from the District Court of Ward County, North Central
Judicial District, the Honorable Douglas L. Mattson, Judge.
Caitlyn A. Pierson, Assistant State's Attorney, Minot,
ND, for plaintiff and appellee.
R. Kremer, self-represented, Jamestown, ND, defendant and
appellant; on brief.
VandeWalle, Chief Justice.
1] James Kremer appealed from an order for forfeiture and
destruction of items of property involved in his criminal
convictions for possessing images of sexual conduct by
minors. We conclude the district court did not err in
ordering forfeiture and destruction of Kremer's laptop
and portable hard drive, but erred in ordering forfeiture and
destruction of Kremer's X-Box and PlayStation. We affirm
in part and reverse in part.
2] In 2016 Kremer pled guilty to three class C felony counts
of possessing prohibited materials under N.D.C.C. §
12.1-27.2-04.1 involving images of sexual conduct by minors.
Kremer was sentenced to serve ten years in prison followed by
three years of supervised probation. During the first year
after his release from incarceration, Kremer is prohibited
from possessing "any equipment which allows you to
access the internet." During the final two years of his
probation, Kremer is allowed "to access the internet as
per your probation officer."
3] In December 2016, the State moved for forfeiture and
destruction of six pieces of "property used or intended
to be used in the commission of the crime(s) charged"
under N.D.C.C. §§ 29-31.1-01(1) and 29-31.1-03:
the ASUS laptop (model no. G745, serial no. G74ST-BBK7), the
Western Digital portable hard drive (serial no.
WX11A82T5914), the HP laptop (model no. 2000, serial no.
5CG25000HG), Sony PlayStation 3 with controller, Sony
PlayStation 2 with 8GB memory card (serial no. FU4929723),
and Microsoft X-Box with controller (serial no.
filed a self-represented response:
The State requests that the six (6) items articulated above
be forfeited and destroyed because the State alleges the
items had been used or intended to be used to facilitate the
commission of a criminal offense and because the items are
now illegal for Defendant to possess based upon
Defendant's sentence in this matter.
Defendant would argue that he does not want to possess the
items, but all tax information, personal documents, personal
photos, business documents, school e-books and documents, and
account information contained on the items need to be saved,
and that after saving such information Defendant's family
would then be able to sell such items, and such would not be
"illegal" based upon Defendant's sentence in
also informed the district court judge through correspondence
that, "[a]s a computer technician, I know there is a way
to only remove the offending data, so it cannot be
recoverable, while keeping the integrity of the rest of the
data on the laptop. The laptop and external hard drive can
then be returned without the offending information on
4] At the hearing on the motion, Kremer, self-represented,
appeared by interactive video network. The only person who
testified at the hearing was Kremer's former roommate,
who claimed ownership of the HP laptop and Sony PlayStation
3. The district court ordered those two items be returned to
the roommate. The State indicated it had a witness present