PDFWAC 110-03-0440

Equitable estoppel.

(1) Equitable estoppel is a legal doctrine defined in case law that may only be used as a defense to prevent DCYF from collecting an overpayment.
(2) Equitable estoppel contains five elements, all of which must be proved by clear and convincing evidence:
(a) DCYF made a statement or took action or failed to take an action, which is inconsistent with its later claim or position regarding an overpayment;
(b) The appealing party reasonably relied on DCYF's original statement, action or failure to act;
(c) The appealing party will be injured if DCYF is allowed to contradict the original statement, action or failure to act;
(d) Equitable estoppel is needed to prevent a manifest injustice; and
(e) The exercise of government functions is not impaired.
(3) If the ALJ concludes that all of the elements of equitable estoppel described in subsection (2) of this section have been proved by clear and convincing evidence, DCYF is estopped or prevented from enforcing its claim for repayment of the overpayment.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220, 43.216.020, and 43.216.065. WSR 20-02-031, § 110-03-0440, filed 12/19/19, effective 1/19/20.]