State-by-State 2011 Legislative Year in Review: Washington

New laws affecting the courts enacted or adopted by the Washington legislature in 2011 include the following:

HB 1041 Permits correctional personnel and community corrections officers who have completed government sponsored law enforcement firearms training to possess  weapons in court facilities.

HB 1371 Transfers most functions of the Sentencing Guidelines Commission to the Department of Corrections and the Administrative Office of the Courts.

HB 1794 Increases penalties for assaults on court-related employees, including judicial officers, court-related employees, county clerks, and county clerk employees.

SB 5023 Requests Supreme Court’s Practice of Law Board to evaluate (1) the specific services non-attorneys may provide to immigrants that do not rise to the level of the practice of law; (2) the level of access to those services and quality of those services; and (3) the level of need for non-legal services compared to legal services in immigration matters.  Provides a report of the Board’s findings and recommendations must be submitted to the Legislature by December 1, 2011.

SB 5423 Provides Administrative Office of the Courts must send billing statements for legal financial obligations periodically rather than monthly to those convicted of a crime. Provides county clerk has the same authority as the Department of Corrections to issue an order to withhold and deliver property for the collection of legal financial obligations.

SB 5941 Removes expiration date for various court surcharges. Provides revenue from the surcharges is to be split equally between the state and the county collecting the fee.