Blanford Law

Tacoma & Roslyn, Washington

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Artificial Entities Cannot Represent Themselves in Court

Dutch Village Mall v. Pelletti, 162 Wn. App. 531 (2011). Artificial Entities Cannot Represent Themselves in Court.

This is old case law, but King County District Courts have starting enforcing the ruling. This holding is particularly difficult for small bail bonds companies as it requires them to hire counsel to resolve exonerations. We have not seen this used regarding King County Justifications.

Small business incorporate for lots of reasons including: limiting personal liability of shareholders, protecting personal assets, and limiting tax liability. The holding of Dutch Village Mall finds that although a corporation may be a small, closely held corporation, that does not allow the owners to represent themselves.

The case of Dutch Village Mall v. Pelletti, 162 Wn. App. 531 was decided in 2011. The court held that artificial entities (corporations, limited liability corporations), cannot be represented by an owner in court (unless that individual is an attorney), but instead must be represented by an attorney.

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IIDL (Ignition Interlock Device License) Ruling Waiver Found Unconstitutional

Kai Nielsen v. Washington State Department of Licensing No. 68133-8-1

Kai Nielsen obtained an IIDL (ignition interlock device license) following the administrative revocation of his driver's license pursuant to the implied consent law. He appealed from the Department of Licensing's revocation ruling, seeking review of the ruling in the superior court. The court dismissed Nielsen's appeal, determining that he had waived his right to judicial review by obtaining an IIDL. Nielsen challenged the superior court's decision, asserting that the appeal waiver provision is unconstitutional. The court concluded that the challenged provision, was not rationally related to a legitimate state interest, and violates substantive due process protections. Accordingly, the court found the appeal waiver provision of the IIDL statute is unconstitutional. 

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Right To A Fair Trial: Conviction Reversal Due To Prosecutor's "Guilty" Slides

State v. Michael Hecht 71059-1-l

The court was asked to deicide if a prosecutor improperly appeals to the passion and prejudice of a jury by using graphics in closing arguments that show the defendant's face with the words "GUILTY" superimposed in red. The court found that this was prejudicial and that the misconduct was flagrant and ill intentioned, and the prejudicial impact could not have been cured by a jury instruction. The court ordered that the conviction be reversed and remanded for a new trial.

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