William Mitchell Law Review

Publication Information

31 William Mitchell Law Review 527 (2004-2005)


This article examines the various opinions in the Colosimo case, including the opinion of the Minnesota Court of Appeals (which was reversed by the supreme court), as well as the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions of the supreme court. The article provides a brief background of how the issue of stops and inspections by conservation officers has been dealt with in other jurisdictions before turning to a critique of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision in Colosimo, which the authors consider far too expansive. The decision in Colosimo undermines the right of citizens of Minnesota to be free from invasions of privacy at the unbridled discretion of officers in the field. The court historically has recognized and protected this right, but Colosimo, to paraphrase the court in Henning, represents “a dramatic departure that demotes constitutional protections to a position inferior to that of fishing regulations.”