State v. Zamora-Martinez

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-02-2014
  • Case #: A129382
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; and Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

The test to determine whether a seizure has occurred "is an objective one: Would a reasonable person believe that a law enforcement officer intentionally and significantly restricted, interfered with, or otherwise deprived the individual of his or her liberty or freedom of movement."

This case was on remand from the Oregon Supreme Court, which vacated this Court's prior decision and remanded for reconsideration in light of the Supreme Court's ruling in State v. Backstrand, State v. Highley, and State v. Anderson. This Court examined its previous decision in light of the new cases to determine whether Defendant's encounter with law enforcement amount to an illegal stop under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution. Defendant was approached by an ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officer who was at the residence executing a search warrant against Defendant's sister. The Defendant arrived 10 to 15 minutes after the start of the search, and the ICE officer asked why he was present. When Defendant stated he was there to take his sister's children, the officer asked him for identification. He produced and Oregon ID. When the officer asked where he was from, and Defendant responded "Mexico," the officer asked for additional identification. When Defendant produced a Social Security Card and resident alien card, the officer immediately identified them as forgeries. Defendant was arrested and charged with two counts of first degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. The question presented was whether a reasonable person in Defendant's position would have believed that the officer had "explicitly or implicitly" conveyed to Defendant that he was not "free to terminate the encounter or otherwise go about his ordinary affairs." Based on the totality of the circumstances, the facts supported an objectively reasonable belief that Defendant's liberty was restricted in a constitutionally significant manner by the officer's second request for identification. Reversed and remanded.

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