S-3424.1  _______________________________________________


                         SENATE BILL 6157



State of Washington      55th Legislature     1998 Regular Session


By Senator Swecker


Read first time 01/12/98.  Referred to Committee on Law & Justice.

Limiting to one hundred eighty days the length of imprisonment for contempt of court.

    AN ACT Relating to contempt of court; amending RCW 7.21.030; and prescribing penalties.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 7.21.030 and 1989 c 373 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The court may initiate a proceeding to impose a remedial sanction on its own motion or on the motion of a person aggrieved by a contempt of court in the proceeding to which the contempt is related.  Except as provided in RCW 7.21.050, the court, after notice and hearing, may impose a remedial sanction authorized by this chapter.

    (2) If the court finds that the person has failed or refused to perform an act that is yet within the person's power to perform, the court may find the person in contempt of court and impose one or more of the following remedial sanctions:

    (a) Imprisonment if the contempt of court is of a type defined in RCW 7.21.010(1) (b) through (d).  The imprisonment may extend only so long as it serves a coercive purpose but in no event for more than a total of one hundred eighty days for each violation.  A person may not be imprisoned more than once for the same or a continuing violation of a court decree or order.

    (b) A forfeiture not to exceed two thousand dollars for each day the contempt of court continues.

    (c) An order designed to ensure compliance with a prior order of the court.

    (d) Any other remedial sanction other than the sanctions specified in (a) through (c) of this subsection if the court expressly finds that those sanctions would be ineffectual to terminate a continuing contempt of court.

    (3) The court may, in addition to the remedial sanctions set forth in subsection (2) of this section, order a person found in contempt of court to pay a party for any losses suffered by the party as a result of the contempt and any costs incurred in connection with the contempt proceeding, including reasonable attorney's fees.


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