State v. Hershey

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 07-19-2017
  • Case #: A157388
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; DeVore, P.J.; & Garrett, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A warrantless search is justified under the emergency aid doctrine when police officers have an objectively reasonable belief based on articulable facts that it is immediately necessary to render aid to a person or animal. State v. Fessenden, 258 Or App 639, 649, 310 P3d 1163 (2013), aff’d on other grounds sub nom State v. Fessenden/ Dicke, 355 Or 759, 333 P3d 278 (2014).

Defendant appealed judgment of first degree animal neglect, ORS 167.330. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of the motion to suppress evidence gathered during the unwarranted entrance onto the Defendant’s property. On appeal, Defendant argued that entry onto his property was unlawful because it did not meet the requirements of the emergency aid doctrine. In response, the state argued that there were reasonable facts that led the officers to the conclusion that a warrantless entry was necessary to protect the defendant’s animals from immediate harm or suffering. A warrantless search is justified under the emergency aid doctrine when police officers have an objectively reasonable belief based on articulable facts that it is immediately necessary to render aid to a person or animal. State v. Fessenden, 258 Or App 639, 649, 310 P3d 1163 (2013), aff’d on other grounds sub nom State v. Fessenden/ Dicke, 355 Or 759, 333 P3d 278 (2014). The Court of Appeals held that the emergency aid exception to permit a warrantless search required the officers to reasonably determine if Defendant’s animals were in immediate harm and suffering in order to enter the premises warrantless.  The Court found the trial court did not error because the animals were left alone for days without care, immediate steps were necessary to alleviate suffering or risk of death. Affirmed.  

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