State v. Nix

355 Or. 777, 334 P.3d 437 (2014)

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State v. Nix

Oregon Supreme Court
355 Or. 777, 334 P.3d 437 (2014)

Facts

The State of Oregon (plaintiff) charged Arnold Weldon Nix (defendant) with 20 counts of animal neglect in the second degree pursuant to ORS 167.325 (2009). The government attempted to punish Nix for 20 separate offenses pursuant to the state’s antimerger statute codified in ORS 161.067. The antimerger statute provided that a defendant may be punished separately for each victim affected by his crime. In response, Nix argued that an animal may not constitute a victim for the purpose of the antimerger statute because the animal-neglect statute was intended to protect the public and the owner of the animal. Nix also argued that the word victim exclusively referred to people. The trial court accepted Nix’s argument and merged the multiple counts of second-degree animal neglect. The matter was appealed. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision. The matter was appealed again.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Landau, J.)

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