Brickbat: For the Birds
A judge has ordered the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to return 13 birds it seized from falconer Holly Lamar. The agency seized the birds and confiscated some of her equipment, days after she filed a complaint against one of its agents for failing to respond to her requests for information for months and giving her conflicting information when the agent did respond. Three months later the agency charged her with 30 misdemeanors, mostly for failing to report the purchase or sale of a bird or to report the purchase or sale in a timely manner. "I feel that the defendant's Constitutional rights have been violated in (an) egregious manner,"the judge said. "For the state to come in…after a complaint has been rendered about an employee and ask for a search warrant is an overreach of the government. Going in and taking someone's property that's not justified and then holding it for two months and bringing criminal charges later is an abuse of the law. The state is further concerned about potential for malicious prosecution." After the judge's ruling, the district attorney dropped all charges against Lamar.