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Oregon Supreme Court

Pro Government
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Warrantless Search Waived Under School Safety Act

Fri, 05/30/2014

Oregon v. A.J.C.: A.J.C. is a youth student who made a threat that he would bring a gun to school and shoot a student. The school counselor brought the youth and his backpack into his office, in the company of the mother and a police officer. He proceeded to search the backpack resulting in the discovery of a gun and bullets. The youth was arrested but appealed the conviction on grounds that the backpack search was warrantless because the counselor did not have probable cause or justly based suspicion.


The Supreme Court of Oregon ruled in favor of the school and the State of Oregon. The Court found that even though the youth did not pose an immediate threat by dealing calmly with authority and even though the counselor admitted that he believed the threat was outside the realm of probability that the youth would actually bring a gun to school, that the search was warranted. The report of the possible threat alone justifies reasonable suspicion of possible harm coming to students and the school owes a duty of care to those students which warrant the search.

Read the full decision here

Protests on the State Capitol Trespassing?

Thu, 05/15/2014

The State Capitol is a federal building that is supported through tax collection. Babson hosted an around-the-clock vigil on the steps of the Capitol to commemorate the Oregon National Guard Troops who have been sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. He was sighted for second-degree criminal trespassing for being on the steps after the 11pm curfew in violation of the LAC guideline. Babson argued that the guideline violated the Oregon Constitution.


The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts but remanded the case for further proceedings. The Court ruled that the guideline did not obviously or facially violate the Oregon Constitution and that the curfew served a legitimate purpose. The case was remanded so that a court can decide whether the LAC rule should be enforced against this defendant in particular.

Read the full decision here

DHS Legislatively Authorized to Immunize Children

Thu, 04/24/2014

Department of Human Services v. S.M.: The Department (DHS) intervened in the parental rights over 8 children by getting the children’s custody to be switched to appointed legal guardians as the result of poor living conditions that threatened the children’s welfare in their parents’ home. Upon switching their custody, the DHS believed the children should be immunized against common childhood diseases. The issue in question is whether the Legislature gives the DHS the power to authorize the immunization of the children.


The Supreme Court of Oregon affirmed the decision of the lower courts and ruled that the DHS does have the authority to immunize the children, having been granted that power by the State Legislature. The Court based this decision on the fact that the DHS gave custody of the children, for their welfare, to three legal parties and that those legal parties have the custodial rights to make this decision in place of the parents. With this legal authority, the DHS can recommend and make this decision.

Read the full decision here