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The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact

Interstate Wildlife Violator CompactThe Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (Compact) is an agreement in which member states reciprocate regarding the suspension or revocation of licenses and permits resulting from violations concerning hunting, fishing and trapping laws. If a person's license or permit privileges which come under the scope of the Compact are suspended or revoked in one member state, they are subject to suspension or revocation in all member states. In addition to license and permit suspensions and revocations which result from a conviction for the illegal pursuit, possession or taking of mammals, birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mollusks, shellfish and crustaceans, failing to appear in court or to otherwise answer a ticket or summons issued for such violations will also result in license or permit suspension. Compact member states also agree to recognize convictions for violations within the scope of the Compact which occur in all other member states and to apply them toward license and permit suspension and revocations in the state in which the person resides.

Current Member States (as of December 2010): MAP

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Brief History

The concept of a wildlife violator compact was first brought forward in the early 1980s by member states in the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Law enforcement administrators and Wildlife Commissioners from several states began discussing the idea of a compact based on the format of the existing Drivers License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compact, both of these related to motor vehicle operator licensing and enforcement.

In 1985 draft compacts were developed independently in Colorado and Nevada. Subsequently, these drafts were merged and the Wildlife Violator Compact (WVC) was presented for discussion at the 1986 Law Enforcement Technical Committee Workshop of the Western Association.

During the 1989 Legislative session compact legislation was passed into law in Colorado, Nevada and Oregon. These three states formed the nucleus for the development of the operational procedures of the WVC.

State Process

Each Compact state enters violator suspensions into the Compact database. This database can be accessed by each participating state. Reports may be generated to show suspended violators by violator state or by suspending agency state. Once Oregon pulls the names from the database, they follow the following steps:

  • The department sends via certified mail to each violator a NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUSPEND HUNTING AND FISHING LICENSES, TAGS AND PERMITS. When mailed, the department must fill out the “certificate of service” on each notice. The certificate documents the “service date” and starts the 14-day timeframe during which the violator can request a hearing.
  • When the 14-day period ends, the department verifies whether the violator has requested a hearing.
  • If the violator does not request a hearing, the department prepares a Final Order based on the agency’s file. If the Director issues a Final Order as proposed by staff, the department mails a copy to the violator via certified mail and implements the order.
  • If the violator requests a hearing within the 14-day period, the request is reviewed and either denied or the case is referred to the Office of Administrative hearings using the Office’s referral form. The written request must stipulate the facts that the violator wants the Administrative Law Judge to consider. Contested case hearings are for the purpose of making sure that the department has the basic facts and law right: is this the same person who the suspending state says was convicted there of a wildlife violation? Do we understand the law correctly? Unless an issue such as that is raised, the request for a hearing will be denied. If a hearing is granted, the department proceeds with the following steps:

    • An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned by the Office holds a prehearing conference with the department’s Assistant Attorney General and the person (or the person’s counsel) to schedule a hearing and identify issues to be addressed at the hearing.

    • The ALJ holds a contested case hearing during which any and all issues relating to the proposed suspension will be discussed. The ALJ then issues a Proposed Order recommending findings of fact and conclusions of law on the case.

    • The Office of Administrative Hearings distributes the ALJ’s Proposed Order to the person and to the Assistant Attorney General and gives all parties 14 days in which to file written exceptions to the Proposed Order.

    • Once any exceptions are received, the Director considers the exceptions and either accepts the proposed order as written or makes changes and issues the Final Order.

    • When the Director issues the Final Order, the department mails a copy to the violator via certified mail and implements the order.
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