This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2006).
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Donald Scott Moen,
Filed March 27, 2007
Mille Lacs County District Court
File No. 48-K9-04-001029
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, 1800
Janice Kolb, Mille Lacs County Attorney, Tara C. Ferguson Lopez, Assistant County Attorney, Courthouse Square, 525 Second Street Southeast, Milaca, MN 56353 (for respondent)
Steven V. Grigsby,
Considered and decided by Lansing, Presiding Judge; Peterson, Judge; and Worke, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal from a conviction for driving while impaired, appellant argues that a tribal police officer unlawfully stopped him for speeding outside the boundaries of the reservation. Appellant contends that, although the statute gives tribal police concurrent authority to stop persons committing a crime in their presence, speeding constitutes a petty misdemeanor, which is not a crime and therefore does not justify exercise of that authority. Because the tribal officer was a licensed peace officer acting under an agreement between the Mille Lacs Band Tribal Police Department and the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department, we affirm.
D E C I S I O N
argues that the tribal officer lacked statutory authority to stop appellant’s
vehicle outside the tribal reservation for speeding. Statutory interpretation is an issue of law
that this court reviews de novo. State v.
The undisputed facts here show
that appellant was stopped
for speeding at a location off the reservation by a licensed peace officer
employed by the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Tribal Police Department on routine
patrol in an area that was part of a “Safe and Sober” program, a cooperative
effort between the Mille Lacs Band of Chippewa Tribal Police Department and the
Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Department to get intoxicated drivers off the road
over the 2004 Labor Day weekend. As a
result of the stop, appellant was charged with speeding and driving while
impaired. Appellant moved to suppress
the evidence on the grounds that the traffic stop for speeding was unlawful
because the officer was outside his jurisdiction when he stopped
appellant. The district court denied the
motion, and following the submission of the case pursuant to State v. Lothenbach, 296 N.W.2d 854 (
Mutual Aid/Cooperative Agreement
district court concluded that Minn. Stat. § 626.90, subd. 2(b), gave the
tribal officer authority to stop appellant.
We agree. Subdivision 2(b) provides
that “[t]he band shall enter into mutual aid/cooperative agreements with the
Mille Lacs county sheriff under section 471.59 to define and regulate the
provision of law enforcement services under this section. The agreements must define the trust property
involved in the joint powers agreement.”
The agreement between the two police departments to assist each other through the “Safe and Sober” mutual-aid program was in effect “both on and off reservation land.” The record does not contain specific information regarding the exact geographic area covered by the mutual aid/cooperative agreement that the tribal officer relied on in stopping appellant’s vehicle, but appellant does not contend that the location where appellant was stopped was outside the scope of the agreement. Based on the stipulated record, the district court properly concluded that the agreement gave the tribal officer authority to stop appellant’s vehicle under Minn. Stat. § 626.90, subd. 2(b).
Course and Scope of Employment
The district court also concluded that the tribal
officer was authorized to stop appellant’s vehicle regardless of whether the
officer had authority under Minn. Stat. § 626.90, subd. 2(b). A licensed peace officer who is acting in the
course and scope of employment outside of the person’s jurisdiction is serving
in the regular line of duty as fully as though the service was within the
person’s jurisdiction. Minn. Stat.
§ 629.40, subd. 3 (2004). Federally
recognized tribes are law-enforcement agencies, subject to statutory limitations. Minn. Stat. § 626.93 (2004) (setting
forth requirement and limitations of federally recognized tribes). An
officer acting in the course and scope of his employment may make an
out-of-jurisdiction investigatory stop. Yoraway v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 669
N.W.2d 622, 626 (
It is undisputed that appellant was
stopped on Highway 169, at a location outside of the reservation but within
Finally, appellant argues that the tribal officer lacked authority to stop his vehicle because of the specific restrictions on a tribal officer’s concurrent jurisdictional authority under Minn. Stat. § 626.90, subd. 2(c) (2004). We agree with the district court that subdivision 2(c) is inapplicable because of the authority conferred upon the tribal officer by the agreement between the sheriff’s department and the tribal police department.