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In 2012, Teresa Tollman pled guilty to felony DUI. She was sentenced o a unified term of ten years, with two and a half years fixed followed by seven and a half years indeterminate. The judgment required Tollman's driver's license be absolutely suspended for five years beginning on the date of her release from custody. In 2016, Tollman applied or a restricted driver's license to drive to and from work. She appealed when the district court’s denied her motion for the restricted license. Specifically, Tollman argued the district court erred when it failed to apply a 2015 amendment to Idaho Code section 18-8005(6)(d) which permitted her to apply for a restricted driver’s license. Tollman argued that the Amendment should have been applied because she filed her request for a restricted driver’s license after the Amendment was enacted. The Idaho Supreme Court held that the district court properly determined that it did not have discretion to grant Tollman a restricted driver’s license. At the time Tollman received her sentence, Idaho Code section 18-8005(6)(d) provided that a court may suspend driving privileges for a period not to exceed five years after release from imprisonment, “during which time he shall have absolutely no driving privileges of any kind.” Complying with the law at the time, the district court judgment required Tollman’s driver’s license be absolutely suspended for five years beginning on the date of Tollman’s release from custody. Because Tollman’s sentence was final at the time the Amendment was enacted, and there was no legislative intent that the Amendment apply retroactively, the district court properly denied Tollman’s request for restricted driving privileges. View "Idaho v. Tollman" on Justia Law

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This case arose out of Richard Gomez’s breach of a real estate agreement for the sale and purchase of residential real estate from Todd Phillips in his capacity as Trustee of Trust “A” of the Elliott Family Trust. Phillips appeals a district court’s denial of Phillips’s request to recover actual damages. After a bench trial, the district court held that Phillips’s claim for breach of contract had been fully satisfied by Phillips’s retention of the non-refundable earnest money as liquidated damages as provided by the agreement. Finding no reversible error in that judgment, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Phillips v. Gomez" on Justia Law

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Lisa Searle, nka Loosle (“Mother”) appealed a magistrate judge’s order which modified the current child custody plan outlined in the 2013 order between Mother and Dustin Searle (“Father”). Mother argued the magistrate judge abused its discretion: (1) in determining there had been a substantial, material, and permanent change in circumstances warranting a change in custody; and (2) in determining it was in the best interests of Child to modify the existing custody agreement and give Father physical custody during the school year. Finding that the magistrate judge erred in modifying the parties’ custody arrangement, the Idaho Supreme Court reversed and remanded for the magistrate court to reinstate the custody arrangement from a 2013 order, giving Mother custody during the school year and Father custody during school breaks and holidays. View "Searle v. Searle" on Justia Law

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Kody Gibbs appealed a district court’s order extending his probation. In 2013, Gibbs was charged with delivery of a controlled substance after he sold methamphetamine to a minor. Pursuant to plea negotiations, Gibbs pled guilty to delivery of a controlled substance, and the district court dismissed allegations that the delivery was to a minor and that Gibbs was a persistent violator. The district court imposed a suspended sentence of fifteen years, with ten years fixed, and placed Gibbs on probation for five years. One condition of Gibbs’ probation required him to successfully complete mental health court. In the subsequent years, Gibbs got in trouble by taking prohibited drugs, drinking, and committing felony sexual exploitation of a child. Gibbs would also be indicted by a federal grand jury for possessing child pornography. Gibbs argues on appeal of his state charges that: (1) he was denied his constitutional right to due process because his case was not heard by an impartial judge; and (2) the district court abused its discretion by increasing, sua sponte, his probation from a term of six years to life. Finding no abuse of discretion or reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Idaho v. Gibbs" on Justia Law

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Gilberto Garza, Jr., appealed a district court’s dismissal of his petitions for post-conviction relief. Garza signed two plea agreements relating to charges of aggravated assault and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. As part of his plea agreements Garza waived his right to appeal. Despite the waivers, Garza instructed his attorney to appeal. Garza’s attorney declined to file the appeals, citing the waivers of appeal in the plea agreements. Garza then filed two petitions for post-conviction relief on his own, alleging his counsel was ineffective for failing to appeal. The district court dismissed Garza’s petitions concluding Garza’s counsel was not ineffective in failing to appeal. The Court of Appeals and the Idaho Supreme Court agreed and affirmed. View "Garza v. Idaho" on Justia Law

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In 2016, the Economic Advisory Council (“the EAC”), a body created under authority of Idaho Code section 67-4704, granted a tax credit of $6.5 million to Paylocity, an Illinois corporation. Employers' Resource Management ("Employers") complaint alleged that this tax credit was a governmental subsidy to Paylocity that would give it a competitive advantage over Employers. Employers challenged the Idaho Reimbursement Incentive Act ("IRIA") program as unconstitutional, alleging that the Legislature unconstitutionally delegated its authority over tax matters to the Executive Branch. The district court dismissed Employers' complaint for declaratory relief for lack of standing. The district court’s rejection of Employers’ claim of competitor standing was, in part, based upon its view that “even when competitor standing has been recognized, ‘it is only when a successful challenge will set up an absolute bar to competition, not merely an additional hurdle, that competitor standing exists.’ ” The Idaho Supreme Court was not persuaded that view was an accurate statement of the law of competitor standing, and vacated the district court's judgment.The case was remanded for further proceedings. View "Employers Resuorce Mgmt Co v. Ronk" on Justia Law

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Kenneth and Donna Johnson appealed a district court judgment recognizing a tribal judgment from the Coeur d’Alene Tribal Court (Tribal Court). The Johnsons owned land within the Coeur d’Alene Reservation (Reservation) on the banks of the St. Joe River and had a dock and pilings on the river. The Coeur d’Alene Tribe (Tribe) initiated an action in Tribal Court to enforce a tribal statute which required a permit for docks on the St. Joe River within the Reservation. The Johnsons did not appear and a default judgment was entered against them. The judgment imposed a civil penalty of $17,400 and declared that the Tribe was entitled to remove the dock and pilings. On January 2016, the Tribe filed a petition to have the Tribal Court judgment recognized in Idaho pursuant to the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments Act. I.C. sections 10-1301, et seq. The district court held the Tribal Judgment was valid and enforceable, entitled to full faith and credit. However, the Idaho Supreme Court determined the district court was incorrect in holding the Tribal Judgment was entitled to full faith and credit, and the civil penalty was not entitled to recognition in Idaho courts. However, the Idaho Supreme Court held the Tribal Court had jurisdiction over the Johnsons and the subject matter of this case; the Johnsons did not meet their burden of establishing the Tribal Court did not have jurisdiction, and the Johnsons were afforded due process in Tribal Court. In this case the judgment comprised two parts: (1) the civil penalty of $17,400; and (2) the declaration that the Tribe had the right to remove the offending encroachment. The civil penalty was not enforceable under principles of comity. However, the penal law rule does not prevent courts from recognizing declaratory judgments of foreign courts. Therefore, the Idaho Supreme Court vacated the district court’s judgment to the extent that it recognized the Tribal Court’s judgment imposing the civil penalty of $17,400. The Court affirmed the judgment recognizing the Tribal Court judgment regarding the Tribe’s right to remove the dock and pilings. View "Coeur d' Alene Tribe v. Johnson" on Justia Law

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Manwaring Investments, L.C., owner of a commercial building in the City of Blackfoot, appealed a district court order granting summary judgment to the City. Manwaring sued the City in October 2014, alleging the City was overcharging it for wastewater utilities ​and stopped paying the disputed portion of fees. Manwaring’s complaint alleged that the assessment of two Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) on the Building: (1) violated the Idaho Revenue Bond Act; (2) constituted an unconstitutional tax; and (3) violated due process. In addition to requesting a declaratory judgment and an injunction, Manwaring requested damages in the amount of $1,803.66, which reflected the amount Manwaring allegedly overpaid for wastewater utilities. The magistrate granted the City’s motion for summary judgment. Manwaring moved for reconsideration, which the magistrate denied. Manwaring then appealed the magistrate’s rulings to the district court, which affirmed the magistrate. Manwaring timely appeals the decision of the district court. Finding no reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Manwaring Investments, L.C. v. City of Blackfoot" on Justia Law

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This case arose out of the foreclosure of nine commercial condominium units owned by Michael Hulsey and SM Commercial Properties, LLC. Prior to a sheriff’s sale, SM Commercial Properties filed bankruptcy. Eventually the bankruptcy stay was lifted and the sale took place. Washington Federal bought the property with a credit bid and then asserted a deficiency against Hulsey. The district court found that Washington Federal failed to prove both the existence of a deficiency as well as the fair market value of the property. On appeal, Washington Federal argued: (1) Hulsey was precluded from litigating the fair market value of the property based on the bankruptcy court proceedings; and (2) the district court erred when it determined that Washington Federal failed to prove the existence of the deficiency and the fair market value of the property. Both parties appealed the district court’s denial of attorney’s fees, but Hulsey dismissed his cross-appeal at the time of oral argument. The Idaho Supreme Court affirmed dismissal of Washington Federal’s claim for a deficiency, but vacated the judgment denying Washington Federal’s costs and attorney’s fees incurred to enforce the judgment and decree of foreclosure. View "Washington Federal v. Hulsey" on Justia Law

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Linda Dunn appealed a district court’s judgment affirming the Idaho State Tax Commission’s deficiency determination. The Commission issued a deficiency against Linda after determining that her one-half community interest in her husband’s, Barry Dunn (“Husband”), out-of-state earnings should have been included as Idaho taxable income for 2000–01, 2003–05, and 2007–10 (the “Taxable Years”). Linda was married to Husband during the Taxable Years. During the Taxable Years, Husband lived primarily in Texas, employed by a Texas offshore drilling company. All of the earnings at issue were earned by Husband personally as a wage earner in Texas, Alaska, or Washington and were directly deposited into his bank account in Tomball, Texas. Husband never worked or was domiciled in Idaho during the Taxable Years. Throughout the Taxable Years, Linda temporarily lived with Husband at his work location, but always returned to Idaho to operate a horse farm. She was a resident of Idaho for all of the Taxable Years. Linda and Husband’s tax filing status was “married filing jointly.” Linda relied on Texas law for her argument that her interest in Husband’s earnings were immune from Idaho income tax. The Commission maintained Linda, as an Idaho resident, was taxed on all income she received during the Taxable Years while domiciled in Idaho, even if that income was derived from Texas. Finding no reversible error in the district court’s affirmance of the Commission’s decision, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Dunn v. Idaho Tax Commission" on Justia Law