from the District Court of McKenzie County, Northwest
Judicial District, the Honorable Robin A. Schmidt, Judge.
Stephenie L. Davis, Assistant State's Attorney, Watford
City, ND, for plaintiff and appellant.
W. Gietzen, Dickinson, ND, for defendant and appellee.
The State appeals from a district court order granting
Shannon Stenhoff's motion to suppress evidence. We
reverse and remand for further proceedings.
In November 2017, Shannon Stenhoff was sentenced to two years
of supervised probation, the terms of which included a search
clause. The search clause provided:
You shall submit your person, place of residence and vehicle,
or any other property to which you may have access, to search
and seizure at any time of day or night by a parole/probation
officer, with or without a search warrant.
allegedly violating the conditions of his probation, a
petition to revoke Stenhoff's probation was filed on
January 30, 2018 and an order to apprehend was issued.
On February 5, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a
"fugitive apprehension search warrant" for Stenhoff
at the location they believed Stenhoff was living and
arrested him sometime between 9:20 p.m. and 1:12 a.m.,
February 6, 2018. According to Stenhoff's probation
officer, it was believed to be Stenhoff's residence
because it was Stenhoff's last reported address. While at
that location, a cursory officer safety search of the
residence was conducted. According to testimony of a deputy,
while the officers were in the residence, a child residing
there questioned if the officers were there for "the
drugs and [alluded] to the presence of the illegal narcotics
in the residence." A deputy who conducted the search
testified the child's statement caused him to attempt to
contact Stenhoff's probation officer to notify him of the
search for Stenhoff, but the probation officer did not answer
the call. The deputy testified there were no narcotics in
Later on February 6, 2018, Stenhoff's probation officer
was notified. Approximately 14 hours after Stenhoff's
arrest, law enforcement officers and Stenhoff's probation
officer visited the residence where Stenhoff was apprehended
to conduct a probationary search. During the course of that
search, several items of drug paraphernalia, drugs, and a
rifle were found.
Based on the evidence seized during the probationary search,
the State filed charges in February 2018. In May 2018,
Stenhoff moved to suppress the evidence against him, claiming
the warrantless probationary search violated his Fourth
Amendment rights. The State opposed the motion. Following a
suppression hearing, where testimony from various law
enforcement officers and a probation officer was heard, the
district court granted Stenhoff's motion to suppress,
concluding the search was unreasonable and violated the
Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable
searches, because law enforcement should have sought a
warrant to search the residence.
On appeal, the State argues the search at the residence where
Stenhoff was arrested was reasonable because probationers
have a lesser expectation of privacy under the Fourth
Amendment, and the statements made to law enforcement by the
child living at the residence ...