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AGO 1953 No. 488 - March 05, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington


No fee should be collected by the county clerk for the dismissal of a garnishee defendant or for the dismissal of supplemental proceedings since both proceedings are ancillary to the main action.

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                                                                   March 5, 1953 

Honorable John J. O'Connell
Prosecuting Attorney
Pierce County
Court House
Tacoma, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 488

 Attention:  !ttMr. Robert A. Jacques,  Chief Civil Deputy

 Dear Sir:

            Receipt of your letter of February 20, 1953, is hereby acknowledged.  The following question is presented:

             Should the county clerk collect fees for the dismissal of a garnishment or supplemental proceeding under RCW 36.18.020?

             Our conclusion may be stated as follows:

             No fee should be collected upon the filing of an order dismissing a garnishee defendant, or upon filing a dismissal of supplemental proceeding.


             RCW 36.18.020 (section 5, chapter 51, Laws of 1951) was construed in our opinion No. 51-53-127 addressed to the prosecuting attorney of Benton county,  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] September 13, 1951.  It was there held that a garnishment proceeding is only ancillary to the main case.  Any order which dismisses only the proceeding which is ancillary to the main action is not a dismissal of a civil action within the contemplation of RCW 36.18.020.  Consequently, no dismissal fee should be collected.  See also,Kelly v. Ryan, 8 Wash. 536, in support of the proposition that a garnishment proceeding is ancillary to the principal action.

             In answer to the same question regarding the dismissal of supplemental proceedings, the same rule was indicated in a letter of the attorney general to the Bureau of Inspection and Supervision of Public Offices, dated April 7, 1916.  It was there held that no filing fee should be charged upon the institution of a supplemental proceeding for the reason that the rule applied in the case of Kelly v. Ryan, supra, was analogous to the situation, and a proceeding supplemental to execution was also a proceeding ancillary to the main action.  Since a supplemental proceeding is merely ancillary to the main action, RCW 36.18.020 would not be applicable and no fee should be charged for the dismissal of such a proceeding.

 Very truly yours,
Attorney General 

Assistant Attorney General

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