State v. Davis

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 04-30-2014
  • Case #: A149843
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution, police inventory procedures may constitute an unlawful search if they have no precise or meaningful limitations.

Defendant was convicted for possession of methamphetamine after the arresting officer found a pipe wrapped within a sock in Defendant’s pocket while being patted down pursuant to the Sheriff’s department's inventory procedure. Defendant appeals on grounds that the circuit court improperly denied his motion to suppress evidence and statements due to an unlawful search. The circuit court sustained the evidence under the Sheriff’s departmental inventory policy procedures. The issue on appeal is whether the inventory policy procedure is sufficiently constitutional to support the circuit court’s denial of Defendant’s motion to suppress. The Court held that the inventory policy procedure was too broad to be constitutional as it allowed arresting officers to search closed containers and provided no precise or meaningful limitation to the scope of inventory searches, thereby infringing on the arrested individual’s constitutional rights. Furthermore, the statements elicited by the Defendant after the discovery of the pipe had a “minimum factual nexus” with the unlawful search, and therefore the Court held that the Defendant’s statements should also be suppressed. Reversed and remanded.

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