State v. Bobbitt

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-04-2012
  • Case #: A142610
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Brewer, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; and Lipscomb, S.J. dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under former ORS 192.555(2)(a), an individual's financial records may not be disclosed unless the financial institution has an independent suspicion that the individual has violated the law; a relayed suspicion by law enforcement is not sufficient.

The State appealed pretrial motions suppressing evidence and returning Defendant's seized property that were granted by the trial court. Defendant was charged with various drug related charges. During the execution of an unrelated search warrant, a police officer found a large amount of marijuana and cash in Defendant's home. The officer subsequently sent a "Notice to Seize Bank Accounts" to Defendant's bank for his accounts. Along with his financial records, the contents of Defendant's safe deposit box were seized as well. The trial court determined that Defendant's financial records and safe deposit box were obtained in violation of Oregon's banking privacy laws. The Court of Appeals interpreted former ORS 192.555(2)(a) (2007) to read that a bank may only disclose financial records if it has an independent suspicion that there has been a violation of the law; a suspicion relayed by law enforcement through an intent to seize is not sufficient. Therefore, the trial court correctly suppressed the evidence. Affirmed.

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