HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, February 27, 2014

HeadsUp for Washington State: Court Opinions From Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thursday, February 27, 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 Washington Supreme Court filed 4 new opinions and Division Three of the Court of Appeals filed 1 new published opinion and ordered the publication of 1 additional opinion on Thursday, February 27, 2014

Supreme Court:

1. PT Air Watchers v. State
No. 88208-8
(February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 160 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 160 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW; PROPERTY AND LAND USE LAW

Brief: The Department of Ecology, in determining that no environmental impact statement was necessary for the proposed energy cogeneration project, did not fail to adequately consider the effects of carbon dioxide emissions and demand for woody biomass from the state's forests. Also, the project is exempt from the EIS requirement as part of an energy recovery facility that existed before January 1, 1989. Ecology adequately reviewed the relevant information in determining that the project would not have significant impacts on the environment, and the project is exempt from the EIS requirement as part of an energy recovery facility that existed before January 1, 1989.

2. State v. Hinton
No. 87663-1 
(February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 159 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 159 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The police detective’s reading of the text messages on the cell phone seized from the individual who was arrested for possession of heroin that were sent by the defendant violated the defendant’s privacy rights under Wash. Const. art. I, § 7.

3. State v. Roden
No. 87669-0
(February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 158 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 158 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: The police detective’s browsing through the text messages on the cell phone seized from the individual who was arrested for possession of heroin that were sent by the defendant violated the defendant’s privacy rights under the privacy act, chapter 9.73 RCW.

4. State v. MacDicken
No. 88267-3
(February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. LEXIS 161 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. LEXIS 161 (Lexis Advance) 

Areas: CRIMINAL LAW

Brief: Police officers may search an arrestee's person and articles closely associated with his or her person at the time of arrest without violating either the Fourth Amendment or Wash. Const. art. I, § 7. In this case, the bags carried by the defendant, which the arresting officers moved a car's length away before searching them, were closely associated with the defendant at the time of his arrest and were subject to search without a warrant.

Court of Appeals:

1. Segura v. Cabrera
No. 31118-0
(February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 445 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 445 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: COURTS; PERSONAL INJURY AND INSURANCE LAW; PROPERTY AND LAND USE LAW

Brief: Emotional distress damages are not recoverable as actual damages in a relocation assistance claim under RCW 59.18.085(3).

2. Predisik v. Spokane School District No. 81
No. 31176-7
(filed January 23, 2014; ordered published February 27, 2014)
2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 148 (lexis.com)

2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 148 (Lexis Advance)

Areas: GOVERNMENT RELATIONS AND ADMINISTRATIVE LAW

Brief: The plaintiffs were teachers who were placed on administrative leave pending investigations into alleged misconduct. The school district received public disclosure requests for information regarding the allegations against the teachers. Consequently, the district notified the teachers of the specific documents that it would be disclosing. The teachers sought to enjoin disclosure, claiming that the records are exempt from disclosure under RCW 42.56.230(3), as personal information maintained in an employee's file, and under RCW 42.56.240(1), as investigative records compiled by an investigative agency. The trial court determined that the records were not subject to an exemption and ordered disclosure with the teachers' names redacted from the records. Concluding that the teachers do not have a privacy interest in the redacted records, the Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court.

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