- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 09-15-2021
- Case #: A172107
- Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, P.J. for the Court; DeHoog, J.; Mooney, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction for punitive contempt after he “unlawfully and willfully disobey[ed]” a court order precluding him from contacting the victim in a separate case. Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s judgment of conviction. On appeal, Defendant argued that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that he willfully violated the no-contact order as required by ORS 33.015(2)(b) because he “had a good faith belief that the no-contact provision had been lifted.” In response, the State argued that the evidence shows that Defendant did willfully violate the release agreement because he did not verify the order’s status before contacting the protected party. Under State v. Nicholson, 282 Or App 51 (2016), “[a] defendant who acts based on a good faith belief that a judicial order has been dismissed cannot be deemed to have acted [willfully]” within the meaning of ORS 33.015(2). The Court found that the evidence could show that Defendant did not act willfully, but that the trial court did not consider whether Defendant actually had a good faith belief that the order had been dismissed, deeming that such a belief would not be a defense. If Defendant’s account is to be believed, the trial court could not have found Defendant guilty. Reversed and remanded.