Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

04/01/76 DEPARTMENT NATURAL RESOURCES v. SEAMAN

April 1, 1976

DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
v.
SEAMAN



Williams, J. Coleman and Fitzgerald, JJ., concurred with Williams, J. Lindemer and Ryan, JJ., took no part in the decision of this case. Kavanagh, C.j. (concurring). Levin, J., concurred with Kavanagh, C. J. Levin, J. (concurring).

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Opinion of the Court

1. Administrative Law -- Delegation of Powers.

The Legislature cannot delegate its power to make a law; but it can make a law to delegate a power to determine some fact or state of things upon which the law makes, or intends to make, its own action depend.

2. Administrative Law -- Delegation of Powers -- Discretion -- Standards.

In determining whether the limits on the exercise of discretion conferred on an administrative official are sufficiently defined to avoid delegation of legislative powers, it must be borne in mind that standards must be sufficiently broad to permit efficient administration in order to carry out properly the policy of the Legislature but not so broad as to leave the people unprotected from uncontrolled, arbitrary power in the hands of the administrative officials.

3. Administrative Law -- Delegation of Powers -- Statutes.

The guiding principles in determining whether a statute provides sufficient standards for the exercise of discretion of an administrative official are: (1) the provision in question should not be isolated but must be construed with reference to the entire act; (2) the standard should be as reasonably precise as the subject matter requires or permits; and (3) if possible the statute must be construed in such a way as to render it valid, not invalid, as conferring administrative, not legislative power, and as vesting discretionary, not arbitrary, authority.

4. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Department of Natural Resources -- Licenses -- Standards.

The legislative policy and standards in the Commercial Fishing Law to guide the Department of Natural Resources in issuing commercial fishing licenses are to protect and preserve the fisheries of the state and to allow the taking of fish conditioned upon a grant of permission in the form of a license, but only when such taking will not disrupt the primary goal of protection and preservation (MCL 308.1b).

5. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Department of Natural Resources.

The Department of Natural Resources has been given the authority to determine factually the nature and degree of commercial fishing, in terms of species, location, and types of fishing gear, which may be allowed without affecting the goal of protection and preservation of the fisheries of the state (MCL 308.1b).

6. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Department of Natural Resources -- Licenses -- Standards.

The standard in the Commercial Fishing Law for the issuing of commercial fishing licenses is as reasonably precise as the subject matter requires or permits in view of the difficulty and complexity of the management of natural resources (MCL 308.1b).

7. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Director of Conservation -- Licenses -- Delegation of Power.

The section of the Commercial Fishing Law which authorizes the Director of Conservation to place restrictions on commercial fishing licenses is not an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority (MCL 308.1b).

8. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Licenses -- Restrictions.

The language in the Commercial Fishing Law that the Director of Conservation (Department of Natural Resources), when in his opinion it is necessary for the better protection, management, harvesting and utilization of the fisheries, may limit the number of fishing licenses to be issued and fix and determine the qualifications of such licensees authorizes the director to place on licenses reasonable restrictions not specifically spelled out in the statute, such as a prohibition of the use of gill nets of less than eight inches mesh size in certain fishing zones (MCLA 308.1b).

9. Fish -- Commercial Fishing Law -- Department of Natural Resources -- Rules.

A Department of Natural Resources rule which prohibits the use of gill nets of less than eight inch mesh in certain fishing zones does not exceed the authority granted the Department of Natural Resources by the Legislature in the Commercial Fishing Law (1970-1971 AACS, R 299.883).

10. Searches and Seizures -- Without Warrant -- Constitutional Law -- Probable Cause -- Exigent Circumstances.

A search without a warrant in order to be reasonable under the Fourth Amendment requires more than probable cause -- exigent circumstances must also be present (US Const, Am IV).

11. Searches and Seizures -- Conservation Officers -- Exigent Circumstances.

The statute providing that conservation officers may search boats without a warrant must be construed as requiring the presence of exigent circumstances before conservation officers are authorized to conduct a search without a warrant (MCL 300.12).

12. Searches and Seizures -- Without Warrant -- Fishing Boats.

The search without a warrant of defendants' fishing boat constituted an unreasonable search in violation of the Federal and state Constitutions where no exigent circumstances existed because conservation officers had the defendants under surveillance for more than a day prior to boarding the vessel and had established probable cause to believe that defendants were conducting illegal fishing operations well before the actual search took place, the vessel was moored at its berth and there was no indication that the defendants were about to leave or attempt to dispose of the incriminating evidence, and the officers had ample time to obtain a valid search warrant (US Const, Am IV; Const 1963, art 1 § 11).

13. Searches and Seizures -- Illegal Search -- Return of Property.

When property has been wrongfully seized following an invalid search, the property should be returned to the owner.

Concurring Opinion

Kavanagh, C. J., and Levin, J.

See 7-10.

14. Searches and Seizures -- Conservation Officers -- Exigent Circumstances.

A statute which purports to authorize seizures of boats by conservation officers without a warrant must yield to the right to be secure against unreasonable searches and seizures absent exigent circumstances (MCL 300.12; MSA 13.1222).

15. Searches and Seizures -- Forfeitures -- Fourth Amendment.

Suits for penalties and forfeitures incurred by the commission of offenses against the law are quasi-criminal in nature and within the reason of criminal proceedings for all purposes of the Fourth Amendment (US Const, Am IV).

Concurring Opinion

Levin, J.

See 7, 8, 11, and 13.

16. Administrative Law -- Statutes -- Delegation of Power.

A statute which delegates discretionary power need not itself contain standards to guide the exercise of the delegated power.

17. Licenses -- Searches and Seizures -- Forfeiture of Property.

The Supreme Court should consider on a proper record whether forfeiture of property used in excess of authorization in a regulated vocational or avocational pursuit -- in contrast with forfeiture for manufacture or transportation of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.