Panhandling at the Exit

July 29, 2016

I recently wrote about speech law as the Oregon courts apply it. <>. Unlike in Oregon, Washington courts interpret the speech clause in the state constitution identically to the First Amendment. A recent case, City of Lakewood v. Willis, No. 91827-9 (Was., July 21, 2016), <>, confirms that under the federal standards as applied in Washington, people retain the right to panhandle at freeway exits and similar locations. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bank Can’t Just Walk in and Take Possession if You Miss Your Mortgage Payments

July 22, 2016

It occasionally happens that a homeowner who cannot afford their mortgage will simply abandon the property. Lenders often have a backlog of cases to address, so they do not always discover and foreclose on these loans. As a result, in states where it is allowed, they often include provisions in the mortgage allowing them to enter the property on default or in case of abandonment. A recent case from Washington, Jordan v. Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, No. 92081-8 (Wash., July 7, 2016), <>, has, however, limited the ability of lenders to intervene without a court order. Read the rest of this entry »

The Right to Troll the Net

July 15, 2016

Internet trolling, or posting with an intent to annoy readers, is almost as old as the Internet itself. Although some trolling may be distasteful, a recent case from Oregon, State v. Hirschman, 279 Or App 328 (2016), <>, confirms that even when such fundamental functions as elections are the target of a troll, it is likely to be deemed free speech. Read the rest of this entry »

Breaking Up a Small Corporation: Valuation Disputes

July 8, 2016

Minority shareholders of a closely held business may find it difficult to sell their shares or otherwise get out if they disagree with the majority. As a result, most states have a procedure to force a purchase by the majority at a fair value set by the court. A recent case from Idaho, Wagner v. Wagner, No, 42707, (Idaho, Apr. 27, 2016), <>, helps show how these proceedings work. Read the rest of this entry »

You Can Pursue Child Custody or Support Out of State Without the Court Hearing Other Issues

July 1, 2016

Generally speaking, filing a suit in a state where someone does not live is considered a consent to be sued on related matters in that state. There is a common limitation on this rule. Child custody and child support proceedings filed in a state where the petitioner does not live are not enough to bring the force of the law to bear on other aspects of the relationship. A recent case from Idaho, Wilson v. King, No. 43086 (Idaho, June 1, 2016), <>, illustrates this principle. Read the rest of this entry »

Should Sexual Assault Prevention Orders Be Made Easier to Get?

June 24, 2016

As I noted in my previous article, <>, Oregon courts tend to focus on the need to prove future danger in issuing domestic violence restraining orders. Sexual assault, on the other hand, is addressed in both Oregon and Washington (and several other states) by laws specifically allowing for protective orders, ORS 163.760 to 163.777, <>; RCW Chapter 7.90, <>. These laws provide special protection to victims of sexual assault, but exclude cases of assault within families or households. A recent case from Washington, Roake v. Delman, No. 73337-1-I (Wash. App., June 13, 2016), <>, confirms that, unlike domestic violence protective orders, sexual assault protective orders in Washington do not require proof of future danger. Read the rest of this entry »

Restraining Orders and Other Strategies to Respond to Domestic Violence

June 17, 2016

The law makes it relatively simple to get a restraining order against a family member to prevent abuse. As noted in a recent case in Oregon, G.M.P. v. Patton, 278 Or App 720 (2016), <>, however, minor isolated incidents usually aren’t enough to qualify. Read the rest of this entry »


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