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Walker v. State

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-22-2013
Case #: A147043
Haselton, C.J. for the Court; and Brewer, Judge pro tempore.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147043.pdf

Post-Conviction Relief: The requirements of preservation do not apply when a party has no practical opportunity to object to the purported error before entry of judgment. Plain error is therefore inapposite.

Walker appeals the trial court's denial of relief in a post-conviction relief proceeding, based upon the absence of findings required under ORS 138.640(1), as interpreted in Datt v. Hill, 347 Or. 672, 227 P.3d 714 (2010).  The Court of Appeals held, as an initial matter, that both parties' arguments were founded on the incorrect assumption that the Court would review the issue for "plain error."  Walker had no reason to know that the post-conviction court would not include findings required under ORS 138.640, and thus had no opportunity to object.  The sole issue on appeal was whether the trial court's judgment included findings sufficient to satisfy ORS 138.640(1).  The Court of Appeals held that under the statute, as explained in Datt, the trial court's entry of judgment was "fatally deficient" for lack of stating the basis of the denial of relief.  Reversed and remanded.