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New opinions: Nov. 23

State v. Moses 2022 ND 208
Docket No.: 20220101
Filing Date: 11/23/2022
Author: Tufte, Jerod E.

Highlight: Statutes are interpreted to give meaning and effect to every word, phrase, and sentence, and construed to avoid rendering part of the statute mere surplusage.

Under the firearm prohibition statute, a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm for five years after being convicted of a felony. A prior juvenile adjudication of a delinquent act equivalent to a felony qualifies as a predicate felony conviction.

If two or more statutes relating to the same subject matter conflict, we attempt to give meaningful effect to each without rendering one or the other useless. If the conflict is irreconcilable, the special provision must generally prevail and be construed as an exception to the general provision.

A firearm prohibition is a collateral consequence, and there is no constitutional requirement that a defendant or juvenile delinquent be notified of such prohibition or the possibility of a future firearm conviction for violating the prohibition.

A law is not unconstitutionally vague if the challenged language, when measured by common understanding and practice, gives adequate warning of the conduct proscribed and marks boundaries sufficiently distinct for fair administration of the law.