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State v. Lelm

Docket No. 20200236
Oral Argument: Thursday, January 21, 2021 2:45 PM

Docket Info

Title
State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Nicholas Dean Lelm, Defendant and Appellee
Case Type
CRIMINAL APPEAL : DRUGS/CONTRABAND
Appeal From
Case No. 2019-CR-00881
South Central Judicial District, Morton County
Pamela Ann Nesvig
Oral Argument 1/21/2021

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    1. Whether the Search Incident to Arrest Exception to the Fourth Amendment Applies.
    2. Whether the Automobile Exception to the Fourth Amendment Applies.
    3. Whether the Inevitable Discovery Exception to the Fourth Amendment Applies.

  • Appellee 1

    I. Whether the District Court Properly Concluded that the Consent Exception to the Warrant Requirement did not Apply as it Relates to the Search of Mr. Lelm’s Backpack.
    II. Whether the District Court Properly Concluded that the Automobile Exception to the Warrant Requirement did not Apply as it Relates to the Search of Mr. Lelm’s Backpack.
    III. Whether the District Court Properly Concluded that the Officer Safety Exception to the Warrant Requirement did not Apply as it Relates to the Search of Mr. Lelm’s Backpack.
    IV. Whether the District Court Properly Concluded that the Inevitable Discovery Doctrine to the Warrant Requirement did not Apply as it Relates to the Search of Mr. Lelm’s Backpack.


Summary

The State appeals after the district court granted Nicholas Lelm’s motion to suppress evidence.

On August 28, 2019, the Mandan police conducted a traffic stop on a car driven by another individual. Lelm was the car’s only passenger. The driver provided his consent to search the vehicle. An officer asked Lelm to exit the vehicle. Lelm indicated a gun was in the vehicle and took his backpack with him when he exited. Once outside the vehicle, Lelm placed the backpack on the ground. Lelm was then detained, pat searched, put in handcuffs, and placed in the back of a patrol vehicle.

Officers had a drug canine sniff around the vehicle, and the canine positively indicated on the front passenger door seam. Officers then searched the vehicle recovering drugs from the center console, a gun on the passenger floorboard, and glass pipes in a grocery bag near the gun. After searching the vehicle, officers searched Lelm’s backpack. The backpack contained additional drug paraphernalia and marijuana. Lelm was then placed under arrest.

On appeal, the State argues the district court erred when it denied the motion to suppress the evidence obtained from the backpack. The State argues the search incident to arrest exception, the automobile exception, and the inevitable discovery doctrine all apply to the search of the backpack.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
11/12/2020 APPELLANT BRIEF View
12/14/2020 APPELLEE BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLANT ASST. STATE'S ATTORNEY Austin Gunderson - 08662
APPELLEE COURT APPOINTED Joshua Lorenzo Weatherspoon - 08641
APPELLEE COURT APPOINTED Aaron Daniel Pulanco - 09032

(Note: Attachments may not be available for recently filed cases and/or confidential documents.)

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 09/03/2020 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 09/03/2020
2 09/03/2020 STATEMENT OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
3 09/03/2020 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
4 09/03/2020 Notice served on Gabrielle J. Goter and Joshua L. Weatherspoon
5 09/29/2020 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED SEPTEMBER 28, 2020 (ENTRY NOS. 1 - 103)
6 10/11/2020 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
7 10/12/2020 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 11/12/2020
8 11/12/2020 APPELLANT BRIEF View
9 11/12/2020 Oral Argument Request by Appellant
10 11/12/2020 APPELLANT APPENDIX
11 11/19/2020 Rec'd non-substantive corrections to ATA
12 11/23/2020 Rec'd 5 copies of ATB and 4 copies of ATA back from CD
13 12/14/2020 APPELLEE BRIEF View
14 12/14/2020 APPELLEE APPENDIX
15 12/17/2020 Rec'd 5 copies of AEB and 4 copies of AEA back from CD
16 12/21/2020 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
17 01/21/2021 APPEARANCES: Austin Gunderson/Aaron D. Pulanco
18 01/21/2021 ARGUED: Austin Gunderson/Aaron D. Pulanco
19 01/21/2021 ORAL ARGUMENT WEBCAST