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M.K.F. v. Miramontes

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 09-20-2012
Case #: S058847
Walters, J. for the Court; En Banc.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/S058847.pdf

Civil Procedure: Under ORS 30.866, if a plaintiff seeks both an injunctive order and a judgment for compensatory money damages, the parties are entitled to a jury trial on the claim for money damages.

On review from the decision in M.K.F. v. Miramontes by the Oregon Court of Appeals. M.K.F. filed a petition under ORS 30.866 and sought three forms of relief, two of which are relevant on review: a stalking protective order and compensatory money damages. Defendant appealed the trial court's judgment in favor of M.K.F. conducted on all three claims without a jury. The Court of Appeals held that Defendant had neither a statutory nor a constitutional right to a jury trial and affirmed the trial court's issuance of a stalking protective order and judgment for compensatory damages and attorney fees. M.K.F. contended that because the legislature adopted ORS 30.866 to enjoin acts of stalking, all claims that are filed pursuant to that statute are essentially equitable in nature, and therefore, there is no constitutional right to a jury trial for any part of it. Defendant argued that M.K.F.'s equitable claim may be tried to the court, but her legal claim must be tried to a jury. The Court concluded that Article I, section 17, and Article VII (Amended), section 3 of the Oregon Constitution preserved the right to a jury trial for claims that are properly categorized as "civil" or "at law." Therefore, the Court held that M.K.F.'s claim seeking monetary damage fits within those terms and that the Court of Appeals erred in reaching a contrary conclusion. The decision of the Court of Appeals and the judgment of the circuit court are affirmed in part and reversed in part. The case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings.