Archive for July, 2012

Commentary is Important Indicator of Intent

California Casualty Indemnity v. Federated Mutual, 251 OrApp 371 (2012)

Holding:   Arbitration is the sole avenue for resolving any inter-insurer reimbursement matters involving PIP benefits.

1)    “When construing a statute we examine the text of a statute in context, along with any relevant legislative history, to discern the legislature’s intent.” citing State v. Gaines. at p. 374.

2)    The legislative commentary on PIP benefits is an important part of the legislative history. at p. 377.

3)    “There is no indication in the text, context, or legislative history * * * that the legislature intended to devise an inter-insurer reimbursement scheme where some disputes would be subject to mandatory arbitration, and others, by implied omission, could be litigated in a circuit court action.” at p. 377.

Subsequent Decisions not Part of Textual Test

State v. McDaniel, 251 OrApp 345 (2012)

Holding:   Fact that police attracted Defendant by posting a fictitious ad on craigslist offering to trade sex for drugs did not amount to entrapment.

1)   We “determine the intended meaning of (a) statute by examining its text in context, along with legislative history and, if necessary, other aids to construction.” citing State v. Gaines. at p. 352.

2)  Where there is no statutory definition, Courts give common words their “ordinary” meaning and consult contemporary dictionaries to divine what is ordinary. at p. 352.

3)   A statute’s context includes the state of the common law at the time of its enactment. at p. 353.

4)  “Later judicial decisions, because they were not available for consideration by the legislature at the time of enactment, do not bear on the meaning of the statutory text.” at p. 353.

5)   Commentary to the 1971 revision of the criminal code, and, the federal cases referenced therein, provide important legislative history. at pp. 354-57.

6)   Past court decisions interpreting the statute, even if they didn’t employ the State v. Gaines methodology, are part of a statute’s context. at pp. 358-59.