State v. Blackburn

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
  • Date Filed: 02-23-2017
  • Case #: A159236
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 33.096, a court may summarily impose a sanction upon a person who commits contempt of court "in the immediate view and presence of the court," including a person present via telephone.

Defendant appealed a judgment of punitive contempt entered by the trial court when Defendant refused to adhere to the court's directive to stop interrupting the court during a marriage dissolution proceeding. Defendant contended that trial court erred in three respects: (1) the trial court's authority to sanction him for contempt (specifically, since it was a hearing conducted via telephone; Defendant wasn't’t "in the immediate view and presence of the court," as required by ORS 33.096), (2) the trial court erred in concluding his conduct was willful, and (3) the trial court should have taken into account as a “mitigating circumstance” that the “1995 speaker-phone audio technology” he used impaired his ability to understand the trial court. Under ORS 33.096, a court may summarily impose a sanction upon a person who commits contempt of court "in the immediate view and presence of the court," including a person present via telephone. With regards to the second and third assignments of error, the Court of Appeals rejected both arguments citing to the record that Defendant heard, and understood the trial court's orders to stop interrupting. With regards to the first assignment, the Court also rejected Defendant's argument, reasoning that purpose of ORS 33.096 embraces contemptuous conduct committed via telephone. Affirmed.

Advanced Search