State v. Thompson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 08-13-2014
  • Case #: A145643
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, S.J. for the Court; Wollheim, P.J.; and Nakamoto, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a seizure has occurred is a fact specific inquiry into the totality of the circumstance of a particular case; the state has the burden of justifying a warrantless seizure of evidence, and that the seizure was not the fruit of an unlawful stop.

This case was before the Court for the second time, and the Court adhered to its’ previous decision. Previously, the Court held that the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that was derived from an unlawful seizure of the Defendant. The record established that the police officer did not suspect the Defendant of criminal activity when he continued to interview the Defendant. The issue before the Court was whether at the time an encounter between a law enforcement officer and a person was sufficiently intrusive to implicate the person’s right to be free from unreasonable seizures—when the encounter ceased being mere conversation, and became instead a stop or an arrest. The Court acknowledged that whether a seizure has occurred is a fact specific inquiry into the totality of the circumstance of a particular case. Also the state has the burden of justifying a warrantless seizure of evidence, and part of that burden is to establish that the seizure was not the fruit of an unlawful stop. The Court concluded that the state failed to produce evidence that the Defendant’s identification was brief, and that the officer did not restrain the Defendant’s liberty of movement. Reverse and remanded.

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