State v. Hockeman

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-13-2014
  • Case #: A148940
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Wollheim, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; Schuman, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under the privacy interests implied in Article I, Section 9 of the Oregon State Constitution, when a property owner intends to exclude visitors from any portion of the property, that part of the property should have viewable signs that when approaching, the visitor can reasonably see and infer the property owner's intent to exclude.

Defendant's appeal arises out of a stipulated facts trial that found him guilty of 11 counts of felon in possession of a firearm, one count of unlawful possession of MDMA,and one count of unlawful possession of marijuana. The Coos County Sheriff's Department entered Defendant's property to locate Evans, who was being investigated for restraining order violations. Evans's address was the Defendant's address. When police came to the door, Defendant confirmed Evans lived in the back and he gave them permission to enter the back as well as the house. In searching Defendant's house for Evans, they spotted a rifle. After their search, the officer's learned Defendant was a convicted felon and therefore not permitted to own firearms. They retrieved a warrant and came back where they arrested him as having possession and other crimes that they discovered upon executing the warrant. Defendant argued that their initial entrance that brought them to has doorstep was unlawful as he had signs posted manifesting his intent to exclude visitors. The trial court overruled their motion to suppress the evidence obtained thereafter. Here, the Court analyzed the officer's ability to see the signs at the time of day they came to the property. Because of the position of the signs prohibiting entry the officers were unable to see Defendant's intent to exclude. Thus, their initial entry was legal and all subsequent procedure was within the constitutional and legal boundaries of their investigations. Affirmed.

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