State v. Wiborg

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 04-26-2017
  • Case #: A156085
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. pro tempore, for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & DeVore, J., dissenting.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 165.570(1), the state must prove that a defendant “understood that he was using the 9-1-1 system to report activities that he did not reasonably believe required prompt emergency service ‘in order to preserve life or property.’” In re Strickland, 339 Or 595, 601 (2005) (quoting ORS 165.570(1)).

Defendant appealed from judgments of conviction for improper use of the emergency communications system, ORS 165.570. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s construction of the statute, which required the State only prove an individual knowingly made an emergency call without an objectively reasonable belief he or she needed emergency services. On appeal, Defendant argued in order to be convicted of violating ORS 165.570, an individual must knowingly call 9-1-1 for a purpose other than reporting a situation that he or she subjectively "reasonably believes" requires emergency services. Under ORS 165.570(1), the state must prove that a defendant “understood that he was using the 9-1-1 system to report activities that he did not reasonably believe required prompt emergency service ‘in order to preserve life or property.’” In re Strickland, 339 Or 595, 601 (2005) (quoting ORS 165.570(1)). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court applied an incorrect legal a finding to the mens rea element of the offense when convicting the Defendant. Therefore, Defendant was entitled to a new trial. Reversed and remanded. DeVore, J., dissenting. 

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