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Author: Rick Stroup

Blake Refund Bureau Opens

In 2021, the Washington State Supreme Court’s decision known as State v. Blake found the Washington law criminalizing drug possession to be unconstitutional.  The Blake Refund Bureau is now accepting applications to refund court-ordered fines or costs paid in connection with drug possession convictions (including marijuana) affected by the Blake decision.

Think you may qualify?  Visti the Blake Refund Bureau website.  Here you can:

  • Learn about what qualifies as a Blake-related drug possession conviction
  • Learn what steps to take to begin your refund process
  • Find helpful resources (including a how-to video) on the application process

You can also access the application portal on this site once your conviction has been vacated.

For any additional questions beyond what’s provided on the Blake Refund Bureau webpage, or if you need help with any of the application steps, please contact the Blake Hotline at 360-704-1913.

There is additional information about the Blake decision and its impact in this Fox13 Seattle report and in this guide provided by WashingtonLawHelp.

Free Bilingual Legal Clinics

In partnership with Latina/o Bar Association of Washington (LBAW) and King County Bar Association (KCBA), El Centro de la Raza sponsors free legal clinics on the second Wednesday of each month from their offices at Centilia Cultural Center. The volunteer attorneys provide general consultations on a variety of topics including immigration, family law, auto accidents, personal injury, worker’s rights/wage claims and criminal law. Bilingual attorneys and interpreters are available.

The clinics operate on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration runs from 4:00PM – 6:00PM.  Consultations begin at 6:00PM.


For more information, please call (844) 502-9832.

Read the clinic’s brochure

Get Help With Protection Orders

Find the Right Help for Your Protection Order




The King County Domestic Violence Protection Order Advocacy Program helps people who need protection specifically from an intimate partner or spouse.




Seattle Unveristy’s Family Law Center helps people with domestic violence and other protection order situations.




WashingtonLawHelp.org has an online interview program which fills in the appropriate forms based on your answers to plain-language questions.




The King County Superior Court Clerk’s Civil Protection Order office is open for walk-ins and can provide you with free sets of the appropriate protection order paperwork.

Free Financial Literacy Workshops from United Way of King County

United Way of King County is sponsoring a pair of free workshops to help low-income renters and previously incarcerated people learn how to improve their credit and better understand their finances.



Free IN-PERSON Credit Score Workshop for Low-Income Renters on July 8th from 1PM – 2PM

This workshop will be held in-person at the Rainier Beach branch of the Seattle Public Library.  The intended audience is low-income renters.  Lunch and transportation assistance will be provided.  Space is limited to 30 people and registration in advance is required.  To register for the July 8th workshop, visit this Eventbrite link.


Free ONLINE Credit Score Workshop for Previously Incarcerated People on July 9th from 10AM – 11AM

This workshop will be held online.  The intended audience is people reentering society after incarceration.  Space is limited to 100 people and registration in advance is required.  To register for the July 9th workshop, visit this Eventbrite link.

New Online Forms: Durable Power of Attorney and Health Care Directives

Washingtonlawhelp.org has new online, interactive forms for both Durable Power of Attorney documents and Health Care Directives.

A power of attorney document lets you choose a trusted friend or relative to help you with your finances or health care decisions.  A Health Care Directive lets you state what kind of medical treatments you do or do not wish to have if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious and cannot make decisions for yourself.  These new programs ask you questions related to your situation and then fill out the proper forms for you.

Get started — Durable Power of Attorney Document

Get started — Health Care Directive

Get Help for Minor Guardianships

The King County Bar Association’s Kinship Care Solutions program provides free legal advice and representation to relatives or significant caregivers trying to set up minor guardianships.  The service is staffed by volunteer attorneys.  Eligibility is income-based and also uses the following criteria:


  • The length of time the child may have already resided with the caregiver.
  • Is the caregiver a safe and stable placement for the child?
  • Would the child be at risk if returned to his/her parents?
  • How difficult it is to find a volunteer attorney for the case?
  • Would the caregiver be able to bring the case without an attorney?

For more information, visit the KCBA website to fill out the online intake form or contact KCBA via email at KinshipCare@kcba.org or by phone at (206) 267-7086.


Books Unbanned Initiative Fights Censorship

To help support unlimited and unrestrained access to ebooks and audiobooks, and combat censorship, Seattle Public Library is joining the Brooklyn Public Library in offering free access to its electronic collections for teens and young adults, regardless of where they live.  The offer applies to anyone anywhere in the United States who is between the ages of 13 and 26.  Anyone interested and eligible can sign up for both programs, since the ebook and audiobook collections of the two systems differ.

SPL’s Books Unbanned program is privately funded through the SPL Foundation’s Equity & Access Fund.

Read more about and enroll in SPL’s Books Unbanned program here.

Read more about and enroll in BPL’s Books Unbanned program here.

Introduction to Protection Orders

If you are in a situation where a protection order of some type is necessary, join Ross Zimmerman from the King County Law Library, Angela Rogness from the Protection Order Advocacy Program, and Susie Harris and Ivan Sandoval from King County Superior Court to learn more about:


  • the various types of protection orders and what they do
  • the services of King County’s Protection Order Advocacy Program
  • the King County Superior Court Clerk’s role in the civil protection order process
  • resources available to help you from King County Law Library

What is a Declaration?

Washingtonlawhelp.org has published a new guide explaining what the legal document called a Declaration is, how and when it should and should not be used in a case, and special situations related to declarations.

In addition, you can learn how declarations work together with motions and orders by reading through KCLL’s infographic, Motions, Declarations & Orders

You can also learn how declarations fit into the whole civil trial process by watching KCLL’s video series about representing yourself in a civil trial, Civil Lawsuits Without Tears

The Family Law Help Desk is Coming!

The King County Family Law Information Center (FLIC) provides assistance with a variety of family law-related processes including divorce, child support, parenting plans and parenting plan modifications.  FLIC is introducing a new service system affecting both the Seattle and Kent courthouses.  It will launch in January 2023.  In preparation for that launch, FLIC will have reduced hours in December 2022.

Read more about the launch of the new Help Desk here.

Read more about FLIC’s overall services here.