- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Evidence
- Date Filed: 08-01-2012
- Case #: A150208
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Nakamoto, J. for the Court; Schuman, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Father appealed a court determination that his biological son (AG) was within the court's jurisdiction. At the start of the hearing, the court clarified that the hearing was for all the children - 4 step-children and AG. Father did not object. The step-children recounted instances of physical and emotional abuse to two testifying witnesses. Father objected, claiming the testimony was inadmissible as hearsay. The court decided that the statements were admissions of a party-opponent and thus admissible. Father's argued on appeal that the application of the rule was error because, for the party-opponent hearsay exception to apply, the declarant must be a party. Father asserts the step-children are not parties to AG's case. The Court of Appeals held that because there was no objection to hearing the jurisdiction issue of all 5 children, the children were one party. Father also raised the argument that the testimony should be excluded because of his status as a step-parent. The Court held that the testimony recounting the abuse were exceptions to the hearsay rule because Oregon recognizes parent-stepchild relationships; therefore, the statements made were adverse to their own interests in maintaining the relationship with their step-parent. Affirmed.