Notices and records bill sponsored by Rep. Dick Muri signed into law

Rep. Dick Muri, R-Steilacoom, sponsored a notices and records bill signed into law recently by the governor. House Bill 2405 will update some of the process requirements for documents maintained by county clerks throughout Washington state helping to produce greater efficiency and effectiveness. The bill was requested by the Washington Association of County Clerks.

The County Clerk is an independent elected official that serves as the clerk of the superior court. County clerks process, maintain, and purge records in accordance with the law. In court actions different laws require the clerk to process documents differently. Sometimes this includes providing notice of court-related documents or issuing a summons with respect to certain court proceedings. This bill updates the requirements for the processing of some categories of notices and records handled by county clerks.

“I’m glad to see this become law. It is a modest bill, but the changes it will produce will create a more efficient flow between agencies, reduce potential liability for counties, and help improve public safety,” said Muri.

Updates to the process of notices and records include the following:

  • Broadens the definition of the official juvenile court file allowing for a more complete court record for the appeals purposes.
  • Updates the process for court notification of a conviction or commitment resulting in loss of firearms rights.
  • Updates the notice process for the non-payment of vehicle-related judgments.
  • Changes the processing of the notice of publication for the dissolution of certain districts.
  • For dependency proceedings the petitioner, rather than the clerk of the court, will issue the required summons when filing a petition alleging a child is dependent due to abuse or neglect.
  • Amends statutes relating to a number of different court proceedings that a party in the case, rather than the clerk of the court, must provide certain notices or issue summons in the proceedings.

Ruth Gordon, past president of the Washington Association of County Clerks expressed her thanks to Representative Muri with the following statement:

“The clerks are sincerely grateful to Rep. Muri for being the prime sponsor of our notices and records bill. It feels really good to finally celebrate this victory.  You made a difference for us and for our constituents by sponsoring this good government bill in the 2016 session.”

Muri’s bill passed the House with a vote of 94-2 and the Senate 47-0. It goes into effect June 9, 2016.

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