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State v. Minor

Court of Appeals of Oregon

May 15, 2019

STATE OF OREGON, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
JAMES LEE MINOR, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted June 20, 2018

          Washington County Circuit Court 16CR18233 Andrew Erwin, Judge.

          Morgen E. Daniels, Deputy Public Defender, argued the cause for appellant. Also on the brief was Ernest G. Lannet, Chief Defender, Criminal Appellate Section, Offce of Public Defense Services.

          Keith L. Kutler, Assistant Attorney General, argued the cause for respondent. Also on the brief were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

          Before Armstrong, Presiding Judge, and Tookey, Judge, and Shorr, Judge.

         Case Summary:

         Defendant appeals a supplemental judgment of restitution that includes an award of restitution for a CARES Northwest evaluation. Defendant argues that a payment to CARES Northwest cannot be included in a restitution award because such a payment does not meet the statutory defni-tion of "economic damages." The trial court did not consider that argument below because the court concluded that defendant was barred from making it due to a stipulation in his plea agreement that defendant would pay restitution in an "[a]mount [to be determined] per ORS 137.106(1)(a)." The state responds that defendant cannot challenge the restitution request because the guilty plea was expressly conditioned on that stipulation. The state also contends that defendant waived his right to appeal the restitution order because the plea agreement limited his right to appeal to challenges in which "[defendant] can make a colorable showing that the sentence exceeds the maximum allowed by law or is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual."

         Held:

         Defendant's appeal is permissible despite his plea agreement because the restitution ordered went beyond that authorized by statute. By agreeing to pay restitution in accordance with ORS 137.106(1)(a), defendant did not waive any argument about limiting restitution to that which [297 Or.App.462] the statute permits-an award of economic damages. Hence, the trial court erred by denying defendant the opportunity to challenge the proposed restitution award on the ground that a payment to CARES Northwest does not fall within the statutory defnition of "economic damages."

         [297 Or.App.463] ARMSTRONG, P. J.

         Defendant appeals a supplemental judgment of restitution. In awarding restitution, the trial court concluded that defendant could not challenge the legality of an award to CARES Northwest because he had stipulated in his plea agreement to pay restitution. We conclude that the plea agreement limited restitution to the economic damages caused by defendant's criminal conduct and that defendant did not waive through his guilty plea his right to challenge the factual or legal basis of the state's restitution request. As a result, the trial court erred when it refused to consider defendant's challenge to the legality of the restitution award. Hence, we reverse and remand.

         Defendant pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment. ORS 163.205. In the plea agreement that formed the basis of defendant's guilty plea, the parties stipulated to a sentence that included probation, anger management, parenting classes, forfeiture of all seized evidence, and payment of fines and attorney fees. The district attorney's plea offer included a checked box indicating that the state could pursue restitution in an "[a]mount [to be determined] per ORS l37.lO6(1)(a)." The plea agreement included a boilerplate clause limiting defendant's right to appeal to challenges in which "[defendant] can make a colorable showing that the sentence exceeds the maximum allowed by law or is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual."

         The judge left restitution open after defendant entered his guilty plea. See ORS l37.106(1)(a) (trial court may allow up to 90 days after the entry of a judgment for the district attorney to investigate and present evidence of economic damages requiring restitution). When the judge asked the prosecutor if he thought that the state would pursue restitution in the case, the prosecutor replied "I don't have a feeling one way or the other. Your Honor, I could put in that the State has been asking for the CARES eval[uation] to be paid for."

         The trial court subsequently held a restitution hearing. At the beginning of the hearing, the prosecutor told the court that the parties had stipulated that defendant's [297 Or.App.464] sentence would include restitution and that the purpose of the hearing was to have the court tell defendant that he had two options: he could pay the restitution that the state had requested or he could withdraw his guilty plea and proceed to trial. Defendant responded that he was not challenging whether his sentence could include restitution but was challenging the state's request for restitution for the CARES evaluation because it sought an award that could not legally constitute restitution under ORS l37.lO6(1)(a). Defendant argued that, by entering his guilty plea under the parties' plea agreement, he had agreed that the court could determine lawful restitution, but he had not agreed to pay whatever amount the state put forward as restitution. The court accepted the state's view of the plea agreement and told defendant that, if he challenged the imposition of restitution, that would mean that the parties had not reached a "meeting of the minds" and, therefore, ...


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