Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1975 NO. 3 >

(1) Where the salary of a superior court aide is fixed by statute, or by the county commissioners or other legislative authority pursuant thereto, a judge of the court is without power to set a higher salary by a directive or order in a nonjudicial proceeding; the court may, however, entertain an action for a writ of mandamus to require the salary fixing authority to raise the salaries of its personnel, but it will only be justified in granting the writ if, applying recognized judicial standards, it finds that the legislative authority involved has acted arbitrarily or capriciously.  (2) Under RCW 2.28.139 it is the obligation of each county (acting through its county commissioners) to furnish the courtroom and related necessary facilities for the conduct of the superior court; if the county fails to do so, the court may order the sheriff to provide the requisite facilities at county expense or, if this administrative remedy fails, the court may compel the commissioners to comply with the requirement of the statute by issuance of a writ of mandamus in a judicial proceeding ‑ subject to a right of appeal and all other procedural requisites of a regular court case.