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State v. Gabbert

March 22, 2005

STATE OF MINNESOTA, APPELLANT,
v.
JASON LONNIE GABBERT, RESPONDENT.



Ramsey County District Court File No. T5-03-619305.

Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge; Shumaker, Judge; and Dietzen, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. Minn. Stat. § 609.805, subd. 2(2) (2002), the ticket-scalping statute, does not prohibit selling tickets to an event at a price less than other tickets issued on the same date of the event.

2. When language printed on a ticket restricts its transfer and defendant allegedly sold the ticket in violation of the restriction, as a matter of law defendant may be guilty of violating Minn. Stat. § 609.805, subd. 2(4), the ticket-scalping statute.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dietzen, Judge

Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded

OPINION

Respondent was charged with scalping advance-sale Minnesota State Fair tickets. The district court dismissed the complaint, holding that as a matter of law respondent did not violate the state's ticket-scalping statute. We affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.

FACTS

On August 28, 2003, respondent Jason Lonnie Gabbert was arrested outside the Minnesota State Fair for ticket scalping. State Fair police officers observed Gabbert selling advance-sale State Fair tickets--available for $6 per ticket before August 20, 2003--for $7 per ticket. The ticket stated on its face that it cost $6 and that it was "not for sale after August 20, 2003." The arresting officer testified that Gabbert admitted selling over 2,000 advance-sale tickets, some for face value and some for greater than face value, and additional tickets were found in the trunk of Gabbert's vehicle.

In a pretrial hearing, the district court dismissed the state's complaint because it held that Gabbert as a matter of law did not violate the ticket-scalping statute, Minn. Stat. § 609.805, subd. 2(2), 2(4) (2002). Specifically, under subdivision 2(2), the district court found that on August 28, 2003, State Fair tickets were sold for $8 at the fairgrounds box office, so selling advance-sale tickets for $7 did not constitute ticket scalping. Under subdivision 2(4), the district court held that the ticket language "not for sale after August 20, 2003" did not amount to a restriction on the tickets' sale so that Gabbert did not violate the statute. This appeal follows.

ISSUES

1. May the state appeal the district court's dismissal ...


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