Court questions whether Idaho police can make arrest in Washington

by


A division of the Washington state Court of Appeals based in Spokane has raised questions over whether or not law enforcement in Idaho can follow someone into Washington to arrest them.

According to the opinion issued by the court on February 12, Allen Ashby, an Idaho state trooper, followed Kay Pruczinski from Idaho into Washington, stopped her and ordered her out of a car owned by Ricky Bell. Pruczinski refused, according to the opinion, and the officer broke the driver’s side window before attempting to drag her through it. Ashby is also alleged by Pruczinski to have “offensively” touched her in a “menacing and sexual manner.”

Pruczinski filed suit in Washington state against the trooper for injury to property, intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress, assault, battery, unlawful imprisonment and civil rights violations.

Ashby moved to dismiss the complaint, arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction over the case because he was an employee of the state of Idaho acting within the scope of his duties even though the events occurred in Washington. The trial court agreed and dismissed the the case.

But the appeals court voted to send the case back to the trial court for reconsideration. At stake are questions of whether the officer was qualified under agreements between Idaho and Washington to make the arrest. The court’s opinion also called attention to how Pruczinski successfully had Ashby’s police report struck from the record, so there was no factual basis to determine if Ashby’s arrest was lawful under Washington law.

This article has been updated to reflect that the car was owned by Ricky Bell.