Legal Question in Constitutional Law in Minnesota

I have a cabin on a lake in northern Minnesota. The last time I was there, my wife and I were having breakfast when out of the blue a Mn. conservation officer (game warden) barged through the front door of my cabin without knocking or announcing who he was.

I asked him what the "bleep" he was doing and to get the "bleep" out. He said he wanted to make sure it was me and not a burglar in the cabin and he had the authority to enter any time he wished.

The strange thing about this is my wife and I have met this warden at least six times before so he knows my vehicle and had no reason to believe there was a burglar.

I told him that I appreciated his concern but to never enter my cabin without knocking first.

He got mad and on his way out he said I would never know when he would show up again.

My wife and I have never been in trouble with the law and after this last encounter, we don't feel safe at the cabin any more.

My question is just how much authority does a Mn. conservation officer have?

Don't they need a search warrant to enter my cabin without permission just like a police officer? Do I not have any right to privacy and at what point do I have the right to protect myself and my family if I feel threatened?

Thanks so much for your help.

Asked on 11/15/13, 4:45 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Tricia Dwyer Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

Hello. I suggest you confer privately with an attorney at this time.

Tricia Dwyer Esq

Phone: 612-296-9666

Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

Constitutional Law

Police/Peace Officer Conduct Law

Minnesota Criminal Law

Minnesota Civil Law, Personal Injury, Lawsuits

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Answered on 11/15/13, 6:08 pm
Edward Hoffman Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman

There are times when an officer can enter private property without a warrant and without consent. One of these exceptions applies if the officer reasonably believes somebody inside is in imminent danger. That does not seem to be the case here, but it is the exception that most closely resembles the officer's response.

Based on the limited information you have given, I don't think he was justified in entering your cabin. And that assumes a conservation officer has the same authority as a police officer, which might or might not be true.

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Answered on 11/18/13, 2:05 pm

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