State v. Navickas

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 06-03-2015
  • Case #: A154558
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J., for the Court; DeVore, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Evaluating a “lawful order” pertaining to ORS 162.247(1)(b) should be done independently of the circumstances giving rise to the order given. The standard is whether a rational trier of fact could find that the order was given by one who had the authority to give such order and the lawfulness of said order could be found in substantive law.

Defendant appealed his conviction of interfering with a police officer contending that the trial court erred in upholding the police officer's instruction as “lawful” when the underlying law of the police officer's instruction was declared unconstitutional. Defendant led an environmental protest in Ashland, foregoing the required permit due to expense. The protest occurred in heavy rain during busy evening traffic, completely blocking one lane and spilling in to another. The officer repeatedly asked Defendant to move the protest onto the sidewalk for the protestor's safety. Defendant refused to obey the instruction. Defendant argued that the instruction would not have been “lawful” had the Defendant obtained a permit and since the permit requirement was declared unconstitutional during the initial trial, the instruction was thus unlawful. The Court disagreed stating that a rational fact finder could have decided that the officer had the authority to give the instruction he gave in light of the circumstances the protest was occurring for the safety of the protestors and community involved. AFFIRMED.

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