Court of Appeals publishes cases, four boring, one useful

This week, the Court of Appeals decided (and published) the following cases:


State v. Harwood

The police recieve an anomymous tip that Harwood would be at the convenience store selling marijuana. With only the tip, a photograph, and a criminal history, the police follow the defendant to an address that is other than the defendant's, pull in behind him, and performs a search. They find marijuana on him. He volunteers that there is more at the house, where they find more drugs and guns. 

The Court held that an uncorroborated tip is insufficient to establish reasonable suspicion to detain the defendant.


Patel v. Scottsdale Insurance Co.

Following a hotel fire, the insured (Patel) made a claim on his insurance company (Scottsdale). Scottsdale tried to pay him less than he felt the damages were and sued. The Court determined that it was inapproriate to sue as the policy required an appraisal process be requested and remanded to determine whether, in fact, an appraisal would be possible under the language of the policy.

The lesson here is to review your policy when you make a claim on it (and hopefully when you sign). An insurance company has the sole motivation of making money. A policy often contains several seemingly extraneous steps that you must do, or else, lose your rights under the policy. Here, the appraisal requirement is not all that unreasonable, and failing to do it may cost Mr. Patel quite a bit of money (not to mention attorney's fees). 

There was no decision regarding Patel's mother, who lives in a Victorian mansion overlooking the site of the motel.


Mostetler v. Stiltner

A social worker who was subpoenaed has no standing to challenge the Trial Court's Order compelling her to testify and produce patient records if she is not a party to the action and the patient failed to object to such privileged information.


State v. Huerta

The Court holds in part that it's perfectly fine for SBI to mix samples for testing and weight in a drug trafficking case. 

So make sure that you store your cocaine in a different place from your popcorn salt.


State v. Morston

When a trial court fails to consider a mitigating factor, there is no right to a new sentencing hearing, only further consideration of whether to consider those factors in revising sentencing (it's a little more complicated than this, mind you).

More importantly, this case taught me that mixing gin with crack cocaine and tylenol is an actual thing people do.