Substantial Danger Law & Legal Definition


Substantial danger means significant danger. The term can be used in different contexts. For example: A person with serious mental illness can be said to pose substantial danger to self and others; Although evidence of putative father's paternity index and its equivalents is highly probative, it also presents substantial danger of misleading trier of fact.[ Plemel v. Walter, 303 Ore. 262, 278 (Or. 1987)]

There are instances where the plaintiff needs to prove substantial danger to self or others or property in order to obtain the remedy sought for.

Example of a state statute using the term “substantial danger”

In Oregon, the Psychiatric Security Review Board can discharge a person from commitment or from conditional release if the board finds that the person is no longer affected by mental disease or defect, or, if so affected, no longer presents a substantial danger to others.[ ORS § 161.346]

According to Rule 83 of the Oregon Civil Procedure Code in order to obtain an order for issuance of provisional process the plaintiff should show among other things that to the best of his or her knowledge, information, and belief, facts which tend to establish that there is a substantial danger that the defendant or another person is engaging in, or is about to engage in, conduct which would place the claimed property in danger of destruction, serious harm, concealment, removal from this state, or transfer to an innocent purchaser; Also facts, if any, which tend to establish that there is substantial danger that the defendant or another person probably would not comply with a temporary restraining order. [ORCP 83]

Environmental Quality Commission may designate as a hazardous material any element, compound, mixture, solution or substance which when spilled or released into the air or into or on any land or waters of the state may present a substantial danger to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment. [ORS § 466.630]

The relevant Sections as it appear in the Statute:

ORS § 161.346 [Oregon Revised Statutes; Title 16. Crimes And Punishments Chapter 161. General Provisions Responsibility]

161.346. Hearings on discharge, conditional release, commitment or modification; psychiatric reports; notice of hearing.

(1) The Psychiatric Security Review Board shall conduct hearings upon any application for discharge, conditional release, commitment or modification filed pursuant to ORS 161.336, 161.341 or 161.351 and as otherwise required by ORS 161.336 to 161.351 and shall make findings on the issues before it which may include:

(a) If the board finds that the person is no longer affected by mental disease or defect, or, if so affected, no longer presents a substantial danger to others, the board shall order the person discharged from commitment or from conditional release.

(b) If the board finds that the person is still affected by a mental disease or defect and is a substantial danger to others, but can be controlled adequately if conditionally released with treatment as a condition of release, the board shall order the person conditionally released as provided in ORS 161.336.

(c) If the board finds that the person has not recovered from the mental disease or defect and is a substantial danger to others and cannot adequately be controlled if conditionally released on supervision, the board shall order the person committed to, or retained in, a state hospital designated by the Department of Human Services if the person is at least 18 years of age, or a secure intensive community inpatient facility designated by the Department of Human Services if the person is under 18 years of age, for care, custody and treatment.

(2) At any time, the board may appoint a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist to examine the person and to submit a report to the board. Reports filed with the board pursuant to the examination shall include, but need not be limited to, an opinion as to the mental condition of the person and whether the person presents a substantial danger to others, and whether the person could be adequately controlled with treatment as a condition of release. To facilitate the examination of the person, the board may order the person placed in the temporary custody of any state hospital or other suitable facility.

(3) The board may make the determination regarding discharge or conditional release based upon the written reports submitted pursuant to this section. If any member of the board desires further information from the examining psychiatrist or licensed psychologist who submitted the report, these persons shall be summoned by the board to give testimony. The board shall consider all evidence available to it which is material, relevant and reliable regarding the issues before the board. Such evidence may include but is not limited to the record of trial, the information supplied by the attorney representing the state or by any other interested party, including the person, and information concerning the person's mental condition and the entire psychiatric and criminal history of the person. All evidence of a type commonly relied upon by reasonably prudent persons in the conduct of their serious affairs shall be admissible at hearings. Testimony shall be taken upon oath or affirmation of the witness from whom received. The officer presiding at the hearing shall administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses.

(4) The board shall furnish to the person about whom the hearing is being conducted, the attorney representing the person, the Attorney General, the district attorney and the court or department of the county from which the person was committed written notice of any hearing pending under this section within a reasonable time prior to the hearing. The notice shall include: (a) The time, place and location of the hearing. (b) The nature of the hearing and the specific action for which a hearing has been requested, the issues to be considered at the hearing and a reference to the particular sections of the statutes and rules involved. (c) A statement of the authority and jurisdiction under which the hearing is to be held. (d) A statement of all rights under subsection (6) of this section.

(5) Prior to the commencement of a hearing, the board or presiding officer shall serve personally or by mail a written notice to each party as provided in ORS 183.413 (2).

(

6) At the hearing, the person about whom the hearing is being held shall have the right: (a) To appear at all proceedings held pursuant to this section, except board deliberations. (b) To cross-examine all witnesses appearing to testify at the hearing. (c) To subpoena witnesses and documents as provided in ORS 161.395. (d) To be represented by suitable legal counsel possessing skills and experience commensurate with the nature and complexity of the case, to consult with counsel prior to the hearing and, if financially eligible, to have suitable counsel appointed at state expense. (e) To examine all information, documents and reports which the board considers. If then available to the board, the information, documents and reports shall be disclosed to the person so as to allow examination prior to the hearing.

(7) A record shall be kept of all hearings before the board, except board deliberations.

(8) Upon request of any party before the board, or on its own motion, the board may continue a hearing for a reasonable period not to exceed 60 days to obtain additional information or testimony or for other good cause shown.

(9) Within 15 days following the conclusion of the hearing, the board shall provide to the person, the attorney representing the person, the Attorney General or other attorney representing the state, if any, written notice of the board's decision.

(10) The burden of proof on all issues at hearings of the board shall be by a preponderance of the evidence.

(11) If the board determines that the person about whom the hearing is being held is financially eligible, the board shall appoint suitable counsel to represent the person. Counsel so appointed shall be an attorney who satisfies the professional qualifications established by the Public Defense Services Commission under ORS 151.216. The public defense services executive director shall determine and allow fair compensation for counsel appointed under this subsection and the reasonable expenses of the person in respect to the hearing. Compensation payable to appointed counsel shall not be less than the applicable compensation level established under ORS 151.216. The compensation and expenses so allowed shall be paid by the public defense services executive director from funds available for the purpose.

(12) The Attorney General may represent the state at contested hearings before the board unless the district attorney of the county from which the person was committed elects to represent the state. The district attorney of the county from which the person was committed shall cooperate with the Attorney General in securing the material necessary for presenting a contested hearing before the board. If the district attorney elects to represent the state, the district attorney shall give timely written notice of such election to the Attorney General, the board and the attorney representing the person.

ORCP 83

[Oregon Rules Of Civil Procedure Annotated]

Rule 83. Provisional Process

A. REQUIREMENTS FOR ISSUANCE

To obtain an order for issuance of provisional process the plaintiff shall cause to be filed with the clerk of the court from which such process is sought a sworn petition and any necessary supplementary affidavits or declarations requesting specific provisional process and showing, to the best knowledge, information, and belief of the plaintiff, affiant or declarant that the action is one in which provisional process may issue, and:

A.(9) Facts, if any, which tend to establish that there is a substantial danger that the defendant or another person is engaging in, or is about to engage in, conduct which would place the claimed property in danger of destruction, serious harm, concealment, removal from this state, or transfer to an innocent purchaser;

A.(10) Facts, if any, which tend to establish that without restraint immediate and irreparable injury, damage, or loss will occur;

A.(11) Facts, if any, which tend to establish that there is substantial danger that the defendant or another person probably would not comply with a temporary restraining order; and

A.(12) That there is no reasonable probability that the defendant can establish a successful defense to the underlying claim.

ORS § 466.630 [Oregon Revised Statutes;Title 36. Public Health And Safety ;Chapter 466. Hazardous Waste And Hazardous Materials Ii Spill Response And Cleanup Of Hazardous Materials]

ORS § 466.630 Commission designation of substance as hazardous material.

(1) By rule, the Environmental Quality Commission may designate as a hazardous material any element, compound, mixture, solution or substance which when spilled or released into the air or into or on any land or waters of the state may present a substantial danger to the public health, safety, welfare or the environment.

(2) Before designating a substance as hazardous material, the commission must find that the hazardous material, because of its quantity, concentration or physical or chemical characteristics may pose a present or future hazard to human health, safety, welfare or the environment when spilled or released.