State v. Woods, No. 14546

CourtSupreme Court of South Dakota
Writing for the CourtFOSHEIM; WUEST
Citation361 N.W.2d 620
PartiesSTATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee, v. Dan WOODS, a/k/a Danny Carl Woods, Defendant and Appellant. . Considered on Briefs
Decision Date30 November 1984
Docket NumberNo. 14546

Page 620

361 N.W.2d 620
STATE of South Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellee,
v.
Dan WOODS, a/k/a Danny Carl Woods, Defendant and Appellant.
No. 14546.
Supreme Court of South Dakota.
Considered on Briefs Nov. 30, 1984.
Decided Jan. 23, 1985.

Mark Smith, Asst. Atty. Gen., Pierre, for plaintiff and appellee; Mark V. Meierhenry, Atty. Gen., Pierre, on brief.

John E. Harmelink, Yankton, for defendant and appellant.

FOSHEIM, Chief Justice.

Dan Woods (Woods) appeals his jury conviction for Distribution of Marijuana with Consideration in violation of SDCL 22-42-7. He was also convicted on two counts of

Page 621

Possession of Property with Altered Serial Number. His claimed errors on appeal relate only to the distribution conviction.

In late 1982, Yankton County law enforcement officials began investigating illegal drug traffic in that area. Sheriff Hunhoff arranged for Michael Sanders to act as a paid undercover agent. After several unproductive meetings, Sanders purchased marijuana from Woods. The transaction was simultaneously monitored by Sheriff Hunhoff and tape recorded through a device worn by Mr. Sanders. The recording and the sheriff's testimony as to what he heard were admitted into evidence.

Woods contests the trial court's ruling admitting the recording into evidence. There are two rationales for admitting this evidence. We will address both.

First, Woods claims the recording was inadmissible because only one party to the conversation consented and there was no court order authorizing the recording. He argues that his conversation with Sanders is an "oral communication" which was illegally "intercepted," as those terms are defined by SDCL 23A-35A-1(2) and (3). 1 SDCL 23A-35A-2 allows a court to grant an order permitting electronic interceptions of oral communications to provide evidence of unauthorized distribution of marijuana offenses. Woods then contends that since no prior court order was granted, the recording was inadmissible.

We disagree. To qualify as an SDCL 23A-35A-1(2) "oral communication," an individual must have a justified expectation that his oral communication with another will not be subject to interception. Law enforcement agencies may utilize police informants to obtain incriminating evidence from a defendant. See, Lewis v. United States, 385 U.S. 206, 87 S.Ct. 424, 17 L.Ed.2d 312 (1966) reh den., 386 U.S. 939, 87 S.Ct. 951, 17 L.Ed.2d 811 (1967). Agents may simultaneously record or transmit direct conversations with defendants and later testify to those conversations. See, Lopez v. United States, 373 U.S. 427, 83 S.Ct. 1381, 10 L.Ed.2d 462 (1963). There is an established difference between an expectation that some unknown, uninvited third person will eavesdrop and the risk that even a trusted friend will repeat or allow others to hear what you have said. See, Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966) reh den., 386 U.S. 940, 87 S.Ct. 970, 17 L.Ed.2d 880 (1967). In the latter situation, a defendant assumes the risk of disclosure, as there exists no justified expectation of privacy. Id. Justice Harlan, writing for the majority in Lopez, stated:

Stripped to its essentials, petitioner's argument amounts to saying that he has a constitutional right to rely on possible flaws in the agent's memory, or to challenge the agent's credibility without being beset by corroborating evidence that is not susceptible of impeachment. For no other argument can justify excluding an accurate version of a conversation that the agent could testify to from...

To continue reading

Request your trial
9 practice notes
  • St. Cloud v. Leapley, No. 18332
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 31, 1994
    ...Co., 83 S.D. 207, 211, 157 N.W.2d 19, 21 (1968); Brasel v. Myers, 89 S.D. 114, 116, 229 N.W.2d 569, 570 (1975)). See also State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 622 (S.D.1985); National Sur. Corp. v. Shoemaker, 86 S.D. 302, 310, 195 N.W.2d 134, 139 Thus, in light of the determination made by the f......
  • Rushmore State Bank v. Kurylas, Inc., No. 15764
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • May 11, 1988
    ...and the UCC. Statutes are to be construed to give effect to each statute and so as to have them exist in harmony. State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 622 (S.D.1985); Matter of Exploration Permit Renewal, 323 N.W.2d 858, 860 (S.D.1982). It is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the......
  • State v. Owens, No. 21583.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • April 10, 2002
    ...of privacy. Furthermore, any such expectation must have been justified. State v. Iverson, 364 N.W.2d 518, 525 (S.D.1985); State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 621 (S.D. [¶ 69.] If this were a constitutional inquiry, Owens would bear the burden of establishing that he manifested a subjective expe......
  • State v. Hoadley, No. 22000.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 21, 2002
    ...person will eavesdrop and the risk that even a trusted friend will repeat or allow others to hear what you have said." State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 621 (S.D.1985). See also Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966) (holding that there is no justified expec......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
9 cases
  • St. Cloud v. Leapley, No. 18332
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 31, 1994
    ...Co., 83 S.D. 207, 211, 157 N.W.2d 19, 21 (1968); Brasel v. Myers, 89 S.D. 114, 116, 229 N.W.2d 569, 570 (1975)). See also State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 622 (S.D.1985); National Sur. Corp. v. Shoemaker, 86 S.D. 302, 310, 195 N.W.2d 134, 139 Thus, in light of the determination made by the f......
  • Rushmore State Bank v. Kurylas, Inc., No. 15764
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • May 11, 1988
    ...and the UCC. Statutes are to be construed to give effect to each statute and so as to have them exist in harmony. State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 622 (S.D.1985); Matter of Exploration Permit Renewal, 323 N.W.2d 858, 860 (S.D.1982). It is a fundamental rule of statutory construction that the......
  • State v. Owens, No. 21583.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • April 10, 2002
    ...of privacy. Furthermore, any such expectation must have been justified. State v. Iverson, 364 N.W.2d 518, 525 (S.D.1985); State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 621 (S.D. [¶ 69.] If this were a constitutional inquiry, Owens would bear the burden of establishing that he manifested a subjective expe......
  • State v. Hoadley, No. 22000.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of South Dakota
    • August 21, 2002
    ...person will eavesdrop and the risk that even a trusted friend will repeat or allow others to hear what you have said." State v. Woods, 361 N.W.2d 620, 621 (S.D.1985). See also Hoffa v. United States, 385 U.S. 293, 87 S.Ct. 408, 17 L.Ed.2d 374 (1966) (holding that there is no justified expec......
  • 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