State v. Meek

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 10-29-2014
  • Case #: A51149
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Haselton, C.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A letter, as a form of “written communication” is not considered an “object” under ORS 163.750(1)(c).

Defendant appealed a conviction for violating a stalking protective order (SPO) and an adjudication that Defendant was in contempt of court. Defendant was initially charged with violating the SPO “by sending or making written communication to [M], thereby creating a reasonable apprehension regarding the person[al] safety of [M].” The charge was later amended, changing the above language to “the defendant violated the SPO by ‘by delivering through a third party an object to the home * * * of [M].’” Defendant asserted that, since the letter was a written communication, the State needed to prove that the written communication created “reasonable apprehension regarding the personal safety” of the recipient, and since no apprehension was shown at trial, Defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal should have been granted. The state asserted that a letter, being tangible, is an object and therefore by-passes the need for proving apprehension on the part of the recipient. The Court concluded that the statutes concerning this matter were created so as to not allow a “written communication” to be considered as an “object” under ORS 163.750(1)(c) for purposes of circumventing the burden of proving apprehension of the recipient. Reversed.

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