City of Lebanon v. Milburn

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 06-14-2017
  • Case #: A160517
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for Court; DeVore, J. & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 133.643(a), “an individual from whose person, property or premises things have been seized may move the appropriate court to return things seized to the person or premises from which they were seized.”

Appellant, the City of Lebanon (the City) appealed an order by the Linn County Circuit Court mandating that the City return the Respondent, Milburn’s, dog after the Respondent was acquitted of second-degree animal abuse by the Circuit Court. On appeal, the city argued that dog had been forfeited to the Linn County Animal Control for adoption by the municipal court pursuant to the authority granted in ORS 167.350. The city further argued that the forfeiture aspect of the municipal court’s sentence was irreversible despite the acquittal of the defendant by the Circuit Court. Under ORS 133.643, “(a) an individual from whose person, property or premises things have been seized may move the appropriate court to return things seized to the person or premises from which they were seized.” ORS 133.643(a). The Court of Appeals found that the municipal court had proper authority to impose forfeiture of the dog as part of sentencing under ORS 167.350. However, the Court found no persuasive evidence that the legislature intended for forfeiture to be irreversible under ORS 167.350. The continued imposition of a punitive forfeiture on the defendant violated ORS 133.643(a) because of Respondent’s subsequent acquittal by the circuit court. Affirmed. 

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