Appeal from the District Court of Ward County, Northwest Judicial District, the Honorable William W. McLees, Judge.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Maring, Justice.
N.D. Supreme Court State v. Peterson,
This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing. [Go to Documents]
[Download as WordPerfect] Dissent filed.
Opinion of the Court by Maring, Justice.
State v. Peterson No. 20100358
[¶1] The State appeals from the trial court's order granting Karleen Peterson's motion to suppress. We dismiss the appeal because the prosecuting attorney's statement did not satisfy the requirements of N.D.C.C. § 29-28-07(5).
[¶2] On April 7, 2010, officers entered Tucker Payne's residence under the authority of Payne's probationary conditions, which provided that Payne must submit his "person, place of residence or vehicle, or any other property to which [he] has access, to search and seizure, at any time of the day or night, with or without a search warrant." The officers limited their search to the living room area and to Payne's bedroom, which he shared with his girlfriend, Karleen Peterson. In the bedroom, the officers found a metal cleaning rod on a bed side table with burned marijuana residue on it and a purse on the bedroom floor. A search of the purse revealed the following items: a metal smoking device with burned marijuana residue, a metal mushroom with marijuana residue, and a piece of notebook paper with a lump of marijuana resin. Peterson told the officers all drugs and drug paraphernalia found in the bedroom belonged to her.
[¶3] The State charged Peterson with one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, in violation of N.D.C.C. § 19-03.1-23, and one count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, in violation of N.D.C.C. § 19-03.4-03. Peterson moved to suppress the evidence seized from her purse, arguing the warrantless search of the purse violated her Fourth Amendment rights. The State waived a hearing and the matter was submitted to the trial court on the briefs only.
[¶4] The trial court issued its opinion on October 1, 2010. The trial court found that by choosing to reside with a probationer, Peterson had a diminished expectation of privacy in the areas of the residence that she shared with the probationer. The trial court concluded, however, Peterson's purse was not "an area in which she could expect to enjoy a diminished expectation of privacy." The court explained that Peterson's decision to live with a probationer cannot "translate into consent for a warrantless search of her purse." Moreover, nothing in the record indicated Peterson and Payne had mutual use of, joint access to, or control over Peterson's purse. ...