Becker County District Court File No. K901534
Considered and decided by Anderson, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge,
and Willis, Judge.
The State of Minnesota need not formally retrocede jurisdiction in order to enter cooperative agreements with tribal authorities to provide law-enforcement services on tribal reservations.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: G. Barry Anderson, Judge
Appellant challenges her conviction of fourth-degree assault of a tribal peace officer on White Earth tribal land. She claims that because the officer did not have the authority to effectuate a valid arrest of a tribal member on the White Earth reservation, the evidence was insufficient to sustain her conviction for assaulting an officer. Because we conclude that the tribal officer had the authority to make a lawful arrest, we affirm appellant's conviction.
On April 29, 2001, White Earth Tribal Officer Chris Benson was dispatched to investigate a disturbance outside the residence of Linda Bevins. When he arrived, Benson observed appellant Kristen Rae Manypenny screaming at individuals inside the house. Benson asked appellant to leave the premises, but she refused to do so. Appellant continued to yell at people inside the Bevins residence and Benson warned her that if she refused to leave, she would be arrested for disorderly conduct and trespassing.
Because appellant refused to leave, Benson attempted to place her under arrest. Appellant resisted; she pulled her hands from Benson and tried to move away as he attempted to place handcuffs on her. After Benson successfully placed the handcuffs on appellant, he asked her to get into his squad car; she again refused. As Benson attempted to physically place appellant in the squad car, she kicked Benson in the chest, knocking off his portable radio. She also kicked Benson in the arms and in the mouth, causing Benson to sustain a cut to the inside of his lip. Benson also suffered a cut to his hand as a result of appellant's physical resistance. Once appellant was in the squad car headed to the Becker County jail, she attempted to kick out the car's back window and was verbally abusive to Benson.
Respondent State of Minnesota charged appellant with assault in the fourth degree, Minn. Stat. § 609.2231, subd. 1 (2000); obstructing the legal process, Minn. Stat. §á609.50, subds. 1(2), 2(2) (2000); and disorderly conduct, Minn. Stat. § 609.72, subd. 1(1) (2000). The district court denied appellant's motion to dismiss all charges based on lack of subject-matter jurisdiction.
After the parties agreed to a trial based on stipulated facts pursuant to State v. Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (Minn. 1980), the district court found appellant guilty of all three charged offenses. The district court subsequently sentenced appellant to 180 days in jail, staying all but 30 of those days. This appeal followed. The district court stayed execution of the sentence pending this appeal.
I. Did the White Earth tribal police officer have jurisdictional authority to effect a lawful arrest ...