Jeremy Bennett built his taxidermy and deer processing business from the ground up. After teaching himself the craft in high school, he slowly grew his business from a part-time gig into a flourishing business through hard work and quality workmanship. He even designed and built, by hand, the two-story shop that houses his taxidermy and deer processing businesses.
Jeremy’s shop is a private space. It sits on his property just a few dozen feet from his home, where he and his wife home-school their five young children. His wife helps with the books and his children are frequent visitors during the day. Customers visit the shop by appointment only and, even then, there are private areas in the shop where customers are not allowed.
But Jeremy’s desire for privacy doesn’t matter to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). Although Ohio does not regulate the work of taxidermists and deer processors, it does require them to maintain records of the animals they work on. And to enforce that recordkeeping requirement, ODNR grants its wildlife officers free rein to inspect taxidermy and deer processing shops without warrants.
Now Jeremy, represented by the Institute for Justice, is fighting back to protect his constitutional rights. Jeremy has filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to hold that ODNR’s warrantless inspections violate the Fourth Amendment, because a simple recordkeeping requirement does not make it open season for government officials to barge into your place of business whenever they want.