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State v. Cochran

Docket No. 20200355
Oral Argument: Waived

Docket Info

Title
State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Elizabeth Cochran, Defendant and Appellee
Case Type
CRIMINAL APPEAL : DRUGS/CONTRABAND
Appeal From
Case No. 2020-CR-00098
South Central Judicial District, Mercer County
Cynthia Feland

Parties' Statement of Issues

  • Appellant

    [1] The district court erred in shifting the burden of persuasion from Defendant to the State without first requiring Defendant to establish a prima facie case to contest the search of the residence.
    [2] The district court erred in finding Defendant did not lose her opportunity to contest the search when she failed to object to the search of the residence generally and of her bedroom specifically.
    [3] The district court erred in finding Defendant’s bedroom was not a common area subject to search by law enforcement during a probation search.

  • Appellee 1

    [¶1] Whether the District Court was correct in finding that the search of Ms. Cochran’s room was a Fourth Amendment search requiring either a warrant or a valid exception to the warrant requirement.
    [¶2] Whether the District Court was correct in finding that the search of Ms. Cochran’s room was unreasonable.
    [¶3] Whether District Court was correct in finding that Ms. Cochran did not consent to the search of room and did not forfeit the ability to object to the search of the room.


Summary

The State appeals from a district court order granting Elizabeth Cochran’s motion to suppress evidence.

On May 7, 2020 law enforcement officers conducted a probationary search on a residence belonging to an individual on supervised probation. At the time of the search, Cochran resided with the individual and was present during the search. Various controlled substances and drug paraphernalia were found inside a room later determined to be Cochran’s bedroom. Cochran was subsequently charged with (1) possession with intent to manufacture or delivery methamphetamine, a class B felony; (2) unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia other than marijuana, a class A misdemeanor; (3) unlawful possession of cocaine, a class A misdemeanor; (4) unlawful possession of marijuana, an infraction; and (5) unlawful possession of marijuana, an infraction. Cochran moved to suppress the evidence arguing the search of her bedroom was unconstitutional. After a hearing, the district court granted the motion to suppress.

On appeal, the State argues Cochran’s bedroom was a common area that was subject to a probationary search; Cochran forfeited the opportunity to seek suppression of evidence obtained from her bedroom by failing to object to the search; and the district court erroneously shifted the burden of persuasion to the State.


Briefs

Filing Date Description
04/01/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
05/15/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View

Counsel

Party Type Name
APPELLANT STATE'S ATTORNEY Jessica Jo Binder - 06122
APPELLEE COURT APPOINTED Justin M. Balzer - 06687

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

Seq. # Filing Date Description Attachment
1 12/23/2020 NOTICE OF APPEAL : 12/23/2020
2 12/23/2020 ORDER FOR TRANSCRIPT : 12/29/2020
3 12/23/2020 STATEMENT OF PROSECUTING ATTORNEY
4 12/23/2020 NOT. OF FILING NOT. OF APPEAL AND PROOF OF SERV.
5 12/23/2020 Notice served on Jessica J. Binder & Justin M. Balzer
6 01/25/2021 ELEC. RECORD ON APPEAL DATED JANUARY 22, 2021 (ENTRY NOS. 1-57)
7 02/05/2021 ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT DATED NOVEMBER 16, 2020
8 02/05/2021 TRANSCRIPT C.O.S.
9 03/15/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLANT BRIEF
10 03/15/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 04/16/2021
11 04/01/2021 APPELLANT BRIEF View
12 04/01/2021 APPELLANT APPENDIX
13 04/07/2021 Rec'd 5 copies of ATB & 4 copies of ATA from CSD
14 04/26/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLEE BRIEF
15 04/26/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 05/14/2021
16 05/15/2021 APPELLEE BRIEF View
17 05/17/2021 MOT. EXT/TIME APPELLEE BRIEF
18 05/17/2021 ACTION BY CLERK - Granted : 05/15/2021
19 05/18/2021 ORAL ARGUMENT WAIVED - NO REQUESTS FOR ORAL ARGUMENTS.CT. DETERMINED ORAL ARGUMENT NOT NECESSARY
20 05/18/2021 NOTICE OF ORAL ARGUMENT SENT
21 05/20/2021 Rec'd non-substantive corrections to AEB (pg numbering, cert of compliance)
22 05/24/2021 Rec'd 4 copies of AEB from CSD
23 06/10/2021 APPEARANCES: Waived under N.D.R.App.P. 34(a)(1)(c)
24 06/10/2021 ARGUED: Waived under N.D.R.App.P. 34(a)(1)(c)