- Court: Oregon Supreme Court
- Area(s) of Law: Wildlife Law
- Date Filed: 08-11-2022
- Case #: S067825
- Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J for the Court; Walters, C.J.; Balmer, J.; Flynn, J.; Nelson, J.; Garrett, J.; & DeHoog, J.
Respondent was charged with animal neglect and over thirty of his animals were impounded at an animal shelter. After three months, the district attorney filed a motion under ORS 167.347 for Respondent to either forfeit the animals or pay a security deposit or bond. The motion was granted and the animals were forfeited. Respondent assigns error to the denial of his motion for a jury trial for the ORS 167.347 motion. Article I, section 17 of the Oregon Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial in civil cases that historically used jury trials before the Oregon Constitution was enacted and “cases ‘of like nature.’” Horton v. Or. Health & Sci. Univ., 376 P3d 998 (Or. 2016). The Court reasoned that ORS 167.347 calls for equitable relief because the purpose of the statute is to ensure that impounded animals receive minimum care and that the cost of that care is not forced on state agencies. Further, the Court reasoned that two analogous cases involving people who had legal obligations to care for someone else were found to not have been tried by jury when the Oregon Constitution was enacted. Accordingly, the Court held that claims brought under ORS 167.347 were not entitled to a jury trial. Affirmed.