Washington Supreme Court Decisions 2021

Rinehold v. Renne (Majority)  
Date: July 29, 2021
Docket Number: 98694-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The Rinehold and Renne families disputed the location of the shared boundary line between their respective Mason County, Washington properties. They agreed the property was subdivided in the 1950s by surveyor W.O. Watson...

Washington v. Enriquez-Martinez (Majority)  
Date: July 29, 2021
Docket Number: 99101-4

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Juan Enriquez-Martinez was in custody in Oregon, held on both Washington and Oregon pending charges. For his Washington conviction, he was denied credit for the time he spent in jail in Oregon on a variety of...

In re Welfare of K.D. (Majority)  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: 98965-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington Supreme Court granted discretionary review in this case to address a concern about inconsistent practices among the three divisions of the Washington Court of Appeals in creating case titles in dependency...

Nyman v. Hanley (Majority)  
Date: July 22, 2021
Docket Number: 99249-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Antonia Nyman was renting a backyard cottage to Dan Hanley when the COVID-19 pandemic began. She sought to evict Hanley and gave him 60 days’ notice of her intention to move into the unit herself. Due to this unprecedent...

Washington ex rel. Haskell v. Spokane County Dist. Court (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: 98719-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Reverend George Taylor was a long-time climate activist. Rev. Taylor has made many attempts to mitigate the risks of coal and oil trains passing through Spokane, Washington. After repeated efforts without effect, he orga...

Family of Butts v. Constantine (Majority)  
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: 98985-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Damarius Butts, Isaiah Obet, Charleena Lyles, and seven other people were shot and killed by law enforcement officers in King County, Washington in 2017. In response to community demands for greater police accountability...

Coogan v. Genuine Parts Co. (Majority)  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: 98296-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Doy Coogan died of peritoneal mesothelioma after years of asbestos exposure through his automotive repair work and excavation business. A jury unanimously found Genuine Parts Company (GPC) and National Automotive Parts A...

Conway Constr. Co. v. City of Puyallup (Majority)  
Date: July 8, 2021
Docket Number: 98753-0

Justia Opinion Summary: The city of Puyallup (City) hired Conway Construction Company to build a road. The contract allowed the City to terminate the contract early either for its convenience or on Conway’s default, but a termination for conven...

Washington v. Denham (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: July 1, 2021
Docket Number: 98591-0

Justia Opinion Summary: A valuable diamond was stolen from a jewelry store. Within days, Respondent Lynell Denham sold that diamond. Police suspected Denham committed the burglary and got a warrant for his cell phone records. Cell site location...

In re Dependency of G.J.A. (Majority)  
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: 98554-5

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (Department) met its burden under the Washington State Indian Child Welfare Act (WICWA) to provide active efforts to reunify C.A. with her...

Washington v. Johnson (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: 98493-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Christopher Johnson was convicted of child sex crimes. He challenged a condition of community custody as unconstitutionally overbroad and vague: this condition would require Johnson to access the Internet only through fi...

Washington v. Jenks (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: 98496-4

Justia Opinion Summary: Alan Jenks was sentenced to life without parole under the Persistent Offender Accountability Act (POAA), part of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981 (SRA). One of his strikes was second degree robbery, which was removed fr...

Green v. Pierce County (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: May 27, 2021
Docket Number: 98768-8

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue before the Washington Supreme Court’s in this case was whether an individual’s YouTube channel qualified as “news media” for requests for certain records under the Washington Public Records Act (PRA). In 2014,...

Ladenburg v. Henke (Majority)  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: 98319-4

Justia Opinion Summary: This case concerned a conflict between Tacoma Municipal Court Judge David Ladenburg and the presiding judge of that court, Judge Drew Henke. Judge Ladenburg petitioned the Washington Supreme Court to issue a writ of mand...

Washington v. Slater (Majority)  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: 98795-5

Justia Opinion Summary: After attending multiple court hearings in his case for violating a domestic violence no contact order (DVNCO), Samuel Slater missed court the day his case was called for trial. The judge issued a warrant for his arrest,...

In re Termination of Parental Rights to M.A.S.C. (Majority)  
Date: May 20, 2021
Docket Number: 98905-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The parent in this case, J.C., contended that the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) did not tailor its offer of services to accommodate her intellectual disability prior to recommending termination of her...

Johnson v. Liquor & Cannabis Bd. (Majority)  
Date: May 13, 2021
Docket Number: 98726-2

Justia Opinion Summary: On a rainy day in 2011, Darcy Johnson, a business invitee at a Washington State Liquor Control Board liquor store, slipped and fell in the entryway to that store, just after entering. A jury returned a verdict for Johnso...

Washington v. Towessnute (Majority)  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: 13083-3

Justia Opinion Summary: On May 15, 1915, the State of Washington charged Alec Towessnute, a Yakama tribal member, with multiple fishing crimes. These criminal charges stemmed from the fact that he was fishing in the usual and accustomed waters...

Washington v. Knapp (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: May 6, 2021
Docket Number: 98067-5

Justia Opinion Summary: The facts in this case were disputed: petitioner Leland Knapp, IV had intercourse with B.S. on Super Bowl Sunday, February 7, 2016; Knapp was high on methamphetamine at the time; and Knapp and B.S. had been friends since...

Saralegui Blanco v. Gonzalez Sandoval (Majority)  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: 98221-0

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a premises liability claim brought by a visitor against landlords for an injury caused by the tenants’ dog. The question was whether the landlords, Ernesto and Teri Hernandez, owed a duty to petitione...

In re Det. of McHatton (Majority)  
Date: April 29, 2021
Docket Number: 98904-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington Supreme Court was asked to decide whether an order revoking a sexually violent predator’s (SVP) conditional release to a less restrictive alternative (LRA) placement pursuant to RCW 71.09.098 was one of th...

Silver v. Rudeen Mgmt. Co., Inc. (Majority)  
Date: April 22, 2021
Docket Number: 98024-1

Justia Opinion Summary: A residential landlord withheld a tenant’s security deposit after the termination of the tenancy, demanding a large sum of money for alleged excessive wear and tear to the premises. Two years and two months later, the te...

Washington v. D.L. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: 96143-3

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, D.L., a 14-year-old boy, was charged with three counts of first degree rape and one count of attempted first degree rape of his 5-year-old half brother. At the time, D.L. had no prior criminal history. D.L. succ...

Washington v. M.S. (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: 96894-2

Justia Opinion Summary: In November 2017, M.S. was charged with third degree assault of a King County Metro bus driver. M.S. approached the driver’s side window of a King County bus while it was parked. When the bus driver leaned out the driver...

In re Dependency of E.M. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: April 15, 2021
Docket Number: 98596-1

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2018, E.M. was a three-year-old boy who had lived with his grandmother since birth as a dependent child of the State. When his grandmother sought to return to work, E.M. suddenly found himself in a custodial tug-of-wa...

In re Recall of Sawant (Majority)  
Date: April 1, 2021
Docket Number: 99089-1

Justia Opinion Summary: Kshama Sawant served on the Seattle City Council since 2013. Ernest Lou, among others, filed recall charges alleging that Councilmember Sawant delegated city employment decisions to a political organization outside city...

Washington v. Coryell (Majority)  
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: 98256-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented centered on the test to be applied when determining whether to instruct the jury on a lesser included or lesser degree offense. Under Washington v. Workman, 584 P.2d 382 (1978), a defendant...

Hester v. Washington (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: March 25, 2021
Docket Number: 98495-6

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a challenge to former RCW 43.43.120(23)(a) (2001), which excluded certain overtime from the calculation of the monthly pension benefit granted under the Washington State Patrol Retirement System (WSPRS...

Washington v. Orn (Majority)  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: 98056-0

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the issue presented for the Washington Supreme Court's review was whether the trial court violated petitioner Nicholas Conan Orn’s rights to confrontation and to present a complete defense when it barred hi...

Pimentel v. Judges of King Cty. Superior Court (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: 98154-0

Justia Opinion Summary: In King County, Washington, individuals subject to a warrantless arrest typically first appear before a district court judge to determine probable cause and set bail or release on personal recognizance (PR). The superior...

Fox v. City of Bellingham (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: March 18, 2021
Docket Number: 98514-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The US District Court for the Western District of Washington certified a question of law to the Washington Supreme Court. The federal court asked the Supreme Court who had standing to bring an action for tortious interfe...

In re Pers. Restraint of Monschke (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: March 11, 2021
Docket Number: 96772-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners Dwayne Bartholomew and Kurtis Monschke were each convicted of aggravated first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole - a mandatory, nondiscretionary sentence under Washin...

Woods v. Seattle's Union Gospel Mission (Majority, Concurrence and Concurrence/Dissent)  
Date: March 4, 2021
Docket Number: 96132-8

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue in this case was whether the Washington legislature extended a privilege or immunity to religious and other nonprofit, secular employers and whether, in providing the privilege or immunity, the legislature affe...

Meyers v. Ferndale Sch. Dist. (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: March 4, 2021
Docket Number: 98280-5

Justia Opinion Summary: Gabriel Anderson, a student of the Ferndale School District (Ferndale), was killed by a vehicle while on an off campus walk with his physical education (PE) class. Anderson’s estate alleged negligence by Ferndale. The tr...

Washington v. Blake (Majority, Dissent and Concurrence/Dissent)  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: 96873-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Washington’s strict liability drug possession statute, RCW 69.50.4013, made possession of a controlled substance a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, plus a hefty fine; leads to deprivation of numerous othe...

Washington v. Waller (Majority)  
Date: February 25, 2021
Docket Number: 98326-7

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the superior court did not clearly state that it was “arresting or vacating” Respondent Anthony Waller’s judgment, or even granting his motion, in its first order on his CrR 7.8 motion. Instead, it skipped...

Freedom Found. v. Teamsters Local 117 (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: February 18, 2021
Docket Number: 97109-9

Justia Opinion Summary: The Freedom Foundation was a nonprofit organization that describes itself as committed to “advanc[ing] individual liberty, free enterprise and limited, accountable government in the Evergreen State.” The Foundation broug...

Beauregard v. Wash. State Bar Ass'n (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: 97249-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Board of Governors (BOG) terminated the WSBA executive director during a closed executive session. WSBA member Lincoln Beauregard sued the WSBA, alleging that the vote to fire...

In re Pers. Restraint of Brooks (Majority)  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: 97689-9

Justia Opinion Summary: In 1978, 17-year-old Carl Brooks pleaded guilty to eight counts of first degree robbery, first degree rape, first degree kidnapping, first degree assault, second degree murder, and first degree burglary, all while armed...

In Re Recall of Snaza (Majority)  
Date: February 11, 2021
Docket Number: 98918-4

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved a recall petition against Thurston County, Washington, Sheriff John Snaza. Petitioner Arthur West alleged Snaza committed a recallable offense because he stated in a press release that he would not enf...

Washington v. Numrich (Majority, Dissent and Concurrence/Dissent)  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: 96365-7

Justia Opinion Summary: At issue in this case was whether the general-specific rule applied to a second degree manslaughter charge stemming from a workplace death. The State initially charged Phillip Numrich under the Washington Industrial Safe...

In re Pers. Restraint of Fowler (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: February 4, 2021
Docket Number: 97456-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Long before his judgment and sentence was final, Vincent Fowler hired and paid an attorney, John Crowley, to prepare and file his personal restraint petition (PRP). But after repeatedly and falsely assuring his client he...

Mancini v. City Of Tacoma (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: 97583-3

Justia Opinion Summary: Executing a search warrant, in 2011, eight Tacoma police officers broke open an apartment door with a battering ram. They expected for find Matthew Longstrom, a drug dealer. Instead, they awakened Petitioner Kathleen Man...

Leishman v. Ogden Murphy Wallace, PLLC (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: 97734-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Roger Leishman, an openly gay man, began employment with the Washington Attorney General’s office (AGO) as chief legal advisor to Western Washington University in 2015. Shortly after starting work, Leishman began exhibit...

In re Pers. Restraint of Garcia-Mendoza (Majority)  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: 98026-8

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, petitioner Alejandro Garcia Mendoza pled guilty to unlawful possession of a controlled substance. He moved to withdraw the plea on grounds his counsel did not advise him as required by Padilla v. Kentucky, 599 U...

Washington v. Pratt (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: January 28, 2021
Docket Number: 98066-7

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court’s review centered on the eligibility criteria of the special sex offender sentencing alternative (SSOSA), which required offenders to have an established rel...

Washington v. Burke (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: 96783-1

Justia Opinion Summary: A patient being treated for a sexual assault made statements to a sexual assault nurse examiner in the course of an exam with both medical and forensic purposes. The Washington Supreme Court held that under these circums...

In re Recall of Fortney (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: 98683-5

Justia Opinion Summary: On September 10, 2020, the Washington Supreme Court issued an order affirming the trial court in part and reversing in part a recall petition filed against Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney. Sheriff Fortney challenge...

In re Recall of Hatcher (Majority)  
Date: January 14, 2021
Docket Number: 98968-1

Justia Opinion Summary: On November 6, 2020, the Washington Supreme Court entered a unanimous order affirming the superior court’s decision to allow the recall effort against Benton County Sheriff Gerald Hatcher to proceed. Sergeant Jason Erick...

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