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Oregon Appellate Court, September 16, 2020

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by: Rankin Johnson • September 16, 2020 • no comments


Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

RIGHT TO COUNSEL - Conflicts and withdrawal

Trial court did not err in denying counsel's motion to withdraw, notwithstanding that counsel explained that withdrawal was mandatory under the ethics rules. Affirmed.

The court also held, in this post-conviction appeal, that the court could properly deny a Church motion as untimely.

Stokes v. Cain 306 Or App 473 (September 16, 2020) (Lagesen) (Malheur County, Pratt)


Single violent act by respondent, before the parties separated, was not sufficient to prove imminent danger. Reversed.

S.L.S. v. Tippery 306 Or App 487 (September 16, 2020) (Lagesen) (Linn County, Wynhausen)

SEARCH AND SEIZURE - Abandoned property

Backpack left by defendant in stolen vehicle could not be searched as lost property, because police lacked subjective belief that backpack was lost - they suspected it belonged to defendant. Reversed.

The court further held that defendant did not abandon his backpack when he denied owning or having driven the stolen vehicle, nor when defendant's companion drove the vehicle away. By leaving the backpack in a vehicle to which he expected to have continued access, defendant asserted his right to privacy in the backpack.

State v. Lewis 306 Or App 492 (September 16, 2020) (Shorr) (Clackamas County, Van Dyk)

HARASSMENT - Reasonable alarm

Threat that defendant would travel to Fort Lewis and return with Army officers with M-16s to shoot a police evidence technician created reasonable alarm. Affirmed.

Even if the details of the threat were implausible, a rambling, incoherent threat, combined with defendant's history and conduct as known to the victim, were sufficient for the jury to find the existence of objectively-reasonable alarm. The court declined to consider, as unpreserved defendant's argument that the state failed to offer evidence that the victim was in fact alarmed.

State v. Murphy 306 Or App 535 (September 16, 2020) (Powers) (Washington County, Butterfield)


Recent attempt to commit suicide combined with present suicidal ideation sufficient for involuntary civil commitment. Affirmed.

State v. M.J.F. 306 Or App 544 (September 16, 2020) (Kamins) (Yamhill County, Chapman)