Navigation Top
AGO Logo Graphic
AGO Header Image
File a Complaint
Contact the AGO
AGO 1949 No. 159 - November 17, 1949
AGO Opinion Header Image
Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

COLLECTION OF COSTS AGAINST STATE

Costs against state must be collected by relief act if no statutory provision.

                                                              - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                               November 17, 1949

Honorable Donald A. McDonald
Judge of the Superior Court
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 159

Dear Judge McDonald:

            This is in answer to your recent letter in which you ask the following question:

            How may an inmate of a penitentiary recover costs taxed in his favor against the state in an appeal to the Supreme Court?

            Our conclusions are summarized as follows:

            In the absence of a statutory provision for the payment of costs rendered against the state, suit costs can be collected only by means of a relief act passed by the legislature.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            You state that an inmate of the state penitentiary, the prevailing party in an action to restore time served between trials, seeks to recover $30.00 costs taxed against the state.

            A search of the laws fails to disclose any provision for the payment of such costs.  Also, the State Constitution, in Article XXVII, Section 13, states that no money shall be paid from the state treasury except in pursuance of an appropriation.

            Under these circumstances, it is our opinion that the claimant you mention can collect his costs only through a relief act of the legislature.

Yours very truly,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

JAMES M. MORRIS
Assistant Attorney General

Content Bottom Graphic
AGO Logo