TN: GOA Goes to Court to Protect Hunters’ Rights!
By Rebecca Jones
GOA Goes to Court to Protect Tennessee Hunters Against Unreasonable Searches and Seizures
Many Tennessee residents are aware of a recent court case involving Wildlife Officers with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) entering properties without standard warrants. The practice of obtaining a warrant is commonly required in America to properly authorize non-consensual entry onto private property.
The case that has brought the most attention to this issue involves properties owned by Mr. Hunter Hollingsworth. Additionally, Mr. Terry Rainwaters lives on (and helps farm) the properties owned by Mr. Hollingsworth.
Essentially, Hollingsworth and Rainwaters asserted in Tennessee Court that TWRA agents conducted searches for evidence, placed remote surveillance cameras to assist with evidence gathering, damaged Hollingworth’s property, and seized property from Hollingsworth on several occasions without consent or a warrant for law enforcement purposes.
In fact, court findings indicate that TWRA policy does not even require supervisory permission to enter land without consent or a warrant. Further, TWRA officers are not required to create any record of having been on private land and typically do not inform landowners of their entry.
Hollingsworth and Rainwaters’ original complaint against TWRA was upheld when a three-judge panel — convened under a 2021 state law requiring a judge from each of
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