PUBLISHED: 11:08 AM on Wednesday, February 2, 2005
Ramras wants recourse for hindered hunters
Representative Jay Ramras (R-Fairbanks) introduced legislation aimed at assisting hunters, fishers, trappers and wildlife viewers from unlawful obstruction or hindrance. While current law already makes it a crime to hinder or obstruct a person from these activities, taking the person to court does not cover all of the costs and attorney fees.

Presently, if a person is convicted of preventing a hunter, fisher, or wildlife viewer from their activity, the individual can recover costs associated with the infraction, including license fees or permits, travel costs, guide or outfitting fees and costs associated with special equipment supplies and other related expenses. However, they are only allowed to collect a portion of their attorney fees and costs for litigation based on current Court Rules.

Under House Bill 107 full attorney fees and costs will be included in the damage recovery. Representative Ramras said, "It makes no sense that a person can do something that is unlawful, but to seek restitution the aggrieved person has to pay an attorney out of pocket when they win in court. Attorney fees are part of the costs created by the original offense, and are currently keeping law abiding Alaskans and visitors from enjoying this great state. "

House Bill 107 will first go to the House Resources Committee and then to the House Judiciary Committee.