Oregon v. GhimAnnotate this Case
The State charged defendant Denny Ghim and his wife with 17 counts of criminal mistreatment, first-degree theft, and aggravated first-degree theft. Midway through trial, defendant’s wife filed a motion in limine to exclude copies of her bank records, which the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) had obtained by administrative subpoena, from being admitted into evidence. Defendant joined in that motion and, throughout the trial, adopted his wife’s arguments on that issue. The question in this case was whether the agency’s use of an administrative subpoena to obtain defendant’s wife’s bank records violated Article I, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution. The trial court denied defendant’s motion to suppress evidence that the agency uncovered as a result of its subpoena, and the Court of Appeals affirmed. Relying on "Oregon v. Johnson," (131 P3d 173 (2006)), the Court of Appeals held that defendant had no constitutionally protected privacy interest in the bank records. It followed that the agency’s use of an administrative subpoena to obtain those records did not violate Article I, section 9. The Oregon Supreme Court affirmed, but for slightly different reasoning: "Even if defendant has a protected privacy interest in his wife’s bank records, our decisions lead to the conclusion that the administrative subpoenas issued by DCBS did not violate defendant’s Article I, section 9, rights. We leave for another day the question whether and in what circumstances a defendant will have a protected privacy interest in information that a third party maintains, a question that can arise in differing factual circumstances which can have a bearing on its resolution."