Washington Supreme Court Decisions

Browse Opinions From the Washington Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Washington Supreme Court

Binschus v. Dep't of Corr. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 91644-6

Justia Opinion Summary: In "Taggert v. Washington," (822 P.2d 243 (1992)), the Washington Supreme Court held that the State could be held liable for crimes committed by parolees if those crimes resulted from the State's negligence in supervisin...

City of Richland v. Wakefield (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 92594-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The Benton County District Court ordered petitioner Briana Wakefield to pay $15 each month toward her outstanding legal financial obligations (LFOs). Wakefield was homeless, disabled, and indigent. Her only income was $7...

Washington v. Flores (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 91986-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on the circumstances officers making a lawful arrest may seize a companion of the arrestee in the absence of reasonable suspicion to independently jus...

Birrueta v. Dep't of Labor & Indus. (Majority)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 92215-2

Justia Opinion Summary: After the Department of Labor and Industries (Department) learned it had been overpaying respondent Jose Birrueta's industrial insurance benefits for years, it issued two orders, one assessing an overpayment and another...

Pendergrast v. Matichuk (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: September 15, 2016
Docket Number: 92324-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Leslie Pendergrast and Robert Matichuk bought adjacent lots separated by a solid wooden fence. The fence enclosed a venerable cherry tree on Pendergrast's lot. For several years, Pendergrast and Matichuk maintained their...

In re Parental Rights to K.M.M. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: September 8, 2016
Docket Number: 91757-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The child (K.M.M.) was in foster care since she was six and a half years old. She was removed from her biological parents' custody in 2009 because their serious substance abuse problems resulted in a neglectful home envi...

N.L. v. Bethel Sch. Dist. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 91775-2

Justia Opinion Summary: N.L. met Nicholas Clark at school track practice. She was 14, and he was 18. Both were students in the Bethel School District. Neither N.L. nor any responsible adult on the field knew that Clark was a registered sex offe...

Belenski v. Jefferson County (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 92161-0

Justia Opinion Summary: When petitioner Mike Belenski requested certain records from Jefferson County (County), the County responded that it had "no responsive records." Over two years later, Belenski sued the County, asserting that this respon...

Washington v. Goss (Majority)  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 92274-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Michael Goss argued that the charging document the State used to accuse him of second degree child molestation failed to pass constitutional muster because it violated his right to know the "nature and cause o...

Nelson v. Erickson (Majority)  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 92489-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner-plaintiff Jess Nelson sued defendant-respondent Erickson for personal injuries after a car accident. They went to mandatory arbitration, and the arbitrator awarded the plaintiff a total of $44,923. Of that tot...

Lenander v. Dep't of Retirement Sys. (Majority)  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 92671-9

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2000, the Department of Retirement Systems (DRS) created a new option for eligible retirees in which the retiree could opt for a pension that would allow a surviving spouse to continue to receive monthly pension benef...

Cent. Puget Sound Reg'l Transit Auth. v. Airport Inv. Co. (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 91653-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Sound Transit) condemned property owned by Airport Investment Company (AIC) in order to secure easements to construct and operate an elevated light rail. The parties could...

Cooper v. Alsco, Inc. (Majority)  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 91801-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Alsco, Inc. was a textile rental and sales company that supplied uniforms, linens, and other products to other businesses in industrial, hospitality, health care, and other fields. Alsco did not provide products or servi...

Blackburn v. Washington (Majority)  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: 91494-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Nine employees of Western State Hospital (WSH) claimed that the hospital illegally took race into account when making staffing decisions in response to patients' race-based threats or demands. After a six-day bench trial...

Washington v. Samalia (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: July 28, 2016
Docket Number: 91532-6

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Adrian Sutlej Samalia fled on foot from a stolen car during a lawful traffic stop, leaving his cell phone behind in the vehicle. After Samalia successfully escaped, the police searched the cell phone without a...

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