Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1993 NO. 11 >

Counties have the authority to define certain local offenses and to prescribe penalties for their commission including the imposition of specific costs.  Subject to certain limitations, a county may include as a cost a multiple booking fee imposed on persons convicted of such county offenses and sentenced to serve time in the county jail on intermittent days.  Such a multiple booking fee could offset the cost to the county of processing the individual in and out of jail.2.  A county does not have the authority to impose a multiple booking fee on individuals serving time in the county jail on intermittent days who have been convicted of violating a state statute.  The Legislature, rather than the county, specifies the punishment for state crimes including costs.

AGO 1953 NO. 13 >

Charges for preparation of copies of instructions to jury by court reporter are taxable as costs, and should be so taxed.

AGO 1993 NO. 14 >

RCW 87.03.271 provides that the lien for a delinquent irrigation district assessment includes costs such as attorneys' fees.  When the lien is foreclosed pursuant to the procedure set forth in chapter 87.06 RCW, the irrigation district may recover costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees.

AGO 1990 NO. 14 >

RCW 35.02.078 provides for an election on the question of incorporation of a city or town. If incorporation is authorized, a separate election is held prior to the effective date of incorporation to elect persons to the offices prescribed by law. The newly incorporated city or town is not liable for the costs of electing city officials after the election on the question of incorporation but prior to the effective date of incorporation.

AGO 1976 NO. 14 >

Under the provisions of § 1, chapter 96, Laws of 1975-76, 2nd Ex. Sess., costs incurred at public expense for the payment of appointed counsel for the defendant in a criminal case as well as witness fees paid by the state for its own and defendant's witnesses under chapter 2.40 RCW may be recovered pursuant to court order from the defendant if convicted; however, costs incurred in paying the compensation of jurors under RCW 2.36.150 may not be so recovered and the recovery of statutory filing fees from a convicted criminal defendant remains governed, as before, by the provisions of RCW 36.18.020(15).

AGO 1968 NO. 18 >

Under the provisions of § 1, chapter 137, Laws of 1967, Ex. Sess.  (RCW 8.25.020), persons having an interest in real property being acquired by eminent domain are entitled to reimbursement for actual and reasonable expenditures, not in excess of $200, incurred in the evaluation of the condemnor's offer, including expenditures made in payment of reasonable attorneys' fees in the process of evaluating the condemnor's offer.

AGO 1967 NO. 18 >

A newly incorporated city or town, which has been incorporated pursuant to an election held under the provisions of chapter 35.02 RCW is not liable to the county in which it is located for the costs of the incorporation election.

AGLO 1979 NO. 26 >

The cost assessment provisions of RCW 80.20.020 and RCW 81.20.020 are not applicable to a tariff change matter pending before the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission unless and until the Commission (1) enters an order of suspension and assigns a cause number and (2) gives notice to the public service company involved of its intention, based upon its determination of necessity, to investigate; only when the Commission thus determines the need for an investigation and gives such notice by appropriate order are costs to be assessed against the public service company in accordance with the other conditions of the two statutes.

AGO 1991 NO. 30 >

1.   Service must provide notice reasonably calculated to inform interested parties of proceedings which may directly and adversely affect t heir legally protected interests.  Notice by publication and posting is adequate where the name and address of the owner are not known or cannot be discovered by a governmental entity with a minimal effort.  Whether any particular service is adequate is a factual question that cannot be resolved in an Attorney General's Opinion.   2.  An irrigation district cannot include reasonable attorney fees or statutory attorney fees in a certificate of delinquency or as part of the amount that must be paid to redeem the property.   3.   RCW 87.06.100(1) provides that an entity buying property at a foreclosure sale must pay the full amount of all property taxes and certain other taxes before receiving a deed from the irrigation district.  RCW 87.06.070 provides that the court shall specify the minimum sales price below which the property shall not be sold.  While there is no statutory requirement that the minimum sales price set by the court included the full amount of all property taxes and other taxes, the effect of these two statutes is that the district cannot provide a deed unless the taxes specified in the statute are paid.   4.  RCW 87.06.050 provides that any party in interest of property for which a certificate of delinquency has been prepared may redeem the property as provided by the statutes.  RCW 87.06.010(4) defines party in interest as an occupant of the property, the owner of record, and any other person having a financial interest of record in the property.

AGO 1954 NO. 319 >

The Board of Prison Terms and Paroles has jurisdiction to return to this state a person on probation under a suspended sentence, who has been permitted by the board to return to her home state under the interstate compact, and there violated the terms of her probation.  The Board of Prison Terms and Paroles shall be required to pay all costs of returning to this state a probationer who has violated her probation in a compact state.