State v. Sjogren

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 10-28-2015
  • Case #: A156411
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Sercombe, P.J, for the Court; Nakamoto, J; & Tookey, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When stopping a person for trespass, an officer’s reasonable suspicion must be supported by facts that would lead a reasonable person to realize the property was not open to the public.

Defendant appealed his conviction for possession of methamphetamine and assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained when a police officer stopped him for trespassing. Defendant was parked in a pullout on private tribal land. An officer approached the car and asked for licenses and the vehicle registration. Defendant was labeled in the officer’s system as “officer safety” so the officer asked to conduct a pat-down. The officer discovered a meth pipe in Defendant’s pocket and arrested Defendant. Defendant argued that his interaction with the officer was a stop unsupported by reasonable suspicion. Once the officer took Defendant’s identification, Defendant had been stopped by the officer. The officer must have reasonable suspicion, “a belief that was objectively reasonable under the totality of the circumstance existing at that time and place, that Defendant had committed a crime.” Defendant was not objectively breaking the law because the under the trespass statute, a reasonable person would not have recognized the pullout as private property. The “private property” sign posted at the edge of a forest behind the pullout does not support reasonable suspicion because the placement of the sign would suggest to a reasonable person that only the forest was private property. Because there was not reasonable suspicion of trespass, the evidence obtained from the stop should have been suppressed. Reversed and remanded.

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