A chronology: Carlson

February 2006: Carlson Complaint to Quiet Title filed, challenging the tree height amendment as well as Judge Ellington’s decision that the amendment applies across Innis Arden’s subdivisions. The Carlson motion for a preliminary injunction was denied by Judge Mertel.
April 2006: Mr. Eglick sent a letter to Mr. Carlson on April 7th advising that his lawsuit was frivolous, ignored settled case law, and has been filed for an improper purpose. Mr. Eglick requested that Mr. Carlson dismiss his lawsuit and if he chooses not do so, the Club will pursue sanctions including its attorney’s fees. Club has spent about $28,000 in legal fees on this case and we are waiting to hear whether our insurance will cover these costs. The Club has every intention of recouping its legal fees from Mr. Carlson.
January 2007: Judge Mertel issued his decision: Carlsons ‘Cloud on Title Claims Dismissed; The Club is a homeowners’ association under RCW 64.38 and Carlsons claims to the contrary are Dismissed; Carlsons’ challenges to the View Preservation Amendment including Cross-enforceability are Dismissed (res judicata and collateral estoppel based on Binns); Validity of Bylaw IV Compliance Procedures Upheld; Court is requesting further argument regarding remodel procedures; Carlsons’ claims are DISMISSED and Club is the prevailing party and may submit request for award of attorney’s fees.
March 28, 2007: Judge Mertel signed three orders. The First order grants the Club’s request for attorney’s fees against the Carlsons in an amount to be determined by a further hearing on May 11th if the parties cannot agree on the amount of the award prior to that date. The Club’s original request was in the approximate amount of $88,000. The Second order denies the Raschs’ and Hollinrakes’ requests for attorney’s fees and sanctions based on the theory of “prevailing party” under RCW 64.38.050 but denying without prejudice the Raschs’ request for attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to other statutory grounds to be decided on May 11. The Third order granted the Raschs’ motion to enforce Judge Burdell’s decision that the Carlsons bring their six trees into compliance with all reasonable speed by May 11th unless prevented by the City of Shoreline permitting process. Fines shall begin to accrue on May 11 unless the trees have been brought into compliance or the Carlsons make an adequate showing that they have been prevented from doing so by the City of Shoreline permitting process. The second and third orders are final judgments which pursuant to CR 54(b) allows for appeal to the Court of Appeals Division One
May 19, 2007: Superior Court Judge Charles Mertel has ordered the Carlsons to pay the Club $57,500.00 in attorney’s fees and costs in partial reimbursement for the Club’s expenses in the lawsuit brought by the Carlsons against the Club. While the Club sought a total award of $95,000.00, Mr. Carlson argued to the Court that the award should be limited to $13,000.00 on the basis that some issues in the case were not covered by the attorney fee provision of the Homeowners Association Act. The $57,500.00 awarded by the Court will assist in reducing the impact on the Club of insurance deductibles and increased premiums associated with lawsuits such as the Carlsons’. Until paid, the award will accrue interest at a substantial rate. On May 18th, Judge Charles Mertel signed an order setting an appeal bond for the Carlsons in the sum of $84,000. The bond can be reduced by $14,000 for each of the six trees the Carlsons elect to height-reduce. The Court will consider imposing sanctions against the Carlsons at a hearing set for June 18th. On May 23rd, at 8:30 A.M., the Club’s attorney, Peter Eglick, will be presenting an order for a judgment against the Carlsons in the amount of $57,590.92 which represents the attorney’s fees and costs awarded by Judge Mertel to the Club.
July, 2007 The Carlsons filed a motion for discretionary review in the Court of Appeals
August 2007 Judge Mertel set a supersedeas bond relating to his order that the Carlsons remove their trees in the amount of $84,000 as the Carlsons have filed an appeal in the Court of Appeals
September 2007 The Carlsons have filed a new lawsuit (Carlson II) against the Staleys, Hollinrakes, and Jones who have submitted a petition against them for view-blocking trees. The Carlsons have brought a motion in the Court of Appeals seeking to substitute or join the Uberaguas as Respondents as they have purchased the Raschs’ property.
October 19, 2007 The Court of Appeals denied renewed objection to the trial court supersedaes decision
December 4, 2007 Judge Mertel issued an order that the Carlsons must complete the posting of the supersedeas bond or bring all trees found to be non-compliant into compliance by December 7, 2007. Alternatively, Carlsons may use the formula adopted by the Court allowing them to bring some trees into compliance and posting a reduce supersedaes bond.Failure to comply with the order, absent good cause, will result in  Plaintiff incarceration.
May 19, 2008 The Court of Appeals, Division 1, affirmed Judge Charles Mertel’s decision holding that Robert and Janet Carlson’s challenge to the cross-enforceability of the Covenants is barred by res judicata and that the Club compliance process is valid. The Court awarded the Club its attorney’s fees on appeal. The Court held that Judge Ellington’s 1987 order in the Binns litigation was binding on all Innis Arden homeowners including the Carlsons. The Court observed that the notice issued by Judge Ellington to all Innis Arden homeowners that they could choose to join the Plaintiffs’ class, the Defendants’ class, or neither, additionally included the statement that all Innis Arden homeowners would be bound by the decision. Since there was no right of exclusion, the Binns orders were binding on all Innis Arden homeowners and their successors, including the Carlsons. The Court affirmed Judge Mertel’s decision that the Club’s Covenant compliance process was valid as the Club has inherent authority to enforce Covenant compliance under its governing documents. The Court affirmed the Club’s Compliance By-Law authorizing the use of an outside arbitrator at the election of the parties. The Court further held that the Club is a Homeowners Association under R.C.W. 64.38 and affirmed Judge Mertel’s granting of attorney’s fees against the Carlsons in favor of the Club.The opinion was unpublished; however, the Club may move to have the decision published. The Club will be submitting a request for attorney’s fees and costs in connection with the appeal. The Carlsons have the right to seek review by the Supreme Court by asking that the Court grant review of the Court of Appeals’ decision. The Club has been ably represented by Peter Eglick and Josh Whited at the trial level and by Catherine Wright Smith in the Court of Appeals.
July 24th,2008 Carlson II, Judge Lum issued his order dismissing all claims with prejudice.
August 5th, 2008 The Court of Appeals in Carlson 1 denied the Club’s motion to publish the decision and the Carlsons’ motion for reconsideration.
August 6th, 2008 The Court of Appeals granted the Club’s motion for appellate attorney’s fees and costs in the sum of $54,505.39.
December 31st, 2008 Peter Eglick obtained an order from Judge Mertel in Carlson I requiring the Carlsons to post a $45,000 increase in the appeal bond.
April 1st, 2009 The Supreme Court of Washington denies Carlson’s Petition for Review and grants Respondent Innis Arden Club, Inc.’s request for attorney fees. Carlson’s Petition for Review and grants Respondent Innis Arden Club, Inc.’s request for attorney fees.
March 1st, 2010 Court of Appeals affirms Superior Court decision in favor of Club in lawsuit brought by Robert & Janet Carlson.