HB 1056

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 197 L 18

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Concerning consumer protections for military service members on active duty.

Sponsors: Representatives Kilduff, Muri, Appleton, Shea, Lovick, MacEwen, Stanford, Reeves, Fitzgibbon, Frame, Ormsby, Jinkins, Bergquist, Goodman, Gregerson, Kirby, Fey, Slatter and Sawyer; by request of Attorney General.

House Committee on Judiciary

Senate Committee on Law & Justice


The Washington Service Members' Civil Relief Act (WSCRA) provides certain rights to service members who are under a call to active service, authorized by either the President of the United States or the Governor, for a period of more than 30 consecutive days. For purposes of the WSCRA, "service member" means any resident of Washington who is a member of the national guard or member of a military reserve component. The WSCRA also extends these rights to certain dependents of service members.

Among other things, the WSCRA provides protections with respect to default judgments and allows for stays in civil proceedings. The WSCRA also contains provisions restricting contract fines and penalties, restructuring interest rates on certain business loans, and tolling statutes of limitations during military service periods.

A service member or dependent may bring a civil action for a violation of the WSCRA to obtain equitable or declaratory relief, monetary damages, and other appropriate relief. In addition, the court may award the costs of the action and reasonable attorneys' fees to a service member or dependent who prevails in the action.

The Washington Attorney General (AG) is authorized to bring a civil action to enforce the WSCRA against a person that engages in a pattern or practice of violations or engages in a violation that raises an issue of significant public purpose. The court may grant equitable or declaratory relief, monetary damages, and other appropriate relief. In addition, the court may assess a civil penalty of up to $55,000 for a first violation and up to $110,000 for subsequent violations. Prior to commencing a civil action, the AG may issue civil investigative demands for the discovery of material information relevant to an investigation of a violation of the WSCRA.

Modeled on portions of the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), the WSCRA provides that the SCRA applies in proper cases in all Washington courts, and a violation of the SCRA is a violation of the WSCRA. The SCRA contains a number of other rights for service members, including: reducing interest rate obligations on preservice loans to 6 percent; protecting service members from evictions and property foreclosures, cancellation of life insurance, and the loss of certain rights to public land; and enabling the cancellation of contracts for telephone service.


The definition of "service member" is amended to mean "an active member of the United States Armed Forces, a member of a military reserve component, or a member of the National Guard who is either stationed in, or a resident of, Washington state."

In an enforcement action brought by the Washington Attorney General, the equitable or declaratory relief granted by the court may include costs and reasonable attorneys' fees.

A service member in receipt of military service orders for a permanent change of station or to deploy with a military unit, or as an individual in support of a military operation, for a period of not less than 30 days, may terminate or suspend the following contracts upon written notice:

Written notice includes electronic mail. The service member must provide proof of the official orders with the written notice or, if precluded by military necessity or circumstances that make the immediate provision of proof unreasonable or impossible, within 90 days after written notice. Termination or suspension of services is effective on the day written notice is given, but does not eliminate or alter any contractual obligation to pay for services rendered before the effective date unless otherwise provided by law.

A service member may reinstate the terminated or suspended service upon the provision of written notice to the service provider, made within 90 days after the termination of military service. Reinstatement must be: on the same terms and conditions if the service member was in military service no longer than 12 consecutive months; or if military service has been longer than 12 consecutive months, on the same terms and conditions that have been offered by the provider to any new consumer at the lowest discounted or proportional rate within the previous 12-month period.

Reinstatement must occur within a reasonable period of time not to exceed 30 days from the receipt of written notice. If the particular service is no longer available, the service provider must provide substantially similar services.

A service member who terminates, suspends, or reinstates the provision of these services may not be charged a penalty, fee, loss of deposit, or any other additional cost, and is not liable for payment for any services after the effective date of the termination or suspension, or until the effective date of reinstatement.

Votes on Final Passage:

2017 Regular Session




2017 First Special Session




2017 Second Special Session




2018 Regular Session








June 7, 2018