This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).







State of Minnesota,





Alton A. Madison,




Filed June 4, 2002

Poritsky, Judge


Hennepin County District Court

File No. 00116322


Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 525 Park Street, Suite 500, St. Paul, MN  55103; and


Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney, Jean E. Burdorf, Assistant County Attorney, C-2000 Government Center, Minneapolis, MN  55487 (for respondent)


John M. Stuart, State Public Defender, Susan J. Andrews, Assistant Public Defender, 2829 University Avenue Southeast, Suite 600, Minneapolis, MN  55414 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Poritsky, Judge.

U N P U B L I S H E D   O P I N I O N


            Following appellant Alton Aaron Madison’s arrest on several misdemeanor arrest warrants, an inventory search of his wallet revealed evidence linking him to an unrelated robbery that had taken place the night before.  Appellant was charged with first-degree aggravated robbery under Minn. Stat. § 609.245, subd. 1 (2000).  He moved to suppress the evidence seized during his arrest, arguing that suppression was required because his arrest was in violation of Minn. Stat. § 629.31 (2000), which governs the time of day when arrests may be made.  After the district court denied his motion, appellant agreed to be tried on stipulated facts pursuant to Minn. R. Crim. P. 26.01, subd. 3.  He was found guilty and sentenced to 64 months in prison.  See id. (allowing criminal defendant to plead guilty on stipulated facts, while preserving right to appeal “the same as from any trial to the court.”).

            Because the district court was correct in concluding that the violation of Minn. Stat. § 629.31 was minor, did not implicate appellant’s constitutional rights, and did not subvert the purpose of the statute, we affirm.


            On the evening of December 6, 2000, a Toys-R-Us store in Bloomington, Minnesota, was robbed at gunpoint.  The gunman took money, checks, and some toys.

            Early the next morning, Richfield police were investigating an unrelated assault.  Appellant and two other men were the suspects.  Police obtained a “high risk No Knock Search Warrant,” and requested the assistance of the Special Services Unit (SSU).  While police were executing the warrant at the residence of one of the suspects, appellant called the residence.  Police traced the call back to another residence, an apartment in Richfield.

            Police verified that appellant had active misdemeanor arrest warrants in Hennepin County for fifth-degree assault, disorderly conduct, and driving after revocation.  Because appellant was determined to be a “high-risk” threat, the assistance of the SSU was again requested.  Between 7:18 a.m. and 7:25 a.m., police knocked on the door of the apartment, gained entry, and found appellant hiding in a bathtub.  His wallet was found lying behind him in the tub.  Appellant was arrested and taken to the Richfield Police Department.

            During an inventory search, police found $900 and numerous checks written to Toys-R-Us inside appellant’s wallet.  A store clerk later identified appellant as the man who had robbed Toys-R-Us at gunpoint.


            When the facts are not in dispute and the district court’s decision is a question of law, this court may independently review the facts and determine whether the district court erred in its suppression order.  See State v. Othoudt, 482 N.W.2d 218, 221 (Minn. 1992).

            Suppression of evidence is generally required when the evidence is seized during a search or seizure that violates the Fourth Amendment.  See U.S. Const. amend. IV (prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures by the government of “persons, houses, papers and effects”); Minn. Const. art. I, § 10 (same).  The purpose of suppression is “to deter police” from engaging in illegal or unconstitutional searches.  See State v. Cook, 498 N.W.2d 17, 20 (Minn. 1993).

            Minn. Stat. § 629.31 (2000) governs the time of day when arrests may be made.  Generally, arrests for misdemeanors may not be made on Sunday or at night:

            An arrest for a felony or gross misdemeanor may be made on any day and at any time of the day or night.  An arrest for a misdemeanor may not be made on Sunday or between 10:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. on any other day except:

            (1) when the judge orders in the warrant that the arrest may be made between those hours; or

            (2) when the person named in the warrant is found on a public highway or street.


Minn. Stat. § 629.31 (2000).  This statute and Minn. Stat. § 626.14 (2000), which restricts service of search warrants between certain hours, are intended to prevent nighttime intrusions “with people being roused out of bed and forced to stand by in their night clothes while the police conduct the search” or make the arrest.  State v. Lien, 265 N.W.2d 833, 841 (Minn. 1978).[1]  These types of nighttime searches or arrests involve “much greater intrusion[s] upon privacy and [are] presumably more alarming than * * * ordinary daytime search[es]” or arrests.  Id. at 839-40.

            In cases discussing violations of statutes that govern the procedures for the execution of search warrants, Minnesota courts have held that where the statutory violation is minor and not egregious, no violation of constitutional rights occurs and therefore suppression of evidence is not required.  See, e.g., Lien, 265 N.W.2d at 841 (execution of search warrant at 9:00 p.m. in violation of Minn. Stat. § 626.14 did not require suppression, where defendant was home, execution of search warrant occurred at “reasonable” hour when most people are awake, defendant was clothed, and there was “considerable activity” inside apartment); State v. Mollberg, 310 Minn. 376, 385-87, 246 N.W.2d 463, 469-70 (1976) (suppression not required, even though police violated Minn. Stat. § 626.16 by failing to leave copy of search warrant at place of execution); State v. Lunsford, 507 N.W.2d 239, 243 (Minn. App. 1993) (defects in execution of warrant minor and “technical” in nature, where police failed to follow Minn. Stat. § 626.11, which requires presence of officer from warrant jurisdiction), review denied (Minn. Dec. 14, 1993).  Thus, in determining whether a statutory violation requires application of the exclusionary rule, a court must look to the facts and to the degree of the violation.

            The district court here concluded that suppression was not required because the violation of Minn. Stat. § 629.31 was technical in nature.  We agree.  The following facts support the court’s conclusion:  (1) appellant was arrested only 30 to 45 minutes before 8:00 a.m., not in the middle of the night; (2) police knew that he was in the apartment, because he had just made a call from that address minutes before he was arrested; (3) at least eight other people were inside the apartment; and (4) there was no indication that anyone was sleeping, undressed, or otherwise indisposed.  These facts demonstrate that police acted reasonably and that any intrusion upon appellant’s privacy was no more alarming than had they waited until after 8:00 a.m.

            Appellant nevertheless insists that the district court should have required police to justify why they did not simply wait until 8:00 a.m. to do so.  Appellant seeks to read Lien to require police to establish that they acted in good faith in order to be excused from following a statute limiting their authority.  See Lien, 265 N.W.2d at 840 (“We would have no difficulty in excluding the evidence if the police had violated [the statute prohibited execution of nighttime searches] and had not sought authorization for the nighttime search.”).

            However, police here acted pursuant to valid arrest warrants.  Upon learning of appellant’s location during execution of a valid, high-risk search warrant at another residence, police immediately proceeded to his location.  These facts tend to justify police action in moving quickly and expeditiously.           

            Because the violation of the statute was minor, did not implicate appellant’s constitutional rights, and did not subvert the purpose of the statute governing when arrests may be made, the district court did not err in refusing to suppress the evidence seized from appellant during his arrest.  We therefore affirm the conviction.



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


[1] In Lien, our supreme court addressed two issues concerning search warrants: nighttime searches and searches where the police are not required to announce their presence before entering a dwelling (informally called "no-knock warrants"). On the latter issue, which is not involved here, the Lien court held that if the application for the warrant stated in effect that the "dwelling is being used * * * as an outlet or warehouse for a drug business," State v. Lien, 265 N.W.2d 833, 838-39 (Minn. 1978), no additional showing was required for a no-knock warrant. Subsequently, however, the United States Supreme Court held that a statement that a dwelling was being used in drug trafficking was not, and of itself, sufficient for a no-knock warrant. Richards v. Wisconsin, 520 U.S. 385, 388, 117 S. Ct. 1416, 1417 (1997); see United States v. Tavares, 223 F.3d 911, 918 (8th Cir. 2000) (recognizing that Lien is partially overruled by Richards). The remaining principles set out in Lien – specifically our supreme court's concern about the additional intrusion accompanying a nighttime search – are unaffected by Richards and remain good law.