and Submitted June 29, 2017
County Circuit Court C150045CR; Suzanne Upton, Judge.
Blumenthal, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for
appellant. With him on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief
Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense
M. Wilsey, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for
respondent. With him on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum,
Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.
Garrett, Presiding Judge, and Lagesen, Judge, and Edmonds,
Summary: Defendant appeals a judgment of conviction for two
counts of first-degree criminal possession of a forged
instrument, ORS 165.022. On appeal, defendant assigns error
to the trial court's denial of his motion for a judgment
of acquittal on both counts, arguing that the two documents-a
forged Social Security card and a forged permanent-resident
card-did not qualify as "other valuable
instruments" within the meaning of ORS 165.013(1)(a)(A).
The trial court erred in denying defendant's motion for a
judgment of acquittal. Under State v. Tarrence, 161
Or.App. 583, 588, 985 P.2d 225 (1999), the two documents do
not qualify as "other valuable instruments" because
(1) they lack a readily ascertainable face value, and (2)
they were not issued by a government as part of a large or
Or. 411] GARRETT, P. J.
was convicted after a bench trial of two counts of
first-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, ORS
165.022. On appeal, defendant assigns error to the trial
court's denial of his motion for a judgment of acquittal
(MJOA) on both counts. The issue before us is whether the
forged documents that defendant possessed-a
permanent-resident card and a Social Security card, both
purporting to be issued by the federal government-are
"valuable instruments" within the meaning of ORS
165.013(1)(a)(A). We conclude that they are not, and that the
trial court consequently erred in denying the MJOA. The
judgment is reversed.
relevant facts are undisputed. A police officer stopped
defendant for two traffic violations. The officer impounded
the vehicle after he determined that neither defendant nor
his passenger was authorized to drive. During an inventory
search, the officer found two identification cards in the
glove compartment. One appeared to be a Social Security card;
the other appeared to be a permanent-resident card.
Suspecting that the cards were inauthentic, the officer
questioned defendant, who said that he bought the cards at a
market in California and had been using them to obtain
was charged with two counts of first-degree criminal
possession of a forged instrument, ORS 165.022. Critically
for this appeal, the state proceeded against defendant under
the theory that he possessed written instruments that
purported to be "[p]art of an issue of money,
securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other valuable
instruments issued by a government or governmental
agency." ORS 165.013(1)(a)(A).
close of the state's case, defendant moved for a judgment
of acquittal on both counts on the ground that neither of the
documents that he possessed was a "valuable
instrument" within the meaning of ORS 165.013(1)(a)(A).
Defendant argued that a "valuable instrument" under
sub-paragraph (A) must have inherent pecuniary value, a
characteristic lacking in the two forged identification
cards. The [287 Or. 412] trial court denied the MJOA. On
appeal, defendant reprises his argument.
trial court's denial of a motion for a judgment of
acquittal turns on a question of statutory construction, we
review for legal error. State v. Rodriguez, 283
Or.App. 536, 540-41, 390 P.3d 1104, rev den, 361 Or.
543 (2017). We construe statutes by considering the text of
the statute in context, the statute's legislative history
to the extent that it is useful, and maxims of statutory
construction when necessary to resolve any remaining
uncertainty. State v. Gaines,346 Or. 160, 171-72,
206 P.3d 1042 (2009). If we have previously construed a
statute, and that construction controls the interpretive
question on appeal, we adhere to our prior construction of