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In re P. T.

Court of Appeals of Oregon

December 5, 2018

In the Matter of P. T., a Youth.
v.
P. T., Appellant. STATE OF OREGON, Respondent,

          Argued and submitted August 30, 2018

          Multnomah County Circuit Court 2010800261; Petition Number 100113132; Katherine E. Tennyson, Judge.

          Christa Obold Eshleman argued the cause and fled the brief for appellant.

          Jonathan N. Schildt, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. On the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Ortega, Presiding Judge, and Garrett, Judge, and Powers, Judge.

         Affirmed.

         Case Summary: Youth appeals a judgment of the juvenile court denying his application for expunction. The court concluded that it lacked authority to order expunction because ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J)(xv) precludes expunction in cases in which youth has been adjudicated for conduct that, if committed by an adult, would constitute first-degree sodomy, ORS 163.405. Youth argues on appeal that ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J)(xv) does not apply in his case because, three years after he was adjudicated, the adjudication was set aside. Held: The juvenile did not err in denying youth's application for expunction. ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J)(xv) precludes expunction in youth's case notwithstanding that his adjudication was set aside.

          [295 Or.App. 206] GARRETT, J.

         Youth appeals ajudgment of the juvenile court denying his application for expunction of records. The court concluded that it lacked authority to order expunction because ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J) precludes expunction in cases in which a youth has engaged in conduct that, if committed by an adult, would constitute one of several criminal offenses. In a single assignment of error, youth argues that the juvenile court erred because ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J) does not apply. We affirm.

         The relevant facts are procedural and undisputed. In 2010, the state filed a delinquency petition alleging that youth had engaged in acts that, if committed by an adult, would constitute sodomy in the first degree, ORS 163.405. Based on youth's conduct, the juvenile court entered a judgment finding youth to be within the court's jurisdiction. The court placed youth on probation for three years.

         After youth successfully completed probation in 2013, he moved to dismiss the delinquency petition. The juvenile court did so, and, accordingly, set aside the jurisdictional judgment. See ORS 419C.261(2) (allowing juvenile court to "dismiss a petition filed under ORS 419C.005"); ORS 419C.610 (allowing the juvenile court to "set aside any order made by it").

         In 2016, youth applied for expunction of his juvenile record under ORS 419A.262');">419A.262(8), which authorizes the juvenile court to order expunction of "all or any part of the person's record if it finds that to do so would be in the best interests of the person and the public." The court declined to grant expunction, reasoning that it lacked authority to do so under ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J). That provision precludes expunction in cases where the juvenile court has "found a person to be within the jurisdiction of the court" based on conduct that would constitute one of several enumerated criminal offenses, including first-degree sodomy, ORS 163.405. See ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J)(xv).[1]

         [295 Or.App. 207] On appeal, youth argues that, notwithstanding ORS 419A.260');">419A.260(1)(d)(J)(xv), the juvenile court had authority to expunge his records because, in 2013, the court set aside the jurisdictional judgment connected to youth's sodomy conduct. Because the jurisdictional judgment was set aside, argues youth, he is not a person "found" to be within the court's jurisdiction for purposes of ORS 419.260A(1)(d)(J). The state responds that, as a historical matter, youth is still a person who was found to be within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court (although that jurisdictional judgment was later set aside), and youth is therefore statutorily ineligible for expunction.

         The parties' arguments require us to construe ORS 419A.26O(1)(d)(J). We do so using the framework set out in State v. Gaines,346 Or. 160, 170-73, 206 P.3d 1042 (2009), first by examining the text of the statute in context, and, to the extent it is useful to our analysis, the legislative history; if the legislature's intent remains unclear, we may turn to general maxims of statutory construction to resolve the uncertainty. See id. Whether the juvenile court correctly interpreted a ...


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