ND: State failed to show abandonment of apparently lost cell phone with screen locked

The trial court erred in denying defendant’s motion to suppress because the State did not meet its burden of showing that defendant intentionally abandoned his cell phone. Although the phone was found lying in a parking lot in front of apartments, there was no report that the phone was lost or stolen during the approximately 12 hours after it was found up until the first search. Defendant never denied ownership of the phone, nor was there other evidence of actions showing he had intentionally discarded the cell phone. The screen was locked, and this indicated his intent to maintain privacy and preserve protection from uninvited examination by others. Thus, it should have been suppressed. State v. Valles, 2019 ND 108 (Apr. 11, 2019)

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