Category: News & Updates

Handbook for Washington Seniors Updated

Legal Voice has updated the Handbook for Washington Seniors: Legal Rights and Resources for 2016 into 2017. The Handbook is a quick-reference guide covering legal rights, health care, housing, etc. The Handbook answers common questions about the issues seniors are likely to face. The Handbook may also be helpful to the family and caregivers of seniors.

You can find a digital copy of this resource available for free at www.legalvoice.org/handbook. You can also order a copy for $20 from Legal Voice.

You may also view a copy of this resource in the library, available at RES KF 390.A4 H36 (ask for it at the front information desk).

Used Car Purchases

This link leads to a PDF document written by the staff at the Northwest Justice Project discussing the following issues related to the purchase of a used car in Washington State:

  • The car dealer did not offer any warranties (guarantees) on my used car. Does this mean that my car is not covered by any warranties even if it develops major problems soon after I bought it?
  • What is an implied warranty of merchantability?
  • Is there a checklist showing what problems an implied warranty covers?
  • A sticker on the car said the car was being sold “as is,” and the sales contract seems to say I waived (gave up) all warranties. Have I given up my right to an implied warranty of merchantability?
  • The dealer sold me a service contract. Does this mean I waived the implied warranty?
  • What can I ask the car dealer to do?
  • Do I have any rights with the lender?
  • Can I get help resolving my dispute with the used car dealer if I cannot do it myself?
  • I tried mediation. It did not help. What can I do?
  • What if my sales agreement or loan agreement has an “arbitration” clause?
  • Can I get a court order forcing the car dealer to make specific repairs?
  • What should I do if I want to cancel the contract, return the car, and get my money back?
  • What should I do to get ready for trial if I decide to sue in Small Claims Court?
  • I have paid to have repairs done. Can I deduct the cost from my car payments instead of going to court?
  • What is my risk of repossession if I deduct the cost of repairs from my car payments?
  • What will happen if my car is repossessed?
  • What else can I do if I do not want to keep the car and do not want to keep making payments on it?

Washington State Employment Security Department (Unemployment) Precedential Decisions of Commissioner

The Precedential Decisions of Commissioner are published in a first series and second series. The first series encompasses case numbers 100 through 1299 (a) covering the period from April 14, 1954, through October 10, 1975. The second series begins anew with case number 100 and covers the period from October 17, 1975, through present.

The Precedential Decisions of Commissioner set forth interpretations of both procedural and substantive law governing adjudications under the Washington State Employment Security Act, Title 50 RCW. The Decisions are binding on Department adjudicators, administrative law judges of the Office of Administrative Hearings and the review judges of the Commissioner’s Review Office. The Decisions have been cited as persuasive authority by the Washington State trial and appellate courts.

Precedential Decisions of Commissioner must be read in the context of current statutes, regulations, and appellate court decisions.

The citation format for Precedential Decisions of Commissioner is as follows:
First SeriesIn re Staeger, Empl. Sec. Comm’r Dec. 100 (1954).
Second SeriesIn re Griggs, Empl. Sec. Comm’r Dec.2d 100 (1975).

Tax Help!

United Way of King County partners with many organizations in the Seattle area to provide people with free help in preparing their personal income tax forms.  Here is a link to a page that shows all the places where this help is available:  United Way of King County Tax Help

Seattle Public Library partners with United Way of King County and AARP to provide tax assistance at many of the library’s branches.  Here is a link for that: Seattle Public Library, United Way of King County, AARP Tax Help

Click here for more information about legal clinics and resources for tax help.

Domestic Violence Legal Advocacy

The Seattle/King County/Snohomish County YWCA, through its campaign “Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women”, sponsors a domestic violence legal advocacy program which provides assistance with issues like obtaining a protection order, completing a parenting plan, starting a divorce process, etc.  The assistance is free of charge.  For more information contact Maria at (206) 683-8277.

Need more help? There are more Legal Clinics & Resources for Survivors of Domestic Violence, as well as our Family Law Guide on Domestic Violence.

What Can I Do About An Eviction On My Record?

This link leads to a guide written by the Northwest Justice Project on the WashingtonLawHelp website.  The guide describes what can and cannot be done to remove the record of any eviction from your court record.  It answers several key questions including:

  • How do I determine whether there is an eviction on my record?
  • How can I get an eviction removed from my court record?
  • How do I discuss a past eviction with a potential landlord?
  • Is there something I can do to change the laws so that I could get my eviction case removed from my court record in the future?

Want more information? Check out our list of Housing Law Clinics & Resources, as well as our Eviction Process Guide.

New Plain Language Forms Available for Use May 1, 2016

The WSBA Access to Justice Board in partnership the the Administrative Office of the Courts worked together to create forms for family law cases that use simpler language that is easier to understand for non-lawyers. The hope is that these new forms create less confusion and remove some of the anxiety of filling out the forms for self-represented people. The new forms will be available to use as of May 1, 2016 and required for use by July 1, 2016. You can read more about the project and see the forms here.

Need help with a Family Law matter? Check out our Family Law Guide, as well as our Guide to Family Law Clinics & Resources in King County.

Voting Rights Restoration in Washington State

According to the Washington Secretary of State (SOS):

  • If you were convicted of a felony in a Washington State court, your right to vote is restored automatically once you are no longer under the authority of DOC (in prison or on community custody). If you have questions about your status with DOC, call at (800) 430-9674.
  • If you were convicted of a felony in another state or in federal court, your right to vote is restored automatically as long as you are not currently incarcerated for that felony.
  • You do not lose the right to vote for a misdemeanor conviction or a conviction in juvenile court.
  • You do not need a certificate of discharge (COD) to have your voting rights restored.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Washington has also updated their information on the restoration of voting rights for those that have been convicted of felonies as an adult. The page includes answers to many important questions such as:

  • How do convictions affect my right to vote?
  • How do I know when I’m eligible to have my rights restored?
  • Do I need to re-register to vote?
  • Who should I contact if I run into difficulty?

Voting is critically important in a democracy and everyone who has the right should have their voice heard. You can register to vote at the King County Law Library.

Need more help? Visit our Legal Clinics page to learn about the Re-Entry Clinic, as well as our Guide to Criminal Law Clinics & Resources in King County.