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PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

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COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Division III: iPod Search Without Warrant Gives Parolee Second Chance

State v. Jardinez

This case involves the extent to which a parole officer may search a parolee. Here, the parolee missed his appointment. The parole officer gave him a call, and the two met the next day. The parole officer had to empty his pockets, which included an iPod Nano. When the parole officer picked up the iPod, the parolee looked nervous. There were no other facts that would point to the iPod showing evidence of any crime. The parole officer searched the iPod, and found evidence that the parolee had been using a shotgun. His home was then searched for the shotgun, which of course was found.

A previous case (Parris) involving electronic equipment and a parolee who it violated aspects of their probation found that there was probable cause to seize a memory card. In that case, the memory card actually had the initials of a minor with whom the sex offender was found with. In this case, there was nothing to indicate the parole officer would have found anything on the iPod, and the search of the iPod was improper.

     Since we cannot resolve the issue at hand by a reading of the statute, we base our decision principally upon the Sentencing Guidelines Commission (Commission) comment about RCW 9.94A.631(1). The Commission wrote as its official comment behind the statute:

     The Commission intends that Community Corrections Officers exercise their arrest powers sparingly, with due consideration for the seriousness of the violation alleged and the impact of confinement on jail population. Violations may be charged by the Community Corrections Officer upon notice of violation and summons, without arrest.

     The search and seizure authorized by this section should relate to the violation which the Community Corrections Officer believes to have occurred.

. . . The comment's latter sentence demands a nexus between the searched property and the alleged crime. This demand is consistent with general principles of search and seizure law previously outlined. . . . 

     RCW 9.94A.631 did not authorize Officer Roger Matinez's warrantless search of the contents of Felipe Jardinez's iPod. The trial court correctly interpreted and applied RCW 9.94A.631. We affirm the trial court's suppression of the evidence of Felipe Jardinez's unlawful possession of a firearm.

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