HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 

To view the full text of these opinions, please visit: http://www.courts.wa.gov/opinions/index.cfm?fa=opinions.recent or Lexis subscribers may use the links below to access the cases on either lexis.com or Lexis Advance.


Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 2 new published opinions and announced the publication of 1 additional opinion, and  Division Three filed no new opinions on Tuesday, March 11, 2014:

1. State v. Hamilton 
No. 43767-8
(March 11, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 539 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 539 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Defendant was convicted unlawful possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine) based on evidence discovered during a warrantless search of a purse containing her rings that her husband showed to officers outside of the couple's home. The Court of Appeals reverses and remands, holding that defense counsel's representation was deficient because there was no strategic reason for failing to file a motion to suppress evidence discovered in the warrantless search and that defendant was prejudiced because the trial court likely would have suppressed the evidence on the grounds that she had a subjective expectation of privacy in the purse and did not abandon that privacy interest.

2. Merino v. State
No. 43865-8 
(March 11, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 542 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 542 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: EMPLOYMENT LAW; GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: Under RCW 43.43.040, the Washington State Patrol trooper's disability benefits vested when he became disabled in the line of duty, and he is entitled to continuing disability payments for as long as his disability continues, regardless of his termination from employment.

3. Worthington v. WestNET 
No. 43689-2
(filed January 28, 2014; ordered published March 11, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 231 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 231 (Lexis Advance) 

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW; GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: WestNET—the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team, a regional task force created to combat drug-related crime in western Washington—is not a public agency or the “functional equivalent” of a public agency that it is bound by the Public Records Act, ch. 42.56 RCW.

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