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Bob Ferguson

AGO 1956 No. 304 -
Attorney General Don Eastvold


A City of the first class has the power to install fino-meters.

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                                                                    July 26, 1956

Honorable Don J. Clark
Prosecuting Attorney of Yakima County
Yakima County Courthouse
Yakima, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 55-57 No. 304

Dear Sir:

            We are in receipt of a request for our opinion on the legality of "fino-meters."  Fino-meters are boxes placed one or two to a city block.  Anyone receiving a ticket for overparking may pay his fine by placing the same in an envelope and depositing it in the box.

            The specific question is as follows:

            "Is there anything in the statutes or the constitution of the State of Washington which would prohibit the use of these fino-meters by a first class city?"

            We answer in the negative.


            There is nothing in the constitution, statutes, or case law which would serve to prohibit the use of fino-meters by a first class city.

            The specific powers of a first class city are enumerated in RCW 35.22.280.  In subsection 7 thereof we find the following:

            "To lay out, establish, open, alter, widen, extend, grade, pave, plank, establish grades, or otherwise improve streets, alleys, avenues, sidewalks, wharves, parks, and other public grounds, and to regulate and control the use thereof, . . ." (Emphasis Supplied.)

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            Our court inKimmel v. Spokane, 7 Wn. (2d) 372, 376, in upholding the validity of an ordinance providing for parking meters, held the ordinance to be a proper exercise of the city's police power to regulate parking.  The court said:

            ". . . the power of the state and of the municipalities to regulate the parking of cars on the streets and highways can not be doubted.  Berry, Automobiles (5th ed.), 59, § 80; 1 Blashfield, Cyclopedia of Automobile Law and Practice (Perm. ed.), 67, § 78.  With the exercise of that power, the courts will not interfere so long as it is invoked with reasonable regard for the rights of both the traveling public and the occupants of abutting property."

            RCW 46.08.020 provides that local authorities may adopt such additional vehicle and traffic regulations as are not in conflict with the provisions of Title 46 RCW.

            Since it has been established that the installation and operation of parking meters are a valid exercise of the city's regulatory power, it would seem to follow that the method provided for payment of fines for overtime parking is also a reasonable exercise of this power.

            The procedure followed must conform to the provisions of chapter 46.64 RCW, which deals with enforcement of traffic laws.  RCW 46.64.010 requires all citations to be in quadruplicate, and the original or a copy of the citation must be deposited with a court of competent jurisdiction or with the traffic violations bureau.  The statute further provides the methods of disposing of the traffic citations.  One method is payment of a fine to the traffic violations bureau.  To sustain their legality, fino-meters must be in effect another method of paying a fine to the traffic violations bureau.  This distinguishes the question presently being considered from that of presetting bail or the setting of bail by one other than the court.

            We conclude that a city of the first class has the right to install fino-meters.

            We hope this opinion will prove of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

Attorney General

Assistant Attorney General