HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 12, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, June 12, 2014

Thursday, June 12, 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. 

The Supreme Court of Washington filed 4 new opinions and Division Three filed 2 new published opinions and announced the publication of 1 additional opinion on Thursday, June 12, 2014:

Division Two:

1. Campbell v. Emp't Sec. Dep't
No. 88772-1
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 465 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 465 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: EMPLOYMENT LAW; GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: The employee quit his job as a school teacher in anticipation of accompanying his wife to Finland on her Fulbright grant. The employee applied for unemployment benefits for the months between his resignation in June 2010 and his family's planned departure in February 2011. His request was denied because the Department of Employment Security determined that that the employee did not qualify for benefits as claimed under RCW 50.20.050(2)(b)(iii), also known as the “quit to follow” provision. This provision requires the unemployment claimant to stay in his or her position for “as long as reasonable” before quitting to relocate for a spouse or domestic partner. On appeal, the superior court reversed, but the Court of Appeals reinstated the agency action. The Washington Supreme Court affirms the Court of Appeals and holds that the employee's resignation from his job seven months before the planned relocation was not reasonable as contemplated by the statute.

2. Fisher Broad.--Seattle TV, LLC
No. 87271-6
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 469 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 469 (Lexis Advance) 

Areas: GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: Two of three of the news reporter's unsuccessful public records requests to the Seattle Police Department (SPD) relating to “dash-cam” videos taken by SPD officers should have been granted.

3. State v. Coley
No. 88111-1
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 463 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 463 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Chapter 10.77 RCW places the burden on the party contesting competency where, after an evaluation ordered under RCW 10.77.060, the individual has been evaluated as competent. The trial court did not abuse its discretion by declining to rule on defendant's requests to proceed pro se pending a competency determination. Defendant's request after he was deemed competent to stand trial, and therefore eligible for self-representation, was equivocal.

4. State v. Lamar 
No. 89060-9
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 464 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 464 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: After an alternate was substituted for an indisposed juror, the trial court told the reconstituted jury that the remaining original jurors should bring the alternate “up to speed” as to what had already occurred and deliberate from there. The Washington Supreme Court holds that the trial court's affirmative instruction to the reconstituted jury violated the right to a unanimous jury verdict regardless of any violation of CrR 6.5.

Division Three:

1. State v. Browne
No. 31156-2
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1422 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1422 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Under the facts of the case, the trial court committed reversible error in excluding defendant's medical marijuana defense because defendant had more plants than were permitted by the Washington Administrative Code.

2. In re Marriage of McDevitt
No. 31348-4 
(June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1421 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1421 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: DOMESTIC RELATIONS AND FAMILY LAW

Brief: Having been presented with an actual move to Colorado by the mother, and no objection to the move, the trial court approved the relocation and entered a parenting plan appropriate to the new geographic relationship and the age of the children. This resulted in more equal visitation and the sharing of parental responsibility, an outcome that  normally would have occurred in the original parenting plan if the mother had not relocated to Hawaii in the first place. Under these circumstances, there was no error. The fact that the mother then wanted to return to Hawaii, even for a legitimate reason, did not alter the fact that the judge had authority to revise the parenting plan to fit the changed realities of the parties then before him.

3. In re Pers. Restraint of Ramos / State v. Ramos
Nos. 30150-8, 30766-2

(Filed May 8, 2014; ordered published June 12, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1123 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 1123 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Defendant did not suffer from ineffective assistance of counsel when counsel failed to inform him that the crime to which he entered a guilty plea was a deportable offense, because the immigration consequences of his plea were not clear and he was warned of possible deportation.

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