State v. Cleland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 12-20-2017
  • Case #: A161362
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J. for the Court; DeVore, J.; and James, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under State v. Hite, 266 Or App 710, 720 (2014) a policy requirement, that officers open every closed container that is designed or objectively likely to contain valuables, serves as the constitutionally necessary constraint on the exercise of individual officers’ discretion.

Defendant appealed a judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine. Defendant assigned error to the trial court's denial of his motion to suppress the drug evidence, which was discovered in an electronics case during an inventory search following his arrest. On appeal, Defendant argued that the search violated his Article I, section 9 rights because the police department's inventory search policy gave officers too much discretion in determining which containers to search, and was thereby unconstitutionally overbroad. Under State v. Hite, 266 Or App 710, 720 (2014) a policy requirement, that officers open every closed container that is designed or objectively likely to contain valuables, serves as the constitutionally necessary constraint on the exercise of individual officers’ discretion. Since the police department's policy required the search of any container designed to hold "valuables," the Court of Appeals concluded the (1) policy was not overbroad, and therefore, (2) defendant's Article I, section 9 rights were not violated. Thus, the Court held the trial court did not err in admitting the drug evidence. Affirmed.

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