State v. Earls, 246 OrApp 578 (2011)

Holding:   Term “federal courts” in repeat offender statute does not include military courts; Merging convictions for purposes of sentencing is not the same as merging convictions; and, Trial court’s failure to merge the convictions represented plain error, and, even though Defendant didn’t raise the merger issue at trail, Court of Appeals will consider the error and exercise its discretion to correct it.

1)   Generally, undefined statutory terms are given their plain, natural and ordinary meaning. However, where such terms have a well-defined legal meaning, Courts adopt the specialized definition. at p. 582.

2)   Term federal court is a legal term of art with a specialized meaning, and, is defined by Black’s Law Dictionary as “(a) court having federal jurisdiction.” at p. 582.

3)   Review of federal constitution and case law shows that courts-martial do not exercise the same jurisdiction as that conferred upon Article III federal courts. at pp. 582-84.

Filed under: uncategorized

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!