A Boundary County resident has sued the Idaho Department of Fish and Game after he was stopped on the road by check-station agents.

The plaintiff in the case, Steve Tanner, said that in November 2017 he circumvented a roadblock set up in Boundary County as he was traveling to his home nearby. In response, several Fish and Game enforcement officers pursued him, eventually catching up to him when he stopped at a nearby gas station. Mr. Tanner was cited for failing to stop and report at the check station, as well as eluding a police officer.

Those charges, both misdemeanors, were later dismissed, Idaho court records show.

In his lawsuit, Mr. Tanner said that he had not been fishing or hunting when he drove around the check station, and that Fish and Game officers had no right to stop or search non-sportsmen motorists at state checkpoints on constitutional grounds. He has also called for an injunction against all game check stations in the state until the conclusion of the case, and is seeking $130,000 in damages.

Court filings from state officials contend that check stations like the one Mr. Tanner attempted to circumvent are legal under Idaho law, citing a 1999 appeals court decision. The case held that the requirements of regulating hunting in Idaho “reduces hunters’ reasonable expectations of privacy.” Check stations have been in use by Idaho Fish and Game since 1932.

State officials also argued against granting the injunction Mr. Tanner seeks, saying his claims of “irreparable harm” caused by the stop were based on “conclusory, vague and speculative allegations.”

The lawsuit was filed the week of June 17 in U.S. District Court, and the case has not yet been assigned a date on the court’s docket.

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