SB 5135
As of January 17, 2021
Title: An act relating to unlawfully summoning a police officer.
Brief Description: Concerning unlawfully summoning a police officer.
Sponsors: Senators Das, Hasegawa, Nguyen, Stanford and Wilson, C..
Brief History:
Committee Activity: Law & Justice: 1/19/21.
Brief Summary of Bill
  • Authorizes a civil cause of action for the false summoning of a police officer with the ability to recover economic and noneconomic damages, punitive damages, and reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.
Staff: Shani Bauer (786-7468)

A person commits the crime of false reporting when the person initiates or circulates a false report knowing it is likely to cause evacuation of a building or assembly, public inconvenience or alarm, or an emergency response.  A person may be charged with first, second, or third degree false reporting depending on the degree of recklessness and harm caused.  False reporting in the third degree is a gross misdemeanor.  Emergency response includes any action to protect life, health, or property by a peace officer or law enforcement officer.


An individual who is a victim of a crime of false reporting may bring a civil action against the person who committed the offense or anyone who participated in the offense and may recover damages, including reasonable attorney fees.

Summary of Bill:

A person may bring a civil action for damages against any person who knowingly causes a law enforcement officer to arrive at a location to contact another person with the intent to:

  • infringe on the other person's constitutional rights;
  • unlawfully discriminate against the other person;
  • cause the other person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed;
  • cause the other person to be expelled from a place in which the other person is lawfully located; or
  • damage the other person's reputation or financial, economic, consumer or business prospects.


A prevailing plaintiff may recover the greater of economic and noneconomic damages; or $250 against each defendant found liable.  The court may also award punitive damages and reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.


A civil action may be maintained in a court of limited jurisdiction if the total damages claimed do not exceed the statutory limit for damages that the court of limited jurisdiction may award.

Appropriation: None.
Fiscal Note: Not requested.
Creates Committee/Commission/Task Force that includes Legislative members: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.