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Washington Supreme Court Denies Coverdale Petition for Review

JZ Knight News, Press


Justices of the Washington Supreme Court
Photo credit: Washington Courts

– Washington Supreme Court Denies Coverdale Petition for Review
RE: Supreme Court Nos. 89193-1 / No. 92803-7

– From the Press Release issued by JZK, Inc., September 6, 2016:
“The Washington Supreme Court has issued an order solidifying JZK, Inc.’s legal victories against Virginia Coverdale, a former student of Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE). A five-judge panel unanimously denied Coverdale’s request to review a 2013 trial court decision finding that Coverdale had breached two separate written contracts in which she agreed not to disseminate RSE materials without the school’s permission. A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals, the state’s intermediary appellate court, affirmed the trial court earlier this year. The Supreme Court also ruled that Coverdale would be required to reimburse JZK, Inc. for the legal fees occasioned by her conduct—a sum now exceeding $1 million.”

The Supreme Court’s refusal to accept the case also brings closure to an array of meritless counterclaims that Coverdale asserted against JZK, Inc. and its founder, JZ Knight. In both the original action and a subsequent lawsuit, Coverdale asserted over a dozen separate causes of action including defamation, misrepresentation, violations of consumer protection laws, and civil conspiracy. Despite being represented by at least four separate law firms over the course of the litigation, Coverdale failed to prove a single allegation. Her counterclaims were dismissed in 2013 and her subsequent lawsuit was dismissed by yet another judge in January of 2016.”

This case was not about free speech. It was about theft. This case was only about Virginia Coverdale’s use of a private teaching from an event in February 2012 without permission from JZK, Inc. in breach of her agreement.”

In addition to her court losses, Coverdale walks away with a large debt of court-awarded fees and costs. With accrued monthly interest, the total is presently over $860,000.

* On January 19 of this year, Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the decisions of two separate Thurston County Superior Court judges validating JZK, Inc.’s Conditions of Participation agreement and determining that Coverdale violated her agreement.

* As a result, the lower court’s order directing Coverdale to pay JZK, Inc. $600,021 in attorneys’ fees and costs stands. This judgment against Coverdale has accrued interest at 12 percent since the July 19, 2013 fee award was entered.

* JZK, Inc. received an additional award of attorneys’ fees and costs in the amount of $83,625 for prevailing before the Court of Appeals.

*
JZK, Inc. was also awarded attorneys’ fees and costs in the State Supreme Court Order in an amount to be submitted and finalized in the week ahead.”

Click here to read the full Press Release, September 6, 2016.

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WA. Supreme Court issues “mandate” in case of JZ Knight v. City of Yelm, et al

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

“The opinion of the Supreme Court of the State of Washington was filed on December 15, 2011, and became final on January 4, 2012. This cause is mandated to the superior court from which the appeal was taken for further proceedings…,” quoting Ronald R. Carpenter, Clerk of the Supreme Court, State of Washington.

What does this mean?
“This is a formality – issuance of the “Mandate” – which means that the appeal proceedings are over and the case is returned to the Superior Court (Thurston County Judge Chris Wickham). The effect of this is that the decision of the Superior Court will be reinstated (as if there had been no appeals).

The Superior Court decision required the City to change the language of the water availability condition of approval for these five plats and required that Knight receive special notice prior to final plat approval of any one of these five subdivisions [WINDSHADOW, LLC; WINDSHADOW II TOWNHOMES, LLC; PETRA ENGINEERING, LLC; SAMANTHA MEADOWS, LLC; TTPH3-8, LLC (Tahoma Terra)],” quoting Knight’s attorney Keith Moxon.

This is a final victory for Knight.

Read more from the letter of the Clerk of the Supreme Court, State of Washington.

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Local praise in support of Knight’s Supreme Court win

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

This anonymous phone message was left on a voicemail message for JZ Knight Friday, December 16, 2011.

“Hi, I’m a non-student, however in the Tacoma News Tribune today on page 3 there was a wonderful article and I think everybody should be dancing in the street to know that the water rights issue that JZ and everybody associated has fought; I know she spent a lot of money. She has a voice that speaks also for non students. I just was so happy to read that!

It’s a wonderful article and I’m very happy for everybody that was involved with this fight.

I’m an old-timer here. I’ve lived here 35 years and there have been many things that have happened in this town that have been shoved down the populace’s throats and now there’s a voice that represents a lot of us out here.

I’m really thankful that this came this way that the decision was made this way.

And I thank her and everybody whose mind was set and focused on this issue. It came out in a positive manner for all of us.

So, I recognize the good work that the people in school have done for this community.

The school seems to be our only voice here. Unfortunately Steve Klein never got to be mayor. This city would have just risen up instead of this group of jerks that we have representing the city of Yelm.

So, good on all of you and thank you and have a great and very Merry Christmas!

My husband and I are really pleased with the outcome of this!”

– Knight’s win was posted on Yahoo Finance! with 67,604,000 daily readers.

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JZ Knight wins case with City of Yelm –
WA. Supreme Court sides with Knight

JZ Knight News, Press, Yelm and Thurston County Issues, Yelm Economy

Read more from the WA. Supreme Court opinion: Knight v. City of Yelm, No. 84831-9.

Read more from JZ Knight’s Press Release in response to the Supreme Court decision.

“The Supreme Court has ruled that mystic teacher and author JZ Knight has standing to oppose several proposals to subdivide property into single-family residential lots in Yelm. The hearing examiner granted preliminary subdivision approvals in five decisions. Knight later filed a Land Use Petition Act challenge, and the trial court ruled in her favor. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that Knight could not show she would personally be harmed by land use decision, thus requiring dismissal of her LUPA petition. In a 7-2 decision by Justice Charles Wiggins, the Supreme Court held that Knight established that the land use decision is likely to prejudice her water rights and satisfies the statutory standing requirement.”
Read more from the Supreme Court of Washington Blog, published by the Constitutional Law Center of the Freedom Foundation, a not-for-profit public policy organization in Olympia, Washington.

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WA. Supreme Court sides with Knight

WA. Supreme Court to hear JZ Knight’s case on May 26

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

The Washington Supreme Court will conduct a live hearing on Thursday, May 26, at 9:00 a.m. (PDT) in Case No. 84831-9, Knight v. City of Yelm.
Click here for the Live TV or Live Webcast.

Knight originally filed a land use appeal in Thurston County Superior Court in March of 2008 challenging the City of Yelm’s approval of five preliminary plats totaling 568 new residences. On November 7, 2008, Thurston County Superior Court Judge Chris Wickham entered a final judgment, reversing the City of Yelm’s attempt to approve five proposed new developments without adequate proof of a sufficient water supply.

The Court of Appeals opinion issued on April 13, 2010 dismissed JZ Knight’s LUPA petition and reversed the Thurston County Superior Court ruling.

JZ Knight filed a petition July 19, 2010, seeking Washington Supreme Court review of a Court of Appeal’s decision issued on April 13, 2010.

The Supreme Court granted review of Knight’s case at their November 2, 2010 conference.

Read more from the WA. State Courts – Supreme Court Web site.
scroll down to May 26, 9:00 A.M.

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WASHINGTON STATE SUPREME COURT GRANTS JZ KNIGHT’S PETITION FOR REVIEW

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

From the State Supreme Court of Washington Blog:

“The Supreme Court granted review in several cases in its November 2 conference.

* Knight v. City of Yelm, No. 84831-9…

Knight v. City of Yelm, No. 84831-9. Mystic teacher and author JZ Knight is opposing several proposals to subdivide property into single-family residential lots in Yelm. The hearing examiner granted preliminary subdivision approvals in five decisions. Knight later filed a Land Use Petition Act challenge, and the trial court ruled in her favor. On appeal, the Court of Appeals held that Knight could not show she would personally be harmed by land use decision, thus requiring dismissal of her LUPA petition. “[I]f we were to find that Knight had standing, we would first be required to presuppose a series of future events that may not ultimately occur.” The court affirmed the challenged preliminary subdivision approvals, reversed the trial court, and dismissed Knight’s LUPA petition for lack of standing.”

CLICK HERE for the official Washington Courts website.

CLICK HERE for the Court’s Department One, listing No. 16, “Knight v. City of Yelm Granted”.

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JZ Knight files Petition for Review to WA. Supreme Court

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

JZ Knight filed a petition Monday, July 19, 2010 seeking Washington Supreme Court review of a Court of Appeal’s decision issued on April 13, 2010. Knight filed a land use appeal in Thurston County Superior Court in March of 2008, challenging the City of Yelm’s approval of five preliminary plats totaling 568 new residences.

Knight’s appeal claimed that the City failed to show adequate water availability for the 568 new lots as required by state law and Yelm City Code and presented evidence that the City was exceeding its water rights. Judge Chris Wickham ruled in Knight’s favor, reversed the City’s approval of the five plats, and remanded the plats to the City for further processing under a corrected condition of approval. He based his ruling on a determination that the City’s previous approval of the five plats was based on “an erroneous interpretation of the law” regarding water availability.

The City and one of the developers appealed Judge Wickham’s Superior Court decision to the Court of Appeals, which ruled on April 13, 2010, that Knight did not have legal standing to pursue the land use appeal. The Court of Appeals also awarded attorney fees against Knight for the costs of the City’s and developer’s appeal to the Court of Appeals.
Knight’s petition for review asks Washington Supreme Court to reverse the Court of Appeals decision – on both the legal standing and award of attorney fees issues. Knight’s petition asserts that the award of attorney fees is contrary to a state law that prohibits an award of fees against a party such as Knight who prevailed on all issues litigated in superior court and did not file an appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Knight’s petition states that the Court of Appeals decision is contrary to well-established Washington law. Knight contends that the Court of Appeals decision must be reversed because it undermines important requirements regarding available water supplies that state law requires cities and developers to address prior to approval of development projects.

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JZ Knight’s Court win vs. City of Yelm garners attention in farm country

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

The Columbia Basin Farmer published the following report February 3, 2012:

“In December, the Washington Supreme Court issued a decision in the matter of JZ Knight v. City of Yelm, finding that Knight had the legal right to challenge Yelm’s approval of residential subdivisions without first obtaining adequate water supply. The Center for Environmental Law & Policy (CELP) filed a “friend of the court” brief supporting Knight by arguing that ownership of water rights in a watershed can serve as a basis for challenging land use decisions.”

‘Water is a key component of land use and if a city doesn’t have sufficient water rights to supply prospective hook-ups, then it has no business approving developments,’ said Rachael Paschal Osborn, staff attorney for CELP.”

“Concern over water rights continues in Yelm. The City of Yelm recently obtained approval of new water rights from the Washington Department of Ecology. A group of landowners in Yelm, the Thompson Creek Downstreamers, have appealed Ecology’s decision out of concern that additional pumping by Yelm will harm their own water rights and instream flows.

The Court’s decision in the JZ Knight case complements an August 2011 water and land use decision involving Kittitas County. In that case, the Court held that the Growth Management Act requires the county to protect the quality and quantity of groundwater supplies when making land use decisions.

‘Water scarcity is an increasing problem throughout Washington state,’ said Osborn. “Improved legal linkages between water availability and land use decisions will protect public values in our rivers and aquifers.’”

Read more

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Ecology: “Court decision is big gain for groundwater protection”

Yelm and Thurston County Issues

Dan Partridge, communications manager, Water Resources Program at the WA. Dept. of Ecology states:

“The state Supreme Court has reaffirmed local governments’ obligations to ensure groundwater protection when making land use decisions.

In Kittitas County vs. EWGHMB, the court on July 28, 2011, upheld a decision of the Eastern Washington Growth Management Hearings Board that Kittitas County violated the Growth Management Act. The county was not preventing subdivision applicants from using more than one permit-exempt groundwater well per development. Washington allows the drilling of wells without a water right permit provided that groundwater withdrawals are limited to 5,000 gallons per day.

In considering Kittitas County’s appeal of the hearings board decision issued in 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that the county failed to protect groundwater resources by approving side-by-side subdivision proposals allowing developers to evade legal limits on the use of permit-exempt wells.”

Protection of existing water rights
“’This could come at a great cost to the existing water rights of nearby property owners, even those in adjoining counties, if subdivisions and developments overuse the well permit exemption contrary to law,’ the court said in a 6-3 decision.”

“Water Resources Program Manager Maia Bellon said counties’ obligations in determining the “legal availability” of water in addition to the “physical availability” of water when making land use decisions is nothing new.”

Land-use decisions, water availability linked
“‘The decision recognizes the critical importance of marrying land-use decision-making with water supply and its availability. Those are and should be inextricably linked,’ Maia said in news stories following the ruling.”

Read more from Ecology’s ECOconnect.

Read more from Four Winds10.com that posted an excellent summary of the case JZ Knight vs. City of Yelm now before the WA. Supreme Court.

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JZ Knight’s letter to the Nisqually Valley News on Coverdale case

JZ Knight News, Press


JZ Knight
Photo © 2016 JZ Knight,
used with permission.

– JZ Knight’s Letter to the Editor of the Nisqually Valley News
“Several weeks ago, Virginia Coverdale wrote a letter to you stating that she had withdrawn her lawsuit against me and JZK, Inc. because she had lost her appeal of the Thurston County Superior Court rulings against her from July of 2013. She wrote that she did not walk away empty-handed. That is so.

In addition to her court losses, Coverdale walks away with a large debt of court-awarded fees and costs. With accrued monthly interest, the total is presently over $830,000.

On January 19 of this year, Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals upheld the decisions of two separate Thurston County Superior Court judges validating JZK, Inc.’s Conditions of Participation and determining that Coverdale violated it.

As a result, the lower court’s order directing Coverdale to pay JZK, Inc. $600,021 in attorneys’ fees and costs stands. This judgment against Coverdale has accrued interest at 12 percent since the July 19, 2013 fee award was entered.

JZK, Inc. anticipates an additional award of attorneys’ fees and costs for prevailing before the Court of Appeals. An agreed fee award in the amount of $83,625 was submitted to the appellate court, without opposition, on January 29, 2016.

While Coverdale has sought discretionary review in the Washington Supreme Court, she has already had two other requests for discretionary appellate consideration rejected in this case. Coverdale’s rehashing of the same arguments will bring the same results. Wisdom comes with a steep price.”

– JZ Knight


– “PAY THE PIPER Failed Lawsuits Against JZ Knight, JZK, Inc. Put Coverdale in Major Debt”
Click here for the Letter to the Editor published May 5 in the Nisqually Valley News.



Virginia Coverdale sued in Thurston County Superior Court
Photo by Scott Roberts/Freedom Foundation
in the Nisqually Valley News.



– Of note:
Coverdale took her case before two Thurston County Superior Court judges, Division II of the Washington State Court of Appeals and the Washington Supreme Court, all resulting in her losses and the debt burden Knight mentioned above. Even some of Coverdale’s more realistic supporters went on-the-record in The Olympian at the beginning of her pursuit saying this was a simple breach of contract and she would lose.

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