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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
During the last week of Lobster season March, 2006,
a number of people were written tickets for undersized Lobsters.
I remember talking to a couple PBâ??ers that received tickets and they were pissed.
Each of them had measured the Lobsters in question with their measuring
devices and the Lobsters were legal. When the DFG measured the Lobsters
using their measuring device the Lobsters were not legal.

Tickets were written, some said theyâ??d fight it some said they wouldnâ??t.

Well guess what happened yesterday.

One of the guys goes to court (Iâ??m not giving out his name) to fight his ticket.
He brings his measuring device to court, and the DFG guy brings his measuring device to court.
Mind you the DFG guy says, â??Iâ??ve been using this measuring device for years nowâ??.
The judge asks both a few questions checking to see if they both know the rules and regulations.
Both have their answers in line with the rules and regulations.
Then the judge decides to check the 2 measuring devices for accuracy.
The judge says, â??This measuring device is right on!â??
He had just measured the PBâ??ers measuring device.
Then the judge checks the DFG measuring device, â??uhhohh we have a problem hereâ??.
As it turns out the DFG measuring device was almost ¼-inch too long.

The judge immediately threw the case out of court. YEAH!

Then the judge unloaded on the DFG Warden for writing undersized
Lobster tickets for â??Xâ?? amount of time, using a bogus measuring
device, and creating grief and problems for each person that had
been written a ticket and had to go to court to deal with it.

The system can work from time to time, hereâ??s proof.

I canâ??t wait to see this PBâ??er and congratulate him!

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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Had the same thing happen on my boat. My friend took the ticket went to court and won. Seems some of the guages on the shelf at a local store were incorrect. He brought 3 incorrect guages he purchased to court with him. The size was short of legal but how is the lay person to know? Atleast that's what the judge decided. Dismissed.

Brad
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Interesting.

I'd heard something about this awhile back.

I wonder if the tackle store can get cited, probably not,
or whether the manufacturer can get cited, hmmmmm I wonder.

Think I'll call you Brad, it's been awhile since we've chatted.

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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Those undersized gauges really are an issue. One of the east coast states requires lobsters to be three inches across some portion of their body. Divers in that state are required to carry a three inch gauge. California has a 3.25 inch size requirement. So some buyer working for a national chain who doesn't know any better orders "lobester" gauges. Next thing you know someone has a ticket.

I have seen the 3 inch gauges on sale in California at several locations including Sport Chalet. The judge who let that guy off cut him a break. Buy the wrong size gauge is not an excuse IMO. I do think you could sue the store in small claims court for "Negligent Misrepresentation" if you got a ticket.

The story about the F&G officer using a gauge that was too big is a different matter. That guy is an idiot if the story is accurate. Just think how many people have been ticketed. It almost seems hard to believe because anyone who was ticketed who had used their gauge would immediately protest to the officer. It seems like the error would have been discovered pretty quickly.

Do you have any more specifics John. What court, name of officer involved, that sort of thing?


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bill,

I know the name of the PB'er.
I'd have to check with him to see if he wants to give me this information.
I DO know the ticket WAS written on either Friday or
Saturday night preceeding the end of the Lobster season.
The ticket was written in Marina Del Rey.
I'll never forget when I received the call that night about
a DFG Warden writing 15 tickets for undersized Lobsters.
I'll see what I can find out.

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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That's amazing John. What kind of idiot was that officer? His supervisors should direct him to contact everyone who he has cited while using that gauge and inform them.

Bill
 

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last week up at malibu my friend was fishing off of the beach with his 6 year old. one kids pole from k mart' you now the mickey mouse type. well they fished there for about one hr walking up and down the beach casting out in to the shore break fish and game showed up out of the blue and asked my friend if he had a lic, he said no but he was not fishing, the kid was. the officer stated that he witness him casting it out for the kid and that was fishing with out a lic, so out comes the book and gives him a ticked "not the kid" for fishing with out a lic,. wow i told him to fight it in court thats just wrong imo. peter
 

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Tell him to fight it. That's as C.S. as it gets.

Bring the pole, and his kid, to court. I'd be hard-pressed to believe a judge would convict on those facts.

He needs to prepare. Make sure he reads the code section which defines "fishing". I haven't read it in a while but I think it defines it as "taking or attempting to take". He needs to argue that he had no intention of taking anything. His kid was going to. By the F&G officer's logic, ANY help given by someone to another who is fishing, transforms them both into fishermen.

What if you are fishing and I help you tie a knot? Does that make me a fisherman? That is the the kind of argument he needs to make.

When he has the trial, make sure he does not agree to allow a judge pro tem hear his case. These guys are just local attorneys who are agreeing to hear minor infraction or small claims cases. It's not always true, but as a general rule they are less inclined to exercise judicial independence than will a real judge or commissioner.


Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Said PB'er will be in the MDR marina tomorrow to p/u SOME STUFF.
I'm hoping to obtain the court and warden information then, we'll see.

John.
 

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This is from Westlaw.

All references are to the Fish and Game Code.

First important code section:
§ 7145. Persons required to possess license...
...(a) Except as otherwise provided in this article, every person 16 years of age or older who takes any fish, reptile, or amphibia for any purpose other than profit shall first obtain a license for that purpose and shall have that license on his or her person or in his or her immediate possession or where otherwise specifically required by law or regulation to be kept when engaged in carrying out any activity authorized by the license. In the case of a person diving from a boat, the license may be kept in the boat, or in the case of a person diving from the shore, the license may be kept within 500 yards on the shore.



Next important code section:

Section 86 of the California Fish and Game Code:

"Take" means hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill, or attempt to hunt, pursue, catch, capture, or kill.



Based upon those two code sections, your friend can make a credible argument that he is not guilty. He had no intention to "take" within the meaning of the law. The only action he was taking was to assist his son in casting the rod. The person who was doing the "taking" was his son.

The point you need to remember is that no judge in his right mind will "want" to convict some guy standing before him with a six year old holding a Snoopy rod. The only way a judge will convict him is if the judge feels he has no choice under the law.

It is your friends job to respectfully educate the judge as to what the law says. That will give the judge something to hang his hat on and give him a way to legally acquit your buddy of the charges. Lay people think that just because a guy is a judge, that means he knows the law. That is not correct. There is simply too much law to know it all. Lawyers and judges have to educate themselves on every case unless it is something they are dealing with every day. There is a very good chance that the judge assigned to this case has NEVER read the two code sections cited above.

At the trial your friend needs listen carefully as the officer puts on his case. He will testify as to what he observed. The officer should then be cross-examined with questions intended to demonstrate that you friend's only actions were to cast for the kid and then hand off the rod.

"Isn't it true that I never landed a fish."

"Isn't it true that I always handed the rod to my son immediately after casting."

"How long have you been a F&G officer?"

"Based upon your years of experience, wouldn't you say that it is highly unusual to find an forty year old man surf fishing with a Snoopy rod.?"

"Can you please tell me how many persons you have observed surf-fishing with a Snoopy rod?"

You get the idea. Don't take it too far. You don't want the judge to thing you are disrespecting the officer. Be polite. Be respectful. Just ask what questions are necessary to point out how ludicrous the officer's position is.

Once the prosecution has rested your friend needs to testify on his own behalf. he needs to point out that he has fishing equipment worth thousands of dollars. If he were interested in fishing he wouldn't be using a Snoopy rod. If he were interested in fishing he would have a license. The summer fishing season has not yet started and that's why he didn't have a license....and even if he did have a license, he wouldn't have had it that day because he wasn't fishing...his son was fishing.

He then needs to call his son as a witness. Calling the son as a witness is the only way you can justify having him there in the first place...and you NEED him there for the CUTE factor. (Like I said; what Judge would convict a dad on these facts in front of his six year old?)

He needs to establish through the kid's testimony that there was no doubt that it was the kid who was doing the fishing. That's why dad didn't have a rod.

"Who was fishing, you or your dad?"

"If a fish got hooked, would you be mad if your Dad reeled it in?"

Etc.

That type of thing.

Tell your buddy that if he's acquitted he owes me a beer.

Bill
 

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i can see how that would work in court.

i've always understood the law as anyone even holding the rod needs a license. let me tell you why

about thirty years ago my stepfather took a troop of boyscouts to the lake on a fishing excursion...needless to say he was real busy untangling, baiting, taking fish off the hook, you can imagine ...well here comes ranger dickless and gives him a ticket for not having a license...i remember, he was mad as heck.... back then it was a minor fine and he paid it.....

i can definitly see how a judge would have reacted to an entire boyscout troop in uniform showing up in his court to testify. i wish that would have happened, it would have made a great story.
 

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Thanks for posting this. It never ceases to amaze me on some of the DFG's practices. I don't know if this is a case of where we only hear the bad stories and not enough of the good, or what? It just seems a lot of the people that need to get busted are not. One case is the bucket brigades you see taking palm size surf perch or small butts around the jetties, beaches, or piers. Usually its people from another culture that do not speak English or posess fishing licences that I'm referring to and that really irks me. I could go our any day and find these people locally.. I was told the DFG is not financed by the State or tax dollars, so they are responsible for their own budget based on tickets they write and the fines imposed as such. I don't know if this is true, but I'm sure someone will enlighten me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
NEWSFLASH . . . . . Bill.

The case was heard in the Malibu court.
The judge was a female.
I'm told the only female at the Malibu court, don't know her name.
She also confiscated the the measuring device by the knucklehead DFG Warden. :7! :7!

The [blink]DFG Wardens name is GERBER.[/blink]

Time to spread the news so that when people encounter said knucklehead
they can say something to the affect "oh yeah, you're the guy that writes
those bogus Lobster tickets". This guys credibility just went in the toilet.

John.
Parker 2320 'FloMar'.
 

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re fish and game regs

My advice is to buy a licence, avoid any conflict, save yourself a couple days of lost work. for 30. some dollars its a better deal.
 

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RE: NEWSFLASH . . . . . Bill.

Maybe the DFG needs to start calibrating their measuring devices at the same time the bike cops are calibrating their radar guns?

IMO. This guy gave the DFG a black-eye at a time when they need as much respect from recreational fishermen as they can get. Wasn't there a sculpin ticket handed out recently due to the DFG officer not having an up-to-date regulation booklet?
 

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RE: NEWSFLASH . . . . . Bill.

That would be Commissioner Admanson.

Unbelievable that an F&G officer could screw that up so bad.

Bill
 

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>You get the idea. Don't take it too far. You don't want the
>judge to thing you are disrespecting the officer. Be polite.
>Be respectful. Just ask what questions are necessary to point
>out how ludicrous the officer's position is.


While I am 100% in agreement with what you are saying here, I would find it difficult to keep a respectful demeanor, even in court, while asking a DFG warden questions that contained the words "Snoopy rod". :)


FISH HARD!

Chris
 
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