Washington COA Decision in Comenout v. Washington State Liquor Control Board


An excerpt:

In State v. Comenout, our Supreme Court upheld the State’s exercise of nonconsensual criminal jurisdiction over tribal members selling unstamped cigarettes from an unlicensed store located on trust allotment property lying outside the borders of an Indian reservation. Edward Comenout challenges that decision in this administrative forfeiture action appeal arising out of the same seized cigarettes at issue in Comenout. He claims Comenout is not binding because the case was remanded and ultimately dismissed. But we are bound by that decision unless and until the Washington Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court rules otherwise. Neither court has done so. And under Comenout, it is clear the State court had personal and subject matter jurisdiction in this administrative forfeiture action and that Comenout is not exempt from the State’s cigarette tax as an “Indian retailer.” Because Comenout fails to establish any error of law or arbitrary and capricious action under the Administrative Procedure Act2 (APA) standards, we affirm