State v. R.D.S.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Commitment
  • Date Filed: 06-10-2015
  • Case #: A156197
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J: Nakamoto, J.; Egan, J. Per Curiam.
  • Full Text Opinion

A trial court in a civil commitment proceeding must advise the allegedly mentally ill person directly regarding the rights guaranteed by ORS 4216.100. When the court fails to do this, it is plain error and the Court can hear the issue despite a failure to preserve.

Appellant appealed a judgment that sentenced him to the Mental Health Division for treatment of a period no more than 180 days. Appellant argued that the trial court committed a plain error for failing to advise him of his right to subpoena witnesses. The State argued two things: First, that the Appellant failed to preserve the issue, and the Court should not exercise their right of review it for plain error, and, second, even if it is found to be plain error it was harmless. The Court rejected both arguments made by the State. First the Court stated that a trial court commits a plain error when it fails to advise mentally challenged persons of their rights, and to the State's second argument, the Court stated that to decide if something is harmless they focus on whether Appellant received the information elsewhere. Here the Court concluded that Appellant did not, and therefore the error was not harmless. Reversed.

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