Author: Rick Stroup

New Washington State Service Animals Law Takes Effect on 1/1/2019

This past session, the Washington State Legislature passed SHB 2822, Chapter 176 of the Laws of 2018, to address growing problems with people misrepresenting ordinary animals as service animals.  In addition to changing the definition of “service animal”, the new law also creates a civil penalty for misrepresentation of a service animal of up to $500.  WashingtonLawHelp has published a guide related to this new law here.

K & L Gates Creates Pro Bono Cyber Civil Rights Legal Project

K & L Gates has founded a pro bono project to help victims of “revenge porn” or nonconsensual pornography defend their “cyber” civil rights.  Assistance is available to victims both within the United States and abroad.  To contact the Cyber Civil Rights Project and K & L Gates, use this link.  For more information about cyber civil rights, see the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative’s web site.

Sociologist Says Public Libraries are the Bedrock of a Civil Society

The disconnect between the perceived value of public libraries–particularly in the eyes of influencial policy-makers–and the vital role they play in supporting the social infrastructure of a civil society is real.  And it’s something that anyone concerned about equity, open access, and diversity should be prepared to confront.  So says sociologist Eric Klinenberg, in his recent New York Times opinion article, To Restore Civil Society, Start With the Library.

For more information about the recanted Forbes article about the value of public libraries, see this QZ article.

New KCBA Volunteer Legal Services Records Project

King County Bar Association’s Volunteer Legal Services program has launched a new service for low-income people trying to vacate criminal conviction records.  The ultimate goal is to reduce the barriers to employment and housing created by convictions.  To be eligible to participate, you must be low-income and your most recent conviction must have been from a court within King County.  Download this flyer for more information.

 

Warrant Outreach at Seattle Municipal Court

Seattle Municipal Court is sponsoring a warrant outreach program on Thursday, August 9th from 10:00am to 4:00pm at the Lake City Community Center.  The Warrant Outreach event is a partnership between the Seattle Municipal Court, King County Department of Public Defense, Seattle City Attorney’s Office, Seattle Police Department, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Seattle Human Services Department.

Anyone with outstanding warrants is welcome to attend and learn about options for resolving warrants and/or outstanding tickets.  Court staff will be on hand to answer questions about court processes and provide additional information.  For more information about the event, visit the City of Seattle’s news web site. or contact Gary Ireland, Public Information Officer at gary.ireland@seattle.gov.

Affordable Legal Help from the Northwest Consumer Law Center

The Northwest Consumer Law Center offers programs to provide affordable legal help with foreclosure, bankruptcy, debt collection, credit reporting issues, automobile purchases and student loan issues.  To be eligible for this assistance you must be a Washington State resident and your total household income – before taxes, expenses, deductions, etc. – must be at or below a limit based on the current Federal Poverty Guidelines.

For more information and to determine if you qualify, visit the Get Help section of NWCLC’s web site or call their intake telephone line at (888) 978-3386, extension 1722.

 

Job Announcement: Legal and Reference Services Associate

The King County Law Library is currently seeking applicants for a Legal and Reference Services Associate.  This new position will create innovative systems to develop, market, and deliver legal information and services in a variety of formats and platforms.  Responsibilities include the creation and maintenance of civil self-help form packets, management of KCLL’s new Self-Represented Litigants workshop series and the provision of excellent legal reference services to library patrons in Seattle and Kent.  For more information about this new position, see the full position announcement here.

 

New Forms for Grandparents and Relatives Seeking Visitation Rights

During the 2018 Regular Session, the Washington State legislature passed Senate Bill 5598, Chapter 183 of the Laws of 2018, which adds a procedure for grandparents and other relatives to petition the court for visitation rights.  The new law amends RCW 26.10.160, repeals 26.09.240 and adds a new chapter to Title 26.  For more details about the new law, see the Final Bill Report.  Forms for the new procedure can be found on the State Court’s web site under the section titled Visits with Children.

Court Rules Published for Comment

The Washington State Supreme Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) have published proposed changes to the following rules and are seeking comments:

 

 

RPC 1.6 — Confidentiality of Information

RPC 7.3 — Solicitation of Clients

RPC 8.4 — Misconduct

APR 8 — Nonmember Lawyer Licenses to Practice Law

IRLJ 3.3 — Procedure at Contested Hearing

RALJ 9.2 — Entry of Decision and Enforcement of Judgment

You may review these proposed rule changes here.  Comments are due by April 30, 2018.  Unless otherwise noted, all comments should be submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court by either U.S. mail or Internet e-mail.

You may review all proposed rule changes here.

King County Welcomes All

King County government has recently released a poster supporting the motivation behind the County’s Equity and Social Justice Strategic Plan for 2016 – 2022.  As described by the County, the Strategic Plan “is a blueprint for action and change that will guide our pro-equity policy direction, our decision-making, planning, operations and services, and our workplace practices in order to advance equity and social justice within County government and in partnership with communities.” You can download a copy of this poster here.