State v. Cates
Court of Appeals Case No.:  68759-0-I
Supreme Court Case No.:  89965-7

  1. A community corrections officer (CCO) may not search a probationer’s home or personal effects without a warrant unless the officer has reasonable cause to believe the probationer violated a condition of community custody or committed a crime.  Did the Court of Appeals err in affirming a community custody condition that requires Mr. Cates to “consent” to searches by his CCO, merely upon the CCO’s request, without specifying that the search must be based on reasonable cause?  Should this Court overrule State v. Massey, on which the Court of Appeals relied, which allows trial courts to impose community custody conditions that require probationers to submit to CCO searches without specifying that the search must be based on reasonable cause?  RAP 13.4(b)(4).

State v. Kalebaugh
Court of Appeals Case No.:  43218-8-II
Supreme Court Case No.: 89971-1

  1. Jurors need not “fill in the blank” with a reason for their doubt in order to find that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.  Here, the trial court’s advance oral instruction told jurors that an acquittal would require them to be able to articulate a reason for any doubt.  Did the trial court’s advance oral instruction undermine the presumption of innocence and the burden of proof, in violation of Mr. Kalebaugh’s Fourteenth Amendment right to due process?

State v. Volk
Court of Appeals Case No.:  30707-7-III
Supreme Court Case No.: 90005-1
Issue(s):  consolidated with State v. Friedlund, No. 89926-6

  1. Whether a detailed oral ruling explaining an exceptional sentence satisfies the Sentencing Reform Act, despite the requirement in RCW 9.94A.535 that the reasons for such a sentence be set forth in written findings of fact and conclusions of law.

State v. Bruch
Court of Appeals Case No.:  69272-1-I
Supreme Court Case No.: 90021-3

  1. The Sentencing Reform Act requires the trial court to impose a determinate sentence that does not exceed the maximum term. For crimes with a maximum term of 10 years, Mr. Bruch was sentenced to 116 months incarceration and community custody for at least 4 months plus any earned early release time he had accrued.  RCW 9.94A.701(9) requires the sentencing court, and not the Department of Corrections (DOC), to set the term of community custody.  State v. Boyd, 174 Wn.2d 470, 275 P.3d 321 (2012).  Based upon its pre-Boyd decision in State v. Winkle, 159 Wn. App. 323, 245 P.3d 249 (2001), rev. denied, 173 Wn.2d 1007 (2012), the Court of Appeals upheld Mr. Bruch’s sentence on the grounds that DOC was required by statute to convert earned early release time to community custody.
    1. Does Mr. Bruch’s sentence violate RCW 9.94A.701(9)?
    2. Is the court’s imposition of a term of community custody controlled by RCW 9.94A.701(9), a statute directed to the sentencing court, or RCW 9.94A.729(5), a statute directed to DOC?
    3. The accused has the constitutional right to a jury trial, to be represented by counsel, and to confront the witnesses against him.  U.S. Const. amends. VI, XIV; Const. art. I § 22. The prosecutor may not comment on a defendant’s exercise of these constitutional rights.  Over objection, the prosecutor in Mr. Bruch’s case argued that the teenage complaining witness was victimized by being required to testify and submit to cross-examination.  Is there a substantial likelihood that the misconduct affected the jury verdict in Mr. Bruch’s case?
    4. The prosecutor is a representative of the State, and prosecutorial misconduct may deny the defendant a fair trial.  U.S. Const. amend. XIV; Const. art. I §§ 3, 22.  In his closing argument to the jury, the prosecutor (1) commented on Mr. Bruch’s exercise of his constitutional rights by arguing how difficult it was for the teenage complaining witness, J.B., to testify and undergo cross-examination, (2) appealed to the jurors’ sympathy for J.B., and (3) disparaged defense counsel.  Where the case hinged on the jury’s evaluation of J.B.’s credibility, was the prosecutor’s repeated misconduct so flagrant and ill-intentioned that no objection or instruction would have cured the prejudice?

State v. Graham
Court of Appeals Case No.:  31020-5-III
Supreme Court Case No.: 89869-3

  1. In addressing an issue of first impression, the Court of Appeals—without allowing oral argument by the parties—issued a published decision concluding that the “multiple offense policy” mitigating factor set forth in RCW 9.94A.535(l)(g) does not apply to multiple serious violent offenses which would otherwise be subject to RCW 9.94A.589(l)(b).  Does this issue present a significant question of law under the Sentencing Reform Act which should be decided by this Court?
  2. In its interpretation of the “multiple offense policy” mitigating factor set forth in RCW 9.94A.535(l)(g), the Court of Appeals disregarded numerous statutory construction decisions of this Court which were cited by Graham in his briefing.  Should review be granted where the Court of Appeals’ refusal to apply basic principles of statutory construction conflicts with this Court’s decisions in State v. Cooper, 176 Wash.2d 678, 294 P.3d 704 (2013); State v. Delgado, 148 Wash.2d 723, 63 P.3d 792 (2003); In Re PRP of Mulholland, 161 Wash.2d 322, 166 P.3d 677 (2007); State v. Flores, 164 Wash.2d 1, 186 P.3d 1038 (2008); In Re PRP of Sietz, 124 Wash.2d 645, 880 P.2d 34 (1990); and State v. Breaux, 167 Wash. App. 166, 273 P.3d 447 (2012) (among many others)?
  3. This Court has never articulated the appropriate legal standard which governs application of the “multiple offense policy” mitigating factor set forth in RCW 9.94A.535(l)(g).  The Courts of Appeals which have addressed the issue have generally held that this mitigating factor applies if the incremental harm caused by the additional offenses is “nonexistent, trivial or trifling.”  In Graham’s case, the trial court misstated this standard as whether “the additional current charges are nonexistent, trivial, or trifling.”  In the decision at issue the Court of Appeals failed to discuss the standard at all.  Should this Court accept review to articulate a governing standard for this important question of law under the Sentencing Reform Act?

State v. Mickelson
Court of Appeals Case No.:  43658-2-II consol. w/ 43748-1-II
Supreme Court Case No.: 89920-7

  1. Whether the prosecutor’s intentional introduction of personal opinion and derogatory commentary during the trial deprived Mickelson of his right to a fair trial?
  2. Whether the prosecutor’s commentary of the Defendant’s post-arrest silence violated Mickelson’s right to remain silent?
  3. Whether the cumulative effect of the trial errors materially affected the outcome of Mickelson’s trial thus requiring reversal of his conviction?
  4. Whether the trial attorney’s performance was so inadequate that Mickelson’s right to assistance of counsel was denied?

Imam v. Town of Springdale
Court of Appeals Case No.:  31339-5-III
Supreme Court Case No.: 89927-4

  1. Whether fees for instituting a frivolous action were properly entered under RCW 4.84.185 against a religious organization that declined to participate in a land use administrative hearing because of a claimed exemption under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000 cc?

Kelley v. Pierce County
Court of Appeals Case No.:  43983-2-II consol. w/ 43986-7-II
Supreme Court Case No.: 90054-0

  1. Where the Court of Appeals affirms the denial of a motion to dismiss a quasi-judicial officer and his County employer because absolute judicial immunity does not apply if a complaint alleges the official committed sexual harassment while performing his quasi-judicial function, is its decision in conflict with decisions of this Court and the Court of Appeals as well as involves an issue of substantial public interest that this Court should determine? See RAP 13.4(b)(l )-(b)(2) & (b)(4).
  2. Where the Court of Appeals treats a CR 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss as one for summary judgment under CR 56 because the moving party relies on pre-existing court records, is its decision in conflict with decisions of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals? See RAP 13.4(b)(l); RAP 13.4(b)(2).

State v. Dean
Court of Appeals Case No.:  69517-7-I
Supreme Court Case No.: 90022-1

  1. Whether the jury instruction defining “reckless” was correct in repeating verbatim the statutory definition of “reckless,” where the “to convict” instruction made clear that the “wrongful act” in question was an assault resulting in substantial bodily harm.