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).

Continue Reading Petitions for Review – June 5, 2014

The Washington Supreme Court unanimously held in State v. Medina (No. 89147-8) that petitioner Mario Medina was not entitled to credit for time served for five years of required service in two King County Community Center for Alternative Programs (CCAP): one that required Medina to report in person to the Yesler Building daily as an alternative to total confinement and one that required him to report only by phone. The Court’s statutory and double jeopardy analysis is neither controversial nor surprising. The equal protection analysis, in contrast, arguably misses the point, which is that differences in wealth necessarily lead to two sets of sentencing ranges: one for those who are able to procure pretrial release and one for those who cannot. Such a classification violates equal protection principles.
Continue Reading Defendants Are Not Entitled To Credit For Time Served For Required Pretrial Constraints By Statute, Equal Protection Principles, Or Double Jeopardy Protection Even Though Differences In Wealth Arguably Lead To Two Sets Of Sentencing Ranges.

From our colleague Karin Jones:

In State v. Sweat, the Washington Supreme Court held that a court may impose a sentence above the standard range for a domestic violence conviction where the defendant has engaged in a past pattern of abuse towards other individuals.Continue Reading Wash. S. Ct. Continues to Get Tough with Domestic Violence Offenders

A six-Justice majority of the Washington Supreme Court ruled in State v. Dobbs (No. 87472-7) that there was sufficient evidence that the defendant had forfeited his Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser by causing her (through violence and threats) to protect herself by refusing to testify at trial. Three Justices dissented, largely because they viewed the evidence differently and did not see clear, convincing, and cogent evidence (as required to establish forfeiture) that the defendant’s conduct caused the absence of the witness at trial.


The jury in Dobbs found Dobbs guilty of numerous crimes of domestic violence against C.R., including stalking, felony harassment, intimidating a witness, and drive-by shooting. The question presented on appeal was a narrow one: whether the trial court proceedings violated Dobbs’ Sixth Amendment rights because C.R. did not appear as a witness at trial.Continue Reading The Sixth Amendment Guarantees Criminal Defendants A Right To Confront The Witnesses Against Them, But Not If The Defendant Intentionally Causes The Absence Of A Witness At Trial

At its October 1, 2013 conference, the Washington Supreme granted review to four cases. We provide a summary of the issues presented in each case below.

State v. Owens
Supreme Court No. 88905-8
Court of Appeals No. 67867–1–I
PFR & Answer


Whether the Court of Appeals properly reversed a conviction for First Degree

The Court granted review in three cases at its September 3 conference.




Fergen v. Sestero
Court of Appeals Opinion
In this med mal case, the treating physician testified that he considered two different diagnoses before incorrectly diagnosing his patient as having a benign cyst. The patient had a malignant tumor and

In its August 5, 2013 conference, the Washington Supreme Court granted, continued, or deferred consideration of petitions for review in the following cases:

Case & Background Issue(s)
State v. Boysen
CONTINUED (Sept. 4, 2013 En Banc Conference)
Petition for Review
Boysen was convicted of drive-by shooting and second-degree assault after the driver of