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#2301262
SWFinatic wrote:Shoffer not disagreeing with you but I have heard Governor Abbott say on multiple occasions while all local governments shall at a minimum comply with the EO any local government can take it a step further and increase levels of security or take additional steps of precaution they just can't reduce from what is outlined in the EO. Have you heard this?


I have not seen the Governor's statements about his order, but I don't think we are saying different things.
Here is the relevant text of the EO:
Image
As it says, the EO supersedes any local orders, but only to the extent that they (a) are inconsistent with or conflict with the EO and (b) only to the extent that the local order "restricts essential services allowed by this EO or allows gatherings prohibited by this EO." So, if a local government says to shut down all grocery stores, that would not be a valid order, because it "restricts essential services allowed by this executive order." If a local government order were to allow gatherings of non-family members for Naked Twister games, that would not be a valid order, because it "allows gatherings prohibited by this executive order."

The other important part of the paragraph from the EO I have quoted above is the part where the Governor has suspended the statutes that permit local governments to issue orders as part of a disaster declaration, "but only to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order." That's where my fishing analysis comes in. The EO says it permits fishing so long as precautions are maintained. If a local government issues a local order that prohibits fishing or continues to enforce a preexisting local order that prohibited fishing or interprets and enforces vague local orders so as to prohibit hunting or fishing, that action would be invalid because it imposes "restrictions inconsistent with this executive order."

The portion of the EO to which you appear to be referring is the last phrase of the paragraph I have quoted that says “provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.” For instance, the EO orders “every person in Texas” to “minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household” “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.” If a local order came out that said that there could be no in-person contact among people in groups of 5 or more people outside the same household, that order would seem to be “consistent with this executive order” and could be lawfully passed and implemented.

Of course, all of this my reasoned legal opinion. I am no judge and I am no governor. The legality of this order, and its contours, will all presumably be tested in court down the road, but I feel pretty comfortable that if you wanted to kayak fish with your buddy in West Galveston Bay, and you both rode down there in separate cars and kept a 10-foot distance from each other at all times, you would be perfectly in compliance with the EO.

So, thanks for the opportunity to clarify, SWFanatic.
#2301264
shoffer wrote:
SWFinatic wrote:Shoffer not disagreeing with you but I have heard Governor Abbott say on multiple occasions while all local governments shall at a minimum comply with the EO any local government can take it a step further and increase levels of security or take additional steps of precaution they just can't reduce from what is outlined in the EO. Have you heard this?


I have not seen the Governor's statements about his order, but I don't think we are saying different things.
Here is the relevant text of the EO:
Image
As it says, the EO supersedes any local orders, but only to the extent that they (a) are inconsistent with or conflict with the EO and (b) only to the extent that the local order "restricts essential services allowed by this EO or allows gatherings prohibited by this EO." So, if a local government says to shut down all grocery stores, that would not be a valid order, because it "restricts essential services allowed by this executive order." If a local government order were to allow gatherings of non-family members for Naked Twister games, that would not be a valid order, because it "allows gatherings prohibited by this executive order."

The other important part of the paragraph from the EO I have quoted above is the part where the Governor has suspended the statutes that permit local governments to issue orders as part of a disaster declaration, "but only to the extent necessary to ensure that local officials do not impose restrictions inconsistent with this executive order." That's where my fishing analysis comes in. The EO says it permits fishing so long as precautions are maintained. If a local government issues a local order that prohibits fishing or continues to enforce a preexisting local order that prohibited fishing or interprets and enforces vague local orders so as to prohibit hunting or fishing, that action would be invalid because it imposes "restrictions inconsistent with this executive order."

The portion of the EO to which you appear to be referring is the last phrase of the paragraph I have quoted that says “provided that local officials may enforce this executive order as well as local restrictions that are consistent with this executive order.” For instance, the EO orders “every person in Texas” to “minimize social gatherings and minimize in-person contact with people who are not in the same household” “except where necessary to provide or obtain essential services.” If a local order came out that said that there could be no in-person contact among people in groups of 5 or more people outside the same household, that order would seem to be “consistent with this executive order” and could be lawfully passed and implemented.

Of course, all of this my reasoned legal opinion. I am no judge and I am no governor. The legality of this order, and its contours, will all presumably be tested in court down the road, but I feel pretty comfortable that if you wanted to kayak fish with your buddy in West Galveston Bay, and you both rode down there in separate cars and kept a 10-foot distance from each other at all times, you would be perfectly in compliance with the EO.

So, thanks for the opportunity to clarify, SWFanatic.


Gracias Shoffer. I don't see anything wrong with going kayak fishing alone as long as I don't stop anywhere and stay well away from everyone else.
#2301266
while these points are all correct, the problem you may run into is a local jurisdiction stopping and ticketing you for hauling a kayak because you're on their road without being involved in an essential activity.
Having right on your side is probably not going to help a bit, and local LEOs will probably view the situation as you are putting them personally (their family, community, et.al.) at risk.
#2301267
Ron Mc wrote:while these points are all correct, the problem you may run into is a local jurisdiction stopping and ticketing you for hauling a kayak because you're on their road without being involved in an essential activity.
Having right on your side is probably not going to help a bit, and local LEOs will probably view the situation as you are putting them personally (their family, community, et.al.) at risk.


The information that Stoffer posted states from the governor that fishing is an essential activity.
I still foresee others might not understand that hunting and fishing are essential activities, i.e. taking matter into their own hands such as vandalizing of my vehicle while I am kayaking. We can't stop ignorance.
#2301268
shoffer wrote:Of course, all of this my reasoned legal opinion. I am no judge and I am no governor. The legality of this order, and its contours, will all presumably be tested in court down the road, but I feel pretty comfortable that if you wanted to kayak fish with your buddy in West Galveston Bay, and you both rode down there in separate cars and kept a 10-foot distance from each other at all times, you would be perfectly in compliance with the EO.

So, thanks for the opportunity to clarify, SWFanatic.


It's not my intent to disagree with anything said here. Just to mention a conversation my neighbor had with a Galveston cop he flagged down to ask if it was okay to go kayaking off his back deck (private property). The cop told the neighbors that was fine- as long as they stayed on the water or on private property. But they were not allowed to step out onto public beach on either the bay side or the gulf side of the island.

Keep in mind that was one cop, in a very unofficial and not very detailed statement. Certainly not definitive, but I think a good indication of the marching orders given to the local LEO's.

To err on the side of caution, I'd suggest anyone who wants to kayak on Galveston avoid launching on public property- if that's even possible now with the roads to the beaches blocked off. There are a few private property launching areas that make a living on people buying bait, gas, snacks, ramp fees, etc. I suspect they'd welcome the business. A little planning is probably the order of the day in these challenging days.

Or, take your chances launching from a public area. Let us know how it works out, in either scenario.
#2301269
again Tom, shoffer is entirely correct, but all the municipal closures are fully intended to keep out "foreigners".
You personally might not have a problem with a local LEO on a Rockport road.
But someone hauling a kayak from San Antonio or Houston might be forced to turn around.
Anyone fishing from a kayak is riding the governor's exempt with no worries - the problem is getting a kayak from home to the water.
about the vandalism - no one is going to risk touching an infected vehicle - 8)
Impulse is also entirely correct, that he has no worries launching a kayak from his personal private property.
#2301271
Ron Mc wrote:again Tom, shoffer is entirely correct, but all the municipal closures are fully intended to keep out "foreigners".
You personally might not have a problem with a local LEO on a Rockport road.
But someone hauling a kayak from San Antonio or Houston might be forced to turn around.
Anyone fishing from a kayak is riding the governor's exempt with no worries - the problem is getting a kayak from home to the water.
about the vandalism - no one is going to risk touching an infected vehicle - 8)
Impulse is also entirely correct, that he has no worries launching a kayak from his personal private property.


I'd also point out that it's tough to fish from the beach if you're not allowed on the beach. So there are some gray areas. Fishing may be considered an essential (and protected) activity, but that's apparently not an absolute.

On a happier note, the Sea Isle bait shop at West End Marina is flying the live shrimp flag, and there's been a string of fishing boats headed out of that canal this morning. A little windy for kayaking, but maybe it'll lay down.
#2301658
Hello everyone, I know that most if not all of you fish in the Corpus area, I live in Harlingen and just like a lot of you I was unsure if I could go fish but with the EO saying that fishing was allowed I decided to take my boat to Arroyo City and had a good day out fishing by myself following all the social distancing orders. To my surprise I was pulled over by a constable as I was pulling out of the boat ramp, he told me the reason I was pulled over was for violating the stay at home order, I told them that I was out fishing. By the time it was all said and done I got a citation for violating the stay at home order so yeah... any advice?
#2301671
Eramoszzx wrote:Hello everyone, I know that most if not all of you fish in the Corpus area, I live in Harlingen and just like a lot of you I was unsure if I could go fish but with the EO saying that fishing was allowed I decided to take my boat to Arroyo City and had a good day out fishing by myself following all the social distancing orders. To my surprise I was pulled over by a constable as I was pulling out of the boat ramp, he told me the reason I was pulled over was for violating the stay at home order, I told them that I was out fishing. By the time it was all said and done I got a citation for violating the stay at home order so yeah... any advice?


I have no advice.

But I do want to thank you for posting a warning to all of us. Please post back when you get some resolution.
#2301710
thanks for your reply.
Odd that he could chase you onto private property to cite you. Being out on the boat has to be legal.
Even the drive from Harlingen is a short haul in that region.
Quite honestly, South Texas law is often a matter of convenience to fill the county purse.
I definitely I would plead not guilty. Not a fair citation is a fair argument, even when you have no contest to the fact that you were there.
#2301712
Thanks for posting and welcome to the forum.

You are the first person I've heard of getting a citation. I have heard of 1 other getting pulled over but just received a verbal warning. You can plead not guilty if for no other reason to get another opportunity to find out exactly what you did wrong. Your word against a law enforcement officers word usually doesn't go very far though.

Staying at home and not going fishing is admittedly really hard to do for an extended period of time. But it is a way to avoid situations like this. Let us know how it turns out.
#2301714
this will not be a question of word against word, rather how judges interpret the law.
Like I said, there's no contest to being there. The contest is whether the officer's judgment was fair or unfair in giving the citation.

Heck, I would think one of our soapbox attorneys would jump at the chance to defend this fellow sportsman.
#2301716
Ron Mc wrote:this will not be a question of word against word, rather how judges interpret the law.
Like I said, there's no contest to being there. The contest is whether the officer's judgment was fair or unfair in giving the citation.

Heck, I would think one of our soapbox attorneys would jump at the chance to defend this fellow sportsman.


The issue, of course, is the cost to defend himself, bumping up against the probability that the case will be heard in the same court system that has mis-interpreted (or just ignored) the governor's order rescinding local politicians' and judges' power to impose restrictions that conflict with his EO. It's not just the cops' judgement in question. It's also the judgement of the local authorities whose instructions the cops are enforcing. Is their's a legal order?

Plus, as your previously mentioned, sometimes enforcement is all about the revenue, and less about public safety. I'd love to see this case elevated to a definitive outcome, but have to admit I'd probably cave and pay the fine if it were me personally. That's a tough decision, though- depending on some lawyerly advice about cost/benefit...
#2301724
Eramoszzx wrote:Since that launch belongs to Texas parks it was closed since the beginning of this so I had been launching from a private boat ramp called Del Rey. What doesn’t help my frustration is that I see posts of ppl fishing all over the place so at this point I don’t know what to do.


It sounds like it's time to follow Shoffer's advice (who happens to be a lawyer fisherman)

shoffer wrote:As I said before, if you are out there fishing and a law enforcement official hassles you about it, my advice is to politely comply with law enforcement directives issued on scene. If you get a ticket, you can always challenge it later in court, if you are so inclined. But I can tell you that it is never a wise idea to deliberately disobey an order issued by Johnny Law right in their face. Let them write the ticket, and while they are doing that, be sure and thank them for their service, apologize for having to take up their valuable time, and say nothing about whether you agree or disagree with their interpretation or jurisdiction. You don't waive any defenses to a ticket or criminal charge by remaining silent as the charge is being prepared -- hell, that is exactly what you are told upon arrest - you DO have the right to remain silent. So, if you choose to speak, then just be nice and polite. I am sure the peace officer did not get into this line of work so he could hassle fishermen. He or she is doing what they have been told to do by someone who presumably believes they still have the right to enforce local rules, so you do the same and challenge it in court later.

Fish on, yakkers!


I believe the officer is in the wrong and you have grounds to challenge it in court. I've not had good experience in court personally, but if I were in your shoes I think I'd try it.
If it's you vs the state then it's a little more straightforward I think and you shouldn't need to hire your own lawyer. I think for a ticket you get assigned a court date anyway and you HAVE to show up. When to do, plead non guilty and have a copy of Gov Abbot's EO.

Of course it's a pain in the ass and you have to take time off to do all of that, vs just paying the ticket. This could be exactly what the officer was banking on for a commission on number of tickets issued... How much was it for, if you don't mind my asking?
#2301736
Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to reply. My court date is until May 7 so I still have some time to go, to be honest I am planning on pleading not guilty and seeing where this goes, as far as how much the citation is I have to say I don’t know because it doesn’t say on the paper. I just want to be able to go fish that’s all...I believe our local judge should have taken the kind of measures he took with fishermen with other parts of the population that do represent a danger.
#2301739
Interested to see how it turns out. I do believe there is a gray area between state and local EO's with regards to getting out and fishing. We're told to stay at home and only leave for essential reasons (grocery store, medications, checking on elderly, etc). While fishing is clearly acceptable in the state EO I wouldn't think it would be considered an essential activity.

Hopefully the ruling goes your way!
#2301761
shoffer wrote:If he were local, I'd represent him for free, but a six-hour drive to the valley and back (or a $200 SW Flight with CoronaVirus served as the snack of choice) for a traffic ticket is simply not feasible for me to do.

Just saw this bro, and understood.
If you could turn it into a fishing trip, would be worth the travel :mrgreen:
but you might also get cited for that...it's another country there and best to treat it that way
#2301763
Here's an interesting tidbit from the article where Galveston county is opening Bolivar beaches:

The Texas General Land Office will not allow the beach to remain open to residents only. As a public beach, it must be closed to all.

That flies in the face of a few counties (Kenedy being one, I recall) that have closed their beaches to all but residents.

The plot thickens...

https://www.chron.com/life/article/Galv ... 204997.php
#2302008
So I decided to call the office of the governor to see what their take was with my situation. After explaining what had happened to me the man on the line was surprised and could not believe what I was telling him, he even went as far as asking me if the judge knew that the EO said that fishing and hunting were allowed. I asked if the judge’s orders superseded the governor’s to which he replied “I don’t know, let me check” after a few minutes he came back on the line and said “ sir to be honest I am not sure about your question” At the end of the call he just advised me to seek legal help and wished me good luck.
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