NACDL - North Dakota - Recording Interrogations Compendium

North Dakota - Recording Interrogations Compendium

Information on the policy and history of recording custodial interrogations in North Dakota.

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Summary

North Dakota has no statute or court rule requiring recording of custodial interrogations.

Supreme Court Case

State v. Goebel, 725 N.W.2d 578, 580, 582, 584 (ND 2007): Brian Goebel appealed his conviction of gross sexual imposition to the North Dakota Supreme Court. He claimed the district court erroneously denied his motion to suppress incriminating statements he made during a partially recorded interview with police officers. Goebel argued the Court “should require law enforcement to electronically record all custodial interrogations in North Dakota under . . . [North Dakota’s] Constitution.” The Court denied Goebel’s appeal and stated it “decline[d] to hold that criminal defendants have a right to electronic recording of all custodial interrogations.” It noted that “[w]hile electronic recording of all interrogations may be good practice, Goebel has not persuaded us that such a right exists under our Constitution.”

Legislation

In 2010, the North Dakota Commission on Uniform State Laws recommended introduction in the 2011 legislative session the Uniform Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations Act, which was drafted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (ULC), and adopted by the ULC in July 2010.  The Uniform Act was introduced in 2011 (SB 2125). The Senate and House Judiciary Committees held hearings, during which testimony in support of and opposition to the bill was heard.  A statute was enacted providing that “the legislative management shall consider studying the feasibility and desirability of adopting the Uniform Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations Act. The legislative management shall report its findings and recommendations, together with any legislation necessary to implement the recommendations, to the sixty-third [2013] legislative assembly.”

The Legislative Management Report, filed in January 2013, states (page 236), “The committee makes no recommendation regarding the adoption of the Uniform Electronic Recording of Custodial Interrogations Act.”  No electronic recording bill was introduced in the 2013 or 2015 legislative sessions.

Miscellaneous

Departments we have identified that presently record:

Bismarck Grand Forks ND Highway Patrol
Burleigh CS Grand Forks CS Richland CS
Cass CS Hazen Valley City
Devils Lake Jamestown Ward CS
Dickinson Minot West Fargo
Fargo ND Bureau of C.I.