State v. Tyler

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Law
  • Date Filed: 04-26-2017
  • Case #: A159395
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Sercombe, P.J.; & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

To prove that a pedestrian “proceed[ed] along” a roadway within the meaning of ORS 814.070(1), the state must show that the pedestrian’s direction of travel was in a line that is generally parallel to the direction of the roadway where there is an adjacent usable sidewalk or shoulder.

Defendant appealed a judgment convicting him of ORS 814.070(1)(a), “pedestrian with improper position upon or improperly proceeding along a highway,” for his act of walking diagonally across a roadway.  Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion for judgment of acquittal. On appeal, Defendant argued the state failed to prove the violation because the statute’s “proceeding along” provision does not apply to the crossing of a street.  The state argued the trial court correctly denied the motion because there was sufficient evidence that Defendant was “generally moving in the same direction that the roadway follows.” Based on the text and context of ORS 814.070, the Court of Appeals concluded that ORS 814.070(1)(a) requires the state to prove that a pedestrian improperly “proceed[ed] along” the roadway by showing evidence that the pedestrian’s direction of travel was in a line that generally paralleled the direction of the roadway when there is a usable pedestrian path like a sidewalk or shoulder.  The Court concluded the state did not prove the violation because the evidence failed to demonstrate that Defendant was walking parallel to the road. Thus, the Court held the trial court erred in denying Defendant’s motion for judgment of acquittal. Reversed. 

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