State v. Newton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 06-14-2017
  • Case #: A157145
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan P.J. for the Court; Flynn, J.; & DeVore, J., dissenting
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, to transform an encounter between an officer and a citizen into a "seizure," . . . “some exercise of coercive authority by the officer, such as retention of the identification after examination and a continuation of investigatory activities, is required.”

State appealed the trial court’s grant of defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. The State assigned error to the trial court's finding that defendant was stopped for the purposes of Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, without reasonable suspicion. On appeal, the State argued that Defendant was not stopped at any point before the officer developed reasonable suspicion that the defendant had committed a crime. Under Article I, section 9, in determining whether a mere encounter becomes a “seizure,” the question “is whether the circumstances as a whole transformed the encounter into a seizure,” even if the circumstances, individually would not create a seizure. State v. Anderson, 354 Or 440, 453 (2013) (emphasis added). To transform an encounter between an officer and a citizen into a “seizure,” at a minimum, “some exercise of coercive authority by the officer, such as retention of the identification after examination and a continuation of investigatory activities, is required.” In this case, the officer encountered defendant late at night, while defendant was sitting with his girlfriend in a van parked in the driveway of the girlfriend's home, knocked on the van window, communicated through his questioning that he was investigating defendant's possible involvement in a domestic issue, asked defendant to produce identification, asked defendant's girlfriend if she would talk with the officer outside of the van, and then stood with the girlfriend behind the van, in position that conveyed that defendant was not free to drive away until the officer completed his investigation. ’Whenever the state has obtained evidence following the violation of a defendant’s Article I, section 9, rights, it is presumed that the evidence was tainted by the violation and must be suppressed’” State v. Davis, 282 Or App 660, 674, n 6, (2016) (quoting State v. Miller, 267 Or App 382, 398 (2014)). Therefore, the evidence was properly suppressed by the trial court. Affirmed.

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