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State v. Grierson

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-31-2011
Case #: A140920
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; & Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A140920.pdf

Criminal Law: A letter from the district attorney’s office advising defendant of an arraignment date does not satisfy the commencement of prosecution for statute of limitation purposes under ORS 131.135.

Defendant was convicted of one count of unlawful possession of methamphetamine, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor. The events forming the basis of the conviction occurred on or about November 10, 2005 and defendant was indicted shortly thereafter. The original indictment was defective and dismissed. However, in 2007 the state reindicted the defendant and sent a letter to her advising her to appear at an arraignment on November 15, 2007. Defendant asked the trial court to dismiss the misdemeanor charges alleging the state had not commenced the prosecution within the statute of limitations per ORS 131.135. The trial court held that the letter sent to the defendant satisfied ORS 131.135 as “other process.” The Court of Appeals reversed, reasoning that “other process” per ORS 131.135 is understood to mean a legal instrument requiring a person to be in court to respond to a charge or complaint. The Court held that the letter from the district attorney’s office did not satisfy this requirement as it served only to notify defendant of her arraignment. Conviction for endangering welfare of a minor reversed; remanded for resentencing; otherwise affirmed.