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State v. Anderson

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 11-21-2013
Case #: S058504
Linder, J. for the Court; Balmer, C.J.; Kistler, J.; and Walters, J. and Baldwin J. dissented
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S058504.pdf

Criminal Procedure: By itself, a request for identification made by an officer in the course of a lawful encounter with a citizen is not a seizure. A seizure occurs if an officer physically restrains a citizen’s liberty in a significant way, or engages in a “show of authority” that reasonably conveys a significant restriction on a person’s freedom to terminate the encounter.

The State sought review of whether Defendant was seized under Article I, section 9 of the Oregon Constitution.  Police officers were executing a search warrant of an apartment linked to drug dealing when Defendant drove up to the apartment, walked to the door, then briskly returned to the car.  Noticing this behavior, several officers approached the car, inquired into Defendant’s connection to the apartment, and asked for Defendant’s identification. Defendant provided what one officer knew to be a false name.  The officer again requested Defendant’s identification and for him to step out of the vehicle.  Defendant was found wanted on an outstanding warrant, and a consented-to search of the vehicle produced methamphetamine and other drug paraphernalia. The Court of Appeals determined that Defendant was seized when officers approached the car and asked Defendant for identification. 

For an encounter to constitute a seizure under Article I, section 9, an officer must either physically restrain that person’s liberty in a significant way, or engage in a “show of authority” that reasonably conveys a significant restriction on the person’s freedom to terminate the encounter.  A request for identification made by an officer does not result in a seizure. Here, the officer’s questions regarding Defendant’s connection to the apartment did not communicate an exercise of authority of the kind required for a seizure.  The encounter became a seizure only once the officers asked Defendant out of the car, at which point officers had reasonable suspicion due to Defendant’s lie about his identity. Reversed.