Janet G. Husted, as Personal Representative, et al., Appellants
The State of Washington, Respondent
Superior Court County: King. Superior Court Cause No: 12-2-09050-1. Superior Court Judge Signing: Hon. Susan K. Serko. Date filed in Superior Court: April 12, 2013.
Stephen L. Bulzomi and Jeremy A. Johnston (of Messina Bulzomi Christensen ), for appellants.
Robert W. Ferguson, Attorney General, Glen A. Anderson, Managing Assistant, and Garth Ahearn, Assistant, for respondent.
Written by: Judge Spearman, C.J. Concurred by: Judges Leach, Schindler.
[187 Wn.App. 580] [¶1] This appeal arises from entry of summary judgment in an action for negligent supervision of an offender, Calvin Finley, by the Department of Corrections (DOC). Appellants contend the trial court erred in concluding that as a matter of law, DOC had no duty to control the offender once he absconded from supervision and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Finding no error, we affirm.
[187 Wn.App. 581] FACTS
[¶2] On September 1, 2006, Calvin Finley was convicted of a violation of a domestic violence court order in Pierce County and sentenced to 15 months' confinement and 9 to 18 months of community custody. After his release from the Pierce County jail on March 1, 2007, he reported to DOC for supervision, as required by his judgment and sentence. Over the course of the next year and a half, Finley repeatedly violated the terms of his supervision. He was found guilty of several violations, sanctioned repeatedly, and eventually remanded to the Kitsap County Jail.
[¶3] While Finley was in jail, DOC filed another violation report, charging Finley with 11 separate violations. DOC requested the hearing officer impose 240 days' confinement as a sanction. A hearing was held on October 15, 2008, and Finley was found guilty of 7 violations and sanctioned with 200 days' confinement. Finley was ordered to report for supervision within 1 business day of his release from jail.
[¶4] Finley was released on Saturday, February 14, 2009. According to the terms of his supervision, he was to report to DOC on the next business day, Tuesday, February 17, 2009. He failed to do so. A DOC officer immediately requested a secretary's warrant for his arrest and attempted to ascertain his whereabouts. However, the officer was unable to locate Finley, who remained a fugitive until June 2, 2009.
[¶5] On June 2, 2009, Finley robbed an armored car at the Lakewood, Washington, Walmart store. During the course of the robbery, Finley shot and killed Kurt Husted and injured Wilbert Pina. He was subsequently apprehended and found guilty of various crimes and community custody violations. He was sanctioned with 120 days' confinement for the community custody violations. And, on March 19, 2010, Finley pleaded guilty to the following crimes: aggravated first degree murder, assault in the first degree, robbery in [187 Wn.App. 582] the first degree, criminal solicitation to commit robbery in the first degree, and unlawful possession of a firearm in the first degree.
[¶6] On May 16, 2012, appellants Janet G. Husted and Wilbert Pina initiated this action against the State of Washington in Pierce County Superior Court, alleging that DOC was negligent in its supervision of Finley and, as a result, the State is liable for the injuries Finley inflicted during the June 2, 2009 robbery he committed. The State moved for summary judgment that it had no duty to control Finley at the time he caused the death of Husted ...