Which laws passed during the 2012 Washington State Legislative session impact the courts of limited jurisdiction, and how are they impacted?

A number of bills passed during the 2012 legislative session that impact the courts of limited jurisdictions.

This answer contains:

  • The Bill number and a link to the complete text of the bill from the Washington State Legislature's web site.
  • A brief summary of the changes or additions created by the bill.
  • Court action needed or court awareness sections addresses the specific system, code, law table, or form changes due to the bill. Also provided are the related links to updated documentation in the online manuals and links to eService Answers with additional information or instructions related to the bill, if applicable.
  • Effective date of the law.
  • Select the bill name in the table of contents below to advance directly to the details for the bill. Click the "Return to Top" link at the bottom of any bill section to return to the top of this answer.



  • Bill #1552
  • Summary -Modifies service procedures, changes and clarifies exemptions, and changes statutory forms
  • Court awareness -The court forms have been updated and posted on the Washington State Court Forms page of www.courts.wa.gov.
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Electronic Impersonation

  • Bill #1652
  • Summary - Allows for a civil action to be brought for invasion of privacy for intentionally impersonating another person on a social networking site or online bulletin board for the purpose of harassing, threatening, intimidating, humiliating, or defrauding another and the impersonation proximately caused injury to the actual person. Injury may include injury to reputation or humiliation, injury to professional or financial standing, or physical harm.
  • Court awareness -  No new Civil Cause Code will be created.  The code PIN - Personal Injury can be used to enter a civil action under this law.
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Prostitution and Trafficking Crime Penalties

  • Bill #1983
  • Summary - This bill amends RCW 9A.40.100 and RCW 9A.88.120 to add additional fees to any finding of guilt, entry of deferred disposition, or entry of a diversion on all violations of Criminal Trafficking (Class A Felony), Permitting Prostitution (Misdemeanor), Patronizing a Prostitute (Misdemeanor), Promoting Prostitution in the First Degree (Class B Felony), or Promoting Prostitution in the Second Degree (Class C Felony).  RCW 9.68A.105 was also amended.
  • Court awareness - 
    • The additional fees cannot be waived, reduced, or suspended unless the defendant is found, on the record, to be unable to pay.  If the penalties are reduced they can only be reduced up to two-thirds of the maximum allowable fee.
    • Revenues from these fees are not subject to the distribution requirements under RCW 3.50.100, 3.62.020, 3.62.040, 10.82.070, or 35.20.220.
    • Each crime has a specific penalty amount or penalty schedule amount.
    • The fees collected must be deposited into the general fund of the county or city where the offense occurred. At least 50% of the fees must be spent on prevention, including education programs for offenders, such as john school, and rehabilitative services, such as mental health and substance abuse counseling, parenting skills, training, housing relief, education, vocational training, drop-in centers, and employment counseling.
    • The court forms have been updated and posted on the Washington State Court Forms page of www.courts.wa.gov.
  • See also - eService Answer ID: Penalty amounts for prostitution violations (ESHB 1983 - 2012 Legislation).
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

DUI - Child in Vehicle

  • Bill #2302 
  • Summary - Increases existing ignition interlock requirements and creates enhanced penalties for persons convicted of driving or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the Influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs with a child under age 16 in the vehicle.  Requires law enforcement, when making an arrest, to note that a child under age 16 was present in the vehicle and requires law enforcement to notify Child Protective Services if the child passenger is under 16 years, rather than under 13 years.
  • Court awareness - 
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Domestic Violence and Harassment Victims

  • Bill #2363
  • Summary - An ACT relating to protecting victims of domestic violence and harassment.
  • Court awareness -
    • RCW 9A.46.040 and RCW 9A.46.080 are amended to make willful violation of a no-contact order issued during the pendency of or following a conviction for misdemeanor harassment under this section, or an equivalent local ordinance, a Gross Misdemeanor instead of a Misdemeanor.
    • RCW 10.99.040 is amended to allow DV no-contact orders to be issued or extended  so long as the court finds probable cause, even if the defendant fails to appear for an arraignment on the case.  The order shall state that it may be extended.
    • A new section is added chapter 10.14 RCW to require appearance within one judicial day after arrest for a violation of a civil anti-harassment protection order.  A defendant who is charged by citation, complaint, or information shall appear in accordance with RCW 9A.46.050.  Appearance is mandatory and cannot be waived.
    • A new section is added to chapter 26.50 RCW to help protect the name, address, or location of any domestic violence program, including a shelter or transitional housing location, in any civil or criminal case or any administrative proceeding.  It can be disclosed if the court finds the disclosure is necessary for the implementation of justice after consideration of safety and confidentiality concerns of the parties.  The court shall order that disclosed information be prohibited from further dissemination and that any portion of the records containing such confidential information be sealed.
    • Forms NC 02.0100, Domestic Violence No-Contact Order, has been updated and posted on the Washington State Court Forms page of www.courts.wa.gov
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Driving Under the Influence

  • Bill #2443
  • Summary - An ACT relating to increasing accountability of persons who drive impaired.
  • Court awareness -
    • RCW 2.28.175 is amended to allow municipalities to enter into cooperative agreements with counties that have DUI courts, to provide DUI court services.
    • RCW 9.94A.475 is amended to require that all recommended sentence agreements, plea agreements, and sentences for a felony DUI or Physical Control violation shall be made and retained as public records.
    • RCW 9.96.060 is amended to state that a defendant cannot have an offense vacated if it was considered a ""prior offense"" under RCW 46.61.5055 and the applicant has had a subsequent alcohol or drug violation within ten years of the date of arrest for the prior offense.
    • RCW 38.52.430 is amended to increase the DUI Emergency Response fees that can be imposed from $1,000 to $2,500 for a particular incident.  The cost reimbursement amount shall be included in the sentencing order as an additional monetary obligation of the defendant and may not be substituted for any other fine or cost required or allowed by statute.  The existing Cost Fee Codes will still be used to document the fees in JIS.
    • RCW 46.61.5055 is amended to allow the court to order additional days in jail in lieu of mandatory electronic home monitoring (EHM):
      • One prior with a breath test of less than 0.15 or no test for reasons other than refusal - at least 4 days jail in lieu of the minimum 60 days EHM.
      • One prior with a breath test of at least 0.15 or no test due to the person's refusal - at least 6 days in jail in lieu of the minimum 90 days EHM.
      • Two or three priors with a breath test of less than 0.15 or not test for reasons other than refusal - at least 8 days in jail in lieu of the minimum 120 days EHM.
      • Two or three priors with a breath test of at least 0.15 or no test due to the person's refusal - at least 10 days in jail in lieu of the minimum 150 days EHM.
    • The DUI Sentencing Grid has been updated and posted on the DUI Sentencing Grid page of the Washington State Resources, Publications and Reports section of www.courts.wa.gov.
    • The court forms have been updated and posted on the Washington State Court Forms page of www.courts.wa.gov.
  • Effective: 8/1/2012

Return to Top

Reduction of Commercial Sale of Sex

  • Bill #2692
  • Summary - Amends the mandatory sentence for a person convicted of or receiving a deferred disposition on a violation of RCW 9A.88.110 Patronizing a Prostitute (misdemeanor) or RCW 9.68A.100 Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor (Class B Felony).
  • Court awareness -  First time offenders must fulfill the terms of a program designed to educate offenders about the negative costs of prostitution. Additional monetary penalties for these violations must be imposed per ESHB 1983.
  • See Also: eService Answer ID: Penalty amounts for prostitution violations (ESHB 1983 - 2012 Legislation)
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Traffic Control Signals

  • Bill #5188
  • Summary - This bill sets new regulations regarding traffic control signals yellow light change intervals and restricts where the cameras can be placed. Cities and counties using the cameras must create an annual report including specific traffic accident information and post it on their web site. Additional requirements such as standardized signage and analysis of proposed camera locations are also imposed on the jurisdictions.
  • Court awareness - The fine for an infraction generated through the use of an Automated Traffic Safety Camera (ATSC) is currently limited to no more than the fine for a parking infraction in the same jurisdiction. The law now provides that the fine issued for a stoplight violation that is detected through the use of an Automated Traffic Safety Camera (ATSC) may not exceed the monetary penalty for a violation of the requirement to follow official traffic control devices which is currently $124
  • Court action- Courts processing stoplight violations detected through the use of an Automated Traffic Safety Camera need to review their local law table entries. 
    • If a stoplight violation (PR) law table entry exists with a monetary penalty over $124, the entry will need to be removed with an end date of June 6, 2012.
    • A new version of the law can be entered with the monetary penalty listed at $124 or less, using a future start date of June 7, 2012.
    • For instructions and demos on how to remove or add a new local law table entry see the online manual Fine/Penalty Schedule Update (FPSU)
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Fish and Wildlife Enforcement

  • Bill #6135
  • Summary - Makes a number of changes related to the enforcement policies of the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) and the crimes primarily enforced by the DFW.  Creates new fish and wildlife related crimes, decriminalizes certain acts, provides new penalties for existing crimes, and changes details for certain crimes.  Provides new direction to the DFW regarding seizure and forfeiture of property.  Provides new definitions for existing terms.  Creates an infraction, with certain exemptions, for feeding or attempting to attract large wild carnivores to land or a building.
  • Court awareness -Law table changes will be in effect on June 7, 2012.  Please review a copy of the Bail Schedule posted on Inside Courts.
    • A list of all law table changes made for the Washington State 2012 Legislative Session can be located at the bottom of this answer. 
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Victims of Human Trafficking and Promoting Prostitution

  • Bill # 6255
  • Summary - Provides a process for a person convicted of prostitution who committed the offense as a result of being a victim of human trafficking, promoting prostitution in the first degree, or trafficking in persons under the trafficking victims' protection act, to ask the court to vacate the conviction.
  • Court awareness - The court forms have been updated and posted on the Washington State Court Forms page of www.courts.wa.gov.
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Non-safety Civil Traffic Infractions - Process

  • Bill #6284
  • Summary - Reforming Washington's approach to certain non-safety civil traffic infractions by authorizing a civil collection process for unpaid traffic fines and removing the requirement for law enforcement intervention for the failure to appear and pay a traffic ticket.
  • Court awareness -RCW 46.20.391 is amended to allow a person licensed under this chapter who is suspended administratively due to failure to appear or pay a traffic ticket under RCW 46.20.289 to apply for an occupational driver's license.  The requirement to enter into a payment plan with the courts to be eligible is stricken.
    • RCW 46.20.289 has been amended to allow the Department of Licensing (DOL) to suspend driving privileges of a person when they receive notice from a court that the person has failed to respond to a notice of a traffic infraction, has failed to appear at a requested hearing, has failed to comply with the terms of a notice of infraction or citation for, or has violated a written promise to appear in court for a notice of infraction for moving violations only.
    • The term moving violation is to be defined by DOL in consultation with AOC by November 1, 2012.
    • The portion of the bill that requires DOL to define a moving violation is effective June 7, 2012, while the rest of the bill takes effect June 1, 2013.
    • AOC will update this answer when additional details are available for the courts.
  • Effective: 6/1/2013

Return to Top

State Parks, Recreation, Natural Resources - Fiscal Matters

  • Bill #6387
  • Summary - Requires all monies collected for Discover Pass violations to be submitted to the general fund by the county treasurer and deposited into the recreation pass account.
  • Court awareness - New BARS codes are being created to be used with Discover Pass violations.  The Statewide Law Table entry for RCW 79A.80.080.1A - Operating Without Displaying the Pass (IN) has been amended and is available for use as of the effective date of the bill.
  • Court action- Local Law Table entries for RCW 79A.80.080.1B - Parking Without Displaying the Pass need to be updated.  Updates can be done using future dates in preparation for the effective date of the bill.
    • For updated instructions on entering this parking law, see eService Answer: . 
  • Effective: 6/7/2012

Return to Top

Judicial Stabilization Trust Account Increases

Return to Top

RN id: 2264