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AGO 1953 No. 477 - January 28, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

CRUELTY TO ANIMALS ‑- DISPOSITION OF FINES AND FORFEITURES ‑- STATE SCHOOL FUND.

Rem. Rev. Stat. § 3198 has been superseded by RCW 9.01.140.

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                                                                  January 28, 1953 

Honorable R. Dewitt Jones
Prosecuting Attorney
Clark County
Vancouver, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 477

 Attention:  Mr. Donald C. Blair

 Dear Sir:

             You inquire whether or not Rem. Rev. Stat. § 3198, which provides that fines and forfeitures collected under the section pertaining to cruelty to animals shall inure to the Humane Society of said county, has been superseded by RCW 9.01.140 as derived from Rem. Rev. Stat. § 4940.  This latter section provides that "except as otherwise provided by law" fines, penalties and forfeitures shall be placed in the current state school fund.

             It is our conclusion that Rem. Rev. Stat. § 3198 has been superseded by RCW 9.01.140.

                                                                      ANALYSIS

             As you point out, the Code Committee has omitted that provision from RCW 16.52, the section pertaining to cruelty to animals.  InSlayden v. Carr, 94 Wash. 412, 162 Pac. 529, the court was called upon to construe the section which is now contained in RCW 9.01.140.  In that case the Pierce county commissioners urged that money derived from fines and forfeitures in Pierce county still belonged in the county general fund rather than the state school fund because of the excepting clause in the school fund statute.  The court held against the county commissioners and in  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] effect deleted the clause "except as otherwise provided by law" from that section of the code.  The court pointed out that every prior statute relating to the collection of fines and forfeitures from violations of the penal code also had some provision for their disposition.  Thus, in order for the statute to have anything upon which to operate, it had to supersede all the prior statutes covering the same subject matter.

             We are not unmindful that as recently as the case ofState v. St Clair, 21 Wn. (2d) 407, 151 P. (2d) 181, our court has cited Rem. Rev. Stat. § 3198 and treated it as part of the existing section relating to cruelty to animals, but this was dictum and theSlayden case,supra, was not mentioned.

             It is our conclusion, notwithstanding the court's casual reference to the statute in the St Clair case, supra, that Rem. Rev. Stat. § 3198 is no longer the law.

 Very truly yours,
DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General

ANDY ENGEBRETSEN
Assistant Attorney General

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