State v. Mejia

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Appellate Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-26-2017
  • Case #: A157143
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, P.J. for the Court; Garrett, J.; & Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

An issue is preserved for review if it is presented clearly in a written motion, notwithstanding a party’s failure to reiterate all of its arguments at a subsequent hearing. State v. Walker, 350 Or 540 (2011)

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction on numerous drug charges. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial of his motion to suppress evidence found during a traffic stop. Defendant argued that the warrantless search of his vehicle did not fall into an established exception, was illegal, and therefore the evidence seized must be suppressed. The State argued that the assignment of error was unpreserved because it had been only briefly mentioned in Defendant’s motion to suppress and went completely unaddressed at the suppression hearing. However, in the Court of Appeals’ reading of State v. Walker, 350 Or 540, 258 P3d 1228 (2011) (an issue is preserved for review if it is presented clearly in a written motion, notwithstanding a party’s failure to reiterate all of its arguments at a subsequent hearing) the issue was sufficiently preserved. The State did not provide any justification for the search absent the preservation argument.  Citing the State’s obligation under State v. Potter, 282 Or App 605, 610, 385 P3d 1105 (2016) (“The state has the burden to prove that circumstances existing at the time were sufficient to satisfy an exception to the warrant requirement.”), the Court of Appeals held that the evidence should have been suppressed as a product of a warrantless search. Reversed and remanded.  

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