William Entel and Shannon Snyder-Entel (defendant) were married. William and Shannon lived together in an apartment. In August 1988, the apartment’s management company sent William and Shannon a letter, indicating that the lease was ending and offering a chance to renew the lease. William signed a one-year extension of the lease. Shannon had not signed the original lease and did not sign the lease extension. In October 1988, Shannon sent a letter to the management company, stating that she and William intended to vacate the apartment by the end of the month. In response, the management company sent William an invoice for the remaining rent due under the lease. William did not pay the invoice. The management company assigned the debt to Sunkidd Venture, Inc. (Sunkidd) (plaintiff). In May 1991, Sunkidd brought suit against Shannon individually to recover the unpaid rent. Shannon and William divorced in April 1993. In June 1994, Shannon responded to Sunkidd’s complaint, arguing that she was not liable for the debt. The district court agreed with Shannon and dismissed Sunkidd’s complaint. The Spokane County Superior Court affirmed. Sunkidd appealed.