State v. S.J.F.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 12-21-2011
  • Case #: A141821
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Brewer, C.J.; Haselton, J.; Armstrong, J.; Schuman, J.; Ortega, J.; Sercombe, J.; Duncan, J.; &; Nakamoto, J.; Dissenting, Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Failure to inform the person on trial during a civil commitment hearing of their right to an attorney, right to subpoena witnesses, reason they are appearing in court, and the consequences of the proceeding constitutes plain error reviewable de novo.

Appellant was civilly committed after being found mentally ill by the trial court. Appellant argued on appeal that the trial court’s ruling was plain error per ORS 426.100(1) because the trial court did not provide certain information to the ill person. The Court of Appeals exercised its discretion and reviewed the case de novo. Upon review, the Court asked whether the following information was provided: Was the mentally ill person informed as to why they are in court, the potential results from the proceeding, and their right to trial counsel and and ability to subpoena witnesses? Since appellant was not given all of this information, and it was not clear that he waived his right to receive this information, the Court held that withholding such information in a civil commitment hearing was plain error. Reversed

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