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Court Bans NC Man from Hunting Anywhere in the World

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on September 21, 2011 6:43 AM

A federal judge in Kentucky is no fan of law-breaking hunters. The tough jurist sentenced North Carolina resident Rodney Poteat to a two-year, worldwide hunting ban earlier this month.

Convicted on charges of illegal hunting and removing wildlife, Poteat will serve out the ban as part of court-ordered probation.

He will also pay the state $5,300--the cost of licensing fees he failed to pay between 2002 and 2011.

Poteat's worldwide hunting ban is receiving a significant amount of attention due in part to its unusually wide scope.

Many are wondering whether American courts even have the power to limit a person's behavior while abroad.

Though courts can bar activity nationwide, their ability to exercise such jurisdiction abroad is questionable. However, there are some instances where citizens have been prosecuted in American courts for overseas conduct.

A slightly different situation, the worldwide hunting ban may still be subject to the court's power.

Terms of probation are generally afforded more leeway, with courts having significantly more punishment and enforcement discretion. Arguably, a judge can limit a probationer's activity at home and abroad.

Having pled guilty, there is also some indication that Rodney Poteat consented to the punishment. Consent would override any concerns about the court's exercise of jurisdiction.

In addition to this tough legal question, it's interesting to note that the worldwide hunting ban is not the first of its kind.

Prior to sentencing Rodney Poteat, U.S. Magistrate Judge E. Robert Goebel imposed the same punishment on two men who were convicted of illegally hunting migratory birds.

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