J.D. v. Klaptch

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-30-2015
  • Case #: A155498
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; &Hadlock, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Whether a denial of a continuance is improper depends on the particular circumstances of the case and the reasons presented to the court at the time the request is denied.

Petitioner appealed an order dismissing a restraining order that he had obtained under the Elderly Persons and Persons with Disabilities Abuse Prevention Act. His first assignment of error, was that the trial court erred in denying a motion for a continuance, which deprived Petitioner of the opportunity to present his only witness; the second assignment of error, contended that the trial court erred by refusing to allow him to call his witness. The Court limited their discussion to the denial of petitioner’s motion for a continuance. Specifically, Petitioner argued that the trial court abused their discretion and did not afford him a fair hearing, including time to adequately present his case, call a witness to the abuse, present his rebuttal, and sufficiently cross-examine Respondent's witnesses and also the trial court's denial of Petitioner's continuance. The court reviewed the trial court's decision under an abuse of discretion standard. In determining what constitutes an abuse of discretion, the Oregon Supreme Court has considered whether discretion is exercised “to an end or purpose not justified by, and clearly against, reason and evidence.” The Court ultimately concluded that the trial court's reason for not issuing the continuance (getting through the entire docket for the day) was not sufficient given the overwhelming amount of importance Petitioner's witness afforded to his case. Reverse and remanded.

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