State v. Glushko/Little, 351 Or 297 (2011)

Holding:   For purposes of the speedy trial statute: a) Consent means express agreement, and cannot be inferred from a failure to appear; and, b) A delay which results from Defendant’s actions, such as leaving the state to avoid prosecution, is reasonable, even if the state fails to aggressively effectuate prosecution.

1)   “* * * we strive to ascertain the meaning of the statute most likely intended by the legislature that adopted it, by examining the statute’s text, in context, and where appropriate, relevant legislative history and cannons of statutory construction.” citing State v. Gaines. at p. 305.

2)   Much of Oregon’s territorial code was borrowed from Iowa. at p. 306.

3)   Placement of additional words in a statutory phrase, set off by comas, suggests that the additional words relate to the initial phrase. at p. 306.

4) The interpretation of this statute adopted in this case is consistent with other contemporary, and related statutory provisions. at p. 307.

5)  Nothing in the text or legislative history suggests that the amendments by the 1959 legislature intended to change the substance of the speedy trial statute. at p. 309.

6)   It is unclear what relevance a dictionary of British usage has to demonstrating what the Oregon Legislature intended by its statutes. at p. 311.

7)   When consulting a dictionary for statutory interpretation, it is important to confine the search for definition to the article of speech actually used. For instance, if the statute uses the word as a noun, it is error to offer a definition of the word when used as a verb. at p. 311.

8)   “(S)tatutes are not interpreted by culling dictionaries for favorable definitions. at p. 311.

9)   Courts cannot construe statutes by interpreting words in a vacuum. “Dictionaries, after all, do not tell us what words mean, only what words can mean, depending on their context and the particular manner in which their used. (cite omitted).” at pp. 311-12.

10)  When statutory amendments didn’t change the phrasing at issue, “legislative views about the portions not amended are not pertinent.” at p. 312.

Filed under: uncategorized

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