- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
- Date Filed: 03-17-2021
- Case #: S067290
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Walters, C.J. for the Court; En Banc.
- Full Text Opinion
Defendant was convicted of Rape and Unlawful Sexual Penetration and was afforded a new trial because the jury instructions knowingly omitted the mens rea element from the state’s burden of proof. The Court of Appeals reversed and Defendant argued that a motion under ORCP 64 B(1) has no preservation requirement because the only threshold question is whether an “irregularity” prevented a fair trial. The State argued that because ORCP 64 B(6) requires an objection for preservation, which Defendant failed to raise, the trial court had no authority to grant the motion under either rule. ORCP 64 B(1) states that a new trial is warranted when a substantial right of the moving party is affected by an “[i]regularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party, or any order of the court, or abuse of discretion, by which such party was prevented from having a fair trial.” The Court held that the trial court’s instructional error was an irregularity in the proceeding such that ORCP 64 B(1) applied. ORCP 64 B(1) and B(6) are not mutually exclusive, instead, the rules permit the trial court to grant a new trial for numerous overlapping reasons. The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The order of the circuit court is affirmed.