Oregon v. HemenwayAnnotate this Case
The Oregon Supreme Court issued its decision in this case in January, 2013; that decision reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals and affirmed defendant's judgment of conviction for possession of methamphetamine. A few weeks later, defense counsel filed a petition for reconsideration, asking the court to reconsider and modify or reverse its decision or, at a minimum, to remand the case to the trial court for additional proceedings consistent with the Supreme Court's opinion. In February 2013, defense counsel filed a notice pursuant to ORAP 8.45 informing the court that defendant had died more than a year before (on January 27, 2012), and contended therefore that the case was moot. Defense counsel also moved to vacate the Supreme Courts opinion and the judgment of conviction. Defense counsel argued that, because defendant's death rendered the case moot as of January 2012, the case necessarily was moot at the time this court issued its decision, and the appropriate disposition was to vacate that decision. Defense counsel further asserted that because: (1) the proper disposition of the case was to remand the case back to trial court for further proceedings; and (2) defendant's death meant that he could not take steps in the trial court to undo his conviction, the Supreme Court also should have vacated the judgment of conviction. The state opposed the motion to vacate, arguing that "the public interest in leaving the court's decision undisturbed far outweighs any equitable interests supporting vacatur." Upon review, the Supreme Court vacated its decision and the decision of the Court of Appeals and vacated defendant's judgment of conviction.