ENGROSSED HOUSE BILL NO. 1418



                                                                            C 070 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Representatives Padden, Moyer, Fuhrman, Wolfe, Day, Crane, Smith, Chandler, Ballard and Tate



Read first time 1/25/89 and referred to Committee on Judiciary.



AN ACT Relating to moral nuisances; adding new sections to chapter 7.48A RCW; and prescribing penalties.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     The legislature finds that actions against moral nuisances as declared in RCW 7.48A.020 (1) through (4) involve balancing the safeguards necessary to protect constitutionally protected speech and the community and law enforcement efforts to curb dissemination of obscene matters.  The legislature finds that the difficulty in ascertaining and obtaining originals and copies of obscene matters for evidentiary purposes thwarts legitimate enforcement efforts.  The legislature finds that the balancing of the concerns warrants specific discovery procedures applicable to actions against moral nuisances involving obscene matters.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     After the plaintiff files a civil action under this chapter, the plaintiff may apply to the superior court in which the plaintiff filed the action for a temporary or preliminary injunction.  The court shall grant a hearing within ten days after the plaintiff applies for a temporary injunction.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     After the plaintiff applies for a temporary or preliminary injunction, the court may, upon a showing of good cause, issue an ex parte restraining order restraining the defendant and all other persons from removing or in any manner interfering with the personal property and contents of the place where the nuisance is alleged to exist, until the court grants or denies the plaintiff's application for a temporary or preliminary injunction or until further order of the court.  However, pending the court's decision on the injunction, the temporary restraining order shall not restrain the exhibition or sale of any film, publication or item of stock in trade.  The order may require that at least one original of each film or publication shall be preserved pending the hearing on the injunction.  The court may require an inventory and full accounting of all business transactions.

          The officer serving the restraining order or preliminary injunction may serve the order by handing to and leaving a copy with any person in charge of the place or residing in the place, or by posting a copy in a conspicuous place at or upon one or more of the principal doors or entrances to the place, or by both delivery and posting.  The officer serving the restraining order or injunction shall forthwith make and return to the court, an inventory of the personal property and contents situated in and used in conducting or maintaining the alleged nuisance.

          Any violation of the temporary order or injunction is a contempt of court.  Mutilation or removal of a posted order that is in force is a contempt of court if the posted order or injunction contains a notice to that effect.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     A bond or security shall not be required of the city attorney, the prosecuting attorney, or the attorney general.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     A copy of the complaint, together with a notice of the time and place of the hearing on the application for a temporary injunction, shall be served upon the defendant at least three business days before the hearing.  Service may also be made by posting the required documents in the same manner as is provided in section 3 of this act.  If the defendant requests a continuance of the hearing, all temporary restraining orders and injunctions shall be extended as a matter of course.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     If the court finds at the hearing for an injunction, that the accounting, inventory, personal property, and contents of the place alleged to be a nuisance provide evidence of a moral nuisance as defined by RCW 7.48A.020 (1) through (4), the court may order the defendant to produce to the plaintiff a limited number of original films, film plates, publications, videotapes, any other obscene matter, and other discovery materials the court determines is necessary for evidentiary purposes to resolve the action on the merits.

          The court may issue a temporary injunction enjoining the defendant and all other persons from removing or in any manner interfering with the court-ordered discovery.  This discovery procedure supplements and does not replace any other discovery procedures and rules generally applicable to civil cases in this state.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7.     The hearing on the injunction shall have precedence over all other actions, except prior matters of the same character, criminal proceedings, election contests, hearings on temporary restraining orders and injunctions, and actions to forfeit vehicles used in violation of the uniform controlled substances act, chapter 69.50 RCW.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8.     An intentional violation of a restraining order, preliminary injunction, or injunction under this chapter is punishable as a contempt of court.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 9.     If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 10.    Sections 1 through 8 of this act are each added to chapter 7.48A RCW.

                                                                                                                      Passed the House February 27, 1989.


                                                                                                                                         Speaker of the House.


                                                                                                                             Passed the Senate April 4, 1989.


                                                                                                                                       President of the Senate.