Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Prigge

Supreme Court of Minnesota

February 14, 2018

State of Minnesota, Appellant,
v.
Christopher Michael Prigge, Respondent.

         Office of Appellate Courts

          Lori Swanson, Attorney General, Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Steven M. Tallen, Tallen & Baertschi, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for appellant.

          Scott J. Strouts, Scott J. Strouts, LLC, Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Larry Rapoport, Larry Rapoport, Ltd., Minnetonka, Minnesota, for respondent.

          Francis J. Rondoni, Jeffrey D. Bores, Gary K. Luloff, Jennifer J. Crancer, Chestnut Cambronne PA, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for amicus curiae Suburban Hennepin County Prosecutors Association.

         SYLLABUS

         1. A person under the influence of alcohol who is driving a vehicle with a pistol within arm's reach is carrying a pistol "about the person's clothing or person" within the meaning of Minn. Stat. § 624.7142 (2016).

         2. Whether a person under the influence of alcohol who is driving a vehicle is carrying a pistol "about the person's clothing or person" is a question of fact.

         Reversed and remanded.

          OPINION

          LILLEHAUG, Justice.

         Respondent Christopher Michael Prigge was stopped and arrested on suspicion of driving while under the influence of alcohol. During an inventory search of Prigge's vehicle, police discovered a loaded handgun in the center console. Prigge was charged with "carrying a pistol on or about [his] clothes or person" while under the influence of alcohol in violation of Minn. Stat. § 624.7142, subd. 1(4) (2016). On Prigge's motion, the district court dismissed the charge for lack of probable cause. The court of appeals affirmed. We granted review to decide whether a person is "carry[ing] a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person" when that person is driving a vehicle with a handgun in the center console. We reverse the decision of the court of appeals and remand to the district court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

         FACTS

         On April 27, 2016, respondent Christopher Michael Prigge was pulled over by a Maple Grove police officer who saw Prigge's vehicle weaving within its traffic lane. After stopping Prigge's vehicle, the officer observed that Prigge smelled "strongly" of alcohol and had "glassy and watery" eyes. Prigge admitted that he had consumed alcohol that evening, and he failed field sobriety tests. He was then arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. During an inventory search of his vehicle, which was impounded, police discovered a loaded handgun in the vehicle's center console. After being read the Implied Consent Advisory, Prigge consented to a breath test that revealed an alcohol concentration of .10.

         Prigge was charged with five counts, including one count of carrying a pistol while under the influence of alcohol ("Count III"). See Minn. Stat. § 624.7142, subd. 1(4). Prigge moved to dismiss Count III, arguing that the pistol in the center console of the vehicle was not being carried "on or about [his] clothes or person in a public place."[1] Id. The district court granted Prigge's motion and dismissed Count III, concluding that " 'carrying on or about the person's clothes or person' does not extend to a pistol within the closed center console[[2]-if never removed, and absent any evidence that it was ever handled or personally carried by the [d]efendant while he [was] under the influence of alcohol."

         The State appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. State v. Prigge, 900 N.W.2d 890, 895 (Minn.App. 2017). The court concluded that the statute was unambiguous, and that "[t]he phrase to 'carry a pistol on or about the person's clothes or person' . . . requires a physical nexus between the person or the person's clothes and a pistol." Id. Because the nexus requirement was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.