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When a parent seeks a Washington domestic violence protection order (“DVPO”), they may want to include their minor children as protected parties.  If the protection order is against the other parent, it can affect that parent’s visitation and custody.  In a recent case, a mother appealed a DVPO that did not include her three-year-old child as a protected party.

The appeals court’s opinion stated the mother had petitioned for a protection order to protect herself and her child against her boyfriend, who was also the child’s father.  She requested an order restraining him from any contact with her or the child, from coming within 1,000 feet of her home or workplace or the child’s daycare.  She asked for sole custody of the child.  She asked the court to order the father to participate in treatment or counseling.  She requested the order be effective for over a year.

She alleged multiple incidents of domestic violence by the father, including incidents in which she said he shoved her and threatened her.  She stated the father was under investigation for an incident in which he threw her against the wall and to the floor, choked her, and banged her head against the floor.  She alleged this incident occurred in front of the child.

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Under RCW 46.20.285, a Washington driver license must be revoked upon conviction of certain offenses.  The statute requires the Department of Licensing to revoke the driver license when conviction of one of the listed offenses becomes final.  A defendant recently challenged his judgment and sentence, arguing the court had applied the wrong version of the statute.

The appeals court obtained the details of what occurred from the affidavit of probable cause.  It stated the defendant and another person took fragrances from a beauty store without paying.  The store manager described the individuals and the vehicle they left in to police.  An officer stopped a car matching that description.  He saw several fragrance boxes in the floor and the back seat passenger had store alarm sensors in their lap.  The defendant reached a plea agreement with the state and  entered a guilty plea on one count of possession of stolen property in the second degree.

The only disputed issue at the sentencing hearing was whether the court should find that the vehicle was used in commission of the offense, leading to suspension of the defendant’s driver license for one year, pursuant to RCW 46.20.285(4).

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A student at a private university in New York recently filed suit against the university due to its alleged failure to accommodate his disability during a Title IX investigation.  According to the complaint, the plaintiff enrolled in the university through a program for intellectually and developmentally disabled students (“Program”).  The plaintiff alleged that he was notified of several complaints filed against him on October 6 and 7, 2022.  He was also notified that the university had determined he was “an immediate physical threat. . .” and was suspended on an interim basis.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff’s parents obtained counsel on his behalf and his advisor requested accommodations during the Title IX investigation process.  When the investigator contacted the plaintiff and his advisor regarding an interview, the advisor responded the plaintiff was “unable to adequately participate in an interview. . .” and would “require extraordinary accommodations.”  The plaintiff alleged that in subsequent communications, the advisor indicated that the plaintiff wanted to participate in an interview if he received proper accommodations.  The complaint alleged the advisor and investigator discussed the matter on the phone, but the plaintiff was still not offered or provided accommodations.

The complaint further alleged that, instead of granting accommodations or engaging in the interactive process, the university served the plaintiff with additional Notices of Investigation regarding more complaints and allegations against him.  According to the complaint, the investigator again contacted the plaintiff and his advisor about scheduling an interview although he acknowledged he had not been contacted by the university’s Center for Disability Resources regarding accommodations.  The complaint states the investigator subsequently advised the plaintiff he intended to proceed to the next step of the investigation.

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To succeed in an entrapment defense, a Washington criminal defendant must show that the “criminal design” originated with law enforcement or someone acting under law enforcement’s direction and the defendant was induced to commit a crime he otherwise did not intend to commit. It is not sufficient for the defendant to show that law enforcement provided him an opportunity to commit the crime.  RCW 9A.16.070.  Pursuant to Washington case law, the test focuses on whether the defendant was predisposed to commit the crime.  A defendant recently appealed his conviction, arguing entrapment.

A Sergeant with the Whitman County Sheriff’s Office created a Facebook profile under the name of “Pauline Niner” to meet people online who would be willing to sell drugs.  At trial, the sergeant said he used a female identity because “[i]t attracts more people.” The sergeant had recently attended a training that addressed drug dealers and users communicating through social media and how officers could create a profile and engage in communication over social media.

According to the appeals court’s opinion, the defendant contacted “Pauline” and they discussed meeting.  Pauline wanted methamphetamine and the defendant said he could get some.  Various issues prevented him from providing her with the drugs on three occasions, but he stated he had a “little bit” on February 16, 2022.  The sergeant arrested him when he got to the address.

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Washington postsecondary educational support may be ordered when a child is dependent and relies upon the parents for reasonable necessities.  The court has discretion in ordering postsecondary educational support.  RCW 26.19.090 provides a non-exclusive list of factors to be considered.

A mother recently challenged a court’s denial of her motion for postsecondary educational support for her son after the court had awarded such support for her daughter a few years earlier.

According to the unpublished opinion of the appeals court, the initial child support order entered in 2012 was amended in June 2020 to adjust the support for the son and order the father to pay 58% of the daughter’s postsecondary educational expenses.  At that time, $9,454.69 in monthly net income was imputed to the father.

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Young siblings sometimes scuffle, but they usually are not charged with a Washington crime as a result.  A teenager recently challenged a guilty adjudication for fourth degree assault arising from an altercation with his younger sister.

According to the appeals court’s opinion, which relied primarily on the juvenile court’s unchallenged findings, the sixteen-year-old juvenile had recently had surgery and was weak and had lost weight.  His eleven-year-old sister came upstairs to the bedroom where he was resting looking for the dogs to take them out before school. When she tried to get the juvenile’s dog, it nipped her and she struck it on the nose.  The juvenile told her not to hit the dog.

She called the juvenile a name as she tried to get the other dog from under the bed.  She said the juvenile gave her a “quick tap in the face with his foot.” She responded by throwing a bottle of lotion and a bottle of vitamins at him, hitting him with one of them.

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The Connecticut Supreme Court recently concluded a university disciplinary proceeding arising from a sexual assault allegation was not quasi-judicial and therefore did not afford the complainant with absolute immunity for the statements she made during the proceeding.

According to the court’s opinion, “Jane Doe” accused the plaintiff of sexual misconduct in disciplinary proceedings conducted by the Ivy League university they both attended.  The plaintiff was expelled from the University.  He filed suit in federal court against the university, several university employees, and Doe.  His claims against Doe included defamation and tortious interference with business relationships.

The District Court concluded the disciplinary proceeding was quasi-judicial and Doe had absolute immunity for the statements she made during the proceeding under Connecticut law.  It concluded extending immunity to the university’s disciplinary proceedings was warranted under Connecticut’s six-factor test to identify quasi-judicial proceedings and as a matter of public policy.

The U.S. Supreme Court held in Caniglia v. Strom that the “community caretaking” exception to the warrant requirement did not extend to a residence.  The Washington Supreme Court has recently considered application of that holding in a Washington criminal case.

According to the opinion, a deputy went to a home after 911 received a call that a caregiver had not come to work that morning. The caller also reported the caregiver had been involved in a domestic incident with her husband the day before.  The deputy knocked and announced himself, but there was no answer.

He called the caregiver’s husband and told him he needed to talk with her. The deputy asked where she was and the husband said she should be at work.  The husband confirmed the minivan in the driveway was hers.  He provided his wife’s phone number.  The deputy did not tell the husband his wife was missing or ask him to come home or for consent to check the residence.

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A court issuing a Washington domestic violence protection order (“DVPO”) must also order the surrender of firearms, dangerous weapons, and concealed pistol licenses. The restrained person must file a proof of surrender and receipt or a declaration of nonsurrender within five days.  RCW 9.41.804. The restrained person must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that they have surrendered all dangerous weapons. A petitioner recently appealed a court’s finding the respondent was in compliance with the order to surrender.

According to the appeals court’s unpublished opinion, the petitioner testified the respondent became violent and controlling during their relationship.  She said he had threatened to shoot up her friend’s house if she did not come out and then forced her into the car at gunpoint. She testified he took her to a deserted parking lot and ripped her shirt off, pulled her hair, and strangled her, while pointing a gun at her. She alleged he sent her photos of himself holding guns and photos of guns along with threatening text messages.

She petitioned for an order of protection. Although initially denied, she was granted a second hearing due to procedural issues.  The petitioner testified and presented declarations from her mother and a witness. She presented evidence of threatening photographs of firearms the respondent sent her.  The appeals court noted there were five firearms shown in the pictures, which were all taken either in the respondent’s room or his mother’s car.

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Property in a Washington divorce is generally characterized as of the date was acquired, but the date of acquisition alone does not determine its character.  The court must consider whether the property was acquired by community or separate funds.  Additionally, spouses may agree to convert property that otherwise would have been separate property.  A husband recently challenged a trial court’s characterization of certain assets and expenditures.


The appeals court’s unpublished opinion states the parties got married in 2004 in Arizona.  Several years later, they signed a family trust agreement stating any property put in the trust would be community property.  They bought a home in Washington in the name of the trust and moved into it in 2009.  They subsequently rented that home out when they purchased another home, using funds from the trust for the down payment.  The husband placed $820,000 he received from an arbitration related to his shares in his former employer in the trust’s bank account.  The parties funded a new business from the trust.  The business was successful, but closed in 2020 when its supplier went out of business.

The wife and child moved out in 2017 and the husband filed for divorce.

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