The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, November 18, 2010, Page Page 21, Image 21

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    The INDEPENDENT, November 18, 2010
Page 21
From the Sheriff’s Desk…
From page 19
there are key differences in the conditions that allow
deputies to execute the requirements of criminal and
civil law.
over property lines – A police officer or sheriff’s deputy fice can get involved.
responding to such calls will not be able to make an ar-
These are just some of the civil matters that require
rest of criminal trespass where a dispute over proper- a judicial review and civil order for the Sheriff’s Office
ty lines will require an expert opinion to settle it. A to get involved. And these types of cases represent a
judge will need to make a determination in this case. small percentage of the work of our Civil Process Unit.
Criminal Law vs. Civil Law
Once a judge makes a determination, and determines Civil Process involves executing writs of assistance in
Probable cause must be present before a police of- that damages should be awarded to a plaintiff, the civil cases, serving subpoenas in civil matters, serving
ficer or sheriff’s deputy may make an arrest in the en- plaintiff will be directed to the sheriff for the enforce- restraining orders, small claim notices, writs of gar-
forcement of criminal law. Probable cause is the rea- ment of the court’s order.
nishment, restraining orders, and foreclosures of real
sonable belief that a person has committed a crime.
• Nuisance Complaints – Nuisance complaints are or personal property. The Sheriff may also seize and
Witness statements, personal observations of the civil matters. Code enforcement officers get involved sell real or personal property as ordered by the courts.
deputy, and other evidence tying the suspect to the with nuisance complaints (noise complaints, kennel vi-
Our seven enforcement deputies have been helped
crime can make up enough probable cause to make olations, environmental complaints, etc), and may is- greatly by the recent addition of a civil deputy to han-
an arrest. To obtain the conviction in court in a criminal sue civil code violation citations to individuals found to dle most of our civil process services. This has freed
matter, a judge or jury must be convinced beyond any be in violation of county ordinances. Civil penalties are them up to be more proactive in the deterrence and
reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the the result for those who fail to comply with ordinances. detection of criminal law violations throughout Colum-
crime.
Fines can be levied and pile up. Sheriff’s deputies bia County. All of our deputies work together to provide
Criminal laws have been delineated by the state could get involved following a court order in regard to the most effective and efficient Criminal AND Civil law
legislature, signed into law by a governor, and are de- unpaid fines that are in default, resulting in a civil resti- enforcement and execution services possible with the
signed to keep the public safe and free from the crim- tution order. But no one is going to go to jail for violat- resources we have.
inal intent of others. A key distinctive of criminal law is ing a county nuisance ordinance – just like no one is
the requirement to prove criminal intent. For example, going to go to jail for running a stop sign.
it is a crime for a person to take money belonging to
• Theft Complaints based on unpaid
someone else through intentional fraud or deception, contracts – Many times we receive a com-
power, call your local power
but it is generally not a crime to take money from plaint that someone stole the com- From page 16
When
the
power
comes
company.
someone else through a contractual arrangement plainant’s car. The responding deputy
back
on,
wait
a
few
minutes
be-
FEMA’s mission is to sup-
(such as an agreement to repair a car), and then not learns that the complainant had agreed to
fore
turning
on
major
appli-
port
\citizens and first respon-
perform the work.
sell the car to the suspect on a payment
ances
to
help
eliminate
prob-
ders
to ensure that we work to-
In both instances, the victim is out the money, but in plan, and the suspect failed to pay. This is
lems
that
could
occur
if
there’s
gether
to build, sustain, and im-
the first, you can prove criminal intent. In the latter, considered a contract violation, and thus a
a
sharp
increase
in
demand.
If
prove
our
capability to prepare
criminal intent is much harder to prove. In the latter, a civil matter. The argument is over the con-
you
think
that
electric
power
for,
protect
against, respond to,
judgment must be obtained
tract, and a judge will have to
has
been
restored
to
your
area
recover
from,
and mitigate all
through the courts that will au-
make a determination of the
WEATHER REPORT
but
your
home
is
still
without
hazards.
thorize the sheriff to execute
remedy before the Sheriff’s Of-
OCTOBER 2010
the court’s directives under civ-
Wind storm preparedness tips
il law. Sheriff’s deputies in Co-
lumbia County execute scores
of writs of assistance every
year in regard to findings by
the courts in civil matters. But
before we can get involved in a
civil matter, we generally need
some order by the court that
authorizes us to do so.
On the other hand, enforce-
ment deputies can take action
immediately with their own
probable cause when they rea-
sonably believe that the intent
of perpetrator is criminal in na-
ture.
Often, police officers re-
spond to calls for service only
to advise complainants that
their complaints are civil in na-
ture. They are not trying to
blow off the complainant; they
are saying that there is nothing
they can do about the matter
until the court has made a civil
judgment. Beside the example
I have given above, police offi-
cers and sheriff’s deputies of-
ten respond to the following
calls that end up requiring a
ruling by the civil court before
law enforcement can get in-
volved:
• Criminal Trespass com-
plaints based on arguments
DATE
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
TEMPERATURE
HI
LO
67
66
62
59
66
77
58
65
64
64
61
69
73
65
56
60
61
64
72
73
57
60
56
54
53
48
53
53
55
51
56
47
53
37
34
34
33
50
50
54
46
37
36
33
35
37
27
30
28
29
33
35
38
46
44
41
35
35
45
41
38
33
PRECIP.
AMT.
T
--
--
T
--
--
--
.10
.18
.19
--
--
--
.01
--
--
--
--
--
T
.01
.07
.94
1.25
.60
.61
.09
.12
T
.26
T
Temperature and precipitation
amounts are from the official U.S.
weather station at the Vernonia wa-
ter plant. Measurable precipitation in
October totalled 4.43 inches.