Tag: Washington State

Ninth Circuit Rules State Must Protect Salmon Runs In Addition To Tribal Fishing Rights

salmon-pnw-artBy Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled June 27th that in addition to recognizing tribal fishing rights, pursuant to the Stevens Treaties entered in the middle 1850s between Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest and the Washington Territorial Governor, the government is mandated to protect the viability of sustainable fishing to preserve the allocation to local tribes.

In signing these treaties, the tribes relinquished “swaths of land, watersheds, and offshore waters adjacent to these areas…in what is now the State of Washington. In exchange, the Tribes were guaranteed a right to engage in off-reservation fishing.”

The panel held that in building and maintaining barrier culverts within Washington, the state violated, and continues to violate, its obligation to the Tribes under the treaties.

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Judge Rules Public Hospitals Must Offer Abortion Services If They Offer Maternity Services

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

skagit-regional-health-logoRuling on statutory grounds, Skagit County, Washington Superior Court Judge Raquel Montoya-Lewis held that a public hospital offering maternity services to women must also offer abortion services. Referring patients to Planned Parenthood, the court ruled, violates state law regarding abortion services provided to patients. The suit was brought on behalf of a plaintiff patient by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The fundamental conflict in the case litigated was ostensibly due to the defendant hospital district’s position that while agreeing to offer such services, it experienced difficulty in complying due to lack of health professionals willing to perform abortions. State law does allow heath care professionals to decline to perform voluntary abortions for personal reasons.

For other public hospital districts, the ACLU served notice requesting similar compliance with state law.

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WA Supreme Court Rules Jail Booking Questioning For Gang Affiliation Not Voluntary Due To Coercive Nature

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

norteno-graffitiThere was an interesting case last month before the Washington Supreme Court where the court was asked to determine the admissibility of evidence obtained during the defendants’ booking process related to criminal street gang affiliation.

Defendants in the case, Ricardo Juarez Deleon, Anthony Deleon, and Octavio Robledo moved to suppress evidence gathered by the state obtained through questions relating to the alleged involvement in gang activity while in the furtherance of a crime, a sentencing enhancement and a status in of itself that can be in violation of law or subject a defendant to revocation of probation and other court imposed restrictions.

A legitimate state purpose exists in asking arrestees if they are gang-affiliated or have hostility toward other inmates for the purpose of order and the safety of staff and the inmate population. It is well known that members of rival gangs housed together lead to a probability of fighting and disruption. A question remains if an arrestee should a choice between answering that they are gang-affiliated to secure a protection through separate housing and remaining silent and face retaliation from other inmates. The petitioners argue this constitutes duress where they are unlawfully required to make incriminating statements to protect their safety.

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Interview Of Applicant For Wildlife Officer Position Leads To Vehicular Homicide Charge

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

muckleshoot-tribe-logo-bwSamuel Hoffer did not exactly get the position he was hoping for when he applied to be a Wildlife Enforcement Officer with the Muckleshoot Tribe. He is now facing charges for alleged Vehicular Homicide after a background interview was reportedly highlighted by his admission to a deadly drunk driving incident occurring in 2012.

This is the latest in a series of articles, HERE, and HERE, where applicants make career and freedom limiting moves by applying for law enforcement jobs and are subsequently jailed for providing incriminating evidence.

We now have another case of déjà vu all over again.
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WA Florist Who Refused To Provide Flowers For Gay Wedding Files Brief With WA Supreme Court

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

In April 2013 our host published an article featuring Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson had sued Barronelle Stutzman, the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts after she had refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding.

Washington’s consumer protection act bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation AG Ferguson sought a $2000 penalty for each violation and to end the business’ allegedly discriminatory practices. The case garnered considerable attention in both the state and nationally in which the religious rights of business owners do not necessarily comport in some cases with antidiscrimination statutes which require equal services be provided for all customers.

After the defendant received an unfavorable ruling at the Superior Court level, her case advanced through the appellate system and now is before the state Supreme Court.
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Assistant School Principal Accused of Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Nate Piturachsatit
Nate Piturachsatit

Law Enforcement Officers in Coulee Dam, Washington arrested thirty-seven year old Assistant-Principal Nate Piturachsatit on two counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

The case stems from an investigation by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Mr. Piturachsatit is accused of soliciting and sending sexually explicit pictures to of 14-year-old girl residing in Wisconsin. Court documents allege that Mr. Piturachsatit conveyed these images via Instagram using his cell phone. Fortunately, no other minors are presently suspected as being victims.
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WA Department Of Social And Health Services Served With $27,000,000.00 Tort Claim For Fiendish Child Neglect Case

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

WA DSHS LOGOIt was nearly two years ago that I featured strong showing of just how uncaring and incompetent DSHS/CPS in Washington can aspire to with a terrible case of child abuse mentioned HERE.

In my previous article I wrote how in March of 2013 the children’s parents Sandra and Jeff Weller of Vancouver were each sentenced to twenty years in prison after having been convicted of fourteen counts of child abuse; double the statutory determinate maximum sentence. Clark County Superior Court Judge Barbara Johnson levied the exceptional sentence due to the severity of the crimes.

The claim against the state on behalf of five children alleges nearly ten years of abuse of the children by the parents where little to no action was taken by Child Protective Services to address the issues and protect the children from further crimes by the parents.

Now we have another example of the incompetence, indifference and permissible atmosphere the Washington Department of Social and Health Services, allowed for what reportedly amounted to a fiendish and unconscionable maltreatment of a blind, developmentally disabled child afflicted with cerebral palsy. This person suffered torturous neglect over another ten year period–despite ample amount of complaints and reports that should have directed the agency to find another foster home for the child.

Continue reading “WA Department Of Social And Health Services Served With $27,000,000.00 Tort Claim For Fiendish Child Neglect Case”