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AGO Opinion Archives 1970-1979
AGO 1970 No. 1 >  January 13, 1970
PLATTING
AUTHORITY TO ACQUIRE DRAINAGE RELEASES AS CONDITION TO APPROVAL OF PROPOSED PLAT. Under the provisions of chapter 271, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., the legislative body of a county, city or town may not require that a platter, as a condition precedent to approval of the proposed plat, secure so-called "drainage releases" from third party owners of land situated outside of the area proposed to be platted.
AGO 1970 No. 2 >  January 20, 1970
ARREST - POLICE OFFICERS - CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF ACCUSED PERSONS - ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE
ARREST - POLICE OFFICERS - CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF ACCUSED PERSONS - ADMISSIBILITY OF EVIDENCE (1) The provisions of the 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution are applicable to any detention of a person for investigation of suspected criminal conduct irrespective of whether or not the detention amounts to an arrest or not; however, such a temporary detention is not a violation of the 4th Amendment if the officers acted upon specific and articulable facts which would "warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that the action taken was appropriate"; in other words, the officers may act on something less than "probable cause," but they may not act simply on the basis of good faith based upon nothing more substantial than "inarticulate hunches." (2) A police officer who has temporarily detained a person for investigation of suspected criminal conduct without making a formal arrest is not required to warn the detained person of his constitutional rights under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 486, 16 L.Ed. 2d 694, 86 S.Ct. 1602 (1966), until the initial suspicions which led the officer to make the "stop" are transformed into "probable cause" to believe the person confronted has committed an offense or until the suspect has a reasonable basis in fact to believe that he is under arrest (i.e., in custody of the police and not free to leave); at either of these points, the required warnings must be given in order to insure the admissibility in evidence of any incriminating statements thereafter made by the suspect.
AGO 1970 No. 3 >  January 21, 1970
CITIES AND TOWNS - CONTRACTS - INSURANCE - CODIFICATION OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES - COMPETITIVE BIDS
CITIES AND TOWNS - CONTRACTS - INSURANCE - CODIFICATION OF MUNICIPAL ORDINANCES - COMPETITIVE BIDS Under the provisions of RCW 35.23.352, a city or town of the second, third or fourth class is required to call for bids in the manner prescribed therein where the city or town seeks (a) to award a contract for liability and casualty insurance coverage, the anticipated annual premiums for which will exceed $2,000, and (b) to award a contract for the codification of municipal ordinances, the anticipated cost of which will exceed $2,000.
AGO 1970 No. 4 >  February 10, 1970
INSURANCE - TAXATION - CITIES AND TOWNS - PRE EMPTION - MUNICIPAL TAXATION OF INSURANCE BROKERS AND SOLICITORS
INSURANCE - TAXATION - CITIES AND TOWNS - PRE EMPTION - MUNICIPAL TAXATION OF INSURANCE BROKERS AND SOLICITORS Section 9 (4), chapter 241, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., by which the legislature extended the state's pre emption of excise taxation with respect to insurers to include "or their agents," does not prohibit the imposition of excise or privilege taxes by cities or towns on the gross income of insurance brokers as defined in RCW 48.17.020 and insurance solicitors as defined in RCW 48.17.030.
AGO 1970 No. 5 >  February 17, 1970
CITIES AND TOWNS - CHANGE OF GOVERNMENTAL CLASSIFICATION - OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE - INITIATIVE METHOD - ACCEPTANCE
CITIES AND TOWNS - CHANGE OF GOVERNMENTAL CLASSIFICATION - OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE - INITIATIVE METHOD - ACCEPTANCE During the pendency of proceedings under a resolution of the legislative body of an incorporated city to change its governmental classification to that of a noncharter code city under the optional municipal code (Title 35A RCW), an initiative petition signed by the requisite percentage of electors and calling for a change in classification to that of a charter code city, as provided for in RCW 35A.08.030, may not be accepted for filing.
AGO 1970 No. 6 >  March 3, 1970
CIVIL SERVICE - STATE - EMPLOYEES - TRANSFER - ACCUMULATED LEAVE
CIVIL SERVICE - STATE - EMPLOYEES - TRANSFER - ACCUMULATED LEAVE (1) When a state employee transfers from a classified civil service position which is subject to chapter 41.06 RCW to either a classified or an exempt position which is covered by chapter 28B.16 RCW, he is not entitled to receive payment for his accumulated annual leave under RCW 43.01.041; instead, his accumulated annual leave is to be transferred from his old employing agency to his new one as provided for in RCW 43.01.040.(2) A permanent status employee transferring from a position under chapter 41.06 RCW, to a classified position in an institution of higher learning under chapter 28B.16 RCW, is subject to such "probationary period" regulations as are promulgated by the higher education personnel board under RCW 28B.16.100.
AGO 1970 No. 7 >  May 5, 1970
PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - GROUP HOSPITALIZATION AND MEDICAL AID INSURANCE
PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIRE FIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - GROUP HOSPITALIZATION AND MEDICAL AID INSURANCE (1) The requirement that a county or other political subdivision providing its employees with hospital and medical aid coverage under RCW 41.04.180 must offer a choice of policies or plans through not less than two carriers is not impliedly repealed by RCW 41.26.150 (4), as amended by § 10, chapter 6, Laws of 1970.(2) When a county or other municipality, acting as an "employer" under the provisions of the Washington law enforcement officers' and fire fighters' retirement act, is providing medical insurance coverage for those of its employees or retired former employees who are, or were, members of this retirement system as provided for in RCW 41.26.150 (4), it is not required to offer a choice between two or more insurance plans but it may, in its discretion, do so.
AGO 1970 No. 8 >  May 19, 1970
CITIES AND TOWNS - OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE - CHANGE OF GOVERNMENTAL CLASSIFICATION - INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM IN NONCHARTER CODE CITY
CITIES AND TOWNS - OPTIONAL MUNICIPAL CODE - CHANGE OF GOVERNMENTAL CLASSIFICATION - INITIATIVE AND REFERENDUM IN NONCHARTER CODE CITY (1) The legislature has not granted the powers of initiative and referendum to the resident voters of a noncharter code city having a population of less than ten thousand inhabitants operating under the mayor-council form of government.(2) However, the legislature may, by the enactment of appropriate amendments to the optional municipal code, grant the powers of initiative and referendum to the resident voters of such a noncharter code city.(3) In the absence of legislation granting the powers of initiative and referendum to the resident voters of a noncharter code city operating under the mayor-council form of government, the city council of such a city may not grant these powers by ordinance.
AGO 1970 No. 9 >  May 26, 1970
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LABOR AND INDUSTRIES - WORKING HOURS AND CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN - CONFLICT BETWEEN FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LABOR AND INDUSTRIES - WORKING HOURS AND CONDITIONS FOR WOMEN - CONFLICT BETWEEN FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS (1) An employer in this state who is governed by Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C., § 2000e 2) may not invoke the provisions of RCW 49.28.070 and WAC 296-128-440 as a justification for refusing to hire or promote women solely on the basis that the working conditions involved in the job they are seeking are such as to preclude the employment of women under such state provisions.(2) An employer who is governed by Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C., § 2000e 2) is excused from compliance with the provisions of RCW 49.28.070 and WAC 296-128-440 to the extent that these state provisions are in conflict with the federal act.
AGO 1970 No. 10 >  June 3, 1970
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LABOR AND INDUSTRIES - ELEVATOR CODE - MUNICIPALITY'S JURISDICTION
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - LABOR AND INDUSTRIES - ELEVATOR CODE - MUNICIPALITY'S JURISDICTION A municipality which had an elevator code in effect prior to 1963 may continue to assume jurisdiction over conveyances in buildings owned by the municipality itself as well as privately owned buildings; however, under RCW 70.87.050, as amended, conveyances in buildings owned by the state, a county, or a political subdivision other than the municipality itself have been placed under the jurisdiction of the department of labor and industries of the state of Washington.
AGO 1970 No. 11 >  June 4, 1970
INDIANS - COUNTIES - ZONING ORDINANCE - FEE PATENT LAND
INDIANS - COUNTIES - ZONING ORDINANCE - FEE PATENT LAND A county has the authority to enact a zoning ordinance to govern "fee patent land" located within the exterior boundaries of an Indian reservation in the state of Washington.
AGO 1970 No. 12 >  June 9, 1970
DRIVER EDUCATION ACT - MOTOR VEHICLES - DISPOSITION OF PENALTY ASSESSMENT PROCEEDS
DRIVER EDUCATION ACT - MOTOR VEHICLES - DISPOSITION OF PENALTY ASSESSMENT PROCEEDS (1) Those traffic safety education penalty assessment proceeds which are collected by a justice court because of a violation of state law are to be remitted to the county treasurer for disposition in accordance with the formula prescribed by the state auditor under § 1, chapter 199, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess. (RCW 3.62.015). (2) All other traffic safety education penalty assessment proceeds i.e., those collected because of a violation of a county or city ordinance, by either a justice court or by a municipal police court, are to be transmitted to the respective county or city treasurers, and by them to the state treasurer for direct placement in the traffic safety education account of the general fund in accordance with RCW 46.81.050, as reenacted by § 3, chapter 9, Laws of 1970.
AGO 1970 No. 13 >  June 17, 1970
TAXATION - LOCAL OPTION SALES AND USE TAXES - INTOXICATING LIQUOR
AUTHORITY OF COUNTIES AND CITIES TO IMPOSE LOCAL SALES TAX UPON CERTAIN SALES OF LIQUOR Under the provisions of chapter 94, Laws of 1973, counties and cities of this state are authorized to impose a local sales tax upon those sales of liquor (as defined in RCW 66.04.010 (16)) which are also subject to the 4.5% state sales tax imposed by chapter 82.08 RCW, notwithstanding the provisions of RCW 66.08.120.
AGO 1970 No. 14 >  June 23, 1970
PLATS AND SUBDIVISIONS - ORDINANCES - CITY, TOWN OR COUNTY - TIME FOR ADOPTION - APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER 271, LAWS OF 1969, EX. SESS., TO CERTAIN SUBDIVISIONS
PLATS AND SUBDIVISIONS - ORDINANCES - CITY, TOWN OR COUNTY - TIME FOR ADOPTION - APPLICABILITY OF CHAPTER 271, LAWS OF 1969, EX. SESS., TO CERTAIN SUBDIVISIONS A subdivision of land containing no dedication and no lots or tracts smaller than five acres in size may be made subject to the provisions of chapter 271, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess., if the county, city or town in which the land is situated enacts an ordinance so providing and it is not necessary that such an ordinance shall have been enacted prior to the effective date of the 1969 act.
AGO 1970 No. 15 >  June 25, 1970
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DIRECTOR OF FISHERIES - AUTHORITY OF DIRECTOR OF FISHERIES TO CLOSE AN AREA TO COMMERCIAL FISHING WITHOUT ALSO CLOSING TO SPORTS FISHING
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - STATE - DIRECTOR OF FISHERIES - AUTHORITY OF DIRECTOR OF FISHERIES TO CLOSE AN AREA TO COMMERCIAL FISHING WITHOUT ALSO CLOSING TO SPORTS FISHING The director of fisheries may lawfully close a given area to commercial fishing without also closing it to sports fishing where his action is taken for the purposes of conservation and for the protection and proper management of the state's fisheries.
AGO 1970 No. 16 >  June 29, 1970
PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS - COSTS OF OPERATION OF COUNTY DISABILITY BOARD - MEDICAL COVERAGE - COUNTY CURRENT EXPENSE FUND
PENSIONS - LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS - COSTS OF OPERATION OF COUNTY DISABILITY BOARD - MEDICAL COVERAGE - COUNTY CURRENT EXPENSE FUND (1) The costs of operation of a county disability board established pursuant to RCW 41.26.110 (2), including the costs of medical examinations of applicants for disability retirement allowances under RCW 41.26.120 (1), are to be paid out of the county current expense fund.(2) A board of county commissioners may authorize the expenditure of monies in its current expense fund to meet the costs of operation of a county disability board during the current fiscal year on the basis of the procedures set forth in RCW 36.40.180 relating to nondebatable emergencies.(3) A county disability board is not authorized or required under RCW 41.26.150 (1) to determine what medical insurance coverage should be provided by each employer under its jurisdiction with respect to the law enforcement officers and firefighters employed by each such employer.(4) A county disability board is required to designate the hospital and medical services which are to be available to a sick or disabled law enforcement officer or firefighter under its jurisdiction; and it is authorized to determine his physical condition for the purpose of ascertaining the nature and extent of his sickness or disability.
AGO 1970 No. 17 >  June 30, 1970
PENSIONS - POLICE OFFICER - WASHINGTON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIREFIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - ELIGIBILITY
PENSIONS - POLICE OFFICER - WASHINGTON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS' AND FIREFIGHTERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM - ELIGIBILITY A police officer who was employed by a first class city on March 1, 1970, and who was making contributions to a retirement system as provided in chapter 41.20 RCW, is entitled to have his eligibility for retirement benefits under that chapter determined by the provisions thereof notwithstanding the fact that, on March 1, 1970, his membership was transferred, by operation of law, from the former retirement system to the law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system, chapter 41.26 RCW.
AGO 1970 No. 18 >  July 20, 1970
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS - ELECTIONS - VOTING QUALIFICATIONS
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS - ELECTIONS - VOTING QUALIFICATIONS The recent enactment by Congress of an amendment to the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 which is designed to establish a nation-wide minimum voting age of 18 years for all primary or general elections held after January 1, 1970, affords no basis in law for removing the proposed state constitutional amendment which is contained in H.J.R. No. 6 from the forthcoming November, 1970 state general election ballot.
AGO 1970 No. 19 >  August 10, 1970
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - CORONERS - ELECTIONS
ELIGIBILITY FOR OFFICE WHERE OWNER OR EMPLOYEE OF FUNERAL HOME OR MORTUARY (1) The provisions of chapter 259, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.(RCW 36.24.175) do not operate so as presently to divest incumbent county coroners of their offices if they are owners or employees of a funeral home or mortuary.(2) Those county coroners presently holding office who are subject to the provisions of § 3, chapter 259, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess. (RCW 36.24.175) will not be eligible to commence new terms of office in January, 1971, if they are owners or employees of a funeral home or mortuary at that time.(3) An owner or employee of a funeral home or mortuary, including an incumbent coroner, is eligible to file and run at the forthcoming 1970 election for the office of coroner in one of the counties affected by § 3, chapter 259, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess.
AGO 1970 No. 20 >  September 22, 1970
TAXATION - INDIANS - CIGARETTES
APPLICABILITY OF CIGARETTE EXCISE TAX TO SALES OF CIGARETTES ON INDIAN RESERVATIONS (1) Any retailer or purchaser of cigarettes, whether Indian or non-Indian, within the reservation boundaries of an Indian tribe over which the state has assumed full jurisdiction under the provisions of RCW 37.12.021 (codifying § 5, chapter 36, Laws of 1963), is subject to all of the duties and liabilities imposed by the statutes relating to the state's cigarette excise tax under chapter 82.24 RCW.(2) A non-Indian retail purchaser or seller of cigarettes within the reservation boundaries of an Indian tribe over which the state's jurisdiction is limited to that provided for in RCW 37.12.010 (§ 1, chapter 36, Laws of 1963) is, likewise, subject to all of the duties and liabilities imposed by the cigarette excise tax statutes.(3) An Indian retailer or purchaser of cigarettes within the reservation boundaries of an Indian tribe over which the state's jurisdiction is, likewise, limited to that provided for in RCW 37.12.010, is also fully subject to the duties and liabilities imposed upon a retailer or purchaser under chapter 82.24 RCW where said Indian is not a member of or affiliated with the Indian tribe on whose reservation he is selling or purchasing cigarettes.(4)  An Indian selling or purchasing cigarettes within his own reservation boundaries on tribal or allotted lands which are held in trust by the United States or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States is not, himself, subject to the state's cigarette excise tax laws.
AGO 1970 No. 21 >  October 5, 1970
CONTRACTS - PUBLIC WORKS
INVESTMENT OF THE RETAINED PERCENTAGE OF MONEYS EARNED IN PUBLIC WORKS CONTRACTS Section 1, chapter 38, Laws of 1970, relating to the investment of the retained percentage of moneys earned in public works contracts, is not applicable to contracts which were executed prior to its effective date.
AGO 1970 No. 22 >  October 22, 1970
TAXATION - FOREST
TAXATION OF REFORESTATION LANDS UPON REMOVAL FROM CLASSIFICATION Although a reduction (from 183 to 180) in the number of days in the current (1981-82) school year during which the certificated employees of a certain school district will be required to work, when coupled with a continuation of the same annual salaries as were paid during the previous (1980-81) school year, will result in a "salary increase" in the literal sense as that term is used in § 1, chapter 16, Laws of 1981, such a salary increase would not, by and of itself, trigger the restrictive provisions of the subject legislation.
AGO 1970 No. 23 >  October 27, 1970
MINING - SURFACE - PERMITS
STATE'S PREEMPTION OF REGULATION UNDER CHAPTER 64, LAWS OF 1970 (1) After the effective date of chapter 64, Laws of 1970, it will not be legal to engage in surface mining in this state solely on the basis of a license or permit issued by a county, city or town without also obtaining a permit from the state board of natural resources.  (2) A county, city or town may not prohibit an operator to whom a state permit is issued under chapter 64, Laws of 1970, from engaging in surface mining within its jurisdiction in accordance with this permit.
AGO 1970 No. 24 >  November 5, 1970
CITIES AND TOWNS - SEATTLE MODEL CITY PROGRAM - USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS - DONATIONS
CITIES AND TOWNS - SEATTLE MODEL CITY PROGRAM - USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS - DONATIONS (1) The provisions of Article VIII, § 7 of the Washington Constitution, relating to gifts or loans of funds or credit by a municipality, do not apply to the expenditure by a city of federal funds which have been granted to it to finance programs authorized and approved by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Title I of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966 (80 Stat. 1255; 42 U.S.C. §§ 3301-3313).(2) To the extent that their programs are carried out in a manner consistent with the state Constitution, § 1, Chapter 77, Laws of 1970 (RCW 35.21.660) contains a sufficient grant of authority to enable all cities in this state to do all things which are necessary in order to carry out the purposes of such contracts as they may have entered into under the provisions of Title I of the Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act of 1966.
AGO 1970 No. 25 >  November 9, 1970
COUNTIES - SUPERVISOR OF COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES - REMOVAL BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS
COUNTIES - SUPERVISOR OF COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES - REMOVAL BY COUNTY COMMISSIONERS The supervisor of community mental health services for a county may be removed from office by the county commissioners without the concurrence or approval of the county's community mental health program administrative board.
AGO 1970 No. 26 >  November 30, 1970
COUNTIES - ROADS - LIMITATIONS ON VACATION
COUNTIES - ROADS - LIMITATIONS ON VACATION (1) Section 7, chapter 185, Laws of 1969, Ex. Sess. (RCW 36.87.130) limiting the power of a county to vacate a county road which abuts on a body of salt or fresh water, applies to a county road, a lateral edge of which touches or encroaches upon a body of salt or fresh water, as well as to one whose terminal end touches upon such a body of water.(2) A county road abuts on a body of salt or fresh water if it touches or encroaches upon the line of ordinary high tide or high water as marked by the line of vegetation.
AGO 1970 No. 27 >  December 14, 1970
WATER - PUBLIC LANDS - RIGHTS OF PUBLIC TO USE OF OCEAN BEACHES
WATER - PUBLIC LANDS - RIGHTS OF PUBLIC TO USE OF OCEAN BEACHES (1) Without regard to any other property interests or rights which the state may have, members of the public have the right to use and enjoy the wet and dry sand areas of the ocean beaches of the state of Washington by virtue of a long-established customary use of those areas. (2) The right of members of the public to use and enjoy the wet and dry sand areas of the ocean beaches of Washington by virtue of a long-established customary use of those areas does not presently extend to such ocean beach areas as are within the exterior boundaries of the Quinault Indian Reservation.
AGO 1970 No. 28 >  December 22, 1970
LEGISLATURE - DISTRICTS - ONE MAN ONE VOTE - REFERENDUM - GUIDELINES FOR CONGRESSIONAL AND LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING
LEGISLATURE - DISTRICTS - ONE MAN ONE VOTE - REFERENDUM - GUIDELINES FOR CONGRESSIONAL AND LEGISLATIVE REDISTRICTING Congressional and legislative redistricting plans to be completed prior to 1972 general election; may be enacted by referendum bill; continuation of 99 member house of representatives may be justified; some house districts may be multi-member while others are single member, where rational pattern is followed; population deviations not allowable on a "de minimis" basis; burden upon legislature to justify population variations; the ability of the legislature to draw lines which adhere to county boundaries appears to be very limited; redistricting of military bases related to registered voters.
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