State v. Ellis

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 05-29-2014
  • Case #: A151823
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J.; Hadlock, J.; & De Muniz, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The speedy trial delay period is measured from the date of the most recent accusatory instrument where prior accusatory instruments were dismissed, even when a new accusatory instrument is issued before the previous one is dismissed. This is measured from the initial filing date of the original instrument when that instrument was amended but not dismissed. A net delay of approximately 12 months due to insufficiency of judges is not unreasonable.

The State appealed a judgement by the trial court granting Defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of a speedy trial under former ORS 135.747 (2011). Defendant was arrested in December 2010. The State filed a complaint for misdemeanor DUII in January 2011, which the State voluntarily dismissed in order to indict Defendant for felony DUII on in April 2011. In September 2011, in order to correct language, the Sate filed a new indictment charging defendant with the same crimes as those in the April 2011 indictment. In November 2011, the April 2011 indictment was dismissed. Trial was set for November 2011, was reset for March 2012 due to unavailability of judges, and was again reset for May 2012 due to unavailability of judges. Defendant moved to dismiss on the ground that the delay in bringing him to trial was unreasonable. On Appeal, Defendant argued that the time period to measure delay began with the original accusatory instrument; the State argued that the time period to measure delay began with the most recent accusatory instrument. The Court held that because the prior accusatory instruments had been dismissed the time period began with the most recent accusatory instrument. The Court also held that whether that was the April 2011 indictment or the September 2011 indictment was irrelevant because even if the period started with the earlier indictment, the net period of delay was reasonably calculated, weighing the length of the unapplied for or unconsented to delay against the reasons for the delay. The net delay was approximately 12 months largely due to the unavailability of judges, which is not unreasonable. Reversed and remanded.

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