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State v. Ocean – Case Brief Summary (Oregon)

In State v. Ocean, 24 Ore. App. 289, 546 P.2d 150 (Ore. Ct. App. 1976), the Oregon Court of Appeals interpreted a burglary statute which contained a variation of an "open to the public" exception.

In Ocean, the court held that a store's banning the defendant from returning to the store removed his membership in the general public. See 546 P.2d at 152-53.

Therefore, he was subject to prosecution for burglary even when the establishment was open for business. See id.

Examination of the text of the Oregon statute, however, reveals the reason for the court's conclusion. The statute in question in Ocean provided:

A person commits the crime of burglary in the second degree if he enters or remains unlawfully in a building with intent to commit a crime therein.

. . . .

"Enter or remain unlawfully" means:

. . . . To enter or remain in or upon premises when the premises, at the time of such entry or remaining, are not open to the public or when the entrant is not otherwise licensed or privileged to do so . . . .546 P.2d at 152 (quoting Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 164.205(3), 164.215(1) (1975)).