Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2012 NO. 1 > Feb 9 2012

An ordinance of a first class city that prohibits food establishments from treating people differently based upon the use of additional types of service animals is not preempted by a state law prohibiting different treatment based only on the use of trained guide dogs and miniature horses.

AGO 1953 NO. 2 > Apr 7 1953

Municipal corporations do not have the power to impose a business tax upon taverns and "H" licensed premises.

AGO 2011 NO. 2 > Sep 7 2011

Cities, counties, and special districts cannot contract directly with another agency for architectural and engineering services without first complying with the procurement procedures set forth in RCW 39.80, except where the legislature has granted specific statutory authority to do so.

AGO 1983 NO. 2 > Mar 14 1983

The construction, alteration, repair or improvement (other than ordinary maintenance) of low income housing facilities by a public housing authority established pursuant to chapter 35.82 RCW constitutes a public work which is subject to the provisions of the state prevailing wage law (chapter 39.12 RCW) where it is paid for with state or municipal funds or where, in any event, it gives rise to a lien or charge, on the part of the contractor or others involved, against the property of the housing authority.

AGO 2006 NO. 2 > Jan 27 2006

1.  When a local jurisdiction designates critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), it is not obligated to include, as designated critical areas, shorelines of statewide significance or other shorelines within the jurisdiction; however, the jurisdiction should designate those shorelines within the area, or portions of them, and meet the statutory criteria for designation (RCW 36.70A.030(5)).  2.     If a local jurisdiction determines that some of the shorelines within its area should be designated as critical areas under the Growth Management Act (RCW 36.70A), that determination is subject to administrative and judicial review as provided in statute.

AGO 2002 NO. 2 > Apr 10 2002

While associations comprised of counties or local public officers are not “agencies” as defined in RCW 42.17.020, they could in certain circumstances be found to be “functional equivalents” of agencies for purposes of applying particular portions of the Public Disclosure Act; this would be greatly dependent on the facts of a particular case.

AGO 1963 NO. 2 > Jan 9 1963

A city of the third class does not have the statutory authority to purchase a pension program for its employees from a private life insurance company.

AGO 1997 NO. 3 > May 20 1997

RCW 35A.12.030 establishes the qualifications for city council member as (1) being a registered voter of the city at the time of filing a declaration for candidacy and (2) being a resident of the city for at least one year before the election; a person who meets these qualifications need not have been a city resident for one year before filing (interpreting RCW 29.15.025 in light of RCW 35A.12.030).

AGO 1995 NO. 4 > Mar 31 1995

1.  RCW 3.50.055, enacted in 1993 but effective January 1, 1995, requires certain municipal court judgeships to be filled by election as vacancies occur after January 1, 1995:  that is, any new positions created or vacancies occurring in existing positions (if they are covered by RCW 3.50.055) must be filled by election for the remainder of the current term, while duly appointed judges serving terms scheduled to end on January 1, 1998 may complete their current terms, but their successors will be chosen by election.  2.  RCW 3.50.055 was not intended to change the term for which municipal court judges serve; pursuant to RCW 3.50.040 and 3.50.050, all municipal court judges serve four-year terms beginning on January 1, 1986, and every four years thereafter.

AGO 1995 NO. 9 > Jun 30 1995

1.  If a vacancy occurs in a municipal court position established under Chapter 35.20 RCW (cities of over four hundred thousand population), or Chapter 3.50 RCW (all other cities), the vacancy will be filled by appointment for the remainder of the term, with no midterm special election.  2.  If a vacancy occurs in a municipal department of a district court operating pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, the vacancy in the district court position will be filled by appointment by the county legislative authority with subsequent special election for the remainder of the term served (but any such election must occur only in an even-numbered year); the city will subsequently decide which judges on the district court will be designated as municipal department judges.  3.  If a city creates a new municipal court position or a new municipal department position, to take effect during the term prescribed by statute for such positions, the new position will be filled in the same manner as if a vacancy had occurred in an existing position in the same court.  4.  If a city creates a new municipal court position pursuant to Chapter 3.50 of Chapter 35.20 RCW, effective as of the beginning of the next statutory term for such a judgeship, the initial judge will be chosen by election if it is a full-time position or a part-time position covered by RCW 3.50.055; otherwise, the city may elect to make the position elective or appointive.  5.  If a city creates a new municipal department position within a district court pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, and the judge is to serve the municipal department full-time, and the position will take effect with the beginning of the next term for district court judges, the initial judge will be nominated and elected in the manner for district court judges but with only electors of the city voting for the position.  6. If a city creates a new municipal department position within a district court pursuant to Chapter 3.46 RCW, to take effect with the beginning of the next term for district court judges, and the judge is to serve the municipal department part-time, the city may either designate an existing district judge to serve the municipal department, or provide that a new district judge nominated and elected by the judicial district will serve in the new municipal department position.

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