Court of Appeals to convene at high school

“Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals will call Mt. Tahoma High School home for the day on Tuesday, Sept. 26, in the high school’s auditorium.Presiding Chief Judge Karen Seinfeld, Judge Elaine Houghton and Judge Art Way, will make up the three-judge panel that will hear oral argument on seven real-life Pierce County appeals cases throughout the day beginning at 8 a.m. The general public is welcome to attend the appeals court proceedings as well.Decisions on the cases are not rendered at the school.The purpose of judges traveling to local communities within their jurisdictions is to give the public a more realistic view of what really happens in court, said Wendy Ferrell, senior public information officer for the Office of the Administrator for the Courts in Olympia.Students and teachers will be in attendance, Ferrell said, and afterward, the students will be encouraged to ask the judges questions.Division Two of the Washington State Court of Appeals began making community visits throughout its geographic area in 1993. The court hears appeals from trial courts throughout Western Washington, Pierce County south to the Oregon border and the Olympic Peninsula, and has the authority to overrule, remand, modify or affirm decisions of the lower courts.Ferrell said the community response to the judge’s visits has been overwhelmingly positive. Students seem to be really appreciate of having an opportunity to speak with the judge directly.The seven arguments to be heard, with some of their descriptions, are: lState of Washington v. Jason Peter Krajeski (No. 24763-1-11).A police officer investigating the burglary of a bicycle shop received a tip that Jason Krajeski had the stolen mountain bikes in his apartment. He refused to allow the officer to search his apartment. The officer spoke to the apartment manager and Krajeski’s mother and described the stolen bicycles. After seeing the bicycles in Krajeski’s apartment, they contacted the officer, who obtained a search warrant and had the bicycles seized. A few days later, Krajeski’s mother gave the police a handgun she had found in the apartment. Krajeski was arrested and convicted of possession of stolen property and unlawful possession of a handgun. On appeal, he clains the search warrant should not have been issued because the apartment manager and his mother were acting as agents for the police. lRobert W. Irish v. Conover Insurance Inc. (No. 24914-6).lTroy F. Williams v. State of Washington (No. 242399-7-11).After using David Wood’s ATM card to remove all of Wood’s money from his account, Troy Williams and his brothers beat Wood with metal bars, cut his throat with a knife, and, while he was still alive, discussed cutting him apart with a chainsaw. Williams pleaded guilty to charges of murder in the first degree while armed with a deadly weapon and to the crime of mutilation of human remains (by chainsaw). As part of the plea agreement, the State recommended a 450-month sentence. The sentencing court, however, imposed an exceptional sentence of 600 months of incarceration. On appeal, Williams challenges the bases for this exceptional sentence.lMarriage of Mary Katherine Faler v. Karl Marc Faler (No. 23215-4-11).Karl and Mary Faler had their marriage dissolved after a dispute regarding children. Mary wanted to get pregnant and Karl did not. Instead, he got a vasectomy. In response, Mary became pregnant through artificial insemination. She obtained a no-contact order against Karl when he threatened to kill her and the unborn child. He was found in contempt of court for actions he took during the dissolution proceedings. The court also ordered him to pay his former spouse’s attorney fees. On appeal, he claims the court erred in finding him in contempt and in awarding attorney fees. He also claims that the court and his former spouse’s attorney violated the ethical canons.lState of Washington v. Richard Wayne Blair (No. 24545-1-11).lNorth Coast Electric Company v. Robert C. Henry/Paula Henry (No. 24719-4-11).lJames E. Cowart Jr. v. Pan American Bank (No. 25126-4-11).James and Joann Cowart obtained a default judgement against Albert and Barbara Franklin. In 1996, the Franklins refinanced their home to pay off their existing mortgage, outstanding property taxes, state tax warraants and other debts. Pan American issued them two loans but, before they were recorded, the Cowarts obtained their default judgement against the Franklins. Pan American applied the loan proceeds to pay off the pre-existing debts and foreclosed on the property. The Cowarts successfully sued, claiming lien priority. Pan American appealed, claiming the Cowarts’ debt was subject to the Franklins’ homestead exemption, that its loans had lien priority, and that the relation-back doctrine did not apply to the Cowart’s claim. “