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In re Welfare of M.A.R.

August 1, 2006

IN THE MATTER OF THE WELFARE OF: M.A.R.


Hennepin County District Court File No. 27-JV-05-394.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

Minn. Stat. § 260C.175 (2004), which is a child-protection provision of the Juvenile Court Act, authorizes a police officer to transport to a safe location a juvenile who is in violation of a curfew.

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

Affirmed

Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Willis, Judge; and Parker, Judge.*fn1

OPINION

In this appeal from a delinquency adjudication of felony possession of a pistol by a minor, appellant argues that the district court should have suppressed the pistol, which was discovered when police stopped appellant for a curfew violation and searched him before placing him in a squad car for transportation to the Minneapolis curfew center. Because the police had a valid, reasonable basis under Minn. Stat. § 260C.175 (2004) to place appellant in the squad car, we affirm.

FACTS

In June 2005, at 1:09 a.m. on a weekday, Minneapolis police officer James Archer saw two males who appeared to be under the Hennepin County curfew age of 18 standing at a bus stop on Hennepin Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets in downtown Minneapolis. Because it was approximately two hours after the weekday curfew, Archer stopped his squad car, got out, approached the two individuals, and asked them how old they were. Both of the individuals, one of whom was later identified as appellant M.A.R., answered that they were 17 years old.

When an officer encounters a juvenile who is in violation of the curfew, it is Minneapolis police-department policy for the officer to transport the juvenile to the Minneapolis curfew center, where the center staff calls the juvenile's parents to have the juvenile picked up. Intending to drive both juveniles to the Minneapolis curfew center, Archer conducted a patdown search of M.A.R. while another officer who arrived at the scene as back-up did the same to the other juvenile. Archer found a pistol in M.A.R.'s waistband. M.A.R. was charged with one count of possession of a pistol by a minor, in violation of Minn. Stat. § 624.713, subd. 1(a) (2004). It was later determined that M.A.R. was actually 16 years old at the time.

M.A.R. moved to suppress the pistol, arguing that it was obtained in violation of his constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. The district court denied his motion. The district court adjudicated M.A.R. a delinquent and placed him on juvenile probation. M.A.R. now appeals from the district court's order denying his motion to suppress the pistol.

ISSUE

Did the district court err by not suppressing the pistol ...


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