- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Civil Procedure
- Date Filed: 10-27-2021
- Case #: A171966
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Tookey J.; & Jones J.
- Full Text Opinion
Markstrom appealed the dismissal of her claims for gender discrimination and violation of Oregon’s family leave law against her former employer. Markstrom assigned error to the trial court’s dismissal, which was a sanction for spoliation of evidence. On appeal, Markstrom argued that the trial court exceeded their authority and abused their discretion in imposing a sanction of dismissal instead of a lesser penalty. In response, Guard Publishing Company argued that ORS 1.010 and ORCP 46 explicitly authorize the trial court’s conduct and that the conduct is impliedly authorized in the court’s authority to “preserve order in judicial proceedings and punish abusive litigation tactics.” Under Laack v. Botello, 314 Or App 268 (2021), without statutory authorization courts lack the inherent authority required to strike pleadings or claims, which ORS 1.010 does not provide. Under ORCP 46, a court may impose sanctions only for the narrowly described conduct contained in the rule. The Court found that ORCP 46 does not cover pre-litigation conduct and declined to expand the rule. The trial court lacked the authority to dismiss the claims. Reversed and Remanded.