Game warden runs into rock on a section line. Farmer in trouble

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Atypical's picture
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without first calling the proper authorities that is.

My sincere thanks to all the men and women who have/are serving this great country. Freedom isn't Free.

guywhofishes's picture
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yep, letter was calm and reasonable - but he just had to say it on the end didn't he?

"You can bet land that I control will be posted, not because I oppose hunters or hunting, but because hunters attract game wardens and game wardens are a real threat!"

To me that was a disingenuous statement. It won't stop game wardens (99% of the time the landowners ally) from driving around his property - so what has he solved? Seems more to me like a passive aggressive "mess with me and I'll mess with your bread and butter" statement. Hope he reconsiders once the anger fades.



 

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I didn't see anything in the story that indicated that the Warden initiated the action.  Why blame him for what a prosecutor decided to do?  I wonder if they really could have done it differently.  Maybe not.

Isn't the right of way on section lines 15 feet either side of the line?  If so, you are responsible for anything you PUT THERE.  It's a well-written letter by Mr. Bear.  He didn't intentionally put the rock there to damage anything or hurt anybody but he still "bears" the responsibility for damage that occurs according to NDCC. 

Before somebody gets all indignant about what I just posted, please consider that there WAS damage.  State vehicles are covered and I'm 100% certain that either the reinsurance agreement or State Law requires pursuing all avenues of collection.  Essentially, it's like normal subrogation in private insurance cases. 

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My question is why is he paying $12k in restitution?  I'm assuming the state has insurance on all of their vehicles?  Usually the defendant is only required to cover the cost of the deductible, and then its the choice of the insurance company to either go after the farmer's insurance or sue civilly.  What am I missing here?

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bigbrad123 Said:
My question is why is he paying $12k in restitution?  I'm assuming the state has insurance on all of their vehicles?  Usually the defendant is only required to cover the cost of the deductible, and then its the choice of the insurance company to either go after the farmer's insurance or sue civilly.  What am I missing here?

I'm guessing the State is part of a pool that is basically self-insured.  Maybe with a really large deductible (more than $12,000) and a major company issuing a reinsurance policy.  The State can't simply eat the cost of the repairs if there is a responsible party (Bear) that can be forced to pay.  The prosecutor in this situation decided that Mr. Bear was guilty of breaking the Law as spelled out in the Century Code and that makes him liable.

I'm guessing he checked with his insurance carrier and they told him they would pay but NOT if he was in violation of the LAW.  At least, that's what it sounds like he was referring to in his letter.  His suggestion of a Civil Action probably came from his Attorney (who he had to pay).  Crappy deal for Mr. Bear.  Insurance matters usually don't end well for most people.

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Section lines are 33 feet each way from the center.  You can't do anything that impedes travel in that area, not even plow it up.  There was a state supreme court case that dealt with that.  A farmer plowed the section line and they upheld the conviction. 
     IMO charging the guy with a criminal violation was excessive.  No intent to hurt or cause a problem.  Should have settled civilly.  He should have asked for a jury trial. 
   When anyone is driving a section line that isn't a good improved road you need to watch the terrain.  Mother nature leaves plenty of things to cause problems. 

CHAPTER 24
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07
OPENING AND VACATING HIGHWAYS
24
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07
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01. Public roads by prescription.
All public roads and highways within this state which have been or which shall be open and
in use as such, during twenty successive years, hereby are declared to be public roads or
highways and confirmed and established as such whether the same have been laid out,
established, and opened lawfully or not.
24
-
07
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02. Established roads are public highways.
Every road laid out by the proper authorities, as provided for in this chapter, from the laying
out of which no appeal has been taken within the time limited for taking such appeal, hereby is
declared a public highway to all intents and purposes, and all persons having refused or
neglected to take an appeal, as provided for in this chapter, are debarred forever from any
further redress.
24
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07
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03. Section lines considered public roads open for public travel
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Closing same
under certain conditions.
In all townships in this state, outside the limits of incorporated cities, and outside platted
townsites, additions, or subdivisions recorded pursuant to sections 40
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50.1
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01 through
40
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50.1
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17 or recorded prior to July
1,
1987, under former chapter 40
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50, the congressional
section lines are considered public roads open for public travel to the width of thirty
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three feet
[10.06 meters] on each side of the section lines.
Plainsman's picture
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I'm not sure about the state, but I know the federal government doesn't have insurance.  If you own thousands of vehicles it's cheaper to pay for damages on a few than insurance premium on thousands.  In essence they are acting as their own insurance company.  After all insurance companies play the odds themselves and charge enough in premiums to make a profit.

As for the man posting his land I have known him since 1971 and think he has always posted all of his land.  The hunters may have been on Pipestem Core land.   I am not sure, but I suspect I have driven around that very rock.

You can be sure both sides presented their case as best as possible.  I don't know about you guy, but I know the court had more information than I do.

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Hear pollert is one of the biggest dbags the state employs....any truth from locals around there?

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 I was agreeing with him until the last paragraph when he played the gay "now I'm gonna post all my land" card. They're both goons IMO.

 "Play it Mr.Toot"

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Plainsman Said:
I'm not sure about the state, but I know the federal government doesn't have insurance.  If you own thousands of vehicles it's cheaper to pay for damages on a few than insurance premium on thousands.  In essence they are acting as their own insurance company.  After all insurance companies play the odds themselves and charge enough in premiums to make a profit.

As for the man posting his land I have known him since 1971 and think he has always posted all of his land.  The hunters may have been on Pipestem Core land.   I am not sure, but I suspect I have driven around that very rock.

You can be sure both sides presented their case as best as possible.  I don't know about you guy, but I know the court had more information than I do.

The State is probably insured similarly.  Big reinsurance carrier to cover something catastrophic.

That doesn't meant the State simply allows the taxpayers to eat the cost of repairs if there is a responsible party.  That's what happened here.

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I have been on a Section line Road that had a 2X4 full of nails sticking up to puncture tires luckily I seen it before I drove over it I hope the stick it to whoever is responsible for putting the rock there

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feather_duster Said:
Hear pollert is one of the biggest dbags the state employs....any truth from locals around there?

Hahahaha......

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Could be wrong...only hear the horror stories 

Baker7mmMag Said:
Hahahaha......
CZ550's picture
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Lets get one thing clairified here.  The "section line" isn't a line like you see down the middle of a paved road.  It's the area of land 66 feet wide between two sections.  Obstructions anywhere in that area could be considered as blocking.

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i wonder if the warden and his boss are then being charged with leaving the scene of an accident? are there charges with anything? he should have used a tractor moved the rock and then taken pictures to show that the rock wasn't in said spot.

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Chargers Said:
i wonder if the warden and his boss are then being charged with leaving the scene of an accident? are there charges with anything? he should have used a tractor moved the rock and then taken pictures to show that the rock wasn't in said spot.

wardens are above the law you know that

 

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feather_duster Said:
Hear pollert is one of the biggest dbags the state employs....any truth from locals around there?

I would not defend all wardens, and I have only met Pollert a couple of times.  He checked me out just a couple weeks ago when I had the grandkids out on Pipestem shooting a swinging prairie dog target.  I thought he was personable and not overbearing in the least.  Your just going to have detractors with that type of job like all law enforcement.  It comes with the territory.   I'm of the opinion they are human like everyone else.  Some good, some bad.  I would have to throw Pollert in the good group. 

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If Pollert was involved all are guilty until proven innocent.   Heck I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to write the county commissioners tickets LOL.

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ktent1 Said:
If Pollert was involved all are guilty until proven innocent.   Heck I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to write the county commissioners tickets LOL.

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Heck I wouldn't be surprised if he tried to write the county commissioners tickets LOL.

If they broke the law I would. 

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 He should have spray painted the rock in a bright color . No one else seemed to have a problem with it though.

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hmm, mother nature has placed quite a few obstacles on the section lines around our place. reading Mr. Bear's letter, I think this was handled poorly. Even if within the letter of the law.

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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 If there was a "prairie trail" down a section line and if I was off that trail say a vehicle width just driving along could I get a ticket for being off the established trail? If so since the warden was off the established trail illegally how can this be the guy farming the lands fault? Especially since apparently the warden said he was not watching the road at the time. According to Mr Bear the hunters said the warden said it was his own negligence until the super showed up. At least there was an attempt at integrity on the wardens part. If this one holds up should everyone that has a vehicle goin to crap take the tape measure and go look for rock piles within the 66'? Just say "hey I was looking at a rooster in the stubble field and I guess I got off track, pay me." 

I dont go around guessing cup sizes either I just know a nice rack when I see one.

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 ok, so seriously, how can  ranchers run fencing down a section line for cattle if the row is 33' per side??? 

is not providing an approach denying access???

would planting right through a section line if you owned the land on both sides of it be illegal??? 

what about section lines in town??? if your property line follows a section line, can I travel 33' of it or drive through it??? 

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TCRenagade Said:
Lets get one thing clairified here.  The "section line" isn't a line like you see down the middle of a paved road.  It's the area of land 66 feet wide between two sections.  Obstructions anywhere in that area could be considered as blocking.

A 3 foot by 4 foot rock "blocking" a 66 foot strip of land?? Sounds like the Vikings line trying to "block".

So what if this 66 foot section line is covered by a 200 foot wide slough and people are driving out in seeded crop on private land around the slough to get down the "section line"? Who does one call to get "reimbursed"?

So if I am driving down the road watching a pretty girl riding horse out in the pasture along side the road not paying attention and smack into one of the G&F dept's deer who do I call to get reimbursed?

Christ almighty this was stupid.

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Actually the section "line" is indeed a straight "line" dividing land every 6 miles square unless you are on the fractions. The 33 feet on either side of it are easement right of ways.


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gst Said:

TCRenagade Said:
Lets get one thing clairified here.  The "section line" isn't a line like you see down the middle of a paved road.  It's the area of land 66 feet wide between two sections.  Obstructions anywhere in that area could be considered as blocking.

A 3 foot by 4 foot rock "blocking" a 66 foot strip of land?? Sounds like the Vikings line trying to "block".

So what if this 66 foot section line is covered by a 200 foot wide slough and people are driving out in seeded crop on private land around the slough to get down the "section line"? Who does one call to get "reimbursed"?

So if I am driving down the road watching a pretty girl riding horse out in the pasture along side the road not paying attention and smack into one of the G&F dept's deer who do I call to get reimbursed?

Christ almighty this was stupid.

Most of us are familiar with you thinking you need to tell us the way things are.  However, do you really think Christ doesn't have the right idea?  Perhaps you were speaking as to a son. 

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gst Said:
Actually the section "line" is indeed a straight "line" dividing land every 6 miles square unless you are on the fractions. The 33 feet on either side of it are easement right of ways.

six miles square huh?

 

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gst Said:
Actually the section "line" is indeed a straight "line" dividing land every 6 miles square unless you are on the fractions. The 33 feet on either side of it are easement right of ways.

wouldn't that be a township boundary which would follow a section line???

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Foamit Said:
 

gst Said:
Actually the section "line" is indeed a straight "line" dividing land every 6 miles square unless you are on the fractions. The 33 feet on either side of it are easement right of ways.

wouldn't that be a township boundary which would follow a section line???

Yep, flat out wrong on that one. should have read one mile square.

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