- Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
- Area(s) of Law: Remedies
- Date Filed: 10-13-2021
- Case #: A169687
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, P.J., for the Court; James, J.; & Kamins, J.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant appealed a conviction for forging a prenuptial agreement in a civil proceeding with his ex-wife. Defendant assigned several errors, including that the court erred in (1) not dismissing the criminal case for double jeopardy, and (2) awarding restitution to the victims as a result of the crime. On appeal, Defendant argued that the contempt proceeding in the civil case for his forgery was of criminal character to trigger the double jeopardy protections under the state and federal constitutions. Defendant further argued that the restitution awards were unreasonable, and with respect to the attorney’s fees, was duplicative of the work done in the civil case. Double jeopardy may be triggered by an “ostensibly civil proceeding” if that proceeding is “so punitive either in purpose or effect as to transform what was clearly intended as a civil remedy into a criminal penalty.” Hudson v. United States, 522 US 93, 99, (1997). Under ORS 137.106(1)(a), if the victim in a criminal case has suffered economic damages, the defendant must repay those damages in full. The Court rejected the double jeopardy argument and held that the contempt sanctions were typically the type used to deter civil litigation misconduct and were not so punitive to constitute a criminal penalty. The Court further held that the trial court’s award of restitution for the victim’s attorney fees was reasonable considering recent precedent that permits victims to hire attorneys to represent their interests in criminal cases. Affirmed.