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Donna Peggy Hagemann, Petitioner v. Commissioner of Public Safety

April 8, 2013

DONNA PEGGY HAGEMANN, PETITIONER, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY, RESPONDENT.



Redwood County District Court File No. 64-CV-11-1009

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

This opinion will be unpublished and may not be cited except as provided by Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2012).

Affirmed

Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Kirk, Judge; and Huspeni, Judge.

UNPUBLISHED OPINION HALBROOKS, Judge

Appellant challenges the district court's decision sustaining the revocation of her driver's license under the implied-consent law, arguing that the arresting officer seized her vehicle without reasonable, particularized suspicion of criminal activity. Because the totality of the circumstances were sufficient to support a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, we affirm.

Retired judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals, serving by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.

FACTS

On November 25, 2011, at approximately 11:17 p.m., Deputy Jason Jacobson observed appellant Donna Peggy Hagemann's vehicle traveling westbound on 206th Street outside of Milroy. Deputy Jacobson testified that appellant was driving at a "slow rate of speed" on a road with a 55 miles-per-hour speed limit. Deputy Jacobson turned onto 206th Street and began following appellant's vehicle. Appellant made the next right turn into a cemetery parking lot and parked in the back corner of the lot.

Because Deputy Jacobson considered this behavior to be suspicious, he pulled into the parking lot, activated his emergency lights, and parked perpendicular to appellant in a way that made it difficult for her to move her vehicle. Appellant told Deputy Jacobson that she was visiting the gravesite of her mother on the one-year anniversary of her death. Deputy Jacobson observed indicia of intoxication and asked appellant to perform field sobriety tests. He subsequently arrested her for driving while impaired, and her license was revoked.

Appellant petitioned for judicial review of the revocation order. At the combined omnibus and implied-consent hearing, Deputy Jacobson testified that there was "a lot of criminal activity that happens on that particular road," including drinking and driving, and that he had observed empty alcohol containers along the sides of the road. He could not name any specific criminal activity or recent arrests for driving under the influence, but described the road as "suspicious." He testified that his primary motivation in approaching appellant's vehicle was the suspicion of criminal activity, but he also wanted to determine whether the passengers were in need of assistance.

The district court denied appellant's petition, concluding that Deputy Jacobson had sufficient reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to investigate appellant's actions and that he was "acting on more than a mere hunch." This appeal follows.

DECISION

We review de novo whether the facts support a determination of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Diede, 795 N.W.2d at 843. We will accept the district court's factual findings unless they are clearly erroneous. State v. Burbach, 706 N.W.2d 484, 487 (Minn. 2005). We defer to the credibility determinations of the district court, regardless of whether those determinations are explicit or implicit. See Umphlett v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 533 N.W.2d 636, 639 (Minn. App. 1995) (determining that the district court "implicitly ...


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