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New opinions: May 20 Thursday, May 20, 2021

The Supreme Court has issued eight new opinions. 

The summaries are below.

To see an opinion, click on the "View Opinion" button. Opinions display in a printable format. Hyperlinks to all North Dakota opinions and rules cited in an opinion are included in the text: hover over the citation and click to follow the hyperlink.

See other Supreme Court opinions at:

Froistad v. State 2021 ND 92
Docket No.: 20200274
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: When a motion following conviction is denominated as a motion under the North Dakota Rules of Criminal Procedure, the provisions of the Uniform Postconviction Procedure Act, N.D.C.C. ch. 29-32.1, are applicable.

Under N.D.C.C. § 29-32.1-12, an application for postconviction relief may be denied on the ground that the same claim or claims were fully and finally determined in a previous proceeding, or when the applicant presents a claim for relief which the applicant inexcusably failed to raise either in a proceeding leading to judgment of conviction and sentence or in a previous postconviction proceeding.

Lyons v. State 2021 ND 91
Docket No.: 20200333
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Per Curiam

Highlight: A district court order denying an application for post-conviction relief is summarily affirmed under N.D.R.App.P. 35.1(a)(2) and (7).

Interest of J.B. 2021 ND 90
Docket No.: 20200238
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: The condition that the court may order community placement only when the executive director files a petition requesting it satisfies procedural due process and does not violate the separation of powers doctrine.

State v. Louser, et al. 2021 ND 89
Docket No.: 20200322
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: VandeWalle, Gerald W.

Highlight: A district court’s role to approve or reject amendments to criminal charges does not violate the separation of powers doctrine.

A district court did not abuse its discretion when it denied a motion to amend a criminal charge and rejected a plea agreement. The court followed the legislative directive, explained why the State negotiated the agreement, and explained the court’s reasons for rejecting it.

Kruger, et al. v. Goossen 2021 ND 88
Docket No.: 20200287
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Case Type: OTHER (Civil)
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: A district court’s findings of fact after a bench trial are presumptively correct and will not be reversed on appeal unless they are clearly erroneous.

State v. Riggin 2021 ND 87
Docket No.: 20200293
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: Upon the declaration of a state of emergency, the North Dakota Disaster Act of 1985 vests with the governor emergency management powers.

The Legislature may delegate powers which are not exclusively legislative and which the Legislature cannot conveniently do because of the detailed nature.

Where a party fails to provide supporting argument for an issue listed in the appellate brief, the party is deemed to have waived that issue.

Blasi, et al. v. Bruin E&P Partners, et al. 2021 ND 86
Docket No.: 20200327
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Jensen, Jon J.

Highlight: The following royalty provision in an oil and gas lease unambiguously establishes a royalty valuation point at the well:

Lessee covenants and agrees:

To deliver to the credit of the lessor, free of cost, in the pipeline to which lessee may connect wells on said land, the equal [fractional] part of all oil produced and saved from the leased premises.

Pemberton v. State 2021 ND 85
Docket No.: 20200181
Filing Date: 5/20/2021
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: To be convicted of attempted murder, the accused must have an intent to kill. Attempted “knowing” murder under N.D.C.C. §§ 12.1-06-01 and 12.1-16-01(1)(a) is a non-cognizable offense.

A federal constitutional error is harmless if we are convinced the error did not contribute to the verdict.

Our determination of whether an error is harmless looks at the effect of the error on this jury, rather than speculating whether a hypothetical jury would convict the defendant absent the error. An erroneous jury instruction informing the jury that it could convict a defendant of a non-cognizable offense would not be cured by an appellate court’s determination that the record evidence unmistakably established guilt of a cognizable offense.