Justia Government & Administrative Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Idaho Supreme Court - Civil
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The issue this case presented for the Idaho Supreme Court's review centered on whether the Idaho Constitution protects abortion from the legislature's broad power to enact laws concerning the public’s health, welfare, and safety. Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, Hawaii, Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, and Caitlin Gustafson, M.D., on behalf of herself and her patients (collectively “Petitioners”), brought three petitions, each seeking a writ of prohibition and declaratory relief blocking implementation and enforcement of recently enacted laws in Idaho. Petitioners also raised various facial challenges, claiming these laws offend important constitutional principles, such as equal protection, due process, the special laws provision, the separation of powers doctrine, and purported “informational privacy” protections under the Idaho Constitution. Petitioners further claimed that the Idaho Human Rights Act limited the legislature’s ability to regulate abortion through the Total Abortion Ban and 6-Week Ban. After careful consideration of the issued raised, the Idaho Supreme Court denied Petitioners’ requests for extraordinary writs of prohibition and declaratory relief. View "Planned Parenthood Great Northwest, et al. v. Idaho" on Justia Law

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Deborah Dorr requested to reopen an unemployment appeal hearing that was to address Dorr’s appeal of the Idaho Department of Labor’s (“IDOL”) decision denying Dorr’s request to backdate her Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claim. After Dorr failed to appear at the hearing, IDOL dismissed her appeal and subsequently denied her request to reopen the hearing. Dorr appealed IDOL’s denial of her request to reopen, and the Idaho Industrial Commission (“the Commission”) affirmed. The Commission determined due process was satisfied and agreed with IDOL that Dorr’s own negligence was insufficient cause to reopen the hearing. Appealing pro se, Dorr petitioned the Idaho Supreme Court for relief. The Supreme Court concluded Dorr’s briefing did not meet the standard for an appeal under Idaho Appellate Rule 35(a)(6) and as such, her arguments were forfeited. The Commission’s decision upholding the Appeal Examiner’s denial of Dorr’s request to reopen her appeal hearing was affirmed. View "Dorr v. IDOL" on Justia Law

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Mother Jane Doe appealed a magistrate court's judgment granting a petition to terminate her parental rights to her two minor children, Jane Doe I and John Doe I (the children). The magistrate court determined that Mother had neglected the children as defined in Idaho Code section 16-2002(3)(b), and that termination was in the best interests of the children. On appeal, Mother argued the definition of “neglect” provided in section 16-2002(3)(b) violated the Idaho and the United States Constitutions, and she argues that the magistrate court’s finding that termination was in the children’s best interests was not supported by substantial and competent evidence. After its review of the magistrate court record, the Idaho Supreme Court found the magistrate court found, by clear and convincing evidence that Mother’s parental rights should be terminated. That decision was supported by substantial and competent evidence in the record. It was therefore affirmed. View "IDHW v. Jane Doe" on Justia Law

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This appeal arose from an Idaho district court decision affirming a declaratory ruling issued by Respondent Dave Jeppesen (the Director) in his capacity as Director of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (the Department). Appellant Grace at Twin Falls, LLC (Grace), a residential assisted living and memory care facility, partnered with a preferred pharmacy to offset costs associated with a software system that coordinated the tracking and delivery of residents’ prescription medications. Because residents who failed to choose the preferred pharmacy did not receive the offset, Grace sought to charge those residents an additional $10.00 each month to cover the difference. Grace brought a petition for declaratory ruling to the Department, asking the Director to declare that Idaho Code section 39-3316(12)(b) and IDAPA 16.03.22.550.12.b did not prohibit Grace from charging the $10.00 fee to those residents who did not choose the preferred pharmacy. The Director denied the petition, declaring that Grace would not “be permitted to assess a non-preferred-pharmacy fee as such fee violates residents’ right to choose their pharmacy or pharmacist . . . .” Grace sought judicial review before the district court, which affirmed the Director’s declaratory ruling. Grace then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court. View "Grace at Twin Falls, LLC v. Jeppesen" on Justia Law

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Nathaniel Sheehan lost his job during the COVID-19 pandemic. He applied for and began receiving unemployment benefits. This appeal arose out of the Idaho Department of Labor’s (“IDOL”) later determination that Sheehan was: (1) ineligible for unemployment benefits; and (2) required to repay the benefits he had already received. Sheehan represented himself throughout this case. He appealed these decisions to the Idaho Industrial Commission (“Commission”), claiming he had received misleading instructions concerning notice from IDOL. The Commission dismissed his appeal and later denied his motion for reconsideration. Sheehan then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court. "While Sheehan presents a poignant story rife with compelling circumstances, we are bound to follow the rules and law of jurisdictional authority." The Court affirmed the Idaho Industrial Commission. View "Sheehan v. Sun Valley Company" on Justia Law

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This appeal arose from an Idaho Industrial Commission (“Commission”) order deeming Agar Livestock, LLC (“Agar”), a category one statutory employer of Jason Eldridge under Idaho’s Worker’s Compensation Act. Agar appealed the order, arguing it was not a category one statutory employer because it was “merely a broker that locates livestock trucks available to transport livestock for shippers.” According to Agar, it did not contract for services from Eldridge’s employer, Meissen Trucking (“Meissen”). In its decision, the Commission disagreed and found that, based on the parties’ contractual relationship, Agar had contracted for services from Meissen. Finding that the Commission’s decision was supported by substantial and competent evidence, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed the Commission's order. View "Eldridge v. Agar Livestock, LLC" on Justia Law

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Access Behavioral Health appeals from the district court’s judgment upholding an order of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare that demanded recoupment of Medicaid payments made to Access. The Department sought to recoup certain payments made to Access because it failed to meet the Department’s documentation requirements. Following an audit of provider billings, the Department found Access billed Medicaid for two codes for services provided to the same patient on the same day without documentation to support its use of the codes. The Department concluded the documentation deficiencies violated IDAPA Rule 16.03.09.716 and the Handbook. The Idaho Supreme Court determined the Department had legal authority to issue recoupment demands to Access. Access failed to demonstrate an entitlement to payment of those funds sought to be recouped. The False Claims Act's materiality requirement was inapplicable to the Department’s administrative action. Finally, laches did not bar the Department’s administrative actions. Judgment was thus affirmed. View "Access Behavioral Health v. IDHW" on Justia Law

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The Idaho Board of Pharmacy (“Board”) filed an administrative complaint against pharmacist Cindy Chambers, alleging that she dispensed a controlled substance without a valid prescription. Chambers prevailed before the Board and it determined that she was entitled to recover her reasonable attorney fees and costs; however, she failed to comply with the 14-day deadline for requesting her award. When she filed a request almost seven months after the deadline had passed, the Board denied her request upon finding that she failed to show good cause for the late filing. Chambers then sought judicial review from the district court, which dismissed her petition. Chambers then appealed to the Idaho Supreme Court, maintaining that both the Board and the district court erred by applying the wrong legal standard. Finding no reversible error, the Idaho Supreme Court affirmed. View "Chambers v. Idaho Board of Pharmacy" on Justia Law

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Canyon County employed William Hartman as a heavy equipment operator at the Pickles Butte landfill in Nampa, Idaho, from 2012 until 2017. In February 2017, Hartman reported to Canyon County’s Human Resources Office that a female co-worker was being sexually harassed. The next month, Hartman, who was an army veteran, told both the director of the landfill, David Loper, and his immediate supervisor that he was taking narcotics prescribed to him for chronic pain. Canyon County requested Hartman provide, by a set deadline, medical documentation confirming his prescription and verifying that his use of narcotics would not adversely impact his ability to safely operate equipment. Hartman stated he was attempting to obtain the documentation, but he failed to provide it within the requested timeframe. On April 28, 2017, Loper sent Hartman a “Notice of Intent to Terminate,” informing him that his employment with Canyon County would be terminated effective May 2, 2017. The notice stated that pursuant to Rule 11.04 of the Canyon County Personnel Manual and “I.C. § 72-1701 et. seq. [sic],” Hartman could request a good faith hearing concerning the termination within two days of receiving the letter. Prior to Hartman’s receipt of the notice, Canyon County paid Hartman the balance of his accrued leave. Hartman did not request a good faith hearing. Hartman filed a notice of tort claim with Canyon County on July 27, 2017, alleging he had been unlawfully terminated. He filed a charge of discrimination with the Idaho Human Rights Commission on August 3, 2017. On November 28, 2018, Hartman filed a complaint against Canyon County, alleging: (1) disability-based discrimination in violation of the Idaho Human Rights Act (“IHRA”) and Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”); (2) unlawful retaliation in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (“Title VII”); and (3) unlawful termination in violation of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”). Hartman later voluntarily dismissed his USERRA claim. After considering the parties’ supplemental briefing the district court issued a written decision, granting Canyon County’s motion for summary judgment. Finding that the district court erred in its grant of summary judgment, the Idaho Supreme Court reversed and remanded for further proceedings. View "Hartman v. Canyon County" on Justia Law

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The Jefferson County, Idaho Board of Commissioners (“the County”) granted Appellant Tina Gilgen a conditional use permit that allowed her to place a mobile home on real property she owned with her husband, Kelly Gilgen. The Gilgen property fell within the City of Ririe’s area of impact (“AOI”). The City of Ririe (“the City”) petitioned for judicial review, claiming the County erroneously approved Gilgen’s application by applying Jefferson County zoning ordinances within the AOI instead of City ordinances, which would have resulted in a denial of Gilgen’s application. The City relied on an area of impact agreement between Jefferson County and the City of Ririe, in which the County specifically agreed to apply the City’s ordinances to property located within the AOI (“AOI Agreement”). After the County filed a notice of non-objection, the district court entered an order granting the City’s petition, reversing the County’s original decision, and remanding the matter to the County. On remand, the County issued an amended decision that denied Gilgen’s application for a conditional use permit. Several months later, Gilgen filed three motions for reconsideration of the district court’s order remanding the case, alleging the district court did not have jurisdiction to consider the City’s petition. Each of the motions was denied. The Idaho Supreme Court determined the City did not have standing to petition the district court for review of the County’s decision. The trial court’s judgment was vacated. View "City of Ririe v. Gilgen" on Justia Law