State v. Ritter

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 08-17-2016
  • Case #: A157652
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J., & Egan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 165.800, in order to convert the personal identification of another person to one’s own use via “appropriation,” a Defendant must take, acquire, or claim that personal identification by possessing or controlling it without the consent or permission of the person it identifies.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for identity theft. While in custody at the Marion County Jail, Defendant had his cellmate place a prohibited phone call to Defendant’s girlfriend using the cellmate’s jail-issued personal identification number (PIN). The cellmate then handed the phone to Defendant. Defendant was convicted of identity theft under ORS 165.800(1) on the ground that he had converted his cellmate’s PIN to his own use. On appeal, Defendant argued that, by simply taking the telephone from his cellmate, he did not convert his cellmate’s PIN to his own use. The State argued that, by taking the telephone, Defendant “appropriated” his cellmate’s PIN, and therefore converted it to his own use. Under ORS 165.800, in order to convert the personal identification of another person to one’s own use via “appropriation,” a Defendant must take, acquire, or claim that personal identification by possessing or controlling it without the consent or permission of the person it identifies. Since Defendant and his cellmate worked together to place the prohibited call, Defendant used his cellmate’s PIN with permission. The Court thereby found there was insufficient evidence that Defendant had converted the personal identification of another person to his own use. Conviction for identity theft reversed; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.

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