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Idaho Supreme Court

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If a Witness Dies Does Confidentiality Count?

Tue, 06/24/2014

State Of Idaho v. Kyle Alan Richardson: During the trial of Richardson, the State called for the transcripts of a preliminary testimony of a witness to be shared in court as evidence. These transcripts are confidential but, since the witness had died and could not testify in person in court, the State requested the transcripts in place of the testimony. The district court denied the request. The State appealed the denial.


The Idaho Supreme Court vacated the decision of the lower courts and ruled that the transcripts of the preliminary testimony can be used in court as the admission of testimony by a deceased witness.

Read the full decision here

Ambiguity in Adoption Law over Custody Rights Given Consideration

Mon, 02/10/2014

In the Matter of the Adoption of John Doe and John Doe 1: Idaho adoption law has been interpreted in the past to be understood that in order to adopt a child as an additional legal parent, the new adopter has to be in a legal union with the current guardian of the child. Jane Doe wishes to adopt the children of her long term partner, Jane Doe 2. The lower courts dismissed the case without legal briefing or any consideration. Jane Doe appealed the dismissal to the Idaho Supreme Court.


The Idaho Supreme Court vacated the dismissal of the lower court and ruled in favor of Jane Doe by stating that her case has a right to be heard in court and given fair judicial review. The Court found that the Idaho adoption law is actual very ambiguous in relation to the marital status of a new adopter. The Court remanded the case for further proceedings.


Father Given Chance to Save His Parental Rights

Fri, 02/07/2014

In The matter of the Termination of the Parental Rights of John Doe: In an ongoing battle over parental rights in magistrate court, John Doe agreed to a conditional termination of his rights based on the exchange of having the hearings for his termination dismissed from court and having his kids returned to his home for an extended home visit. The magistrate court arrested Doe and removed his parental rights because he signed the Consent. Doe appealed the ruling.


The Supreme Court of Idaho vacated the ruling of the lower courts on the basis that Idaho law does not allow the termination of parental rights through conditional consent. The Court ruled that the magistrate court terminated Doe’s parental rights without showing clear evidence that termination was necessary. The Court remanded the trial for further hearings.

Read the full decision here