State v. Templeton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Post-Conviction Relief
  • Date Filed: 12-02-2015
  • Case #: A154982
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Ortega, P.J., for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 138.694, it is not necessary to file for and be granted a petition for assistance of counsel prior to filing a motion for which the assistance of counsel was requested.

Defendant was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in 1991. More than twenty years after his conviction, Defendant moved for post-conviction DNA testing and requested appointed counsel related to that motion under ORS 138.694. The trial court denied the motion and the petition for counsel. Defendant appealed, contending that he met all of the requirements of ORS 138.694 and that the trial court erred in denying his request for appointed counsel. Defendant also argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion for DNA testing. Regarding the first assignment of error, the state contended that he did not complete a required “two-step” process under ORS 138.694, by which a defendant files a motion for appointment of counsel, and then, if granted, defendant receives advice from counsel regarding whether to file a motion for DNA testing.The Court held that the language of the statute did not impose this specific of a process, and that Defendant accordingly followed the demands of ORS 138.694. Moreover, the Court held that Defendant’s motion for DNA testing was not moot simply because he filed the motion without the assistance of counsel. Order denying appointed counsel reversed and remanded; order denying DNA testing vacated and remanded.

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