State v. Craine

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 05-13-2015
  • Case #: A152455
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Tookey, P.J; & DeMuniz, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under OEC 401, evidence is relevant if it has any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of the action more probably or less probable than without the evidence. Curative admissibility doctrine provides that when one party offers inadmissible evidence, which is received, the opponent may then offer similar facts whose only claim to admission is that they negate or explain the prior inadmissible evidence.

Defendant was convicted for the unauthorized use of a vehicle (UUV), but did not appeal that conviction; instead Defendant assigns three errors made by the trial court. The first assignment of error is that the trial court improperly excluded evidence stating it to be irrelevant. The exhibit that showed that Defendant had pain in full the amount owed to U-Haul. This error is based on two theories, first, it is relevant to prove that Defendant’s agreement with U-Haul was fluid, and second, that even if it is irrelevant it is still admissible under the curative admissibility doctrine. The Court was not persuaded by either of Defendants arguments. The first argument failed because the relevant analysis of a UUV claim focuses on length of time a person maintains control, and that ones payment or nonpayment was not a “fact that is of consequence” in determining guilt under the statute. Second, the court ruled that the curative admissibility doctrine was not relevant because the doctrine should only be used in situations where unfairness or misleading of the jury is a significant issue, or where the opposing counsel “opened to gates” to the evidence. Here the Court stated that for reasons similar as the previous argument the admission of the exhibit would not prevent the jury from being misled on a significant issue. The Court also emphasized it was Defendant not the State who opened the gates, because during testimony Defendant, not the State, emphasized the amount still owed. The final assignments of error are in regards to the trial courts granting of a restitution order. The Court stated that Defendant was not given a formal hearing to defendant against the order because the trial court received the order, signed it and entered it two days later. The Court also stated that the issue was not preserved for appeal, but also stated it did not need to be because the preservation requirement “gives way entirely” when a party has not ability to raise an issue. Supplemental judgment vacated and remanded; otherwise affirmed.

Advanced Search