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Oregon Appellate Court, October 13, 2021

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by: Rankin Johnson • October 15, 2021 • no comments


Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

TRIAL PROCEDURE - Shackles and other restraints
Importance: 3/5

Record contained no basis for the court's discretionary order that defendant wear a leg brace. Reversed.

Defendant argued that she was unable to wear the clothes she chose for trial because they would have showed the brace, and the Court of Appeals also observed that the order could have affected the defendant's choice not to testify.

The Court of Appeals explained that by raising the issue and citing federal law, but not Oregon law, counsel had adequately raised the issue.

Finally, the Court of Appeals said it was "deeply troubled" that the trial court employed a "blanket restraint rule" and that the prosecutor supported the rule, which was "manifestly unconstitutional."

State v. Osborn 315 Or App 102 (October 13, 2021) (Ortega) (Coos County, Stone)

DOUBLE JEOPARDY - Jeopardy created by civil proceedings
Importance: 3/5

Contempt sanctions in civil suit did not create jeopardy as to criminal prosecution from the same facts. Affirmed.

Defendant forged a prenuptial agreement to gain an advantage in divorce proceedings. As a sanction, the divorce court struck some of his claims and ordered him to pay $750,000 in attorney's fees and costs. The criminal court denied his motion to dismiss on double-jeopardy grounds. The Court of Appeals explained that, although the civil sanctions were intended to punish defendant for his misconduct, they remained civil sanctions that did not trigger double-jeopardy protection.

The Court of Appeals also upheld the restitution award for legal fees related to some of the contempt proceedings, noting that the standard of review was deferential and the trial court's findings had been detailed.

State v. Halvorson 315 Or App 112 (October 13, 2021) (Lagesen) (Multnomah County, Dahlin)

THEFT - Mental state
Importance: 2/5

Possession of stolen guns was not sufficient to prove that defendant stole the guns or knew they were stolen. Reversed.

Defendant's apparent occupation as a drug-dealer, and the use by drug-dealers of stolen guns, did not prove the mental state for theft.

State v. Buell 315 Or App 124 (October 13, 2021) (Lagesen) (Marion County, Bennett)

SENTENCING - Life sentences for juveniles
Importance: 3/5

Life sentence for 16-year convicted of murder did not violate the Eighth Amendment, because sentencing court had the option to impose shorter sentence and exercised discretion not to do so, taking into account defendant's age. Affirmed.

Harned v. Amsberry 315 Or App 146 (October 13, 2021) (Shorr) (Umatilla County, Penn)

SENTENCING - Restitution
Importance: 1/5

State failed to prove that medical bills were "reasonable," so restitution based on those bills was unwarranted. Reversed.

The court rejected defendant's unpreserved argument that his guilty plea to burglary did not warrant restitution for injuries caused during the burglary. The court also rejected defendant's argument that the trial court had erred in denying his motion for substitute counsel.

State v. Henry 315 Or App 169 (October 13, 2021) (Powers) (Washington County, Garcia)

Importance: 2/5

Jury was correctly instructed on whether a trailer was a 'vehicle' for purposes of Unlawful Use of a Vehicle. Affirmed.

The court rejected defendant's arguments that a vehicle was necessarily motorized, and that his own testimony that he did not know the value of the trailer warranted a lesser-included-offense instruction as to theft.

State v. Phillips 315 Or App 178 (October 13, 2021) (Sercombe) (Coos County, Stone)

PROBATION - Use of hearsay
Importance: 2/5

Due process prevented using hearsay as central evidence to extend defendant's probation without a showing that providing direct evidence would be difficult or expensive. Reversed.

State v. Hager 315 Or App 201 (October 13, 2021) (Per curiam) (Lane County, Zennaché)

SEARCH AND SEIZURE - Inevitable discovery
Importance: 2/5

State failed to prove that police would inevitably have searched defendant, a passenger in a car, after drugs were found in the car. Reversed.

The Court of Appeals explained that too many inferences were necessary to make an inevitable-discovery finding.

State v. Alonso-Vasquez 315 Or App 208 (October 13, 2021) (Per curiam) (Washington County, Raines)

PLEA AGREEMENTS - Enforceability
Importance: 3/5

Habeas plaintiff was entitled to credit-for-time-served on one conviction for time served for different conviction under terms of plea agreement. Affirmed on state's appeal.

The court explained that, even if the credit-for-time-served calculation sought by plaintiff violated statute, due process would require enforcing the plea agreement.

Fritz v. Amsberry 315 Or App 213 (October 13, 2021) (Per curiam) (Umatilla County, Temple)