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Judges toss Orville Moe’s harassment claim

Orville Moe and his wife, Deonne Moe, in 2007. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / The Spokesman-Review)
Orville Moe and his wife, Deonne Moe, in 2007. (CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON / The Spokesman-Review)

The long string of legal defeats for Orville Moe, the defiant former owner of the Spokane Raceway Park, continued today with appellate judges ruling against arguments suggesting the 76-year-old is a vulnerable adult being harassed by legal action.

Moe controlled the Airway Heights racetrack from 1971 until it was taken over by a receiver in 2005 following a lawsuit in 2003 by hundreds of investors who claimed that Moe enriched himself through off-the-books business dealings and questionable transactions.

The receiver eventually sold the racetrack at auction in 2008 to Spokane County for $4.4 million.

A federal judge entered a $983,000 judgment against Moe in February 2010 that was separate from the state case where former partners are trying to recover their alleged losses. After being declared a fugitive and charged with contempt of court for refusing to give a deposition, he provided that hearing in July 2011.

During the time he refused to provide a deposition, Moe in 2010 met his friend – identified in court records only as Terry-Lee – and asked him to file a petition with the court seeking to protect Moe “from duress, harassment and financial exploitation from (attorney) Aaron Goforth.”

Superior Court Judge Annette Plese denied Terry-Lee’s petition and he then appealed.

Today, the Division III Court of Appeals ruled that Judge Plese did not abuse her discretion by throwing out the petition seeking to protect Moe.

“We find Terry-Lee’s appeal frivolous,” Judge Teresa Kulik wrote. “His contention that the court should have granted the (petition protecting a vulnerable adult) is without merit. Terry-Lee cannot use a PPVA to remove sanctions imposed on Mr. Moe in a different proceeding. We award attorney fees to Mr. Goforth.”