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AGO 1953 No. 452 - January 06, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

COUNTY CURRENT EXPENSE FUND, CURRENT SCHOOL STATE FUND, DISPOSITION OF FINES, FORFEITURES AND PENALTIES.

All sums of money derived from fines imposed for violation of orders of injunction, mandamus and other like writs or for contempt of court and the net proceeds of all fines collected within the several counties of the state for breach of the penal laws, and all funds arising from the sale of lost goods and estrays, and from penalties and forfeitures, are to be paid to the county treasurer who is to transmit them to the state treasurer to be credited to the current state school fund.

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                                                                   January 6, 1953

Honorable Cliff Yelle
State Auditor
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 452

 Attention:  A. E. Hankins

Dear Sir: 

            You have requested our opinion as to what effect chapter 85, Laws of 1945 (RCW 36.33.010) had upon chapter 30, section 1, Laws of 1919 (RCW 9.01.140).

             We conclude that the sums of money derived in the various counties from the sources set forth in section 1, chapter 30, Laws of 1919 (RCW 9.01.140) are to be paid to the county treasurer for transmittal to the state treasurer who is to credit the money to the current state school fund.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             RCW 9.01.140 states:

             "Except as otherwise provided by law, all sums of money derived from fines imposed for violation of orders of injunction, mandamus and other like writs, or for contempt of court, and the net proceeds of all fines collected within the several  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] counties of the state for breach of the penal laws, and all funds arising from the sale of lost goods and estrays, and from penalties and forfeitures, shall be paid in cash by the person collecting them, within twenty days after collection, to the county treasurer of the county in which they have accrued, and shall be by him transmitted to the state treasurer, who shall place them to the credit of the current state school fund.  He shall indicate in such entry the source from which the money was derived."

             Substantially this same act was passed by the legislature in 1909 (Remington's Code, § 4606) and the supreme court in interpreting that act held that it superseded all prior statutes relating to the disposition of sums of money derived from the sources enumerated in the act.  Slayden v. Carr, 94 Wash. 412, 162 Pac. 529.  It appears that the sums of money derived from the fines, forfeitures and penalties and sales of lost goods and estrays as enumerated in RCW 9.01.140 have been specifically allocated to the current state school fund.

             RCW 36.33.010 states:

             "Every county shall maintain a current expense fund to which shall be credited all taxes levied for that purpose and all fees collected, fines assessed, and forfeitures adjudged in the countythe proceeds of which have not been specifically allocated to any other purpose."  (Emphasis ours)

             Since the sums of money from the sources enumerated in RCW 9.01.140 have been specifically allocated, those sums were specifically excluded from the operation of the 1945 act, and consequently, are not to be paid to the county current expense fund but rather are to be transmitted to the state to be credited to the current state school fund.

 Very truly yours,
SMITH TROY
Attorney General 

KEITH GRIM
Assistant Attorney General

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