Case Law


Court of Appeals

Bailiff’s Interactions with a Jury – The bailiff is in a sense the “alter-ego” of the judge, and improper communication between the court and the jury is an error of constitutional dimensions impacting the right to a fair and impartial jury.  State v. Hall (January 10, 2022)


Supreme Court

ISRB and Presumption of Release for Juvenile Parole – RCW 9.94A.730(3) requires the ISRB to begin with a presumption of release, and further requires the ISRB to seriously consider evidence of rehabilitation and risk-mitigating factors as they related to its decision regarding public safety.  In re Pers. Restraint of Dodge (January 13, 2022)


Legal Update for Washington State Law Enforcement

December 2021 


Court of Appeals

True Threat – A person who drove slowly by a police officer and yelled “F*** the police” and pointed an object or his finger like a gun at the officer, did not make a true threat. The court reasoned, “Johnson did not stop or approach Officer Zerr, but instead continued driving north throughout the interaction. Furthermore, Johnson kept his arm hanging out of the window of the car as he continued to drive, and then immediately stopped at a red light. These facts are more suggestive of a casual encounter or idle talk than a serious threat.”  City of Seattle v. Buford-Johnson December 27, 2021

Manifest Injustice – The State did not seek a manifest injustice in its information or plead any aggravating factor. Post-trial the State sought a manifest injustice based on recent criminal history. “[A] juvenile should have full access to information about the potential for an upward departure at disposition regardless of the juvenile’s ultimate plea decision.”  State v. J.A.V. December 23, 2021

ITA – The fifth amendment right to remain silent does not apply in an involuntary commitment hearing. In Re the detention of J.M. January 4, 2022