Head's Up for Washington State - November 13, 2013 , Court Opinions

Head's Up for Washington State - November 13, 2013 , Court Opinions


Wednesday, November 13, 2013 


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Division Two of the Court of Appeals filed 6 new published opinions and Division Three filed no new opinions on Wednesday, November 13, 2013:

 

1. First-Citizens Bank & Trust Co. v. Reikow

No. 43181-5

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash App. LEXIS 2648 

Areas: BUSINESS AND COMMERCIAL LAW

            COURTS

            PROPERTY AND LAND USE LAW

Brief: The lender sued the borrowers for a deficiency judgment following a trustee's sale of real property securing a commercial loan, then in default, which the borrowers had guaranteed. The trial court granted partial summary judgment to the lender as to the amount of the debt and the borrowers’ liability for any deficiency, but ultimately dismissed the complaint after holding an evidentiary hearing and finding that the fair value of the property exceeded the amount owing on the loan. The Court of Appeals affirms, holding that the trial court properly declined to determine the amount of deficiency on summary judgment and because substantial evidence in the record supports the trial court's fair value determination.

 

2. Failla v. Fixtureone Corp.

No. 43405-9

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2647 

Areas: COURTS

            EMPLOYMENT LAW

Brief: Washington lacked personal jurisdiction over the Pennsylvania Corporation and its president in the Washington-based employee’s action for unpaid wages.

 

3. Squaxin Island Tribe v. Dep’t of Ecology

No. 42710-9

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2645 

Areas: GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

            PROPERTY AND LAND USE LAW

Brief: The superior court erred in concluding that the Department of Ecology's denial of the Squaxin Island Tribe's rulemaking petition was arbitrary and capricious and in requiring Ecology to engage in rulemaking to amend watershed management rules to protect minimum instream flows of Johns Creek in Mason County as requested in the Tribe's petition.

 

4. State v. Mashek

No. 42790-7

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2652 

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The State appealed the trial court's dismissal of a felony DUI charge against the defendant under RCW 46.61.502(6). The Court of Appeals holds that the trial court erroneously required continuous visual observation of the subject of a breath alcohol test under RCW 46.61.506(4)(a)(ii) and (iii). Therefore, the Court of Appeals reverses and remands for the trial court to determine whether the State complied with RCW 46.61.506(4)(a)(ii) and (iii). The Court of Appeals also reverses the trial court's dismissal of the felony DUI charge and remands for further proceedings. Finally, the Court of Appeals affirms the trial court's exclusion of the State's proposed drug recognition expert from testifying about field sobriety tests.

 

5. State v. Hayes

No. 43207-2

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2653 

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The major economic offense sentence enhancement does not indicate legislative intent to extend the enhancement to accomplices.

 

6. State v. Garcia

No. 42890-3

(November 13, 2013)

2013 Wash. App. LEXIS 2646 

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The defendant appealed his convictions for first degree assault, first degree unlawful possession of a firearm, and unlawful possession of a controlled substance. At trial, he stipulated that he had committed a “serious offense” for purposes of the unlawful possession of a firearm charge to prevent the State from introducing evidence of his prior first degree robbery conviction. However, the jury instructions inadvertently included an instruction stating that the jury had to find that the defendant committed first degree robbery in order to convict on the first degree unlawful possession of a firearm charge. The trial court replaced the erroneous instruction and instructed the jury to disregard it. The Court of Appeals affirms the conviction, holding that the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied the defendant's mistrial motion because the jury's temporary exposure to the improper instruction was not such a serious trial irregularity that it could not be cured by an instruction to disregard.

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