Judge gives North Dakota 2 weeks to pay for loader

Farm Forum

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent and the state attorney general have two weeks to pay back a man for confiscating his pay loader and failing to return it as ordered, a judge ruled on Nov. 4.

Agent Arnie Rummel took possession of the loader in May from Darrel Schrum, of Forbes, after an investigation determined the equipment was stolen. Schrum told authorities he didn’t know about the theft and said he bought the loader in good faith.

Judge Daniel Narum said in a ruling from the bench in September that Rummel was in contempt of court for failing to meet a June deadline to return the loader and ordered the state to pay $49,000. Narum’s written order filed on Nov. 4 says the state owes nearly $54,000, including lawyer’s fees.

The judge said the state will have to pay “any and all additional attorney fees and costs incurred by Mr. Schrum for any further legal representation related to this proceeding or any appeal in this case.”

Liz Brocker, spokeswoman for the state attorney general’s office, said the state will appeal. She had no further comment.

Mark Friese, Schrum’s attorney, said his client is pleased with the decision.

“This is the right resolution in light of the circumstances,” Friese said.

The pay loader was confiscated from Schrum’s property on May 22. The judge said Rummel gave it to a trucking company and the representative from the company has since become evasive and uncooperative.

“While the whereabouts of the pay loader are unknown, evidence indicates the loader is likely in Mexico or possibly awaiting delivery to Mexico while stored in Texas,” the judge wrote.