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State v. Winn

Supreme Court of Oregon

June 29, 2017

STATE OF OREGON, Petitioner on Review,
v.
KAYLAN MICHELLE WINN, Respondent on Review.

          Argued and submitted March 9, 2017, at the University of Oregon School of Law, Eugene.

         On review from the Court of Appeals CC 12C46360; CA A154313. [*]

          Rolf C. Moan, Assistant Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause and fled the brief for petitioner on review. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Emily P. Seltzer, Deputy Public Defender, Salem, argued the cause and fled the brief for respondent on review. Also on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Amanda Garty, Portland, fled the brief for amicus curiae Oregon Justice Resource Center.

          Before Balmer, Chief Justice, and Kistler, Walters, Landau, Brewer, Nakamoto, and Flynn, Justices. [**]

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is vacated, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

         [361 Or. 637] Case Summary:

         Before her trial on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, ORS 475.894, defendant moved under Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, to suppress drug evidence found by a courthouse security officer during a purportedly consensual search of her purse. The trial court denied the motion and defendant was convicted. On defendant's appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, holding that, although defendant had consented without qualification to the security officer's general request to search the purse by hand (after running it twice through an x-ray screening device), her consent did not extend to opening the small, opaque compact, inside the purse, in which the drugs were found. The state sought review, arguing that, as a general rule, a person's unqualified affirmative response to a security officer's general request to search some place or property constitutes consent to open and search any unlocked container discovered therein. Held: The dispositive inquiry under Article I, section 9 is a factual inquiry into whether defendant intended to consent to the search of closed containers inside the purse and, given that it is unclear whether the trial court so understood the inquiry and given that opposing inferences would be permissible on the record before the court, the case must be remanded to the circuit court to reconsider its decision under the correct standard.

         The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed. The judgment of the circuit court is vacated, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings consistent with this decision.

         [361 Or. 638] BREWER, J.

         This is the second of two companion cases that implicate, for purposes of Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution, the standard for determining the scope of a criminal defendant's consent to a law enforcement officer's request to search an item of personal property. In State v. Blair, 361 Or. 527, __ P.3d __ (2017), we reviewed a trial court's determination that the defendant's consent to a police officer's generalized request to search his backpack extended to the opening of a closed container inside the backpack. We concluded that the scope-of-consent inquiry is a factual one, directed at what the defendant actually intended. Because opposing inferences were permissible based on the record in that case, and because it was apparent that the trial court may not have appreciated the factual nature of the inquiry, we reversed and remanded for that court to determine the scope of the defendant's consent under the correct standard.

         In the present case, we review a trial court's determination that defendant's consent to a courthouse security officer's generalized request to search her purse by hand, after running it twice through a courthouse x-ray screening device, extended to opening a small compact case that the officer found inside the purse. For the reasons explained below, as in Blair, we vacate defendant's ...


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