2017 ORS 165.002¹
Definitions for ORS 165.002 to 165.070

As used in ORS 165.002 (Definitions for ORS 165.002 to 165.070) to 165.027 (Evidence admissible to prove forgery or possession of forged instrument), and 165.032 (Criminal possession of a forgery device) to 165.070 (Possessing fraudulent communications device), unless the context requires otherwise:

(1) “Written instrument” means any paper, document, instrument, article or electronic record containing written or printed matter or the equivalent thereof, whether complete or incomplete, used for the purpose of reciting, embodying, conveying or recording information or constituting a symbol or evidence of value, right, privilege or identification, which is capable of being used to the advantage or disadvantage of some person.

(2) “Complete written instrument” means one which purports to be a genuine written instrument fully drawn with respect to every essential feature thereof.

(3) “Incomplete written instrument” means one which contains some matter by way of content or authentication but which requires additional matter in order to render it a complete written instrument.

(4) To “falsely make” a written instrument means to make or draw a complete written instrument in its entirety, or an incomplete written instrument which purports to be an authentic creation of its ostensible maker, but which is not, either because the ostensible maker is fictitious or because, if real, the ostensible maker did not authorize the making or drawing thereof.

(5) To “falsely complete” a written instrument means to transform, by adding, inserting or changing matter, an incomplete written instrument into a complete one, without the authority of anyone entitled to grant it, so that the complete written instrument falsely appears or purports to be in all respects an authentic creation of its ostensible maker or authorized by the ostensible maker.

(6) To “falsely alter” a written instrument means to change, without authorization by anyone entitled to grant it, a written instrument, whether complete or incomplete, by means of erasure, obliteration, deletion, insertion of new matter, transposition of matter, or in any other manner, so that the instrument so altered falsely appears or purports to be in all respects an authentic creation of its ostensible maker or authorized by the ostensible maker.

(7) To “utter” means to issue, deliver, publish, circulate, disseminate, transfer or tender a written instrument or other object to another.

(8) “Forged instrument” means a written instrument which has been falsely made, completed or altered.

(9) “Electronic record” has the meaning given that term in ORS 84.004 (Definitions for ORS 84.001 to 84.061).

(10) “Signature” includes, but is not limited to, an electronic signature, as defined in ORS 84.004 (Definitions for ORS 84.001 to 84.061). [1971 c.743 §151; 2001 c.535 §27]

Notes of Decisions

Letter to bank requesting withdrawal of amount from savings account constituted “written instru­ment” as defined in this sec­tion. State v. Jackson, 35 Or App 741, 582 P2d 837 (1978), Sup Ct review denied

Where defendant altered endorse­ment on check to change it from restrictive endorse­ment to special endorse­ment, check was “falsely altered” within meaning of this sec­tion. State v. Hamilton, 291 Or 283, 634 P2d 208 (1981)

Where defendant signed his own name to stolen traveler’s check, he did not falsely make or complete written instru­ment purporting to be authentic crea­tion of ostensible maker or authorized by ostensible maker and did not commit forgery. State v. Blake, 93 Or App 128, 760 P2d 1369 (1988)

Signing false name on license containing false in­for­ma­­tion constitutes false comple­tion of written instru­ment. State v. Ojeda-Inda, 179 Or App 680, 42 P3d 329 (2002)

For purpose of determining whether money order is falsely made written instru­ment, “ostensible maker” is institu­tion identified as issuer and drawer of money order, not per­son signing as purchaser. State v. Ford, 188 Or App 424, 72 P3d 93 (2003)

Chapter 165

Law Review Cita­tions

51 OLR 427-637 (1972)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 165—Offenses Involving Fraud or Deception, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors165.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 165, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano165.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.