State v. Ferguson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 03-05-2014
  • Case #: A149460
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

For purposes of ORS 135.703 and ORS 135.705, the ‘person injured’ who must participate in a valid civil compromise is the person or persons directly injured by the acts criminalized by the statute under which a defendant is charged.

The State appealed the trial court's dismissal of Defendant’s criminal charges. Defendant was charged with first-degree criminal mischief and harassment after causing $7,821 of damage to his former employer’s truck with a tire iron. The insurance company paid the total cost minus a $1,000 deductible. The Defendant and his former employer signed a civil compromise agreement in which the former employer accepted $2,500 in satisfaction of the damages. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss the charges under ORS 135.703 – ORS 135.709, which allows dismissal of charges after a valid civil compromise with the person injured. The trial court granted the motion and the charges were dismissed. The State argued that the insurance company also had to participate in the civil compromise because ‘persons injured’ included those who suffered indirect damages as well. The Court concluded that a person injured is only the person directly injured by the actions of the defendant, which constituted a crime. In this case, only the former employer was injured by the Defendant’s criminalized actions and is the only one required to participate in the civil compromise and the trial court did not err in granting Defendant’s motion to dismiss. Affirmed

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