspended by a participating state and treat such suspension as if it occurred in their state.
(3) Allow a violator, except as provided in subsection (b) of article III of this compact, to accept a wildlife citation and, without delay, proceed on his way regardless of his state of residence: Provided, That the violator's home state is party to this compact.
(4) Report to the appropriate participating state, as provided in the compact manual, any conviction recorded against any person whose home state was not the issuing state.
(5) Allow the home state to recognize and treat convictions recorded against its residents which occurred in a participating state as though they had occurred in the home state.
(6) Extend cooperation to its fullest extent among the participating states for enforcing compliance with the terms of a wildlife citation issued in one participating state to a resident of another participating state.
(7) Maximize the effective use of law-enforcement personnel and information.
(8) Assist court systems in the efficient disposition of wildlife violations.
(c) The purpose of this compact it to:
(1) Provide a means through which participating states may join in a reciprocal program to effectuate the policies enumerated in subsection (b) of article I of this compact in a uniform and orderly manner.
(2) Provide for the fair and impartial treatment of wildlife violators operating within participating states in recognition of the violator's right to due process and the sovereign status of a participating state.
ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS.
Unless the context in which used clearly requires a different meaning, as used in this compact:
(a) "Citation" means any summons, complaint, summons and complaint, ticket, penalty assessment or other official document issued to a person by a wildlife officer or other peace officer for a wildlife violation which contains an order requiring the person to respond.
(b) "Collateral" means any cash or other security deposited to secure an appearance for trial in connection with the issuance by a wildlife officer or other peace officer of a citation for a wildlife violation.
(c) "Compliance" with respect to a citation means the act of answering a citation through an appearance in a court or tribunal or through the payment of fines, costs and surcharges, if any.
(d) "Conviction" means a conviction, including any court conviction, for any offense related to the preservation, protection, management or restoration of wildlife which is prohibited by state statute, rule, regulation or ordinance. The term "conviction" shall also include the forfeiture of any bail, bond or other security deposited to secure appearance by a person charged with having committed any such offense, the payment of a penalty assessment, a plea of nolo contendere or the imposition of a deferred or suspended sentence by the court.
(e) "Court" means a court of law, including magistrate's court.
(f) "Home state" means the state of primary residence of a person.
(g) "Issuing state" means the participating state which issues a wildlife citation to the violator.
(h) "License" means any license, permit or other public document which conveys to the person to whom it was issued the privilege of pursuing, possessing or taking any wildlife regulated by statute, rule, regulation or ordinance of a participating state.
(i) "Licensing authority" means the governmental agency within each participating state that is authorized by law to issue or approve licenses or permits to hunt, trap, fish or otherwise possess wildlife.
(j) "Participating state" means any state which enacts legislation to become a member of this wildlife compact.
(k) "Personal recognizance" means an agreement by a person made at the time of issuance of the wildlife citation that such person will comply with the terms of the citation.
(l) "State" means any state, territory or possession of the United States, including the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(m) "Suspension" means any revocation, denial or withdrawal of any or all license privileges, including the privilege to apply for, purchase or exercise the benefits conferred by any license.
(n) "Terms of the citation" means those conditions and options expressly stated upon the citation.
(o) "Wildlife" means all species of animals including, but not limited to, mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks and crustaceans which are defined as "wildlife" and are protected or otherwise regulated by statute, rule, regulation or ordinance in a participating state. Species included in the definition of "wildlife" vary from state to state and determination of whether a species is "wildlife" for the purposes of this compact shall be based on the law in the issuing state.
(p) "Wildlife law" means any statute, rule, regulation or ordinance developed and enacted for the management of wildlife resources and the uses thereof.
(q) "Wildlife officer" means any individual authorized by a participating state to issue a citation for a wildlife violation.
(r) "Wildlife violation" means any cited violation of a statute, rule, regulation or ordinance developed and enacted for the management of wildlife resources and the uses thereof.
ARTICLE III. PROCEDURES FOR ISSUING STATE.
(a) When issuing a citation for a wildlife violation, a wildlife officer shall issue a citation to any person whose primary residence is in a participating state in the same manner as though the person were a resident of the issuing state and shall not require such person to post collateral to secure appearance, subject to the exceptions noted in subsection (b) of article III of this compact, if the officer receives the recognizance of such person that he will comply with the terms of the citation.
(b) Personal recognizance is acceptable if not prohibited by law in the issuing state or by the compact manual and if the violator provides adequate proof of identification to the wildlife officer.
(c) Upon conviction or failure of a person to comply with the terms of a wildlife citation, the appropriate official shall report the conviction or failure to comply to the licensing authority of the participating state in which the wildlife citation was issued. The report shall be made in accordance with procedures specified by the issuing state and shall contain information as specified in the compact manual as minimum requirements for effective processing by the home state.
(d) Upon receipt of the report of conviction or noncompliance pursuant to subsection (c) of article III of this compact, the licensing authority of the issuing state shall transmit to the licensing authority of the home state of the violator the information in form and content as prescribed in the compact manual.
ARTICLE IV. PROCEDURES FOR HOME STATE.
(a) Upon receipt of a report from the licensing authority of the issuing state reporting the failure of a violator to comply with the terms of a citation, the licensing authority of the home state shall notify the violator and shall initiate a suspension action in accordance with the home state's suspension procedures and shall suspend the violator's license privileges until satisfactory evidence of compliance with the terms of the wildlife citation has been furnished by the issuing state to the home state licensing authority. Due process safeguards shall be accorded.
(b) Upon receipt of a report of conviction from the licensing authority of the issuing state, the licensing authority of the home state shall enter such conviction in its records and shall treat such conviction as though it occurred in the home state for the purposes of the suspension of license privileges.
(c) The licensing authority of the home state shall maintain a record of actions taken and shall make reports to issuing states as provided in the compact manual.
ARTICLE V. RECIPROCAL RECOGNITION OF SUSPENSION.
(a) All participating states shall recognize the suspension of license privileges of any person by any participating state as though the violation resulting in the suspension had occurred in their state and could have been the basis for suspension of license privileges in their state.
(b) Each participating state shall communicate suspension information to other participating states in form and content as contained in the compact manual.
ARTICLE VI. APPLICABILITY OF OTHER LAWS.
Except as expressly required by the provisions of this compact, nothing herein shall be construed to affect the right of any participating state to apply any of its laws relating to license privileges to any person or circumstance or to invalidate or prevent any agreement or other cooperative arrangement between a participating state and a nonparticipating state concerning wildlife law enforcement.
ARTICLE VII. BOARD OF COMPACT ADMINISTRATORS.
(a) For the purpose of administering the provisions of this compact and to serve as a governing body for the resolution of all matters relating to the operation of this compact, a board of compact administrators is established. The board shall be composed of one representative from each of the participating states to be known as the compact administrator. The compact administrator shall be appointed by the head of the licensing authority of each participating state and shall serve and be subject to removal in accordance with the laws of the state he represents. A compact administrator may provide for the discharge of his duties and the performance of his functions as a board member by an alternate. An alternate shall not be entitled to serve unless written notification of his identity has been given to the board.
(b) Each member of the board of compact administrators shall be entitled to one vote. No action of the board shall be binding unless taken at a meeting at which a majority of the total number of the board's votes are cast in favor thereof. Action by the board shall be only at a meeting at which a majority of the participating states are represented.
(c) The board shall elect annually from its membership a chairman and vice-chairman.
(d) The board shall adopt bylaws not inconsistent with the provisions of this compact or the laws of a participating state for the conduct of its business and shall have the power to amend and rescind its bylaws.
(e) The board may accept for any of its purposes and functions under this compact any and all donations and grants of moneys, equipment, supplies, materials and services, conditional or otherwise, from any state and may receive, utilize and dispose of same.
(f) The board may contract with or accept services of personnel from any governmental or intergovernmental agency, individual, firm or corporation or from any private nonprofit organization or institution.
(g) The board shall formulate all necessary procedures and develop uniform forms and documents for administering the provisions of this compact. All procedures and forms adopted pursuant to board action shall be contained in the compact manual.
ARTICLE VIII. ENTRY INTO COMPACT AND WITHDRAWAL.
(a) This compact shall become effective at such time as it is adopted in a substantially similar form by two or more states.
(b) (1) Entry into the compact shall be made by resolution of ratification executed by the authorized officials of the applying state and submitted to the chairman of the board.
(2) The resolution shall substantially be in the form and content as provided in the compact manual and shall include the following:
(A) A citation of the authority from which the state is empowered to become a part to this compact;
(B) An agreement of compliance with the terms and provisions of this compact; and
(C) An agreement that compact entry is with all states participating in the compact and with all additional states legally becoming a party to the compact.
(3) The effective date of entry shall be specified by the applying state but shall not be less than sixty days after notice has been given by the chairman of the board of compact administrators or by the secretariat of the board of each participating state that the resolution from the applying state has been received.
(c) A participating state may withdraw from this compact by official written notice to each member state but withdrawal shall not become effective until ninety days after the notice of withdrawal is given. The notice shall be directed to the compact administrator of each member state. No withdrawal of any state shall affect the validity of this compact as to the remaining participating states.
ARTICLE IX. AMENDMENTS TO THE COMPACT.
(a) This compact may be amended from time to time. Each proposed amendment shall be presented in resolution form to the chairman of the board of compact administrators and shall be initiated by one or more participating states.
(b) Adoption of an amendment shall require endorsement by all participating states and shall become effective thirty days after the date of the last endorsement.
(c) Failure of a participating state to respond to the compact chairman within one hundred twenty days after receipt of a proposed amendment shall constitute endorsement thereof.
ARTICLE X. CONSTRUCTION AND SEVERABILITY.
This compact shall be liberally construed so as to effectuate the purposes stated herein. The provisions of this compact shall be severable and if any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this compact is declared to be contrary to the constitution of any participating state or of the United States, or the applicability thereof to any government, agency, individual or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this compact shall not be affected thereby. If this compact shall be held contrary to the constitution of any participating state, the compact shall remain in full force and effect as to the remaining states and in full force and effect as to the participating state affected as to all severable matters.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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