Washington COA Restores Yakama Nation Suit against County over Land Use Ordinance

Here are the materials in Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation v. Okanogan County (Wash. Ct. App.):

371298_unpublished opinion

Yakama Brief

County Brief


An excerpt:

This appeal concerns one of endless broken promises by American government authorities toward Native Americans. The breach of an agreement in this instance also encompasses a violation of a court order.
The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation (Yakama Nation) agreed to dismiss a lawsuit against Okanogan County, and, in return, the county agreed to adopt, by December 31, 2018, a new comprehensive plan and zoning ordinance that hopefully addressed the concerns the Nation had about the county’s current plan and ordinance. The superior court signed an order of dismissal without prejudice of the lawsuit, which order incorporated the many promises of the parties. When Okanogan County failed to adopt a new plan and ordinance by December 31, 2018 and thereby violated the court order, the Yakama Nation moved to vacate the order of dismissal. The superior court denied the motion to vacate on the alternative grounds that it lacked authority to vacate an order of dismissal without prejudice and that the Nation had no sustainable cause of action against the county for breaching its promises or violating the court order. Because the order of dismissal without prejudice imposed numerous obligations on Okanogan County, some of which it has disobeyed, we rule that the motion to vacate should have been granted. We thus reverse the superior court.

Washington COA Reconsiders, Holds King Co. Police Must Face Wrongful Death Action in Killing of Muckleshoot Member

Here are the materials in Davis v. King County (Wash. Ct. App.):

79696-6-8-I Appellants’ Motion for Reconsideration

79696-6-8-I Appellees’ Response to Motion for Reconsideration

79696-6-8-I Order-Opinion

Prior post here.

Wash. Appeals Court Orders New Trial in Snohomish County Deputy’s Killing of Tulalip Man

Here are the materials in Lacy v. Snohomish County (Wash. Ct. App.):

4-15-19 Appellant’s Opening Brief

5-17-19 Respondent Cross Appellant’s Brief

6-14-19 Appellant’s Reply Brief

10-5-20 Opinion

Prior post here.

King County Deputies’ Negligence in Muckleshoot Member’s Death Beyond Wash. State Court Review

Here are the materials in Davis v. King County (Wash. Ct. App.):

8-31-20 Opinion

7-25-19 Appellant’s Brief

9-27-19 Amended Appellees’ Joint Response Brief

09-09-19 Appellees’ Joint Response Brief

10-9-19 Appellant’s Reply

An excerpt:

“Before addressing each of the estate’s arguments, we acknowledge that Davis’s death is tragic and echo the trial court’s sentiment that the application of RCW 4.24.420 here is problematic because it precludes claims where law enforcement officers’ actions and training may have been unreasonable, given their knowledge that the individual they were confronting was suicidal and armed. RCW 4.24.420 prevents courts and juries from reaching the issue of whether law enforcement’s negligence resulted in the loss of life. The statute is clear and precludes our evaluation of these policy questions.”

Washington Court of Appeals Case on Active Efforts [ICWA]


It took me a while to read this whole opinion and there are a lot of issues. But to start, I’d note that unlike some arguments in another unnamed federal ICWA case (Brackeen, it’s Brackeen), this case is yet another every day example where a state has to prove the best interests of the child standard and the ICWA standard–the ICWA standard didn’t supplant BIOC.

That said, there is some unnecessary Michigan trash talking in this case as the Court happily finds active efforts is more than reasonable efforts, but unhappily choses to adopt a “futility doctrine” for the active efforts finding. The futility “doctrine” for active efforts is a judicially created standard to excuse the state from providing active efforts to the parent.

Washington COA Briefs in Samish Indian Nation Tax Case

Here are the materials:

79733-6 – Samish Indian Nation, Appellant v. Department of Licensing, Respondent


Appellant Brief

Respondent Brief

Appellant Reply

Amicus Curiae Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians

Respondent Response to Amicus Brief

Appellant Response to Amicus Brief