State v. Knox, No. 20150125.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
Writing for the CourtCROTHERS, Justice.
Citation873 N.W.2d 664
Decision Date14 January 2016
Docket NumberNo. 20150125.
Parties STATE of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee v. Dustin Hayes KNOX, Defendant and Appellant.

873 N.W.2d 664

STATE of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee
v.
Dustin Hayes KNOX, Defendant and Appellant.

No. 20150125.

Supreme Court of North Dakota.

Jan. 14, 2016.


873 N.W.2d 665

Charles B. Neff, Assistant State's Attorney, Watford City, N.D., for plaintiff and appellee.

Samuel A. Gereszek, East Grand Forks, MN, for defendant and appellant.

CROTHERS, Justice.

¶ 1] Dustin Knox appeals from a judgment entered after he conditionally pled guilty to drug charges, reserving his right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. Knox argues the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress because the police officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop his vehicle. We reverse and remand to the district court for findings explaining the basis for denying Knox's motion to suppress.

I

[¶ 2] Knox was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while his license was suspended.

[¶ 3] A preliminary hearing was held and McKenzie County Sheriff's Deputy Per Perez testified he was dispatched to Zoe Road for reported drug activity at the M & M Trailer Park. Perez testified he received information from State Radio that the reporting party stated a blue Toyota pickup truck and a gray Jeep Cherokee were driving around the trailer park selling drugs. The reporting party stated the vehicle's occupants attempted to sell him drugs. Perez testified he arrived in the area of the trailer park about four or five minutes after being dispatched, observed a gray Jeep Cherokee on Zoe Road and stopped the vehicle which Knox was driving. Perez arrested Knox after determining his driving privileges were suspended. Perez searched the vehicle and found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The district court found there was probable cause to believe Knox committed an offense.

[¶ 4] Knox moved to suppress evidence, arguing the stop of his vehicle was illegal because the officer did not have reasonable suspicion, the stop was based on an anonymous tip and the tip was neither corroborated nor reliable. The district court denied his motion. Knox conditionally pled guilty to possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, reserving the right to appeal the denial of his motion to suppress. The charge of driving under suspension was dismissed.

II

[¶ 5] Knox argues the district court erred in denying his motion to suppress.

[873 N.W.2d 666

He contends the stop of his vehicle was illegal, the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to justify the stop, the officer was acting on information from an anonymous informant, the information was a bare assertion that the occupants of a gray Jeep and a blue Toyota were selling drugs, and the officer did not corroborate the tip.

[¶ 6] Our standard of review of a district court's decision denying a motion to suppress is well established:

"[T]his Court defers to the district court's findings of fact and resolves conflicts in testimony in favor of affirmance. This Court will affirm a district court decision regarding a motion to suppress if there is sufficient competent evidence fairly capable of supporting the district court's findings, and the decision is not contrary to the manifest weight of the evidence. Questions of law are fully reviewable on appeal, and whether a finding of fact meets a legal standard is a question of law."

State v. Bauer, 2015 ND 132, ¶ 4, 863 N.W.2d 534 (quoting State v. Morin, 2012 ND 75, ¶ 5, 815 N.W.2d 229 ).

[¶ 7] An officer conducting an investigatory traffic stop must have a reasonable and articulable suspicion the motorist has violated or is violating the law. State v. Rahier, 2014 ND 153, ¶ 12, 849 N.W.2d 212. An officer has reasonable...

To continue reading

Request your trial
13 practice notes
  • State v. Hall, No. 20160240
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • May 16, 2017
    ...on appeal, and whether a finding of fact [894 N.W.2d 845meets a legal standard is a question of law.State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 6, 873 N.W.2d 664 (citations omitted).A [¶ 17] Hall first argues the initial contact with law enforcement was an unconstitutional seizure. "[A] police officer's ......
  • State v. Friesz, No. 20160147
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 12, 2017
    ...on appeal, and whether a finding of fact meets a legal standard is a question of law.[898 N.W.2d 693 State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 6, 873 N.W.2d 664 (quotation marks omitted). [¶ 15] Under our federal and state constitutions, individuals are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures......
  • State v. Hendrickson, No. 20190075
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 11, 2019
    ...suspicion to justify an investigative stop is a question of law, which is fully reviewable on appeal. State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 7, 873 N.W.2d 664. [¶7] The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, section 8, of the North Dakota Constitution, protect individuals ......
  • Facio v. N.D. Dep't of Transp., No. 20180405
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 30, 2019
    ...stop must have a reasonable and articulable suspicion the motorist has violated or is violating the law." State v. Knox, 2016 ND 15, ¶ 7, 873 N.W.2d 664. "An officer has reasonable suspicion if, under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in the officer's position would be ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
13 cases
  • State v. Hall, No. 20160240
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • May 16, 2017
    ...on appeal, and whether a finding of fact [894 N.W.2d 845meets a legal standard is a question of law.State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 6, 873 N.W.2d 664 (citations omitted).A [¶ 17] Hall first argues the initial contact with law enforcement was an unconstitutional seizure. "[A] police officer's ......
  • State v. Friesz, No. 20160147
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 12, 2017
    ...on appeal, and whether a finding of fact meets a legal standard is a question of law.[898 N.W.2d 693 State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 6, 873 N.W.2d 664 (quotation marks omitted). [¶ 15] Under our federal and state constitutions, individuals are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures......
  • State v. Hendrickson, No. 20190075
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 11, 2019
    ...suspicion to justify an investigative stop is a question of law, which is fully reviewable on appeal. State v. Knox , 2016 ND 15, ¶ 7, 873 N.W.2d 664. [¶7] The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article I, section 8, of the North Dakota Constitution, protect individuals ......
  • Facio v. N.D. Dep't of Transp., No. 20180405
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of North Dakota
    • July 30, 2019
    ...stop must have a reasonable and articulable suspicion the motorist has violated or is violating the law." State v. Knox, 2016 ND 15, ¶ 7, 873 N.W.2d 664. "An officer has reasonable suspicion if, under the totality of the circumstances, a reasonable person in the officer's position would be ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT