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AGO 1951 No. 96 - July 30, 1951
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

INTERSTATE COMPACT ‑- AGENTS FOR RETURNING PRISONERS, ETC

The Board of Prison Terms and Paroles may not appoint a parole officer of another state to act as an agent of that state, nor may a Washington parole officer act as agent of another state.

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                                                                    July 30, 1951

Board of Prison Terms and Paroles
614 County City Building
Seattle 4, Washington                                                                                                                Cite as:  AGO 51-53 No. 96

Dear Sir:

            You have requested our opinion on whether the Board of Prison Terms and Paroles

            (1) May name a parole officer of another state to act as returning parole agent of this state in returning a parole violator.

            (2) May name a Washington State Parole Officer to act as agent for another state.

            Our conclusions to both the above inquiries are, no.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The rule that an administrative body may not act outside its statutorily granted powers needs no citation of Washington authority.  A thorough examination of the applicable statutes, Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10249-1 to § 10249-27, as amended (P.P.C. Chap. 782 to Chap. 787, as amended) which creates the Board of Prison Terms and Paroles and defines its powers and authority reveals that, except for the interstate compact provisions, (Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10249-11 to § 10249-13; P.P.C. Ch. 783) the jurisdiction of the Board and its officers is geographically confined to Washington borders.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Under certain restrictions, a "sending state" is authorized to permit its parolee or probationer to reside in a "receiving state," which is party to the compact.  On revocation of parole, the parole officer of the "sending state" may enter the "receiving state" and may take the parolee without the formality of extradition or the pressing of formal charges.  No other provision for interstate action is found.

            The Board is not permitted to designate a parole officer of another state, over whom it would have no control, as an "agent" of the State of Washington, thus creating a form of agency-principal relationship with the legal liabilities incident thereto.  That the legislature did not contemplate granting such power to the Board is further indicated by Rem. Rev. Stat. § 10249-8 (1945 Supp.) providing in part:

            "The members of the Board of Prison, Terms and Paroles and its officers and employees shall not engage in any other business or profession nor hold any other public office, * * *"

            There is also no authority for a Washington parole officer as an officer of this state, to arrest, retake or transport, parole or probation violators of other states, who have violated no law of Washington.  The above quoted statute would seem also applicable here.

            The proposal suggested may be meritorious; however, its fulfillment would require legislative supplementation of our present parole statutes.

            We are returning herewith the material submitted.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

JENNINGS P. FELIX
Assistant Attorney General

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