Subscribe in a reader

ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

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.

BUSINESS LAW: Rarely is the path from point A to point B a straight line, so our role in a business law practice is to find alternatives, devise workable strategies, and keep your business ideas, goals and objectives moving toward realization. ILG’s business attorneys help clients achieve their goals with respect to business formation, intellectual property, labor and employment, CAN-SPAM, copyright and trademark

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.

WA Supreme Court: No Prima Facia Discipline Requirement for Prisoners Seeking Review

PRP of Grantham

Grantham was disciplined for sneaking in no no substances. At issue was whether he could get a PRP review based on the fact that he had had no other review in courts (only a hearing). In other words, did Grantham have to make a prima facie case? The Court explains the nuance in the issue better than I ever could:

In his initial ruling, Washington State Supreme Court Commissioner Steven M. Goff noted that the Court of Appeals relied on the actual and substantial prejudice standard, that the standard "does not apply where the petitioner has had no previous opportunity for judicial review," and directed the department to file supplemental briefing "in light of the proper standard of review." Ruling at 2-3. The department filed a vigorous brief arguing its disagreement with the commissioner on the proper standard and contending that, notwithstanding our opinion in In re Personal Restraint of Isadore, 151 Wn.2d 294, 299, 88 P.3d 390 (2004), prisoners facing discipline are still required to meet the Lord1 prima facie standard when challenging disciplinary decisions. We accepted review.  In re Pers. Restraint of Grantham, noted at 166 Wn.2d 1006, 211 P.3d 1029 (2009).

Held: If you have had no review of your claim, then a PRP need not make a prima facie case. Here, Graham was , and directly sought a PRP. However, it was also held that there was no prejudice to Graham in the disciplinary action:

A prisoner is only entitled to minimum due process protections, which include notice, an opportunity to provide evidence and call witnesses "when not unduly hazardous to institutional safety and correctional goals," and to receive a written statement of the evidence relied upon and the reasons for the discipline.

While we agree with Grantham that prisoners challenging prison discipline need not make a prima facie case of constitutional error and actual and substantial prejudice or nonconstitutional error and total miscarriage of justice, that simply means that we more easily reach the substantive question.  However, when applying the well established substantive law, the prison's disciplinary decision was not so arbitrary and capricious as to deny a fundamentally fair proceeding.  Grantham was informed of the charges against him and given an opportunity to defend himself. He has not shown that he was denied a fundamentally fair proceeding or that he was prejudiced by the process he received.

On a side note, this opinion offers a great review of the evolution of the Personal Restraint Petition, and its development from the Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Subscribe in a reader