DICKENS V. DEBOLT, Supreme Ct. of OR, 1979 (en banc), 602 P.2d 246

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DICKENS V. DEBOLT, Supreme Ct. of OR, 1979 (en banc), 602 P.2d 246 Powered By Docstoc
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DICKENS V. DEBOLT, Supreme Ct. of OR, 1979 (en banc), 602 P.2d 246 History: Jury returned verdict of $250 general damages and $750 punitive damages; Atty General appealed on behalf of state police officer; Court of Appeals reversed the judgment on the grounds that OR statutes confer complete and absolute immunity upon a state cop in such a case Facts: Plaintiff and his family went fishing; he caught a “royal fish” sturgeon; left it under the dock; asked other sturgeon fisherman to keep an eye on his fish while he and his party went to eat dinner and spend the night; next morning, Plaintiff found fish gone; told by Rans Golden a cop had taken it and if Plaintiff wanted it he’d have to call; Plaintiff called and was told he couldn’t get his fish back and that there were witnesses that saw cop catch it; Cop took fish home and skinned and filleted the fish and put it in his freezer w/tags on it, but also ate some of it Issue(s): Was cop enforcing or attempting to enforce wild life laws? Was he acting in exercise of any of the duties/privileges granted or imposed by eating the fish? Holding: Reversed and remanded (b/c trial court failed to give two of defendant’s instructions) Analysis: Eating the evidence does not constitute “enforcement or attempted enforcement” of the game laws; Court of Appeals should not have granted cop immunity as a complete defense to this case; by eating the sturgeon, cop was not acting w/in the scope of his employment or duties and was not engaged in a “discretionary function or duty” (he may have been when he took the fish, but not when he ate it)


				
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