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State v. Harrop

Court of Appeals of Oregon

March 20, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
WAYNE MACK HARROP, Defendant-Respondent.

          Argued and submitted August 29, 2018

          Washington County Circuit Court 16CR49966 Theodore E. Sims, Judge.

          Jennifer S. Lloyd, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for appellant. Also on the briefs were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Brett J. Allin, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for respondent. Also on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Office of Public Defense Services.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Sercombe, Senior Judge.

         Case Summary:

         The state appeals an order granting defendant's motion to suppress evidence, assigning error to the trial court's conclusion that the arresting police officer lacked probable cause to believe that defendant had impeded traffic in violation of ORS 811.130 when the officer stopped defendant. The officer stopped defendant on a residential road that did not have any demarcated lanes and that had a curb along one side. The road was wide enough to allow vehicle travel in each direction, even when cars parked on the curbed side. The state argues that the officer had probable cause to believe that defendant had impeded traffic because the officer saw defendant's car stopped in what the officer perceived to be a lane of traffic on the side of the road that did not have a curb. Defendant caused several cars to temporarily stop behind him and then to enter into the other lane to drive around defendant's car. Defendant counters that, because there are no lane demarcations on the road, defendant was in fact lawfully parked on the side of the road, and he did not change the "normal and reasonable" movement of traffic for that road because other cars could still travel [296 Or.App. 542] in either direction using the remaining lane.

         Held:

         The officer's belief that defendant had impeded traffic in violation of ORS 811.130 was objectively reasonable because the facts as the officer perceived them indicated that defendant stopped his car in a lane of traffic, thereby blocking the normal and reasonable movement of traffic by changing that road from a two-way two-lane road to a road with a single shared lane for cars traveling in both directions. Therefore, the officer had probable cause to believe that defendant had impeded traffic in violation of ORS 811.130 when he stopped defendant.

         Reversed and remanded.

         [296 Or.App. 543] ARMSTRONG, P. J.

         The state appeals an order granting defendant's motion to suppress evidence. It contends that the trial court erred in concluding that the arresting police officer lacked probable cause to believe that defendant had impeded traffic in violation of ORS 811.130 when the officer stopped defendant. The court's conclusion on that point formed the basis of its decision to grant defendant's suppression motion. We conclude that the facts as the officer perceived them did give rise to a reasonable belief by the officer that defendant had violated ORS 811.130. Hence, we reverse and remand.

         On review of an order on a suppression motion, we review the order for legal error "and are bound by the trial court's factual findings if there is constitutionally sufficient evidence in the record to support them." State v. Carson, 287 Or.App. 631, 634, 404 P.3d 1017 (2017).

         Officer Bartholomew of the Hillsboro Police Department was driving with his supervisor as part of Bartholomew's field training. Bartholomew turned onto Golden Road in Hillsboro, which he described as a "two-way, regular residential road" with "[o]ne lane for each direction." The road has a curb along the edge of the westbound lane of travel, and cars regularly park on the curb side of the road. The road is wide enough that, even when cars are parked along the curb side of the road, there is enough remaining road to accommodate two lanes of travel. There is no curb along the eastbound lane of travel, ...


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