This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Troy Allen Menth,
Filed July 18, 2006
Reversed and remanded
Carver County District Court
File No. CR-03-558
Mike Hatch, Attorney General, 1800
Michael A. Fahey, Carver County Attorney, Peter Ivy, Assistant County Attorney, Carver County Justice Center, 604 East 4th Street, Chaska, MN 55318-2102 (for respondent)
Lisa Agrimonti, Aakash Chandarana, Special Assistant State Public Defenders, Briggs and Morgan, P.A., 2200 IDS Center, 80 South 8th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Halbrooks, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Minge, Judge.
Appellant challenges the district court’s order finding that he lacks standing to challenge a search warrant. Because it is not clear that appellant was afforded an adequate opportunity to address the issue of standing, we reverse and remand for reopening of the omnibus hearing for that purpose.
June 2003, police obtained a search warrant (the June 27 search warrant) for appellant
Troy Menth’s person and for the premises at
Appellant was charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.096, subd. 1 (2002); first-degree manufacture of methamphetamine in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subd. 2a (2002); and possession of anhydrous ammonia in an unauthorized container in violation of Minn. Stat. § 18C.201, subd. 6(a)(1) (2002).
Appellant moved to suppress the evidence discovered pursuant to the execution of the search warrants on the ground that the warrants were not supported by probable cause. The district court held an omnibus hearing, at which the state represented that there were only two issues to be addressed concerning the warrants: probable cause and the fact that one of the warrants was a nighttime and no-knock warrant. Appellant filed a post-hearing memorandum addressing the probable-cause issues. The issue of standing was neither raised nor addressed at the hearing or in appellant’s subsequent memorandum. Appellant’s standing to challenge the June 27 search warrant was raised for the first time in the state’s post-hearing brief, which was filed after appellant’s post-hearing brief. In its brief, the state argued that appellant does not have standing because he did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy associated with storing hazardous chemicals in the Quonset.
The district court denied appellant’s motion to suppress the evidence, finding that appellant “lacks legal standing to challenge the validity of [the June 27] warrant” and that appellant “has no privacy interest in an outbuilding on a property owned by another.” The district court found that the latter two warrants were properly obtained and executed.
Four months later, appellant moved to reopen the omnibus hearing so that further testimony could be taken on the issue of standing. Appellant’s counsel attached an affidavit to that motion, stating that (1) he did not address standing at the omnibus hearing because he did not believe it was an issue and (2) according to appellant, Chad Menth could provide information tending to show that appellant had sole possession and use of the Quonset. The district court denied the motion to reopen the omnibus hearing.
Appellant entered into a Lothenbach stipulation, and the district court accordingly found appellant guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine in violation of Minn. Stat. § 152.021, subd. 2a. Execution of appellant’s sentence is stayed pending the outcome of this appeal.
Appellant argues that the district court abused its discretion by refusing to reopen the omnibus hearing to receive evidence concerning appellant’s standing to challenge the June 27 search warrant. Appellant asks this court to find that he had standing and to hold that the June 27 warrant lacked probable cause; in the alternative, appellant requests that we determine that appellant’s counsel provided him with ineffective assistance by failing to sufficiently address the issue of appellant’s standing in the district court.
district court has inherent authority to decide motions to reconsider an
omnibus ruling, and we review a district court’s decision not to reopen an
omnibus hearing under an abuse-of-discretion standard. State v. Papadakis, 643 N.W.2d 349,
party seeking suppression of evidence bears the burden of demonstrating that
his or her personal Fourth Amendment rights were violated. State v. Robinson, 458 N.W.2d 421, 423
(Minn. App. 1990) (citing Rakas v. Illinois, 439
Here, the district court denied appellant’s motion to suppress the evidence seized as a result of the June 27 search warrant, finding that appellant lacked standing to challenge the warrant because he did not have a reasonable privacy interest in the Quonset. We note initially that the district court based its decision in part on a clearly erroneous finding. While the district court found that the search did not yield any of appellant’s personal items that might demonstrate a connection between appellant and the property, the record is clear that a few personal items were found at the property, including personal documents and a checkbook with appellant’s expired driver’s license.
Appellant contends that he has not had a full and fair opportunity to demonstrate that he has standing to challenge the June 27 warrant because he had no notice that standing would be an issue at the omnibus hearing and because the district court raised the standing issue sua sponte. Respondent argues that the district court did not err by refusing to reopen the omnibus hearing because there was no unfair surprise and because appellant was in a position to address standing at the time of the omnibus hearing.
The record in this case demonstrates that the issue of appellant’s standing to challenge the June 27 warrant was not placed in dispute until the state raised it in its post-hearing brief. While the state’s brief asserting that appellant lacked standing was filed two weeks after appellant filed his post-hearing brief, it was mistakenly placed in a different court file. It is not clear from the record whether appellant was aware of the state’s brief before the pendency of this appeal; indeed, appellant’s arguments indicate that he was not previously aware of respondent’s brief. Whenever appellant was first apprised of the standing issue, his first response to it appears in his motion to reopen the omnibus hearing.
On this record, because standing was not identified as an issue at the omnibus hearing and because of the subsequent misfiling of the state’s post-hearing brief first raising the issue, we conclude that the omnibus hearing should be reopened to afford appellant a “full and fair opportunity” to address the issue of his standing to challenge the June 27 warrant.
While appellant urges this court to make an ultimate determination as to whether appellant has standing, that determination should be made by the district court after the omnibus hearing has been reopened and appellant has been afforded a meaningful opportunity to address the issue. Finally, because we remand on this basis, we do not reach the issue of whether appellant was denied effective assistance of counsel.
Reversed and remanded.