State v. Klein

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Evidence
  • Date Filed: 08-02-2012
  • Case #: S059542
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, C.J.; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under ORS 133.721 an aggrieved person who has standing to move to suppress evidence obtained pursuant to a body-wire is a party to an intercepted communication or a person against whom the interception was directed.

Defendant was convicted by a jury of murder and other crimes. The trial court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained by wiretap and body-wire; the Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction. Defendant was the driver in a shooting. Defendant's girlfriend, while serving a jail sentence, offered information on the murder in exchange for a reduced sentence. The police used a body wire on her that named Defendant in the murder and then a wiretap that further implicated Defendant. Under Oregon’s wiretap, ORS 133.724, and body-wire statutes, ORS 133.726, a judge may order the interception of communications if detailed requirements are met. The remedies for violations of body-wires and wiretaps permit an aggrieved person, who is a party to the communication, to move to suppress evidence derived from an unlawfully intercepted communication. The body-wire statute required the order to specify the identity of the person whose communication is being intercepted. Evidence obtained pursuant to the body-wire order established probable cause for the wiretap order. Suppression is only proper for persons whose rights were violated by the search, not those who are aggrieved by the introduction of damaging evidence. The Supreme Court held that the order specified communications between two named parties, but not Defendant, and Defendant was not present when the intercepted communications were made, therefore Defendant is not an aggrieved person. Because the body-wire evidence is admissible, the wiretap order was proper and Defendant’s motion to suppress was properly denied. Affirmed.

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