Idaho Supreme Court - Civil Decisions 2021

Easterling v. Hal Pacific Properties, L.P.  
Date: December 21, 2021
Docket Number: 47919

Justia Opinion Summary: Edward and Janice Easterling owned three contiguous parcels of real property in Ammon, Idaho. The Easterlings brought suit against Hal Pacific Properties, L.P. (“HAL”), claiming an easement by necessity over and upon…

Sommer v. Misty Valley, LLC  
Date: December 21, 2021
Docket Number: 48007

Justia Opinion Summary: Jared and Katherine Sommer brought a declaratory judgment claim against Misty Valley, LLC, after receiving written notice that the real estate developer planned to use an express easement across the Sommers’ land for…

Munden v. Bannock County  
Date: December 15, 2021
Docket Number: 47978

Justia Opinion Summary: Dennis and Sherrilyn Munden (the Mundens) and their limited liability company, Coyote Creek Ranch, LLC, purchased property in Bannock County, Idaho in 2012 (the Upper Property), and acquired adjoining property (the Lower…

Valentine v. Valentine  
Date: December 8, 2021
Docket Number: 48254

Justia Opinion Summary: Mandy and Dan Valentine divorced in 2015. In 2017, Mandy petitioned the magistrate court for an order modifying the child custody and support provisions of the divorce decree. The magistrate court did not modify the…

Safaris Unlimited, LLC v. Jones
Date: December 3, 2021
Docket Number: 46961
Safaris Unlimited, LLC v. Jones  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: 46961

Justia Opinion Summary: Mike Von Jones (“Jones”) appealed the denial of his motion to set aside a sheriff’s sale and the award of attorney fees to Safaris Unlimited LLC (“Safaris”) under Idaho Code section 12-120(5). A jury found there was an…

Allen v. Campbell  
Date: December 2, 2021
Docket Number: 48452

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants sued Respondents over alleged self-dealing and other purported breaches of fiduciary duty in the administration of a trust. Respondents argued that proceedings in Idaho were improper under the provisions of…

Robirds v. Robirds  
Date: November 26, 2021
Docket Number: 48414

Justia Opinion Summary: Terry and Xiomara Robirds married in Taos, New Mexico in 2004. Prior to the marriage, Terry worked for Halliburton and ConocoPhillips. He participated in employer sponsored retirement plans with both employers. In 2007,…

Jones v. Lynn  
Date: November 22, 2021
Docket Number: 46735

Justia Opinion Summary: In July 2015, R.N. went boating on Lake Coeur d’Alene with his friends, C.N. and B.L. All three boys were sixteen years old at the time. The boat was owned by C.N.’s father. C.N., B.L., and R.N. obtained about 12 beers…

Stanger v. Walker Land & Cattle  
Date: November 22, 2021
Docket Number: 48092

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this appeal presented for the Idaho Supreme Court's review centered on a farm lease between Walker Land & Cattle, LLC, (“Walker”) and Sometimes a Great Notion Land and Cattle Company (“SAGN”). The lease…

Gifford v. West Ada Joint School District #2  
Date: November 22, 2021
Docket Number: 48291

Justia Opinion Summary: Peyton Gifford and Mollie Gabaldon (“Parents”) filed a complaint as individuals, guardians ad litem for their son, and putative class representatives, alleging that the West Ada Joint School District #2 (“West Ada”)…

Walker v. Meyer  
Date: November 17, 2021
Docket Number: 47952

Justia Opinion Summary: Brent Meyer appealed pro se a district court’s judgment granting Adam Walker’s breach of contract claim against him. Walker hired Meyer to assist him with the demolition and remodel of a home he had purchased in Soda…

Christiansen v. Potlatch #1 FCU  
Date: November 16, 2021
Docket Number: 48256

Justia Opinion Summary: Eric Christiansen filed a nine-count complaint against respondents, Michael Moser and Potlatch #1 Financial Credit Union (“P1FCU”), following a decision by the Lewiston Roundup Association (“LRA”) to discontinue…

Eich v. Revocable Trust  
Date: October 22, 2021
Docket Number: 48160

Justia Opinion Summary: Mary Eich appealed a district court judgment ordering her to vacate property owned by the trustees of the Wilbur Eich and Henrietta Eich Revocable Trust (the “Trust”). In 2015, Mary filed an action seeking to quiet title…

Smith v. Kount Inc.  
Date: October 20, 2021
Docket Number: 48228

Justia Opinion Summary: Nathan Smith appealed a district court order granting summary judgment in favor of his former employer, Kount, Inc., and denying his cross motion for summary judgment on the grounds that the compensation agreement he…

Alpha Mortgage Fund v. Drinkard  
Date: October 13, 2021
Docket Number: 48424

Justia Opinion Summary: Pheasant Run VI, LLC, Robert Drinkard, and Nancy Drinkard (collectively, “the Drinkards”) appealed a district court’s order renewing a judgment for Alpha Mortgage Fund II (“Alpha”) for $1,842,509.59. Pheasant Run was a…

Herr v. Herr  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: 47941

Justia Opinion Summary: After Anne Herr petitioned for divorce from John Herr, John asserted that two investment accounts opened during the marriage were his separate property. The magistrate court disagreed, finding that separate and community…

Hepworth Holzer, LLP v. Fourth Judicial District  
Date: October 8, 2021
Docket Number: 48766

Justia Opinion Summary: The law firm Hepworth Holzer, LLP (“Hepworth Holzer” or “the firm”), petitioned the Idaho Supreme Court for a writ of mandamus or prohibition, seeking relief from a district court order disqualifying it as counsel for…

Hilton v. Hilton  
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: 47487

Justia Opinion Summary: Cynthia Hilton appealed a trial court's decision to deny her motion to divide an omitted asset: a company partially owned by her ex-husband, Lance Hilton. Cynthia alleged that because the stipulated divorce decree did…

IDHW v. John Doe  
Date: September 27, 2021
Docket Number: 48735

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the Idaho Supreme Court's review was one of first impression involving a magistrate court’s custody determination of an eight-year-old developmentally delayed and hearing-impaired child (Child)…

Gatsby v. Gatsby  
Date: September 24, 2021
Docket Number: 47710

Justia Opinion Summary: Linsay and Kylee Gatsby married in June 2015. They later decided Kylee would attempt to conceive a child through artificial insemination, using semen donated by a mutual friend. It was undisputed that Kylee is the…

Frost v. Gilbert  
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: 48156

Justia Opinion Summary: Sharon Bruno appealed following a bench trial on a quiet title matter. Bruno and her father Howard Frost sought to quiet title to an express easement, pursued quiet title for an easement by prescription, and requested an…

Medical Recovery Svcs V. Eddins
Date: September 1, 2021
Docket Number: 47848
Summerfield v. St. Luke's McCall  
Date: August 31, 2021
Docket Number: 47946

Justia Opinion Summary: Michael Summerfield brought a medical malpractice suit against St. Luke’s McCall, Ltd. (St. Luke’s), following the surgical removal of his gallbladder. During surgery, the attending surgeon, employed by St. Luke’s,…

Reclaim Idaho/Gilmore v. Denney  
Date: August 23, 2021
Docket Numbers: 48784, 48760

Justia Opinion Summary: Two petitions reached the Idaho Supreme Court, both seeking to declare two statutes unconstitutional and to issue extraordinary writs: a writ of mandamus and a writ of prohibition. First, Michael Gilmore sought a…

SRM Arms, Inc. v. GSA Direct, LLC  
Date: August 4, 2021
Docket Number: 47194

Justia Opinion Summary: SRM Arms, Inc. (“SRM”) filed suit against GSA Direct, LLC, (“GSA”) and FFL Design, LLC, (“FFL”) (collectively, the “Entity Defendants”), and Anthony Turlington, David Lehman, and Ryan Fitzgerald (collectively the…

Doe I v. Doe  
Date: August 4, 2021
Docket Numbers: 48479, 48499

Justia Opinion Summary: Jane Doe (Mother) and John Doe (Father) were a married couple and the biological parents of E.W. (Child). Mother and Father were both incarcerated from 2015 until 2020. Mother gave birth to Child while incarcerated and…

Farms, LLC v. Isom  
Date: August 3, 2021
Docket Number: 48012

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2015, Ralph Isom filed for bankruptcy. Ultimately, a bankruptcy trustee for the estate settled with Isom’s primary creditor, Farms, LLC (“Farms”). As part of the settlement, the bankruptcy trustee conveyed a ten-acre…

Allen v. Campbell  
Date: August 3, 2021
Docket Number: 48075

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants Michael Allen, Camp Bench Holdings, LLC, Camp River Holding, LLC, and Campbell Farms, Inc., (collectively, “Allen”) appealed two different district court decisions: one in which attorney fees were not awarded…

United States v. Gutierrez  
Date: August 3, 2021
Docket Number: 48454

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit certified a question of law to the Idaho Supreme Court. The federal court asked whether an Idaho state court order reducing a defendant’s judgment of conviction…

Griffin v. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates LTD.  
Date: July 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47703

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for review by the Idaho Supreme Court stemmed from an “unfortunate kitchen accident.” Mary Clare Griffin purchased a bottle of Italian wine, which broke in her hands as she attempted to open it,…

Waite v. Moto One KTM, LLC  
Date: July 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47845

Justia Opinion Summary: Douglas Waite appealed an Idaho Industrial Commission (“Commission”) decision requiring him to repay unemployment benefits he received, along with interest and penalties. Waite claimed the Commission’s determination that…

Medical Recovery Svcs v. Eddins  
Date: July 9, 2021
Docket Number: 47848

Justia Opinion Summary: Medical Recovery Services, LLC, (MRS) sued Michael Eddins to collect on debts that had purportedly been assigned to MRS by Intermountain Emergency Physicians and Intermountain Anesthesia. After a bench trial, the…

Florer v. Walizada  
Date: June 25, 2021
Docket Number: 48290

Justia Opinion Summary: Tenant Dennis Florer brought an action against Yar Walizada, his landlord, for breach of the warranty of habitability based on an alleged failure to provide an adequate heat source. Walizada moved to dismiss, asserting…

McCarthy Corporation v. Stark Investment Group  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 47749

Justia Opinion Summary: Craig Stark entered into a contract with McCarthy Corporation to construct a storage facility for recreational vehicles and boats. The relationship turned sour after McCarthy sent Stark an invoice for work Stark believed…

Elgee v. Retirement Brd. of the Public Employee (PERSI)  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 47846

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a years-long dispute between Robert Elgee and the Retirement Board of the Public Employee Retirement System of Idaho (“PERSI”) regarding the payment of retirement benefits accrued during Elgee’s…

Tenny v. Loomis Armored US, LLC  
Date: June 22, 2021
Docket Number: 48100

Justia Opinion Summary: In December 2014, Steve Tenny sustained a right-sided lumbar disc herniation injury during the course of his employment with Loomis Armored US (Loomis). He immediately began treatment, receiving a series of right-sided…

Ada County v. Browning
Date: June 18, 2021
Docket Number: 47984
Khurana v. IDHW  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: 46652

Justia Opinion Summary: Praveen Khurana appealed an administrative order entered by the Administrative District Judge (“ADJ”) declaring him to be a vexatious litigant pursuant to Idaho Court Administrative Rule 59. The order prohibited Khurana…

Black v. DJO Global  
Date: June 9, 2021
Docket Number: 47812

Justia Opinion Summary: Linda Black sustained second-degree burns on her back while undergoing electrotherapeutic treatment at Superior Physical Therapy (“SPT”). Black’s treatment was performed by Bart McDonald, a licensed physical therapist…

Gem State Roofing, Incorp. v. United Components, Inc.  
Date: June 7, 2021
Docket Number: 47484

Justia Opinion Summary: Beginning in the 1980s and 1990s, two Idaho businesses did roofing work under substantially similar names: one, Gem State Roofing, Inc., performed work primarily in Blaine County (Gem State-Blaine); the other was a…

Progressive Northwest Insurance Company v. Lautenschlager  
Date: June 7, 2021
Docket Number: 48018

Justia Opinion Summary: Progressive Northwest Insurance Company (“Progressive”) insured Dean and Laura Lautenschlager with a combined single limit policy of $500,000, which provided liability coverage, in addition to underinsured and uninsured…

Ware v. City of Kendrick  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: 47849

Justia Opinion Summary: Loyd Eugene Ware filed suit against the City of Kendrick (the City) alleging that in December 2016, a water pipe maintained by the City failed and flooded his property, causing damage. The City answered, claiming that…

St. Alphonsus Regional Medical v. Ada County  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47867

Justia Opinion Summary: An indigent patient was admitted to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (St. Alphonsus) on October 7, 2017, and continued to receive treatment in the hospital until she was discharged on January 12, 2018. During her…

St. Luke's Health System v. Board of Commissioners of Gem County  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47872

Justia Opinion Summary: St. Luke’s Meridian Medical Center (St. Luke’s) provided inpatient hospital care for an indigent patient from January 26, 2016, until March 9, 2016. St. Luke’s sought payment from the Board by submitting a medical…

Off-Spec Solutions LLC v. Transportation Investors LLC  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47940

Justia Opinion Summary: Off-Spec Solutions LLC was a trucking company located in Nampa, Idaho, that was formed by two brothers: Christopher and Daniel Salvador. The Salvadors sold 51 percent of their ownership interest in Off-Spec Solutions to…

Gangi v. Debolt  
Date: May 19, 2021
Docket Number: 48003

Justia Opinion Summary: Alicia Gangi brought a declaratory judgment action against Mark and Jane Doe Debolt (“Debolts”), the owners of a parcel adjacent to Gangi’s property. While a water tank and deck lie on Gangi’s property, the system only…

Latvala v. Green Enterprises Inc.
Date: May 3, 2021
Docket Number: 47296
Kelly v. TRC Fabrication LLC  
Date: April 26, 2021
Docket Number: 47653

Justia Opinion Summary: TRC Fabrication, LLC, (TRC) purchased steel tubing from Brown Strauss Steel Co. (Brown Strauss), a company located in Fontana, California. Under the sales contract, Brown Strauss sold the tubing “free on board” to TRC.…

Brockett Company LLC v. Crain
Date: April 23, 2021
Docket Number: 47138
Rouwenhorst v. Gem County  
Date: April 16, 2021
Docket Number: 47668

Justia Opinion Summary: John and Deborah Rouwenhorst, on behalf of Desert Foothills Wet, LLC, and Desert Foothills Dry, LLC, submitted a rezoning application seeking to reclassify 696 acres in Gem County (the Property) from A-1, Prime…

Dupuis v. Eastern Idaho Health Services Inc.  
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: 47917

Justia Opinion Summary: This case presented the Idaho Supreme Court with a fundamental, but previously unanswered, question: what duty is owed by a hospital to someone who is on its premises solely to visit one of its patients? Summary judgment…

Tricore Investments LLC v. Estate of Warren  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Numbers: 46912, 46913

Justia Opinion Summary: The Estate of Frances Elaine Warren entered into a purchase and sale agreement with Tricore Investments, LLC involving real property near Priest Lake in Bonner County, Idaho. Before closing, the Estate sold the property…

Owen v. Smith
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: 47304
Griffin v. Ste. Michelle Wine Estates LTD.  
Date: April 14, 2021
Docket Number: 47703

Justia Opinion Summary: Mary Clare Griffin purchased a bottle of Italian wine, which broke in her hands as she attempted to open it, causing substantial injuries. Griffin and her son, a minor who witnessed the event, brought a product liability…

Elsaesser v. Gibson  
Date: April 9, 2021
Docket Numbers: 47687, 47884, 48132

Justia Opinion Summary: Cases consolidated for review by the Idaho Supreme Court were appeals of three separate judgments ejecting three non-beneficiary parties from the property of an estate. The personal representative of the Estate of…

Abdullah v. Idaho  
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: 46497

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, a jury found Azad Haji Abdullah guilty of first-degree murder, first-degree arson, three counts of attempted first-degree murder, and felony injury to a child. He was sentenced to death for the murder. Abdullah…

Tucker v. Idaho  
Date: April 8, 2021
Docket Number: 46882

Justia Opinion Summary: The plaintiffs were indigent defendants represented in criminal actions by attorneys provided through Idaho’s public defense system. They alleged that numerous inadequacies in Idaho’s public defense system, as…

Hayes v. Medioli  
Date: March 31, 2021
Docket Number: 47918

Justia Opinion Summary: Massimo Medioli petitioned an Idaho magistrate court to change his minor child’s name. The child’s mother, Dena Hayes, objected. The magistrate court granted Medioli’s petition finding the name change to be “right and…

Tech Landing LLC v. JLH Ventures LLC  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: 46949

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2013, Tech Landing, LLC leased a building to JLH Ventures, LLC (“JLH”) to operate a paintball business. After the building burned down in 2017, Tech Landing sued JLH, alleging breach of contract, breach of the…

Hoffman v. City of Boise  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: 47590

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellants were five individuals and one Idaho limited liability company (collectively, “Plaintiffs”) who owned real property in the City of Boise (“City”) and paid ad valorem taxes to Ada County, Idaho. Plaintiffs…

Reagan v. Idaho Transportation Department  
Date: March 23, 2021
Docket Number: 47865

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the Idaho Supreme Court was asked to revisit its decision in Idaho v. Clarke, 446 P.3d 451 (2019), and determine whether its holding was applicable in an administrative proceeding regarding the suspension…

Brockett Company LLC v. Crain  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 47138

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from an Idaho company’s attempt to bring an action in Idaho against a resident of Oklahoma and a business located in Oklahoma. Brockett Company, LLC appealed a district court order setting aside a default…

Agstar Financial Services v. Northwest Sand & Gravel  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 47140

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007 and 2008, AgStar Financial Services (AgStar), now Compeer Financial FLCA (Compeer), loaned substantial sums of money to Northwest Sand and Gravel, Inc., Gordon Paving Company, Inc., and Blackrock Land Holdings,…

Secol v. Fall River Medical PLLC  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 47149

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff-appellant Cassie Secol and her four minor children (collectively “the Secols”) challenged several evidentiary rulings, jury instructions, and the denial of their motion for a new trial. In late 2016, Damian…

Radford v. Van Orden
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 47364
Citizens Against Linscott v. Bonner County Board of Commissioners  
Date: March 22, 2021
Docket Number: 47909

Justia Opinion Summary: Citizens Against Linscott/Interstate Asphalt Plant (“CAL”) challenged a conditional use permit (“CUP”) issued by the Bonner County, Idaho Board of Commissioners (“the County”). The CUP was based on a recent amendment to…

Latvala v. Green Enterprises Inc.  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47296

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue was whether a prescriptive easement existed to provide road access and utilities to a land-locked parcel and mining claim on Lake Pend Oreille in northern Idaho. Matt and Bonnie Latvala purchased the land-locked…

Radford v. Van Orden  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47364

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Mark Radford sued Appellant Jay Van Orden for damages from trespass of lands and trespass of cattle, among other claims, and also sued Appellant Seven J Ranches, Inc. (“Seven J”) for reimbursement for the…

Gomersall v. St. Luke's Regional Medical Center  
Date: March 19, 2021
Docket Number: 47664

Justia Opinion Summary: Greg and Cyndi Gomersall filed suit on behalf of their minor child, W.G.G., claiming he received negligent medical treatment at St. Luke’s Regional Medical Center (SLRMC) in Boise when he was injured in December 2010.…

Knudsen v. J.R. Simplot Company  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: 47020

Justia Opinion Summary: J.R. Simplot Company (“Simplot”) hired Erik Knudsen for a position as a packaging engineer. Early on in his employment, Knudsen was told that he would be the startup manager on a Simplot project in Grand Forks, North…

Wittkopf v. Stewart's Firefighter Food Catering, Inc.  
Date: February 19, 2021
Docket Number: 46860

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from an Idaho Industrial Commission determination denying an application for unemployment benefits. William Wittkopf appealed pro se the Commission’s determination that he was ineligible for unemployment…

Stanley v. Idaho Industrial Special Indemnity Fund  
Date: February 17, 2021
Docket Number: 47924

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this appeal was whether claimant Curtis Stanley filed a timely complaint against the Industrial Special Indemnity Fund ("ISIF") when Stanley filed his complaint more than five years after his industrial…

Cook v. Wiebe  
Date: February 10, 2021
Docket Number: 46732

Justia Opinion Summary: Holly Cook appealed an administrative order entered by an Administrative District Judge (“ADJ”) declaring her to be a vexatious litigant pursuant to Idaho Court Administrative Rule 59. The order prohibited Cook from…

Choice Feed Inc. v. Montierth  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: 46544

Justia Opinion Summary: Choice Feed, Inc. sued Ray and Susan Montierth, alleging that Ray breached an oral agreement to sell his feedlot property to Choice Feed once he arranged a 1031 tax deferred agreement. Although Ray collected money from…

Asher v. McMillan  
Date: February 9, 2021
Docket Number: 47684

Justia Opinion Summary: Lester McMillan bought a dilapidated house that Terry Asher and Pamela Kitchens (“the Ashers”) planned to repair. The parties orally agreed that the Ashers would perform certain repairs to make the house livable, rent…

Pizzuto v. Idaho  
Date: February 3, 2021
Docket Number: 47709

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1985, Gerald Pizzuto Jr. murdered Berta and Delbert Herndon. Pizzuto was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of felony murder, one count of robbery, and one count of grand theft. He was…

Chernobieff v. Idaho  
Date: February 1, 2021
Docket Number: 47337

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Chernobieff appealed a district court’s decision on intermediate appeal to uphold a magistrate court’s summary dismissal of his petition for post-conviction relief. Chernobieff was convicted of a misdemeanor for…

Bedke v. Ellsworth  
Date: January 26, 2021
Docket Number: 48268

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal stemmed from a dispute between the presiding officers of the Idaho Legislature and the Idaho State Treasurer. The Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Idaho State…

Wallace v. Heath  
Date: January 6, 2021
Docket Number: 47460

Justia Opinion Summary: Janet Heath appealed a district court order and judgment that granted Angela Palmer and Taylor Real Estate’s motion for summary judgment and dismissing her claims for negligence and breach of contract. The events that…

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