State v. Miller

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 04-19-2017
  • Case #: A150972
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Hadlock, C.J.; & DeVore, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under either Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution or the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, disclosing incriminating medical test results that are acquired incidentally to treatment pursuant to ORS 676.260(1) does not implicate a constitutionally protected privacy interest.

Defendant appealed his conviction for three driving offenses, including DUII after a hospital treating him for injuries sustained in a crash turned over his blood work to police pursuant to their legal duty under ORS 676.260(1).  On appeal, Defendant argued that ORS 676.260(1) unconstitutionally authorized the warrantless search of his blood in violation of his right to privacy under the Oregon and U.S. Constitutions.  Under either Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution or the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, disclosing incriminating medical test results that are acquired incidentally to treatment pursuant to ORS 676.260(1) does not implicate a constitutionally protected privacy interest.  The Court rejected Defendant's Article I, Section 9 claim, plainly stating that the defendant's request to overrule State v. Gonzalez, 120 Or App 249 (1993), was denied.  The Court then disposed of Defendant's Fourth Amendment claim by noting that the Supreme Court impliedly authorized statutes such as ORS 676.260(1) in Ferguson v. City of Charleston, 532 US 67, 121 S Ct 1281 (2001), as long as the hospitals collecting the incriminating medical evidence were collecting it incidental to their treatment of defendants, rather than for the express purpose of turning the evidence over to law enforcement.  Affirmed.

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