Tag Archives: 4th amendment

When Cops Break the Law Criminals Go Free and Innocent People Are Hurt

When Cops Break the Law Criminals Go Free and Innocent People Are Hurt

MINOT, N.D. — Back in November, I mentioned in a column the frequency with which drug cases, originating from traffic stops made by North Dakota cops, were being tossed because of evidence suppressed by judges. Suppressed because North Dakota cops need a refresher course on the Fourth Amendment. Continue reading…

Print Column: How Many Times Did North Dakota Cops Violate the Fourth Amendment?

MINOT, N.D. — By all appearances, cops in North Dakota are routinely violating the Fourth Amendment and its protections against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Let me give you some examples. Last year, in a case originating in Stutsman County, North Dakota District Court Judge Jay Schmitz suppressed, as evidence supporting criminal charges, some 500 pounds

With the Courts Making Parking Enforcement More Complicated North Dakota Needs to Legalize Meters

A Michigan woman by the name of Alison Taylor, fed up with getting parking tickets, decided to make a federal case out of it. Literally. She objected to the chalking of her tires by law enforcement. This is a common practice for parking law enforcers. They put a chalk mark on your tire in order to

Shouldn’t the Cops Need a Warrant, or at Least Probable Cause, to Come on Your Land?

As it was originally written, HB1290 introduced by Rep. Luke Simons (R-Dickinson) would have prohibited law enforcement from entering any person’s private land without permission unless they have a warrant, probable cause, or if the entry is justified by an emergent situation. Here’s the language it would have added to the North Dakota Century Code:

Cop Stopped and Searched Motorists Because They Were Suspiciously Obeying the Law

Last month a North Dakota Judge ruled that nearly 500 lbs of marijuana seized during a traffic stop could not be admitted as evidence for criminal charges against the driver and his passenger because the traffic stop itself was unconstitutional. The story made headlines because, let’s face it, that’s a lot of marijuana and losing

Audio: Fargo Attorney Says Cops Access Our Cell Phone Data “Far More Frequently Than Any of Us Know”

A case currently before the United States Supreme Court questions whether law enforcement officials can access data collected from your cell phone usage without a warrant. Here in North Dakota, a Fargo-based defense attorney says state lawmakers need to pass a law requiring such a warrant. The case is Carpenter vs. USA and deals with a

North Dakota Supreme Court: It’s Ok if Cops Make Errors About Facts and Law as Long as They’re “Reasonable”

Yesterday the North Dakota Supreme Court handed down decisions in two cases – State v. Phelps and State v. Hirschkorn – involving crimes based on evidenced obtained by police officers during improper traffic stops. At issue is an oddity in North Dakota law, which is that blinkers don’t have to be used when making a turn

North Dakotans Should Beware the Rise of Insta-Warrants

Earlier this week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an odious DUI law passed by lawmakers in 2013 which criminalized the refusal of a warrantless blood test (warrantless breath tests were allowed to stand, despite a dissent from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but that’s a subject for another post). It’s a good thing to require the

drunk driving

U.S. Supreme Court To Take Up Challenge To North Dakota Drunk Driving Law

Back in January I wrote about an opinion from the North Dakota Supreme Court which, frankly, made it illegal for citizens to exercise their 4th amendment rights when facing a drunk driving investigation. During the 2013 legislative session lawmakers passed a number of laws to address a supposed drunk driving epidemic. Among the changes was

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