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Vehicle Inventory Policy & Closed Containers

The Oregon Court of Appeals recently addressed the issue of Police Department Vehicle Inventory Policies when they held invalid the Marion County Sheriff’s Office General Order 66.2.1 for authorizing inspection of “all closed containers that could contain valuables.” (State vs. Cordova, Court of Appeals, June 13, 2012). In Cordova, the Court affirmed it’s prior ruling when it held that “An inventory policy that authorizes the opening of all closed containers, regardless of whether the container is normally associated with holding valuables, violates Article 1, section 9, of the Oregon Constitution.” State vs. Eldridge, 207 Or. App. 337 (2006). The better policy (and likely to pass scrutiny) would be one to open all containers “designed to” or “likely to” contain valuables.

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