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Criminal Law and Justice

Criminal Law News

This group of events, news, and resources comes directly from National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) and the student chapter of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Criminal Law News & Resources

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    It takes all of us to protect and advance victims’ rights. 
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    The latest in global news & media affecting crime victims.
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    NCVLI Staff Profile: Margaret Schimming
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    NCVLI is providing training & technical assistance lawyers and law students to enforce victims’ rights.
  • The Victim Rights Law Center is the first law center in the nation dedicated solely to advocating for the civil legal needs of sexual assault survivors.  The VRLC provides direct legal representation to victims of rape and sexual assault in Oregon. The VRLC attorneys provide consultation and legal representation in the areas of privacy, education, immigration, employment, public benefits, housing and safety.  Their website also has links to other resources for crime victims in Oregon.
  • Defendant was convicted of driving under the influence of intoxicants and third-degree assault, and was ordered to pay restitution for the victim’s medical treatment.  Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred when it refused to reduce the restitution amount based on the comparative fault of the victim.  The court explained that Oregon’s comparative-fault scheme applies to nonintentional torts.  Under that scheme, when the trier of fact determines that someone other than defendant was negligent, the trier of fact is required to determine the relative fault of those persons and apportion the claimant’s damages among them on that basis.  Defendant argued that the comparative-fault scheme applies to criminal restitution because a trial court is required to determine the amount of economic damages to be ordered as restitution, and therefore the court has to consider the victim’s role in the accident because the victim could have caused a portion of the claimed economic harm.  The court rejected this argument because comparative fault is not considered in civil law as part of the causation analysis—the question of apportioning fault arises only after causation is established.  Further, to the extent defendant was arguing that comparative fault should apply as a consideration separate from causation, the court disagreed, finding that “the plain text of the restitution statute provides that the trial court shall award restitution ‘in a specific amount that equals the full amount of the victim’s economic damages as determined by the court.’” 
  • The victim reported to Criminal Investigation Command (CID) that another service member had sexually assaulted her.  A military magistrate signed a search authorization for the victim’s phone, which she unwillingly surrendered.  The victim’s special victim counsel (SVC) made a discovery request to the military magistrate requesting the affidavit and any other documents used in issuing the search and seizure authorization.  The magistrate denied the discovery request, and the victim petitioned for a writ of mandamus.  On appeal, the court looked to its jurisdiction to issue the writ, which is limited to the court’s subject matter jurisdiction over the case or controversy.  To establish subject matter jurisdiction, the harm alleged must have the potential to directly affect the findings and sentence.  The court found that the victim failed to establish that a de facto ruling denying discovery or compelling production of documents to an alleged victim at the pre-referral stage (there had not yet been a court martial) had the potential to affect the findings and sentence.  Accordingly, the military judge lacked jurisdiction to issue the order, as did the court.  The court continued that even if it did have jurisdiction, the victim had no established right to relief. 
  • A victim who asserted that he had been bullied and physically forced to leave a neighborhood association meeting, filed petitions for writ of certiorari and mandamus, challenging decisions of the justice court finding that there was no probable cause to issue arrest warrants for the assault against him.  The Circuit Court dismissed the matter without prejudice and the victim appealed.  On appeal, the court found that the victim lacked standing to contest the justice court’s disposition of the prosecution.  Even though misdemeanor prosecutions may be initiated by the filing of an affidavit by a victim in Mississippi, “it is axiomatic that the victim is not a party to the prosecution.” 




Criminal Law and Justice

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    Criminal Law Program is located in Lewis & Clark Law School on the Law Campus.


    voice 503-768-6721

    Chair, Criminal Law Committee Aliza Kaplan

    • Criminal Law Program Lewis & Clark Law School 10015 S.W. Terwilliger BoulevardMSC 51 Portland OR 97219