City of Portland v. Huffman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-16-2014
  • Case #: A151479
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Egan, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P. J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The correct time to assert the doctrine of issue preclusion is before the issue is relitigated, since all information is known before the trial court.

Defendant challenged the trial court ruling that Defendant violated a city ordinance that prohibited the possession of alcohol in city parks. At the close of evidence in that trial, Defendant asserted the doctrine of issue preclusion to bar the trial court’s ruling. The doctrine of issue preclusion within the framework of common law provides that, “[i]f one tribunal has decided an issue, the decision on that issue may preclude relititation of the issue in another proceeding if [certain] requirements are met . . .” Nelson v. Emerald People’s Utility Dist. 318 Or. 99, 103 (1993). Defendant reasoned that prior to the trial, a City of Portland Hearings Officer had determined that the city failed to meet its burden to prove that Defendant possessed alcohol in the park as a factual matter. On appeal, the Court held that the trial court did not err by not applying the doctrine of issue preclusion. The Court reasoned that the correct time to assert the doctrine of issue preclusion is before the issue is relitigated, since all information was known before the trial court. Affirmed.

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