Oregon Supreme Court, May 9, 2019
Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA
SEARCH AND SEIZURE — Termination of possession and privacy interests
Warrantless search of defendant's garbage bin violated state constitution. Trial court and Court of Appeals reversed, remanded.
Garbage collection company seized defendant's garbage separately from regular pickup and provided garbage to police for search. Police found evidence of controlled-substance offenses.
The Supreme Court held that defendant retained possessory and privacy interests in garbage that was on the curb for pickup, and when a garbage collector seized that garbage separately to provide to the police on request, he was a state actor intruding on defendant's protected interests.The court overruled prior cases, including Howard/Dawson and Purvis.
In dissent, Kistler argued that Howard/Dawson had held that giving up possessory interest also gave up privacy interests, and that the majority did not identify any flaw in that holding. He would have held that defendants had no possessory or privacy interest in garbage once it was collected.
State v. Lein/Wilverding 364 Or 750 (May 9, 2019) (Nakamoto, Kistler dissenting) (Linn County, Murphy)