State v. Robertson

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 01-04-2018
  • Case #: A159507
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Tookey, J. for the Court; Armstong, P.J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 163.575(1)(b), endangering a minor’s welfare exists when a minor enters or remains in a place where a “principal or substantial use of the place involves unlawful drug activity.” State v. Gonzalez-Valenzuela, 358 OR 451, 473 (2015).

Defendant appealed a conviction judgment for unlawful delivery of methamphetamine and endangering the welfare of a minor. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s determination of what signifies endangerment to a minor’s welfare, and its denial of an evidentiary discovery request for a Cooperating Individual’s (CI) involvement and audio recording. On appeal, Defendant argued that the minor’s welfare was not endangered as his residence was not “principally or substantially used” in unlawful drug activity, and the request for the CI discovery information would not subject revealing the identity of the CI. In response, the State argued that the trial court did not commit plain error in the determination of endangerment, and the State “has a privilege to refuse to disclose the [informant’s] identity” under ORS 135.855 and OEC 510. Under ORS 163.575(1)(b), endangering a minor’s welfare exists when a minor enters or remains in a place where a “principal or substantial use of the place involves unlawful drug activity.” State v. Gonzalez-Valenzuela, 358 OR 451, 473 (2015). Under OEC 510(4)(c), the privilege to reveal identity extends to an informant, even for in camera disclosure, so long as the trial court is reasonably satisfied that the informant is reliable or credible.  State v. Young, 108 Or App 196, 206 (1991). The Court of Appeals held that the trial court did not err in the determination of endangering a minor’s welfare because Defendant's circumstances were materially distinguishable from that in Gonzalez-Valenzuela. The Court also held that the trial court did not err in denying the discovery request because the court applied privilege before the request might reveal the CI’s identity. Affirmed.

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