Clackamas County, Office of County Council
James M. Coleman; County Counsel
Myles E. Ward (& others) assistants
(906 Main Street, Oregon City, OR 97045)
((503) 655-8362, Fax 650-8925)
March 15, 2000

Mr. Charles Bruce Stewart
39275Hood Street # D
Sandy OR 97055
Re: Recent correspondence with Clackamas County Sheriff Ris Bradshaw

Dear Mr. Stewart:

This office provides legal advice and assistance from time to time to various county departments, including the Clackamas County Sheriff's Department. Recently we were asked to review an assortment oRecently we were asked to review an assortment of correspondence between you and Sheriff Bradshaw in which you requested assurances that certain actions would be taken in the event that one or more "self-elected Constable/Peace Officers of "We the People" undertook to make arrests on County Commissioners or attorneys. Sheriff Bradshaw responded to you in a letter dated February 1, 2000 in which he made it quite clear that the Sheriff's Department will not respond to actions of any "court" not specifically authorized by the stateby the state. He also informed you that he did not believe that any self-elected "constable" had any authority beyond that enjoyed by any other citizen.

You sent Sheriff Bradshaw a letter of 12 pages dated February 25, 2000. Sheriff Bradshaw sent that letter to our office, and I am responding to it on his behalf.

Our office has given the following advice to the Sheriff. It is consistent with the advice we earlier provided to the Board of County Commissioners, as many of the points you ar points you argue in your letter to the Sheriff are duplicative of those made in your written and oral communications with the Board. We have advised the Sheriff that it would be contrary to law to make any arrests of County Commissioners or county attorneys on the grounds described in your letters. ORS Chapter 133 provides the only legal basis for a peace officer in Oregon to perform an arrest. The scenario you describe involves neither a valid arrest warrant not probable cause to believe that a ieve that a felony crime has been committed. Accordingly, no arrests should be made.

Similarly, no legal basis exists for the Sheriff to treat a "self-elected Constable/Peace-Officer of "We the People"" as either a constable under ORS 51.440 or a peace officer under ORS 133.005 (3). Therefore, there is no basis to conclude that such person has any peace officer powers, including the authority to arrest.

Finally, we have advised the Sheriff to give close consideration to your comments c your comments concerning attempts by "self-elected" constables to make arrests which lead to "wrestling around on the floor (or worse)". There are a number of consequences to the unlawful use of physical force against a person. ORS 163.160 - .235, copies of which are attached, describe a number of crimes involving the unauthorized use of physical force. You would be well serves to keep these laws in mind.

Finally, we have advised the Sheriff that any discussions or meetings with you on these myou on these matters would be pointless. Accordingly, you should not plan on meeting with the Sheriff as you have requested. Sheriff Bradshaw has answered your questions fully and no useful purpose would be served by any meeting.
 

Very truly yours,

__________________________________
Myles A. Ward
Assistant County Counsel
 

Enclosures:
cc: BCC
Steve Rhodes
Jim Coleman
Sheriff Bradshaw
Capt. Vicars >Capt. Vicars