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Rice v. Rabb

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-08-2012
Case #: A145606
Sercombe, J. for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Brewer, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A145606.pdf

Property Law: The legislature will clearly state if a discovery rule applies to a statute of limitations.

Plaintiff (Rice) appealed a judgment dismissing her claims for conversion and replevin. In 1972, Rice inherited an outfit worn by the 1930 “Queen of the Pendleton Round-up.” Rice decided to have the outfit put on display at the Pendleton Round-up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame. In 2000, Defendant (Rabb) received possession of the outfit from the Hall of Fame. In 2007, Rice discovered that the outfit was no longer on display. Rice brought an action against Rabb in 2009, which was dismissed due to the six-year statute of limitations set forth in ORS 12.080(4). Rice appealed, arguing that ORS 12.080(4) impliedly incorporated a discovery rule, which allowed the statute to toll until there was actual or constructive knowledge of the injury. The Court rejected Rice’s argument and held consistently with its decision in Waxman v. Waxman & Associates, Inc., holding that when the legislature intends to subject a statute of limitations to a discovery rule, it clearly establishes such a rule. Furthermore, it was well established that a conversion claim accrued at the time the Defendant exercised wrongful dominion or control over property regardless of whether the plaintiff was aware of the conversion. Affirmed.