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Thursday, November 21, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: A judge intervenes to stop a divorce

From our archives, 100 years ago

A sensational divorce case in Spokane became even more sensational when Mrs. Lewis Rutter raced to the courthouse to block her own divorce suit.

She was irate over what she felt was a bad settlement agreement by her own attorney. She was convinced she needed to ask for a dismissal of the case, which was scheduled to go to court soon.

Mrs. Rutter went to her lawyer’s office and asked him to dismiss the case.

“I told him I wanted him to go with me and have the case dismissed or I would go myself,” she said. “He then threatened me and said I could not leave his office until I had made arrangements for paying him.”

She told him, “You are no longer my attorney,” and she left.

“He followed us down in the elevator and out to the sidewalk, where he said he would meet us in Judge Sullivan’s room, and I again told him I considered his services ended.” He finally walked away.

When she got to the courthouse, she was “much excited.” There, her husband’s attorney attempted to present her with a paper, and she “threw all restraint to the wind.”

“I was frantic and didn’t know what to do, but I saw I had to depend upon myself, and could do nothing but go before Judge Blake.”

Blake was not the judge assigned to her case − he was just the first judge she saw. She demanded dismissal, and he granted the request.

Mrs. Rutter’s former attorney later said Blake’s “interference” in the case was “unprecedented, as far as I know, in the history of the courts.”

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