- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 09-20-2017
- Case #: A146025
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. pro tempore for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
- Full Text Opinion
The defendant appealed the trial court’s denial of a motion to suppress. Defendant assigned error to the collection of underwear from a dirty clothes hamper and the evidence subsequently discovered from testing the underwear. On appeal, Defendant argued that the deputy accepting the underwear from a third party and the testing of the underwear was an unlawful seizure and search because it violated his privacy interests, no warrant existed and no exception to the warrant requirement applied. In response, the State argued that (1) it can test lawfully seized items “to confirm the presence of whatever the police have probable cause to believe is present in that item” and (2) Defendant did not have a privacy interest in the underwear or its contents. Parents retain property rights in the items, including clothing, they provide their children. Hoblyn v. Johnson, 55 P3d 1219 (Wyo, 2002). When searching items without a warrant, the state may examine without invading a person’s privacy interests if the contents in in open view or if the item “by its very nature announce[s] [its] contents.” Walter v. United States, 447 US 649, 654, 100 S Ct 2395 (1980). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court erred because Defendant had a protected privacy interest and conducting a test on the underwear was an unlawful search because it “exceeded the scope of visual observations” without a warrant and did not fall into an exception to the warrant requirement. Convictions on Counts 1 through 4 reversed and remanded; otherwise affirmed.