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State v. Nyhuis

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-22-2012
Case #: A145893
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A145893.pdf

Criminal Law: With regard to reckless burning under ORS 164.335(1), the term "property" means something that has market value or has a replacement cost. In order for the replacement cost alternative to be used, some other person must have a legal or equitable interest in it.

Defendant appealed the trial court's denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal and subsequent conviction of reckless burning. Defendant set fire to toilet paper, cracker wrappers, and a paper drinking cup while at a detoxification center. The issue was whether the items Defendant burned were "property of another", which is required by ORS 164.335(1), the reckless burning statute. The Court of Appeals held that "property" within the reckless burning statute means something that has market value or has a replacement cost. In order for the replacement cost alternative to be used, some other person must have a legal or equitable interest in it. Because there was no evidence that the detoxification center provided the items burnt by Defendant with any expectation of getting them back or that they had any value, the State failed to meet its burden with regard to the reckless burning charge. Reversed.