Washington Supreme Court Decisions 2022

Washington v. Fraser (Majority)  
Date: May 12, 2022
Docket Number: 98896-0

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2012, when Washington voters approved Initiative 502 legalizing recreational cannabis, it modified the driving under the influence (DUI) law and created a prong under which a person can be convicted of DUI depending o...

Washington v. Snider (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: May 5, 2022
Docket Number: 99310-6

Justia Opinion Summary: Ronald Snider, who was convicted of third degree rape in 2003, failed to update his registration when he moved out of a residential treatment facility in mid-2017. This was at least the fifth time Snider had failed to re...

In re Pers. Restraint of Mulamba (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: April 28, 2022
Docket Number: 99403-0

Justia Opinion Summary: The question this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court’s review centered on whether the prosecution was required, under Brady v. Maryland, to turn over to the defense the jail and mental health records of the...

In re Recall of Inslee (Majority)  
Date: April 28, 2022
Docket Number: 99948-1

Justia Opinion Summary: C Davis sought to recall Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Davis filed five recall charges alleging that Governor Inslee violated the separation of powers, infringed on a number of constitutional rights, and improperly exe...

Bass v. City of Edmonds (Majority)  
Date: April 21, 2022
Docket Number: 99596-6

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this appeal presented for the Washington Supreme Court’s review centered on whether a city ordinance requiring guns be safely kept and out of unauthorized hands, was preempted by state law. After robust debate...

Washington v. Arbogast (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: March 31, 2022
Docket Number: 99452-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Douglas Arbogast was charged with two counts of attempted child rape as a result of a Washington State Patrol sting operation. Police officers posted an advertisement online and posed as a mother seeking a per...

In re That Portion of Lots 1 & 2 (Majority)  
Date: March 31, 2022
Docket Number: 99598-2

Justia Opinion Summary: RCW 49.60.227 permitted a court to strike a racially restrictive, legally unenforceable covenant from the public records and eliminate the covenant from the title. This case concerned what under the statute, striking fro...

In re Marriage of Watanabe (Majority)  
Date: March 24, 2022
Docket Number: 100,045-6

Justia Opinion Summary: Daniel Watanabe and Solveig (Watanabe) Pedersen divorced in 2016. During the marriage, Pedersen inherited a large sum of money and land after her mother passed away. At their dissolution trial, the court held that variou...

Washington v. Canela (Majority)  
Date: March 17, 2022
Docket Number: 100,029-4

Justia Opinion Summary: At trial, a jury found Daviel Canela guilty of attempted first degree murder and of second degree unlawful possession of a firearm. Canela appealed his conviction on multiple grounds. The Court of Appeals vacated the con...

State v. M.N.H. (Majority)
Date: March 17, 2022
Docket Number: 100,319-6
Washington v. Crossguns (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: March 10, 2022
Docket Number: 99396-3

Justia Opinion Summary: In August 2016, R.G.M. disclosed to her mother that her father, Patrick Crossguns Sr., had sexually abused her. R.G.M. said he had been abusing her for over a year, beginning when she was 12 years old. Crossguns was char...

Williams v. City of Spokane (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: March 3, 2022
Docket Number: 99071-9

Justia Opinion Summary: Chris Williams was fined in Spokane Municipal Court for speeding in a school zone, an infraction captured by a traffic safety camera. Williams did not contest the infraction when it was issued, but before the Washington...

Washington v. Elwell (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: March 3, 2022
Docket Number: 99546-0

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Daniel Elwell was charged with one count of residential burglary. He disagreed with his assigned trial counsel about a number of issues, including the probable merit of a motion to suppress based on an alleged...

Bangerter v. Hat Island Cmty. Ass'n (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: February 24, 2022
Docket Number: 99138-3

Justia Opinion Summary: Matt Surowiecki Sr. sued the Hat Island Community Association (HICA), arguing that HICA violated its governing documents by not charging assessments on an equitable basis. After review, the Washington Supreme Court concl...

Kellogg v. Nat'l R.R. Passenger Corp. (Majority)  
Date: February 24, 2022
Docket Number: 99724-1

Justia Opinion Summary: James Hamre died when an Amtrak train derailed in Dupont, Washington, in 2017. He was survived by his mother, who lived with him, and three adult siblings. Under the wrongful death statutes in effect at the time, James’...

In re Dependency of K.W. (Majority)  
Date: February 17, 2022
Docket Number: 99301-7

Justia Opinion Summary: K.W. was removed from his long-term placement with his relative, “Grandma B.,” after she took a one-day trip and did not notify the social worker of the trip. The consequence of this removal resulted in tremendous upheav...

Washington v. Abdi-Issa (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: February 17, 2022
Docket Number: 99581-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Julie Fairbanks began dating Charmarke Abdi-Issa shortly after she moved to Seattle with her dog, Mona. Mona was a small Chihuahua and Dachshund mix. Fairbanks testified she was close to Mona. Abdi-Issa, however, had a h...

In re Keenan (Majority)  
Date: February 10, 2022
Docket Number: 201,996-0

Justia Opinion Summary: The Commission on Judicial Conduct (Commission) ruled that Judge David Keenan, a King County Superior Court judge, violated the Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC or Code) when he approved a bus advertisement for North Seattl...

In re Recall of Fortney (Majority)  
Date: February 10, 2022
Docket Number: 99804-3

Justia Opinion Summary: Lori Shavlik sought to recall Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney. Her petition was the fourth to recall Sheriff Fortney since he took office on January 1, 2020. As the fourth attempt to recall Sheriff Fortney, the cha...

Washington v. Jennings (Majority, Concurrence and Dissent)  
Date: February 3, 2022
Docket Number: 99337-8

Justia Opinion Summary: Justin Jennings was convicted of felony murder and unlawful possession of a firearm for the killing of Chris Burton. At trial, the court held that a toxicology report showing Burton had methamphetamine in his system at t...

Wash. State Ass'n of Counties v. Washington (Majority)  
Date: January 27, 2022
Docket Number: 99230-4

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court's review centered on the amount of reimbursement that counties were entitled to from the State for costs associated with purchasing, installing, and operatin...

Washington v. Bergstrom (Majority and Concurrence)  
Date: January 27, 2022
Docket Number: 99347-5

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2017, respondent Zachary Bergstrom was charged with possession of a controlled substance. He was later released on bail. For various reasons, among them, hospitalization, tardiness, and struggles with drug addiction a...

Washington v. Grocery Mfrs. Ass'n (Majority and Dissent)  
Date: January 20, 2022
Docket Number: 99407-2

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court's review was whether the penalty for intentionally concealing the source of political contributions could be based on the amount concealed. Washington voters...

In re Pers. Restraint of Dodge (Majority)  
Date: January 13, 2022
Docket Number: 98078-1

Justia Opinion Summary: David Dodge was convicted of first degree murder, rape, and burglary for crimes he committed in 1997, when he was 17 years old. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison. Twenty years later, the Washington legislature passe...

Wild Fish Conservancy v. Dep't of Fish & Wildlife (Majority)  
Date: January 13, 2022
Docket Number: 99263-1

Justia Opinion Summary: The Wild Fish Conservancy (WFC) challenged the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's (WDFW) approval of a permit that allowed Cooke Aquaculture Pacific LLC to change fish species to commercially farm steelhead tro...

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