Category: Uncategorized

Public Defenders to Help Vacating Eligible Convictions

The King County Office of Public Defense has announced a new initiative to help people remove eligible convictions from their record.  Eligibility depends on the type of conviction (many misdemeanors and non-violent Class B & Class C felonies) as well as the amount of time that has passed since the conviction – among other things.

 

The Seattle Times published a good article on the announcement, which can be found HERE.

Information on the Office of Public Defense can be found HERE.

How to Nullify Your Property’s Discriminatory Covenants

Many Seattle homeowners are unaware that their property may have restrictive covenants (dictating what types of people can own the property) attached to it that are based on outdated, unenforceable and racist policies from the past.  But beginning January 1st of 2019, homeowners can ask the King County Recorder’s Office to modify any of their deeds that contain such language.  Read the Seattle Times article HERE.

Real Change’s New Resource Guide for Homelessness

Real Change released Seattle’s The Emerald City Resource Guide in April 2018. This new pocket-size resource guide is intended to help homeless people navigate a spiderweb of resources in King County. You can download The Emerald City Resource Guide here.

A common refrain in homeless services is that Seattle’s strength — a large number of nonprofits working to take care of homeless people — is also its weakness. In 2017, King County was home to 77 organizations that shelter or house homeless people. That’s 25 more than the city of San Francisco, and more than the entire state of Montana.

If you’re homeless, navigating this vast network can be hard. That’s why Real Change released a pocket guide to services for homeless people.

“Real Change is printing 40,000 copies of this Emerald City Resource Guide, a 132-page booklet they hope homeless people will use to navigate the city’s spiderweb of resources.” (Photo courtesy of Real Change)

This durable and comprehensive pocket-sized booklet puts 132 slim pages of essential resources at the fingertips of homeless and very low-income people. New editions of the Emerald City Resource Guide will be published at least annually to keep services reliable and accurate.

The guidebook will list services such as health care, shelters and meals — and also features special sections for help with LGBTQ resources, culturally specific services and assistance with immigration issues.

The Emerald City Resource Guide complements online service listings that already exist by making the information immediately accessible to those who lack consistent access to technology.

According to Real Change Director Tim Harris, “I recently heard the story of a woman at a bus stop late at night, when she was approached by a young woman looking for a place to stay that night. The young woman didn’t have a cell phone, and by that time libraries were closed and she had nowhere to turn to look up local shelters. The first woman quickly searched through her phone, and was able to point the young woman in the right direction. If she had a guidebook, she said, she would have been able to hand the young woman a copy, connecting her to more support opportunities.”

“This is our vision on the Emerald City Resource Guide: a pocket-sized portal to change. As someone flips through the guidebook, looking for a shelter, maybe they’ll pass an entry on drug treatment services, or a job readiness program, and inspiration will spark.” – Real Change Director, Tim Harris

This pilot guidebook was made possible by a $20,000 Seattle Human Services Department Innovation Grant, $12,000 in sponsorships from a wide variety of partners, and around $4,000 of Real Change’s own money. Current sponsors of the Resource Guide include: 2-1-1, YWCA, Amerigroup Washington, Muslim Association of Puget Sound, Neighborcare Health, Jewish Family Service, DESC, Solid Ground, Evergreen Treatment Services, Pike Place Market Senior Center, Recovery Café, ROOTS and Community Health Plan of WA.

Read more about this new resource in Real Change News: Director’s Corner or The Seattle Times.

Upcoming Class: Civil Law Suits without Tears – The Basics of Representing Yourself in Court

Representing yourself in court is a complicated process and can be overwhelming. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of the civil lawsuit process with a focus on court rules, court procedures, forms, scheduling, and deadlines. Attendees will be granted access to a password protected website with additional information and resources, including the most commonly used civil litigation forms.

Common civil lawsuit types include landlord tenant, family law, wills and probate, garnishment of wages, personal injury, and property disputes, just to name a few. This class does not cover immigration proceedings or criminal proceedings such as DUI or felony and misdemeanor offenses.

The workshop will be 90 minutes and will run from 6-7:30pm.

When: Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 (6:00PM – 7:30PM)

Where: SPL (Seattle Public Library) Central Library, Level 4 Room 2

1000 4th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Level 4, Room 2
Phone: (206) 386-4636

Get Directions

Suitable for: Adults

Language: English

Download a class flyer here.

Find more information on the Seattle Public Library Website.

New Seattle Library Hours

Beginning Monday, April 2nd, the Seattle library branch, located inside the King County Courthouse, will observe new hours of operation:

Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 4:30pm

Please note that these changes will affect the Seattle library branch only.

Should you have any questions about these upcoming changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

New Kent Library Hours

Beginning Wednesday, February 14th, the Kent library branch, located inside the Maleng Regional Justice Center, will close every day from 2pm – 3pm for lunch.

Starting March 1st, the Kent library branch will observe new hours of operations:

Monday – Friday: 8:30am – 4:30pm; closed from 2pm – 3pm for lunch.

Please note that these changes will affect the Kent library branch only; there will not be any changes to the hours of operation for the Seattle branch.

Should you have any questions about these upcoming changes, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Statement on Net Neutrality

American Association of Law Libraries Statement on Net Neutrality (AALL) Re: Law Libraries & Access to Justice

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) denounces today’s decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), to repeal U.S. net neutrality rules.

Today’s action undermines a fundamental principle of our democracy, and that is equal access by the public to government information. This action allows Internet Service Providers (IPSs) to block users, slow access, and charge more for certain content. In short, ISPs are now able to determine what information the public can access, what it cannot, and at what cost.

Without net neutrality, law libraries, whose crucial mission relies on the ability to provide users with equitable access to up-to-date online legal information, may not be able to pay the fees for preferred access. These users are not just attorneys but researchers, self-represented litigants, students and small business owners. Without net neutrality, ISPs will have the ability to stifle innovation and suppress free expression.

Net neutrality provides all Internet users with equal access to lawful content on the web, regardless of an ISP’s opinion of the material. AALL strongly urges Congress to act to reverse today’s ill-considered decision by the FCC.

–Greg Lambert
President of AALL,
Chief Knowledge Services Officer, Jackson Walker

Take Action for Libraries – What You Can Do:

Send an email 

On December 14, a majority of FCC commissioners voted to gut net neutrality protections that limit the power of Internet Service Proviers (ISPs) to block, throttle, degrade or preference some online content and services over others. This 3-2 vote to roll back strong, enforceable net neutrality protections was made in the face of widespread protests, millions of public comments and overwhelming opposition from across the political spectrum.

The FCC vote, though, is not the final word on this vital issue. The Congressional Review Act (CRA) gives Congress the ability and authority to nullify the FCC’s actions. Congress can and should vote to restore net neutrality and protect the free and open internet.

What you can do: Call and email your members of Congress today and ask them to use a Resolution of Disapproval under the CRA to repeal the recent FCC action and restore the 2015 Open Internet Order protections.

 Send an email 

Inslee, Ferguson and legislators prepared to push back against damaging federal actions

On the eve of an expected vote by the Federal Communications Commission to roll back crucial net neutrality rules, Gov. Jay Inslee joined Attorney General Bob Ferguson, legislators, and business leaders to announce state plans to preserve an open internet and protect Washington consumers from internet companies that are not transparent about costs or services.

Read more about Governor Inslee and Attorney General Feguson’s actions here.

Announcing New Subscriber Benefits

Big changes are afoot in the law library’s subscriber program, making it one of the best deals around.

Beginning on November 15th subscribers receive the following new subscriber-only benefits:

 

“Let Us Do Your Research!”

With this new service you can hand off your research question to our skilled reference staff and we will provide a research memorandum with references to applicable law and resources.

Research services are billed at a rate of $100 per hour, in 15 minute increments.

More information can be found HERE.

 

One Hour of Additional Westlaw Time

You may have noticed that the law library significantly expanded our Westlaw subscription in 2017. In addition to our previous coverage of primary law from all state and federal jurisdictions, Washington Practice, law reviews and jury verdicts, we now have state and federal court filings, and the bulk of the West treatise collection.

Current rules limit all patrons to two hours of Westlaw time per day. As a subscriber you will now be able to request an extra hour of Westlaw time. Just come to the desk to request your additional hour.

 

Three Free Document Deliveries Per Year

Give us your known citation to a case, statute, law review or other document in our collection and we will deliver a copy to you electronically. Restrictions on the size of documents will apply.

More information can be found HERE.

This is a $60 dollar value based on current subscriber pricing!

Living with Conviction: Sentenced to Debt for Life in Washington State

Join Deborah Espinosa, documentary photographer and attorney, as she celebrates the conclusion of her collection, Living with Conviction: Sentenced to Debt for Life in Washington State at the Kent branch of the King County Library System on Friday, December 15th from 4pm – 6pm.

 

Living with Conviction: Sentenced to Debt for Life in Washington State will feature individuals sharing their personal stories of struggling to survive and thrive under court-imposed fines, fees, costs, and victim restitution, aka “Legal Financial Obligations” or “LFOs,” which accrue interest at a rate of 12%. Living with Conviction is the creation of documentary photographer and attorney, Deborah Espinosa. She believes that the purpose of law is to serve our communities and to level the playing field, and thereby create a more just society. The only way to know if a law is serving us is to listen to those most impacted. This project does just that. 

Deborah’s photographs will be on display in the Kent library from December 2nd to December 14th.

The Kent library is located at 212 2nd Avenue North, Kent, WA 98032. Questions about this program and Deborah Espinosa’s collection should be directed to Carla McLean, Librarian for Adult Services .

Free Legal Help with Washington Web Lawyer

Washington Web Lawyer is a website where low-income clients with civil legal problems in Washington state post their legal questions online and receive advice from pro bono attorneys. You must register for free and create an account in order to use Washington Web Lawyer.

To get free legal advice through Washington Web Lawyer, you must first qualify for help. When you register to create a new account on the Washington Web Lawyer website, you will be asked questions about yourself, your income, and your legal problem. All of your answers will be kept secret.

Once you have created an account and logged in, you will be prompted to type in your legal question. If you have a court date or other deadline coming up, Washington Web Lawyer cannot promise that you will get an answer before that time. You will be sent an email when a lawyer answers your question. You will have to log back into the Washington Web Lawyer website in order to read the lawyer’s message and advice. If it is not clear, you can ask more questions by sending a follow-up message.

Visit them online at WAWebLawyer.org.

If you have problems navigating the site, or are experiencing problems with the site, you may contact Washington Web Lawyer at help@tacomaprobono.org . This email address is for technical questions or problems only. Legal questions will not be answered.

Note about privacy:

Washington Web Lawyer allows eligible users to post a legal question to a private online messaging system. The questions are answered by volunteer attorneys. Washington Web Lawyer users can check the system for answers at any time. Only the website administrator and the volunteer attorney answering a Washington Web Lawyer client’s question can see the user’s name. All information posted is held in strict confidence.

Washington Web Lawyer is administered by the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services Program in partnership with the Washington State Alliance for Equal Justice, including the Access to Justice Board, ATJ Delivery Systems Committee, Washington State Pro Bono Council, Washington Web Lawyer Advisory Committee, Legal Foundation of Washington and TPCBA VLS Committee. Special thanks to Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz and Online Tennessee Justice, the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services, Geoff Revelle, and our many Washington State partner organizations and stakeholders for their critical support of this project. These entities share the goal of increasing access to civil legal services for those who cannot afford it. All information posted is held in strict confidence.