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Unpaid Tickets No Longer Grounds for License Suspension

Unpaid traffic fines will no longer be used as grounds for suspending a person’s driver’s license.  Not only that, but licenses that are already suspended – due to fines or a failure to appear for a noncriminal moving violation – will be reinstated.  This moratorium stems from a recent Thurston County court case that led to negotiations between the ACLU and the State of Washington.

The moratorium will be in place until SB 5226 takes effect in 2023 – which will still allow suspensions for failing to appear in court.

You can read the full article from the Seattle Times HERE.


From the Director: May 2021

Keeping Up with COVID

Barbara Engstrom, Executive Director King County Law Library


The language describing the mitigation measures used to counteract the pandemic would imply this past year has been one of stasis. (Lockdown, suspension of services, closures to the public)  If anything, the rapidity of change during this period has been unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes.  Even as we begin to reach vaccination benchmarks, the churn of new statutes, court rules, opinions, and other norms continue apace.  Keeping abreast of this constant flux of information can be daunting.  Fortunately, there are several great resources that aggregate legal information related to COViD.  The following are some resources available either online or via the King County Law Library that can help you stay informed.

Landlord Tenant

Perhaps the area of law that has seen the greatest change is landlord tenant.  Stoel Rives has produced a regularly updated guide to track the changes to state, federal and local rules related to the eviction moratoria.  The most recent version is current as of March 9, 2021 and is 19 pages of densely packed information detailing the dates and consequences of the various rules and orders along with references to litigation filed in response. The current version can be found here https://www.stoel.com/legal-insights/legal-updates/covid-19-update-stoel-rives-guide-to-washington-st   KIng County has information on the Eviction Prevention and Rental Assistance Program here including access to the EPRAP portal for both landlords and tenants.  https://kingcounty.gov/depts/community-human-services/COVID/eviction-prevention-rent-assistance.aspx  The Northwest Justice Project’s Washington Law Help website has information regarding eviction and tenant’s right geared for non-attorneys with videos and informational guides and a summary of the new 2021 legislation in an easy to digest infographics https://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/issues/health/coronavirus-covid-19#content

Consumer Law

The National Consumer Law Center’s (NCLC) Digital Library has a running list of current awareness articles under New Developments on their homepage.  These timely articles cover many COVID related consumer law issues and link to treatises in the KCLL’s NCLC digital collection.  Some recent examples include: Consumer Law Implications of the American Recovery Plan Act, Cheat Sheet to COVID-19 Bankruptcy Provisions and Sunsets, Protecting Wages, Benefits, and Bank Accounts from Judgment Creditors, Homeowner Right During COVID Pandemic, and Essential Reading for FDCPA Practitioners. The NCLC Digital Library is available for remote access via the law library’s Remote Databases link. https://kcll.org/remote-databases/

Aggregate Resources

Our newest acquisition for remote access, the Cheetah Database from Wolters Kluwer, has COVID related current awareness information for an array of practice areas. The tax materials include 2020 Tax Legislation: Law, Explanation & Analysis, CCH Tax Briefings and Federal Tax Day with emerging information on executive and congressional branch activity along with IRS letter rulings and technical advice memoranda.   Labor & Employment resources include the Family and Medical Leave Guide, the Employee Benefits Newsletter and the Unemployment/ Social Security Newsletter.  The Cheetah COVID database also has white papers and a news aggregator for the breaking COVID related legal news.

In addition to current awareness resources, the Wolters Kluwer database also includes access to the following eBooks:  Bromberg & Ribstein on Partnership, Drafting Limited Liability Company Operating Agreements, Drafting Prenuptial Agreements, Drunk Driving Defense, Elder Law Answer Book, Elder Law Forms Manual, Employee Dismissal Law & Practice, Law of Lawyering, Law of Restitution, Motions Practice, Scott and Ascher on Trusts, and Special Needs Trust Handbook.

Another very helpful COVID related legal news source is available from Law360.  Normally Law360 requires a subscription, but Lexis is providing free access to their coronavirus coverage.  This includes news stories and expert analysis.  You can find the Law360 coronavirus coverage here. https://www.law360.com/coronavirus

The Coronavirus Legal Daily (CLD)is an offshoot of Lex Blog, the legal blog aggregator.  You’ll find new posts featured daily under the topic areas of employment & labor, health care, corporate & commercial and administrative law.  There is also a continually updated list of the latest blog posts.  You can access the Coronavirus Legal Daily at https://www.coronaviruslegaldaily.com/

For the academic perspective, Jurist (a project from the University of Pittsburg School of Law in collaboration with other law schools to create and make publicly available high-quality legal news and analysis resources) created a COVID-19 Special Coverage page that features legal news and analysis from the United States and world-wide. This is an excellent resource for understanding foreign and international law perspectives. https://www.jurist.org/covid-coverage/


I would be remiss if I failed to mention the wealth of very practical information available on both the WSBA and KCBA’s Coronvirus webpages.  The WSBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://wsba.org/for-legal-professionals/member-support/covid-19 and the KCBA’s coronavirus information can be found here. https://www.kcba.org/For-Lawyers/COVID-19-Resources

King County Law Library

As always, the law library is here to help if you want more information on any of the resources listed.  We are happy to work with you either in person at the Seattle or Kent Branches or remotely via email or video reference.  Come by or drop us an email at services@kcll.org   Keep an eye on our website the latest on our hours of operation and information on our newest resources. www.kcll.org

White House Fights to Increase Access to Legal Aid

Having legal representation can make all the difference in the world – from keeping someone in their home, to securing proper citizenship status, to protecting people against consumer fraud.  This week, the White House announced that it was reinvigorating federal efforts to provide that critical aid – including a request of $1.5 billion in funding for state and local justice systems.


You can read the White House announcement HERE.

The Associated Press story can be read HERE.


A New Tool for Tracking Felony Cases in King County

The King County Prosecutor’s Office has launched an online dashboard that lets you track important data bout the felony cases that they’re pursuing.  The tool is an effort to offer more transparency around the number and types of cases being brought in the County – and how it’s being affected by the pandemic.

You can view the dashboard HERE.

You can read and listen to the the full story HERE.

Protect Yourself From Identity Theft

In an increasingly online world, identity theft has become a greater risk for all of us.  In fact, just recently the personal information of 1.4 million Washingtonians was stolen from a state computer vendor.

An article from the Washington State Law Library lays out some helpful steps that you can take if you think your information was compromised or if you think that someone is actively using your identity.

You can read the full article HERE.

Free Webinar on the Contract Obligations in the age of COVID-19

KCLL subscribers have remote access to a growing list of important treatises – and that includes Corbin on Contracts.  Corbin’s publisher LexisNexis is putting on a free 90-minute webinar that will look at the topic of Force Majeure in age of COVID-19.  Covered topics will include rights of recovery, how to protect businesses with contract waivers, current legal developments, and much, much more.  For more information and to register, click HERE.

If you are a current KCLL subscriber and would like to access Corbin on contracts, visit our Remote Databases page and click on e-Books for Subscribers; you can then simply search for the term “Corbin.”

Black History Month: A Collection of Online Resources

As we reflect upon and honor the many contributions that have made us a richer nation and region, here are a few suggestions to help celebrate this important month:

Free 30-Minute Webinar: How to Use HeinOnline!

There is a wealth of legal and scholarly information in HeinOnline – one of the resources you can access from the Remote Databases page of our website.  It’s chock full of law review journals, historical documents, 50-state surveys, and much more.

Have you never used it?  Now is your chance to get your feet wet by learning the basics from a pro.  Lean how to navigate the website, locate documents and then print or download them!

Date:  Thursday, December 10th

Time: 11:00am PST

Length: 30 minutes

Learn more and register HERE.

Aid for Former Extended Foster Care Program Youth

The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families is looking for help in identifying youth who will age out of or have aged out of Extended Foster Care at age 21, between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020. The Department of Commerce: Office of Homeless Youth is seeking to distribute stipends to these young people in an effort to support housing stability.  Eligible youth will receive one check for every month they have been out of foster care through October. They will then receive one check per month, including the month of Dec. 2020. There is a possibility that all eligible youth will receive an additional check at the end of this period to ensure that all funds have been allocated.

If you currently work or have worked with a young adult that meets these qualifications, please reach out to them directly and assist them in applying.
To apply, send an email to dcyf.adolescentprograms@dcyf.wa.gov with the youth’s name, address and contact information before Nov. 13, 2020. If you do not have access to email, please call Sherrie Flores at 360-489-5280.