State v. Delaurent

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 06-08-2022
  • Case #: A170921
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Kamins, J. for the Court; Shorr, P.J. & DeHoog, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

District attorneys are not law enforcement officers for the purpose of the wiretapping statute, ORS 165.540.

Defendant appealed a conviction of interception of communications after she recorded a deputy district attorney and Department of Human Services personnel during meetings discussing her case. Defendant assigned error to the denial of a motion to instruct the jury that a district attorney is a "law enforcement officer" under the wiretapping statute, ORS 165.540. Defendant argued that a district attorney falls within the plain meaning of a "law enforcement officer." In response, the State argued that the legislative history and context of the statute does not support that a district attorney is a "law enforcement officer." A "law enforcement officer" is "[a]n officer employed to enforce criminal laws." ORS 133.726(11)(a). The Court reasoned that the statutes exceptions for a uniformed "law enforcement officer" or one wearing a body camera or using a taser all referenced police officer activities and did not include district attorney activities. Further, the Court reasoned that the legislature's objective for the bill that added the "law enforcement officer" definition to the wiretapping statute was to create an exception around the actions of police officers. Affirmed.

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