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AGO 1950 No. 228 - February 28, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

PROCESS CHARGES UNDER STATE MILITARY CODE

Charges for Military Court processes authorized to be issued under the State Military Code and directed to civilian peace officers must be paid to such officers.

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                                                                February 28, 1950

Lilburn H. Stevens
Brigadier General, AGD, WNG
The Adjutant General
Camp Murray
Fort Lewis, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 228

Dear Sir:

            We have your letter of December 30, 1949, requesting an opinion from this office on the following question:

            Whether the sheriff of a county can charge the state for services of summary court martial charge sheets on National Guard personnel?

            Our conclusion may be summarized as follows:

            Charges for military court processes authorized to be issued under the State Military Code and directed to civilian peace officers must be paid to such officers.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Rem. Supp. 1943, section 8603-73 provides in part as follows:

            "Military courts are empowered to issue all processes and mandates including writs and warrants necessary and proper to carry into full effect the powers vested in said courts.  Such writs and mandates may be directed to the Sheriff of any county or other peace officer and shall conform substantially with those used by the civil courts.  It  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] shall be the duty of all such officers to whom any such process or mandate may be so directed to forthwith execute the same and make return of their acts thereunder, according to the requirements of such process or mandate. * * *"

            Rem. Supp. 1943, section 8603-78 provides as follows:

            "Fees and mileage allowed for the service of process and for civilian witnesses shall be the same as in civil actions.  All expenditures necessary to carry the provisions of this act into effect are hereby authorized to be incurred, and paid out of the appropriations for the maintenance of the Organized Militia of Washington."

            The foregoing and other sections of the State Military Code demonstrate a legislative intent that military court proceedings are to conform to civil court proceedings insofar as non-military persons are affected.  Accordingly, there is no reason why sheriffs or other peace officers shall not be reimbursed for services rendered.

            We are of the opinion, therefore, that payment of process charges must be made to those officers who have served such processes.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

LAWRENCE K. McDONELL
Assistant Attorney General

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