Brasher’s Cascade Auto Auction, Inc. v. Leon, 247 OrApp 535 (2011)

Holding:   The statutory phrase “inventory financing security interest” encompasses “float agreements,” which allow auction customers to purchase vehicles on credit.

1)   A statutory phrase is construed by examining the text and context of the statute, as well as “the legislative history that the parties have proffered and giving that history such weight, if any, as it appears to merit.” citing State v. Gaines. at p. 540.

2)  Where a phrase is not statutorily defined, a Court reviews “the plain, natural, and ordinary meaning of its component terms.” at p. 540.

3)   The word inventory is defined by Webster’s as “the quantity of good or materials on hand: STOCK, SUPPLY.” at p. 540.

4)   Webster’s defines the verb financing as “* * * to sell on credit : to supply on credit * * *.” at p. 540.

5)   “Finally, the Vehicle Code defines a ‘security interest’ as ‘an interest in a vehicle reserved * * * (to secure) payment or performance of an obligation * * *.’” at pp. 540-41.

6)   “Whatever the legislative history might show about the legislature’s intentions, these intentions must be reflected in actual statutory wording that, when reasonably construed, is capable of carrying out such an intention.” No such showing is made, here, “and we do not discern” how such a showing could be made. at p. 542.

7)   Legislatures often enact broadly worded statutes that address more than the specific issue which led to the statute. at p. 542.

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