- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 01-27-2021
- Case #: A166206
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Hadlock, J. for the Court; Tookey, P. J.; & Shorr, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction for two weapons charges and theft of services. Defendant assigns error to the denial of his motion to suppress, arguing officers seized him unlawfully when asking for proof he paid his TriMet fair, lacking reasonable suspicion, and therefore evidence should have been suppressed. In response, the State argued that it was a permissible stop, not a seizure. Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, is not a limit on officer authority to approach individuals and request cooperation or information, as long as officer conduct would not “be reasonably perceived as coercive in the sense that it would cause [that individual] to reasonably believe that the officer is intentionally restraining the [individual’s] liberty or freedom of movement in a significant way—that is, in a way that exceeds the bounds of ordinary social encounters between private citizens.” State v. Backstrand, 354 Or 392, 400 (2013). The Court found that reasonable passengers could conclude officers checking fares significantly interfered with their liberty because proving fare payment requires passengers to prove they did not commit a crime and that officers, with obvious authority to arrest, were the persons checking fares. Reasonable passengers would not expect they could refuse to show proof and leave the train without submitting to the officer’s authority and therefore would be subjected to detention, citation, or arrest if they refused. Thus, the Court found the State did not meet its burden and the trial court erred in denying the motion. Reversed and remanded.