HeadsUp For Washington State – Nov. 5, 2013, Opinions

HeadsUp For Washington State – Nov. 5, 2013, Opinions

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 


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Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 3 new published opinions and Division Three filed 1 new published opinion on Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 

Division Two: 

1. Kitsap Bank v. Denley

No. 43282-0

(November 5, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2618 

Areas: COURTS

            DOMESTIC RELATIONS AND FAMILY LAW

Brief: The decedent’s estate, based on a claim of undue influence, challenged the beneficiary’s ownership of the funds from the decedent’s checking account for which the beneficiary was named the payable on death beneficiary. The Court of Appeals holds that the trial court properly granted the beneficiary's summary judgment motion and did not abuse its discretion in awarding costs and attorney fees to the beneficiary. 

2. Granville Condo. Homeowners Ass’n v. Kuehner

No. 43157-2

(November 5, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2616 

Areas: COURTS

            PROPERTY AND LAND USE LAW

Brief: The trial court entered a summary judgment dismissing the homeowners association’s (HOA) action for unpaid monthly operating and maintenance assessments against the tenants who lived in a unit rent free in satisfaction of a debt. The Court of Appeals holds that neither the condominium declaration nor the Washington Condominium Act supports the HOA's claims that the tenants should be held responsible for the amount of unpaid assessments accrued during their occupancy of the unit. Further, because the issue presented by the case—whether a tenant-at-will may be held liable for a condominium owner's delinquent common operating and maintenance expense assessments—is one of first impression in Washington, the superior court did not act in a manifestly unreasonable manner in denying attorney fees to either party. 

3. In re Marriage of Cota

No. 43037-1

(November 5, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2617 

Areas: DOMESTIC RELATIONS AND FAMILY LAW

Brief: Because the 2010 child support order expressly provided that the father’s support obligation would terminate at the age of majority except for postsecondary educational support, the trial court had authority to order such support even though the request for postsecondary educational support was filed after the daughter turned 18. Further, the record supports the trial court's conclusion that a postsecondary educational award was appropriate under the factors outlined in RCW 26.19.090(2). However, postsecondary educational expenses constitute “child support” under RCW 26.19.065(1); therefore the trial court's order improperly required the father to pay more than 45 percent of his net monthly income in child support without first finding good cause. 

Division Three: 

In re Det. of Ritter / Ritter v. State

No. 30845-6

(November 5, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2613 

Areas: COURTS

            CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: In the sexually violent predator commitment proceeding, the trial court should have held a Frye hearing on a predictive tool, the forensic version of the Structured Risk Assessment (SRA-FV). The Court of Appeals remands solely for the trial court to hold a Frye hearing on the SRA-FV and to enter factual findings and legal conclusions for the Court of Appeals’ review.

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