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State v. Holiday

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-25-2013
Case #: A147796
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/A147796.pdf

Criminal Procedure: A search occurs when officers interfere with a person’s protected privacy interest. To argue “inevitable discovery,” police must prove that they would have obtained disputed evidence through lawful procedures.

Defendant appealed his conviction for possession of cocaine, arguing that the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress. Defendant was spotted near a public one-person restroom by an officer who knew him to be in violation of a term of his probation. As the officer approached, Defendant moved into the restroom and refused to come out. The officer unlocked the door, and arrested Defendant upon finding a “crack pipe” with cocaine residue. On appeal, Defendant argued that the officer conducted an unlawful search. The State first argued that unlocking the restroom was not a search under Article I, section 9, because Defendant was not using the restroom for a “private purpose.” The Court held that because the State failed to establish that the officer did not interfere with Defendant’s protected privacy interest, the officer’s action was an unlawful search. The State next argued that the evidence would have inevitably been discovered in plain view upon Defendant’s emergence from the restroom. The Court held that the State failed to establish that: (1) the officers would have waited for Defendant to come out on his own, (2) that Defendant would not have gotten rid of the evidence before emerging, and (3) that proper investigatory procedures would have occurred. Reversed and remanded.