North Dakota v. BeeAnnotate this Case
Dakota Bee appealed a criminal judgment entered on a conditional plea of guilty, reserving the right to appeal a district court order denying her motion to suppress evidence. Burleigh County Social Services (BCSS) contacted the Bismarck Police Department requesting assistance in removing a child from Bee’s care. Officers accompanied BCSS social workers to Bee’s residence and informed her that they were there to remove her child. Bee refused, backing up into the home, picking up the child, and then running towards the rear of the home. Officers pursued Bee through the home and out the back door. Fleeing out the back, Bee fell while holding the child, and officers separated her from the child. After Bee had been detained outside the residence, a social worker entered the residence to obtain personal belongings for the child, and an officer followed. Once the officer was inside, the social worker pointed out a glass smoking pipe. Bee was subsequently charged with Child Neglect; Possession of Methamphetamine; Possession of Drug Paraphernalia; and Refusal to Halt. The district court found that the officers entered “the residence with BCSS to retrieve personal belongings for the child” after Bee had been detained and the child was in BCSS’s custody. The court further found that the officers observed the glass smoking device on a shelf in plain view. The court concluded the officers’ actions did not violate Bee’s Fourth Amendment rights. On appeal, Bee argued the court erred in concluding that her Fourth Amendment rights were not violated when the officers entered her home. The North Dakota Supreme Court found that during the first entry to the residence, the officers observed nothing that Bee sought to suppress. The second entry of the residence was justified only by a need to collect clothing and other personal items needed by the child. Because the search was concededly warrantless and no exception applies, the Court concluded Bee was entitled to claim the protection of the exclusionary rule. The district court erred by denying Bee’s motion to suppress the results of the warrantless search. Judgment was reversed and the matter remanded to allow Bee to withdraw her guilty plea.