State v. McKee

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 07-22-2015
  • Case #: A155292
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DUNCAN, P.J., for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Flynn, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When a property owner manifests and intention to exclude the public from private property outside the curtilage of a residence, a police officer may only enter the property with a warrant or under an exception to the warrant requirement; mere reasonable suspicion a crime is being committed is not enough.

Defendant McKee appealed the trial court’s judgment convicting him of one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants. ORS 813.010. On appeal Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of McKee’s motion to suppress evidence. McKee argued that the sheriff’s deputy, in obtaining the evidence by following Defendant onto McKee’s family’s private property, violated McKee’s Art. I §9 right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. On a defendant’s motion to suppress evidence on the ground the evidence was obtained after a warrantless search, the state bears the burden of showing that the government official’s actions did not violate Art. I §9. The state may do this in two ways: with a showing that the individual did not in fact have a constitutional protected privacy interest in the property, or the search fit within an exception to the warrant requirement. In order to preserve a constitutionally protected privacy interest in property, a property owner must manifest an intention to exclude the public from the entire property such that a reasonable person would be on notice that entering the property is prohibited. Whether a property owner has manifested that intention to a sufficient degree depends on the specific actions the property owner has taken to exclude the public. The Court found the trial court erred in its analysis by failing to determine if the State met its Art. 1 §9 burden. Reversed and remanded.

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