Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 2000 NO. 8 > Nov 15 2000

1.  A code city may contract with a nongovernmental entity for the construction of a jail for the city.  2.  A code city lacks authority to enter into an operating lease agreement for a city jail with a nongovernmental entity.  3.  A code city lacks authority to contract with a nongovernmental entity to provide overall management or law enforcement services in a city jail; however, the city may contract with a private entity for other jail-related services.

AGO 1963 NO. 8 > Jan 30 1963

A city which owns real property located without but contiguous to the city limits may not petition, as a property owner, for annexation of such property to the city under RCW 35.13.130.

AGO 1970 NO. 8 > May 19 1970

(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.

AGLO 1973 NO. 8 > Jan 12 1973

Where a noncharter code city which has been operating as such for more than one year but less than six has been authorized by its voters in accordance with RCW 26A.06.030 to change its plan of government from mayor-council plan under which it has previously been operating to the council-manager plan authorized by chapter 35A.13 RCW, such city may not utliize the provisions of RCW 35A.02.050 so as to cause the new officers prescribed by this new plan to be elected at a special election to be conducted prior to the city's next general election, even when an approval of the change is obtained more than 180 days prior to the city's next general election.

AGO 1990 NO. 9 > Sep 21 1990

1.  A registered architect or professional engineer must sign and stamp or seal each individual page containing a building construction drawing, or revision thereto, prepared or reviewed by him or her and submitted or permitted to be submitted in support of an application for a building permit, unless the activities are exempt from the requirement that drawings be signed and stamped or sealed by reason of RCW 18.08.410 or 18.43.130(1)-(7), (9). 2.  In the absence of one of the exemptions in RCW 18.08.410, a person who is not a registered professional architect or professional engineer violates RCW 18.08.310 by preparing a design or construction drawing for a building and submitting that design, or permitting that design or drawing to be submitted, in support of a building application. 3.   Under RCW 18.08.460(1) a local building official may accept a request for a building permit and issue the permit based on a design or construction drawing that does not bear the signature and stamp or seal of a registered architect or registered professional engineer, even if the activities are subject to the requirement that drawings be signed and stamped or sealed.

AGO 1988 NO. 9 > May 9 1988

1.  !ih*If a city or town police officer arrests a person for a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor violation of state law within the city or town limits and delivers that person to county authorities for prosecution, the county has no authority to charge the city or town for booking, jailing, or prosecution of the person, unless the city or town has agreed by contract to assume some of those costs.2.  The Court Improvement Act of 1984 (Laws of 1984, Chapter 258) does not require cities and towns to agree to reimburse counties for costs of booking, jailing, or prosecution where the city or town chooses to charge persons for violations of state law, even where the city or town could have chosen to prosecute for parallel violations of city or town ordinance.3.  Where a city or town has repealed a portion of its municipal code, defining a crime or crimes equivalent to offenses listed in RCW 46.63.020, but has not reached agreement with the county for apportionment of costs associated with those offenses, the county may not unilaterally assess costs against the city or town.  The county may bring court action to force the city or town to meet its obligations under the Court Improvement Act of 1984 (Laws of 1984, Chapter 258), and may be entitled in appropriate cases to recoup portions of costs incurred since the effective date of the Act.

AGO 1986 NO. 9 > Jun 25 1986

A police civil service commission does not have statutory authority under chapter 41.12 RCW to investigate allegations of misconduct in the performance of police duties made by a citizen against an individual police officer. 

AGO 1982 NO. 9 > Jul 16 1982

(1) Under the provisions of § 6, chapter 8, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess., the Administrator for the Courts is required, in 1983, to compile a report covering crime victims' compensation penalty assessments paid, or due, during calendar year 1982.(2) A crime victims' compensation penalty assessment is to be paid pursuant to RCW 7.68.035(3), as amended by chapter 8, Laws of 1982, 1st Ex. Sess., upon forfeiture of bail where the offense with which the defendant was charged is either (a) a crime defined by state law which is punishable, thereunder, as a felony or a gross misdemeanor, or (b) a crime defined by a city ordinance which is punishable thereunder as a gross misdemeanor and which, in addition, covers conduct which is the same, or substantially the same, as conduct which is defined to be criminal by state law.(3) A crime victims' compensation penalty assessment is to be imposed under RCW 7.68.035(1), as amended, when an accused individual is found guilty of having committed any crime defined by either a state statute or a county or city ordinance, including ordinary misdemeanors, with the exception of those motor vehicle crimes expressly referred to in subsection (2) of the statute, whether defined by state statute or by a substantially similar municipal ordinance.(4) The penalty assessment provided for by RCW 7.68.035(1), as amended, is applicable in the case of a conviction, on or after March 27, 1982, of a crime committed prior to the date.(5) If a person is found guilty of a number of separate counts contained in the same criminal information, each of which represents a separate and distinct crime, a penalty assessment is to be imposed under RCW 7.68.035(1), as amended, on the basis of each such count.(6) A crime victims' compensation penalty assessment is not to be imposed, under RCW 7.68.035, as amended, on an alleged juvenile offender who has undergone diversion proceedings pursuant to chapter 13.40 RCW.

AGO 1991 NO. 9 > Mar 12 1991

Chapter 90.70 RCW authorizes the Puget Sound Water Quality Authority to make recommendations regarding the protection of wetlands.  However, chapter 90.70 RCW does not empower the Authority to set minimum standards for wetlands protection or to require local governments to adopt the Authority's recommendations.

AGO 1993 NO. 9 > Apr 27 1993

1.  RCW 46.83.050 provides when a court finds that a person has committed a traffic infraction, the person may be required to attend a traffic school as part of the sentence imposed or as a condition for suspension or deferral of the sentence.  However, the court does not have the authority to defer making a finding that a traffic infraction has been committed and then order the person to attend traffic school as a condition of dismissing the charge. 2.  RCW 46.63.151 provides no costs may be awarded to either party in a traffic infraction case, except for certain costs related to failure to provide proof of financial responsibility pursuant to RCW 46.30.020(2).  A court cannot require the payment of costs as a condition of dismissing a traffic infraction charge. 3.  If a court enters a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction, RCW 46.20.270(2) requires the court to forward an abstract of that finding to the Department of Licensing.  RCW 46.52.120(1) requires the Department to keep this record, and RCW 46.52.130 authorizes the Department to furnish this record to certain insurance carriers.  If the court does not enter a finding that a traffic infraction has been committed, there is no requirement to furnish any information to the Department.

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