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Jameel Padilla was convicted for communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. At issue was Padilla's community custody condition prohibiting him from "possess[ing] or access[ing] pornographic materials, as directed by his supervising Community Corrections Officer" (CCO). Padilla argued the condition and its accompanying definition of "pornographic materials" were unconstitutionally vague. Although the condition included a definition of "pornographic materials," the Washington Supreme Court determined the definition itself was vague and overbroad. “A condition cannot be saved from a vagueness challenge merely because it contains a definition when that definition itself suffers the same weakness. Moreover, an overbroad definition does not sufficiently put the offender on notice of what materials are prohibited and subjects him to possible arbitrary enforcement.” The Court reversed the Court of Appeals' decision upholding the condition and remand to the trial court for further definition of the term "pornographic materials" following a determination of whether the restriction was narrowly tailored based on Padilla's conviction. View "Washington v. Padilla" on Justia Law

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Hollis Blockman was charged with and convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. Blockman was discovered in Patricia Burton's apartment during a protective sweep by police, which Burton consented to, in response to a report of an assault and robbery committed in the apartment by Burton and two men. On appeal. Blockman contended the sweep exceeded the scope of the "protective sweep" exception to the warrant requirement under Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325 (1990), and therefore the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence discovered in the course of the protective sweep. The Washington Supreme Court found that because Burton's unchallenged consent fit within the consent exception to the warrant requirement, the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress. View "Washington v. Blockman" on Justia Law

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Hollis Blockman was charged with and convicted of unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver within 1,000 feet of a school bus stop. Blockman was discovered in Patricia Burton's apartment during a protective sweep by police, which Burton consented to, in response to a report of an assault and robbery committed in the apartment by Burton and two men. On appeal. Blockman contended the sweep exceeded the scope of the "protective sweep" exception to the warrant requirement under Maryland v. Buie, 494 U.S. 325 (1990), and therefore the trial court erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence discovered in the course of the protective sweep. The Washington Supreme Court found that because Burton's unchallenged consent fit within the consent exception to the warrant requirement, the trial court did not err in denying the motion to suppress. View "Washington v. Blockman" on Justia Law

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The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court’s review centered on whether a city council's restrictive zoning decision was judicially reviewable under chapter 36.70C RCW, the Land Use Petition Act (LUPA), where the ordinance targeted a single property with a sole owner and was not an amendment to the city's comprehensive plan. Because such a land use decision was a site-specific rezone and therefore reviewable under LUPA, the Court reversed and remanded to the Court of Appeals to proceed on the merits of the city's appeal of the superior court's decision and for other proceedings. View "Schnitzer W., LLC v. City of Puyallup" on Justia Law

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A jury convicted Robert James of second degree rape. James timely filed a personal restraint petition with supporting documents. The acting chief judge of Division Two of the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition as frivolous, and the Washington Supreme Court's commissioner denied James's motion for discretionary review. Based on the evidence included in James's pleadings and the State's subsequent statements, the Supreme Court granted James's motion to modify the commissioner's ruling, grant discretionary review, and remand to the Court of Appeals for further consideration. “The acting chief judge likely was correct in determining that the majority of James's claims for relief are frivolous, but James's ineffective assistance of counsel claim based on counsel's failure to understand the DNA evidence may not be frivolous, and it is not clear that the evidence presented and the State's statements regarding a plea offer were fully considered below.” View "In re Pers. Restraint of James" on Justia Law

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The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington certified a question of Washington law to the Washington Supreme Court. This case began in 2016 when the two named plaintiffs filed this putative class action lawsuit against Dovex on behalf of Dovex's seasonal and migrant agricultural employees. Each summer, Dovex employs hundreds of seasonal and migrant workers, many of whom speak limited English, to harvest apples, pears, and cherries in Dovex's orchards. The plaintiffs alleged Dovex violated state and federal law by willfully refusing to pay wages and failing to "pay minimum wage, provide paid rest breaks, maintain accurate and adequate time and wage records, pay wages when due, [and] provide accurate statements of hours worked." The federal court asked: (1) whether Washington law requires agricultural employers to pay their pieceworkers for time spent performing activities outside of piece-rate picking work (e.g., "Piece Rate Down Time" and similar work); if yes, then how must agricultural employers calculate the rate of pay for time spent performing activities outside of piece-rate picking work (e.g., "Piece Rate Down Time" and similar work)? The Washington Supreme Court answered the first question “yes:” agricultural workers may be paid on a piece-rate basis only for the hours in which they are engaged in piece-rate picking work. Time spent performing activities outside the scope of piece-rate picking work must be compensated on a separate hourly basis. The Court answered the second question posed consistent with the parties’ position: the rate of pay for time spent performing activities outside of piece-rate picking work must be calculated at the applicable minimum wage or the agreed rate, whichever was greater. View "Carranza v. Dovex Fruit Co." on Justia Law

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The issue in this case was whether the duration of a domestic violence (DV) no-contact order entered by a court of limited jurisdiction was limited to the length of the underlying suspended sentence. A jury convicted Wendy Granath in King County District Court of two gross misdemeanor DV crimes - cyberstalking and violation of a DV no-contact order -based on e-mails she sent to her estranged husband. The judge did not enter an expiration date, and so, by the terms of the pattern form order, it expired by default five years later. Granath completed her sentence in December 2014. She thereafter moved to vacate the no-contact order on the basis that it ended when she was no longer subject to the underlying no-contact condition of the sentence. The State appealed the published Court of Appeals decision that vacated the no-contact order and held that the district court lacked authority pursuant to RCW 10.99.050 to enter a no-contact order exceeding the duration of the underlying sentence. The Washington Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals, holding that RCW 10.99.050 authorized a district court to issue a DV no-contact order that lasts for the duration of the defendant's suspended sentence. The no-contact order issued in this case was not enforceable after Granath completed her suspended sentence in December 2014, and the district court should have granted her motion to vacate. View "Washington v. Granath" on Justia Law

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Teacher Tanya James-Buhl was charged with failure to comply with the mandatory reporting law that requires specified professionals to report incidents of child abuse when they have reasonable cause to believe a child has suffered abuse or neglect. James-Buhl received notice of child abuse from her three daughters alleging that they were being touched inappropriately within the home by their stepfather, but she did not make an immediate report. At issue is whether James-Buhl's employment status as a teacher required her to report the alleged abuse of her own children, who were not her students, when the abuse occurred within the home and was perpetrated by another family member. The Washington Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and held that a teacher's failure to comply with the mandatory reporting duty must have some connection to his or her professional identity. View "Washington v. James-Buhl" on Justia Law

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Evan Bacon, a juvenile, pleaded guilty to second degree robbery and received a suspended disposition. The State challenged the juvenile court's authority to enter such a disposition, arguing that the Juvenile Justice Act of 1977 (JJA), chapter 13.40 RCW, does not give trial courts the statutory authority to suspend juvenile dispositions (except in specific situations that are absent here). The Court of Appeals agreed, and so did the Washington Supreme Court. The Court therefore affirmed, holding that juvenile court judges lack statutory authority to suspend JJA dispositions, even manifest injustice JJA dispositions, unless the disposition fits under one of the specifically listed exemptions in RCW 13.40.160(10). View "Washington v. Bacon" on Justia Law

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This case asked the Washington Supreme Court to clarify the scope of Washington's recreational use immunity statute, RCW 4.24.210. Margie Lockner was injured when she fell from her bicycle on a trail maintained by Pierce County (County). Lockner sued the County for negligence. Finding that recreational use immunity precluded her suit because the unintentional injury happened on land open to the public for recreational use without a fee, the trial court dismissed Lockner's claim on summary judgment. The Court of Appeals reversed, mistakenly relying on the dissent in the Supreme Court's opinion in Camicia v. Howard S. Wright Constr. Co., 317 P.3d 987 (2014), holding that a question of fact remained as to whether the trail was open to the public "solely" for recreational use. The Supreme Court reversed, finding RCW 4.24.210 immunity did not require sole recreational use before conferring immunity to landowners, and was not limited to premises liability claims. View "Lockner v. Pierce County" on Justia Law