State v. Alatorre

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 07-01-2020
  • Case #: A165341
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; & Shorr, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

“[T]he existence of valid third-party consent depends either on the third party’s common authority over the property based on her or his own property interest." State v. Bonilla, 358 Or 475, 486 (2015)

Defendant appealed a conviction of fourth degree assault. ORS 163.160. At trial, the court denied Defendant’s motion to suppress evidence. On appeal, Defendant argued that the court erred in concluding that the search of Defendant’s home was with consent. The State recognized the error, but argued that the search was within another exception that the trial court never reached. Consent given to government agents to enter a home is valid only if the person giving consent would have power to exclude individuals from the home. See State v. Bonilla, 358 Or 475, 486 (2015). The Court held that the trial court erred in not reaching the merits of the motion to suppress. The Court found that consent was not present because the individuals who gave consent for police to enter the home were social workers who would not ordinarily have power to exclude individuals from the home. However, since the lower court never reached the merits, the Court does not comment on whether the search was within any other purported exception. Reversed and remanded.

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