CORTNEY L. BLOMSTROM, Petitioner,
The Honorable GREGORY J. TRIPP, in his official capacity as a Spokane County District Court Judge, and the SPOKANE COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, Respondents. BROOKE M. BUTTON, Petitioner,
The Honorable GREGORY J. TRIPP, in his official capacity as a Spokane County District Court Judge, and the SPOKANE COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, Respondents. CHRISTOPHER V. COOPER, Petitioner,
The Honorable GREGORY J. TRIPP, in his official capacity as a Spokane County District Court Judge, and the SPOKANE COUNTY DISTRICT COURT, Respondents.
case involves three driving under the influence (DUI)
defendants challenging their pretrial urinalysis testing
conditions. Each defendant was arrested for DUI, and each was
ordered to participate in random urinalysis testing as a
condition of pretrial release. The defendants challenged
their testing conditions by petitioning for a writ of review
with the Spokane County Superior Court. The superior court
denied the applications for a writ.
reverse the decision of the superior court. We hold that
Cortney Blomstrom, Brooke Button, and Christopher Cooper are
entitled to statutory writs of review because they lack an
adequate remedy at law to challenge their pretrial release
conditions and because their urinalysis testing requirements
contravene article I, section 7 of the Washington State
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
the three petitioners was arrested for driving under the
influence (DUI). Two petitioners had high blood alcohol
concentrations (BAC) but no previous DUI arrests, while the
third petitioner had allegedly used marijuana and had a
previous DUI conviction.
Blomstrom was arrested for DUI on February 1,
2015. Clerk's Papers (CP) at 39. A breath
test showed a BAC of 0.191 and 0.184. Verbatim Report of
Proceedings (RP) Feb. 2, 2015 (RP Blomstrom) at 1. Blomstrom
had no criminal record. Id. at 2.
Blomstrom's first appearance, the State requested four
times monthly random urinalysis testing as a condition of
release. Id. The State pointed to a series of
studies by the United States Department of
Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA), which found that an individual with a
BAC over 0.15 is "fa[r] more likely to be involved in a
fatal car crash as well as more likely to
reoffend." Id. Blomstrom objected, citing
her lack of criminal record and arguing that the other
conditions-requiring "nonuse, possession, or consumption
[of alcohol and drugs]"-were adequate to protect public
court imposed twice monthly random urinalysis testing,
[b]ecause of the high BAC, because of the facts of this case,
because of the argument of counsel I do find that there is a
likelihood that you would reoffend and . .. possibly believe
consuming alcohol would be a risk to public safety as well.
Id. at 3. The court further ordered Blomstrom to
abstain from possessing or using any alcohol or unprescribed
Cooper was arrested for DUI on February 7, 2015. CP at 26.
The arresting officer noted an open bottle of whiskey on the
floorboard, about a quarter empty; Cooper allegedly admitted
"that he had just come from a bar." RP Feb. 9, 2015
(RP Cooper) at 2. Cooper's breath test registered a BAC
of 0.175 and 0.174. Id. at 1. Cooper had never been
convicted of an alcohol- or drug-related offense and had no
prior DUI arrests. CP at 26-28.
Cooper's first appearance, the State requested four times
monthly random urinalysis testing as a condition of release.
RP Cooper at 1. Again, the State relied on the NHTSA studies
"indicating that above a .15 [BAC] an individual is far
more likely to both reoffend and be involved in a fatal
accident." Id. at 2. The State also suggested
that Cooper's "pretty lengthy driving record ...
would warrant testing." Id. at 3.
counsel objected, arguing that "there's no
indication he wouldn't follow the Court's orders not
to use, possess, or consume [alcohol] or that he would be a
danger to society or reoffend . . . ." Id.
Counsel further objected to the testing requirements "on
State v. Rose grounds." Id.
court imposed four times monthly urinalysis testing based on
Cooper's "record[, ] ... the studies which [the
prosecutor] has indicated, [and] the high blow which is more
than two times the legal limit." Id. at 5-6. In
light of these findings, the court concluded that "we
have to put something in place that will reduce the danger to
the community . . . under [Criminal Rules for Courts of
Limited Jurisdiction (CrRLJ)] 3.2(d)(10). So, that's what
I'm going to do in this case." Id. The
court further ordered Cooper to abstain from all use or
possession of alcohol or unprescribed drugs. Id. at
5-6. The court noted that Cooper could ask the court to
reconsider the conditions imposed "at any time."
Id. at 6.
Button was arrested for driving under the influence of
marijuana. RP Mar. 2, 2015 (RP Button) at 3. Button was
arrested over the weekend, at which point probable cause was
determined and initial pretrial release conditions were
purportedly imposed. Id. at 1. Button's first
appearance in court was on the following Monday. Id.
criminal record largely consisted of minor theft and driving
infractions, as well as a 2009 conviction for DUI in
Idaho. CP at 92-94; RP Button at 3. There was no
evidence concerning the nature of the substance involved in
Button's 2009 DUI conviction. RP Button at 5. Button also
had three previous charges for failing to install an ignition
interlock device (IID) in 2011. CP at 92-94.
Button's first appearance, the State requested four times
monthly random urinalysis testing. RP Button at 2. The State
emphasized Button's prior DUI conviction, and described
the three charges for failing to install an IID as "a
bit troubling ... from the position of whether or not
she's going to follow court orders not to use, possess,
or consume" alcohol or drugs. Id. at 5.
Button's counsel objected, noting that "there was no
alcohol in this allegation. It was strictly a marijuana
allegation." Id. at 4. Counsel requested that
the court not impose the testing requirement. Id.
court agreed with the State that four times monthly
urinalysis testing was appropriate:
I am going to order testing based upon the prior [DUI]... and
the recency in time and all the other facts that I find to be
the facts for the purpose of this hearing as stated by [the
prosecutor] and so, you're to contact Absolute Drug
Testing within 24 hours for random four times a mont[h]
testing. This is based upon [CrRLJ] 3.2 as well as RCW
10.21.030 which allows for that testing and . . . frankly the
. .. likelihood of her reoffending. The fact that we've
ha[d] three arrests for the ignition interlock violation also
is an indication to the Court [that] there should be some . .
Id. at 5-6. However, the court concluded that an IID
was unnecessary "because it's not clear to me that
both [the current and prior offense] involved alcohol."
Id. at 6. The court removed the IID requirement from
Button's pretrial release conditions. Id.
Applications for Writ of Review
petitioners subsequently challenged their pretrial release
conditions by applications for a statutory writ to the
superior court. CP at 1-2, 32-33, 60-61. The petitioners
also filed largely identical supporting memoranda.
Id. at 3-21, 40-56, 62- 84. These memoranda
challenged the petitioners' urinalysis testing conditions
as violations of CrRLJ 3.2(a), the Fourth Amendment to the
United States Constitution, and article I, section 7 of the
Washington Constitution. Id. at 4, 41, 63.
superior court rejected the applications for a writ in
identical orders. CP at 98, 102, 106. The court declined to
comment on the legality or constitutionality of the district
court's release conditions, concluding instead that a
statutory writ was inappropriate because another, adequate
remedy was available: "[T]he challenge can only be
undertaken by a [Rules for Appeal of Decisions from Courts of
Limited Jurisdiction (RALJ)] appeal if [the petitioners] are
convicted or plead guilty to the charges." Id.
petitioners jointly filed a motion for discretionary review
of the superior court's decision to this court. Mot. for
Discr. Review at 1. The petitioners claimed that the superior
court erred in two respects: (1) in finding that the
petitioners possessed an adequate remedy in the form of a
RALJ appeal and (2) in failing to find that the pretrial
release conditions were unconstitutional under state and
federal law. Id. at 1-2. The petitioners did not
challenge the district court's compliance with CrRLJ 3.2
or the validity of any statute that might authorize the
imposition of the urinalysis testing conditions. Id.; see
also Pet'rs' Reply Br. (Reply Br.) at 5
("The petitioners never directly challenged the
constitutionality of any statute or court rule, only the
district court's orders."). We granted review of the
motion without exception.
review de novo a superior court's decision whether to
grant a statutory writ of review. City of Seattle v.
Holifield, 170 Wn.2d 230, 240, 240 P.3d 1162 (2010).
Constitutional issues are questions of law that we also
review de novo. State v. Gresham, 173 Wn.2d 405,
419, 269 P.3d 207 (2012).
parties dispute whether the petitioners are entitled to
statutory writs of review. A writ shall issue if (1) "an
inferior tribunal. . . has exceeded [its] jurisdiction"
or otherwise acted "illegally" and (2) "there
is no appeal, nor. . . any plain, speedy and adequate remedy
at law." RCW 7.16.040. "Unless both elements are
present, the superior court has no jurisdiction for
review." Commanda v. Cary, 143 Wn.2d 651, 655,
23 P.3d 1086 (2001). We recently clarified that a tribunal
acts "illegally" when it
(1) has committed an obvious error that would render further
proceedings useless; (2) has committed probable error and the
decision substantially alters the status quo or substantially
limits the freedom of a party to act; or (3) has so far
departed from the accepted and usual course of judicial
proceedings as to call for the exercise of revisory
jurisdiction by an appellate court.
Holifield, 170 Wn.2d at 244-45.
RCW 7.16.040 provides for a statutory writ in a given
circumstance is a question of statutory interpretation.
Id. Our goal in interpreting a statute is to carry
out the legislature's intent. Burns v. City of
Seattle, 161 Wn.2d 129, 140, 164 P.3d 475 (2007);
see also Hama Hama Co. v. Shorelines Hr'gs Bd.,
85 Wn.2d 441, 445, 536 P.2d 157 (1975). We begin with the
plain meaning of the statute. See Dep't of Ecology v.
Campbell & Gwinn, LLC, 146 Wn.2d 1, 9, 43 P.3d 4
(2002). In doing so, we consider the text of the provision,
the context of the statute in which the provision is found,
related provisions, amendments to the provision, and the
statutory scheme as a whole. Id. at 10-11. If the
meaning of the statute is plain on its face, then we must
give effect to that meaning as an expression of legislative
intent. Id. If, after this inquiry, the statute
remains ambiguous or unclear, it is appropriate to resort to
canons of construction and legislative history. Id.
the petitioners assert that they lack an adequate remedy at
law and that the district court committed probable error by
requiring urinalysis testing and IID installation, which they
claim violated article I, section 7 of the Washington
Constitution and the Fourth Amendment to the United States
Constitution. Pet'r's Opening Br. (Blomstrom Br.) at
13. The parties do not dispute that the district court's
orders substantially limited the freedom of the petitioners
to act. Id. (claiming that the freedom of the
parties to act was substantially limited); see also
Br. of Resp'ts at 26 (State Br.) (declining to address
addressing the substance of the petitioners' claims, we
must first dispose of two threshold concerns: first, whether
any party has standing to challenge searches by means of
IIDs, as opposed to searches by means of urinalysis testing,
and second, whether the petitioners' constitutional
challenges were adequately preserved by objection in the
The Petitioners Lack Standing To Challenge IIP
"[a] person has standing to raise constitutional
questions when his interest is a 'personal stake in the
outcome of the controversy.'" Marchioro v.
Chaney, 90 Wn.2d 298, 303, 582 P.2d 487 (1978) (internal
quotation marks omitted) (quoting DeFunis v.
Odegaard, 82 Wn.2d 11, 24, 507 P.2d 1169 (1973). That
is, a person challenging a government action must be
adversely affected by that action. See Citizens Council
Against Crime v. Bjork, 84 Wn.2d 891, 893, 529 P.2d 1072
(1975). Thus, in order to challenge an IID search as
unconstitutional, at least one of the petitioners in this
case must be personally affected by such a search.
State asserts that "none of the [petitioners]
were subject to an ignition interlock
requirement." State Br. at 9. This is not strictly
accurate. One petitioner, Button, was briefly subject to an
IID requirement. This order applied between the time of her
arrest over the weekend and the time of her first appearance
on Monday; at Button's first appearance, the trial court
removed the IID. See RP Button at 2 (failing to
identify who imposed the initial order); see also
id. at 6 ("I'm not going to order the ignition
interlock device at this time . . . ."). While Button
was not the subject of an IID search before the requirement
was removed, the petitioners claim that this weekend order
constitutes grounds for challenging the IID requirement.
Reply Br. at 6-7. There are three main problems with this
when Button filed her application for a writ of review, no
IID requirement existed. See CP at 61. Judge Tripp
had already withdrawn the condition at Button's first
appearance. RP Button at 6. Button thus purports to challenge
an order already revoked before her complaint was
Button's application for a writ of review did not mention
an IID requirement. CP at 61. We note that Button's
memorandum in support of the writ application ambiguously
challenged "the release conditions imposed upon the
defendant to subject himself [sic] to an ignition interlock
device and/or alcohol monitoring." Id. at 62.
However, this memorandum itself seemed to be premised on the
impression that an IID requirement was ongoing. To the extent
that Button's memorandum challenged an IID requirement,
it incorrectly purported to challenge an active order; Button
did not appear to challenge an order already revoked.
while we can infer the existence of Button's order
imposing an IID from the fact that the IID requirement was
removed, no order imposing an IID is in the
record-making it difficult to review any associated reasoning
or to conclude that the petitioners were even challenging
that order. In this context, it is not clear how a reviewing
court could "'provide effective relief.'"
In re Marriage of Horner, 151 Wn.2d 884, 891, 93
P.3d 124 (2004) (quoting Orwickv. City of Seattle,
103 Wn.2d 249, 253, 692 P.2d 793 (1984)). The claim is thus
petitioners ask that we nonetheless review the case under a
mootness exception: in their response to the amicus State of
Washington, the petitioners assert that Button's claim is
"'not rendered moot and [is] nonetheless justiciable
at this point because it is a recurring issue of public
importance.'" Pet'r's Ans. to Br. of Amicus
Curiae State at 15 (quoting CP at 64). The petitioners
explain that "'[a]ll of the district court judges
are issuing these orders in many if not most DUI
cases.'" Id. (quoting CP at 63-64). The
petitioners offer no authority for either assertion.
we occasionally consider issues that become moot during the
pendency of a case, "the moot cases which this court has
reviewed in the past have been cases which became moot only
after a hearing on the merits of the claim."
Orwick, 103 Wn.2d at 253 (finding that the
appellants' claim was moot and emphasizing that no court
had yet held a hearing on the merits of the claim). Because
Button's claim was moot before any objection was filed,
let alone a hearing on her complaint, her claim appears to
fall outside the scope of our mootness exceptions.
although Button was briefly subject to an IID requirement,
this requirement was revoked by the time the application for
a writ was filed, was not raised in her application for a
writ of review, and was not the subject of any order in the
record. To the extent that an IID was ordered, it was a
mistake withdrawn at Button's first hearing. Because the
parties agree that the other petitioners were not subject to
IID requirements, the petitioners collectively do not have
standing to challenge the use of I IDs as pretrial release
conditions. We therefore confine our analysis to the
imposition of urinalysis testing as a condition of pretrial
The Petitioners Preserved Their Constitutional Challenge
to Urinalysis Testing
petitioners claim that urinalysis testing violates their
right to privacy under article I, section 7 of the Washington
Constitution. The State argues that this claim was not
preserved because it "was never raised, argued, briefed,
or addressed in the trial court." State Br.at 7.
However, at a first appearance before the district court, one
of the petitioners cited to a case discussing the
constitutionality of urinalysis testing as a condition of
pretrial release. We must now decide whether this citation
was sufficient to preserve the constitutional issue for
purpose of requiring an objection in general is to apprise
the trial court of the claimed error at a time when the court
has an opportunity to correct the error." State v.
Moen, 129 Wn.2d 535, 547, 919 P.2d 69 (1996). A
party's objection may preserve an issue if the
"ground for objection is readily apparent from the
circumstances." State v. Black, 109 Wn.2d 336,
340, 745 P.2d 12 (1987) (finding that counsel's general
objection to an expert's testimony preserved the issue of
evidentiary reliability for appeal because the basis for the
objection was evident in context); see also State v.
Powell, 166 Wn.2d 73, 85, 90, 206 P.3d 321 (2009)
(plurality opinion) (five justices agreeing that
defendant's objection to the mention of drugs before the
jury raised, in context, a challenge to the evidence's
prejudicial value). In a joint appeal, an error preserved by
one party is preserved for all. See RAP 2.5(a)
("A party may raise a claim of error which was not
raised by the party in the trial court if another party on
the same side of the case has raised the claim of error in
the trial court.").
Cooper stated the basis for his objection by citing to
Rose,146 Wn.App. 439: "we object on State
v. Rose grounds, your Honor." RP Cooper at 3. The
petitioners urge that, in context, this reference was
sufficient to invoke the petitioners' constitutional
objection. We have not previously weighed the
import of citing a case as the basis for an objection.
Because the implications of Cooper's ...