The Court of Appeals issued its decision in the DUII case today. The summary is appended below.
The decision puts us pretty much right back where we were. No decision has been made about appealing the Court's decision. The state's District Attorneys meet twice a year and I expect this case to be discussed when we meet in three weeks.The Court did make it clear this decision affects only Astoria and not any other city municipal courts, and also makes clear the DA has no obligation to appear in Municipal Court.
My office continues to believe there is a strong need for the City and the County to work together to insure that people are held accountable for conduct that endangers not only their lives, but the lives of everyone on the road. My office has steadfastly maintained a dedication to this ideal and is the reason for seeking this opinion from the Court of Appeals.
The full decisions is here. (.pdf)
SUMMARY OF THE DECISION AS ISSUED BY THE COURT:
(Armstrong, P. J.)
The City of Astoria appeals a judgment declaring that the Clatsop County District Attorney has exclusive authority to control and direct the prosecution of misdemeanor driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII) offenses committed within the City of Astoria. Both parties also appeal the trial court's declaration that the district attorney is required to attend and prosecute cases in Astoria Municipal Court.
Held: The trial court correctly denied the city's motion to dismiss the action on the ground that it failed to include the necessary parties under ORS 28.110. The text, history, and context of ORS 8.650, ORS 8.660, and ORS 221.229 establish concurrent jurisdiction in the municipal and circuit courts for prosecution of those offenses.
Accordingly, the trial court erred in declaring that the district attorney had exclusive authority to direct and control those prosecutions. The court also erred in requiring the district attorney to attend and prosecute cases in the municipal court. Reversed in part and remanded with instructions to enter judgment omitting the declarations in paragraphs 4 and 5 and declaring the rights of the parties in accordance with this opinion; otherwise affirmed.