State v. Robinson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 10-11-2017
  • Case #: A160084
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; & James, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 161.309(3), a defendant may file notice to present an insanity defense “at any time” before trial, if just cause for not filing it at the time of plea is provided.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction on six counts of first-degree custodial sexual misconduct and six counts of first-degree official misconduct. Defendant assigned error to nine pretrial rulings, of which the Court of Appeals reviewed one, the trial court’s disallowance of Defendant from presenting an insanity defense. On appeal, Defendant argued that the trial court erroneously interpreted ORS 161.309, as it permits the filing of notice of intent to present an insanity defense “at any time before trial,” if defendant has “just cause” for not filing the notice at the time of plea. In response, State argued that ORS 161.309 requires the “timeliness of defendant’s notice [to] turn on when the likelihood of raising an insanity defense became apparent to defendant." Since Defendant's counsel knew for a month that Defendant was likely to raise an insanity defense, State contended that Defendant had to provide just cause for why notice wasn't filed prior to that point. Under ORS 161.309(3), a defendant may file notice to present an insanity defense “at any time” before trial, if just cause for not filing it at the time of plea is provided. The Court of Appeals determined that ORS 161.309 requires a defendant to provide "just cause" for not filing notice at the time of plea, and that it was undisputed that Defendant was unable to do so in this instance. Accordingly, the Court held that the trial court erred in prohibiting Defendant from filing notice to raise the defense of insanity. Reversed and remanded.

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