Washington

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Titlesort descending Summary
American Dog Owners Ass'n v. City of Yakima

In this Washington case, plaintiff brought suit against the City of Yakima challenging an ordinance that banned “pit bulls” dogs. The Superior Court, Yakima County, granted city's motion for summary judgment, and plaintiffs appealed. Plaintiffs first argued that the ordinance is vague because a person of ordinary intelligence cannot tell what is prohibited.  The Supreme Court disagreed, finding that the City used adequate standards for identification in the professional standards and illustrations to show that a particular dog meets the professional standard. Thus, the Court found that the ordinance gave sufficient notice of what was conduct prohibited. Summary judgment for the City was affirmed.
BERNADETTE WOMACK, a single woman; and BERNADETTE WOMACK a Fiduciary, Personal Representative, and Special Guardian over the Sen
Brinton v. Codoni


This unpublished Washington case stems from an attack on plaintiff's dog by a neighbor's dog. Plaintiff sued for damages, alleging negligence and nuisance. The trial court ruled on partial summary judgment that the plaintiff's damages were limited, as a matter of law, to the dog's fair market value. The plaintiff argued that she was entitled to damages based on the dog's intrinsic value (i.e., utility and service and not sentimental attachment) and her emotional distress. On appeal, this court held that since the plaintiff failed to carry her burden of showing that her dog had no fair market value, the trial court properly limited damages to that value. Further, because the plaintiff's nuisance claims were grounded in negligence, she was not entitled to damages beyond those awarded for her negligence claim.

Christine Valpiani and Anthony Valpiani, husband and wife, plaintiffs v. Lisa K. Reising, D.V.M. a Washington State veterinarian


This King County, Washington motion for summary judgment sought dismissal of several of plaintiff's claims as well as a limitation to the damages that are recoverable. Plaintiffs claim that the negligence of defendant-veterinarian caused the death of their dog (defendant admitted negligence so the issue here centers on damages). The court held that plaintiffs may assert claims for loss of use, but not loss of companionship.

Citizens for Responsible Wildlife Management v. State


A citizen groups filed a declaratory judgment action against the State of Washington seeking a determination that the 2000 initiative 713 barring use of body-gripping traps, sodium fluoroacetate, or sodium cyanide to trap or kill mammals was unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court found that appellants did not show beyond a reasonable doubt that Initiative 713 violated the constitution, and thus affirmed the superior court's denial of the summary judgment motion.  The court also held that the initiative was exempt from the constitutional provision prohibiting legislation that revises or amends other acts without setting them forth at full length.

Coballes v. Spokane County


In this case, the Washington Court of Appeals determined the appellant had a statutory right to appeal a county board’s dangerous dog declaration because the board had acted within its ordinary and usual duties. The availability of the right to appeal, however, foreclosed a statutory and constitutional writ of review/writ of certiorari.  Furthermore, given the court’s finding that a prior proceeding constituted an appeal as of right, the appellant’s dangerous dog declaration could only be appealed under a discretionary review. The court therefore granted the appellant leave to file a motion for discretionary review.

Detailed Discussion of Washington Great Ape Laws The following discussion begins with a general overview of the various Washington state statutes and regulations affecting Great Apes. It then analyzes the applicability of those laws to the possession and use of apes for specific purposes, including their possession as pets, for scientific research, for commercial purposes, and in sanctuaries. The discussion concludes with a compilation of local ordinances which govern the possession and use of apes within geographic subdivisions of the state.
DILLON v. O'CONNOR


As the court stated, "This is ‘The Case of the Costly Canine.' ‘Bimbo,’ an acknowledged ‘tree hound' but without pedigree or registration papers, lost a bout with defendant's automobile. For ‘Bimbo's' untimely demise, his owner, plaintiff, brought suit against defendant alleging that ‘Bimbo’ was killed as a result of defendant's negligent operation of his automobile." Ultimately, the court used a market value approach in determining damages.  However, based on subsequent caselaw, it should be noted that Washington uses the market value approach only for

negligent

injury, and not intentional injury.

Downey v. Pierce County


Dog owner sued county challenging county's dangerous animal declaration (DAD) proceedings.  The Court of Appeals held that charging a fee to obtain an initial evidentiary review of a DAD violated owner's due process rights because it impacted owner's property and financial interests and potentially subjected her to future criminal sanctions. The court also held that the lack of an adequate evidentiary standard regarding review of DADs violated due process because the ordinance required only that the reviewing auditor determine if there was sufficient evidence to support the DAD.

Fortgang v. Woodland Park Zoo

To address the Zoo's growing size and complexity, Defendant Woodland Park Zoo Society (WPZS) entered into an “Operations and Management Agreement” (Agreement) with the City of Seattle. The Agreement gave WPZS exclusive rights and responsibilities regarding many areas such as the care, sale, and purchase of the Zoo's animals. The Agreement also contained several provisions addressing public oversight of the Zoo.  Plaintiff Alyne Fortgang requested several categories of records, all pertaining to the Zoo's elephants. She filed the request under the Public Records Act (PRA), which requires every government agency to make records available for public inspection and copying.  The Zoo's director of Communications and Public Affairs responded to Fortgang's request by asserting that the PRA did not apply because WPZS was a private company. Fortgang filed a lawsuit and alleged that WPZS violated the PRA by refusing to disclose certain records. The trial court granted WPZS's motion for summary judgment and dismissed the action on the ground that WPZS was not an agency subject to PRA disclosure requirements. The Court of Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court of Washington affirmed the Court of Appeals and held that the Telford test was the proper analytical framework for evaluating the private entity’s disclosure requirement. The Supreme Court reasoned that under the Telford analysis, WPZS was not the functional equivalent of a government agency. The court stated that although the second Telford factor was inconclusive, all the other factors weighed against PRA coverage: (1) WPZS did not perform an inherently governmental function by operating the Zoo; (2) the City did not exercise sufficient control over the Zoo's daily operations to implicate PRA concerns; (3) WPZS was created solely by private individuals and not  government action and (4) because operating a zoo is not a nondelegable, “core” government function, the case did not involve the privatization of fundamentally public services. The Court of Appeals' decision was affirmed.

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