U.S. Supreme Court to decide on taking N.D. case

The United States Supreme Court is scheduled to decide on June 18, 2015, whether to review a North Dakota Supreme Court case. It last agreed to review one in 1991.

Nguyen v. North Dakota involves a drug-dog sniffing in an apartment building hallway. Although it is not uncommon for unhappy parties to ask for U.S. Supreme Court review, it is far less common for the high court to ask for a response from the other party, as it did in Nguyen’s case.

According to the U.S. Supreme Court website, “The Court receives approximately 10,000 petitions for a writ of certiorari [discretionary review] each year. The Court grants and hears oral argument in about 75-80 cases.”

In State v. Nguyen, 2013 ND 252, 841 N.W.2d 676, the N.D. Supreme Court reversed a district court order suppressing evidence. On remand, Nguyen conditionally pled guilty to all charges, reserving the right to appeal the N.D. Supreme Court’s ruling and to seek discretionary review from the United States Supreme Court. InState v. Nguyen, 2014 ND 211, 858 N.W.2d 652, the N.D. Supreme Court summarily affirmed, as had been alternatively requested by Nguyen so he could seek U.S. Supreme Court review.

Fargo lawyers Mark Friese and Neil Roesler handled the case in state court. Stanford lawyer Jeffrey Fisher is handling the case before the U.S. Supreme Court. Cass County Assistant State’s Attorney Gary Euren was the lawyer in state court and is the lawyer at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court last took a case from the North Dakota Supreme Court in 1991. In Quill Corp v. Heitkamp, 504 U.S. 298 (1992), the Court reversed the state decision in State ex rel. v. Quill Corp., 470 N.W.2d 203 (N.D. 1991). Although Quill sold mail-order office supplies, that case is viewed as the primary case on taxation of the Internet.

June 8, 2015