BILL REQ. #: H-3805.2
|State of Washington||61st Legislature||2010 Regular Session|
Prefiled 01/05/10. Read first time 01/11/10. Referred to Committee on Judiciary.
AN ACT Relating to abatement of nuisances involving criminal street gang activity; adding a new chapter to Title 9 RCW; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 Notwithstanding the provisions of any other
law or ordinance, each board of county commissioners may, by ordinance,
to protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the residents of
the county, adopt procedures pursuant to which the county prosecuting
attorney may file an injunctive action in a court of competent
jurisdiction to seek any or all of the forms of relief detailed in this
chapter. The board of county commissioners may further authorize and
adopt rules providing for a nuisance action instituted by a resident of
the county provided that such action may only be brought against a
building as defined in section 2 of this act, and such action is
subject to the provisions set forth in sections 2 through 14 of this
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2 The definitions in this section apply
throughout this chapter unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
(1) "Building" includes, but is not limited to, any structure or separate part or portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself.
(2) "Criminal street gang activity" means a pattern of criminal street gang activity as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
(3) "Criminal street gang associate or member" and "criminal street gang-related offense" have the meaning prescribed in RCW 9.94A.030.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3 An ordinance may authorize an action
providing for a temporary or permanent injunction against any specific
criminal street gang associate or member to enjoin his or her activity
which is associated with any criminal street gang activity or any
criminal street gang-related offense and which is occurring within the
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4 An ordinance may authorize an action
providing for a temporary or permanent injunction against any building
or unit within a building used for the purpose of aiding, promoting, or
conducting criminal street gang activity, and every building or unit
within a building wherein or upon which such acts take place. In a
multiunit building, only the offending unit shall be declared a
nuisance, and only the offending unit shall be enjoined, abated, and
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5 (1) Upon application for a temporary
restraining order or preliminary injunction, the court may, upon a
showing of good cause, issue an ex parte restraining order or
preliminary injunction, preventing the defendant and all other persons,
other than the legal owner, from removing or in any manner interfering
with the personal property and contents of the place where the nuisance
is alleged to exist and may grant preliminary equitable relief as is
necessary to prevent the continuance or recurrence of the nuisance
pending final resolution of the matter on the merits. Pending the
decision, the stock in trade may not be so restrained, but an inventory
and full accounting of all business transactions may be required.
(2) The restraining order or preliminary injunction may be served 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 order or injunction shall forthwith make and return into court an inventory of the personal property and contents situated in and used in conducting or maintaining the nuisance. Additionally, a copy of the restraining order or preliminary injunction must be sent by registered mail to the owner of the building.
(3) Any violation of the order or injunction is a contempt of court, and where the order or injunction is posted, mutilation or removal thereof while the same remains in force is a contempt of court if the posted order or injunction contains a notice to that effect.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6 An action under this chapter shall have
precedence over all other actions, except prior matters of the same
character, actions under chapter 7.43 RCW, criminal proceedings,
election contests, hearings on temporary restraining orders and
injunctions, foreclosures by a legal owner, and actions to forfeit
vehicles used in violation of the uniform controlled substances act.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7 A copy of the complaint, together with a
notice of the time and place of the hearing of the action, shall be
served upon the defendant at least three business days before the
hearing. Service may also be made by posting the papers in the same
manner as is provided for in section 5 of this act. In addition to
service by posting, a copy of the complaint must be sent by registered
mail to the owner of the building or the agent of the owner. If the
hearing is then continued at the request of any defendant, all
temporary orders and injunctions shall be extended as a matter of
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8 (1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of
this section, if the existence of the nuisance is established in the
action, an order of abatement shall be entered as part of the final
judgment in the case. The plaintiff's costs in the action, including
those of abatement, are a lien upon the building or unit within a
building, subject to the lien of the legal owner. The lien is
enforceable and collectible by execution issued by order of the court.
(2) If the court finds and concludes that the owner of the building or unit within a building:
(a) Had no knowledge of the existence of the nuisance or has been making reasonable efforts to abate the nuisance;
(b) Has not been guilty of any contempt of court in the proceedings; and
(c) Will immediately abate any such nuisance that may exist at the building or unit within a building and prevent it from being a nuisance within a period of one year thereafter, the court shall, if satisfied with the owner's good faith, order the building or unit within a building to be delivered to the owner, and no order of abatement shall be entered. If an order of abatement has been entered and the owner subsequently meets the requirements of this subsection, the order of abatement shall be canceled.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9 Any final order of abatement issued under
this chapter shall:
(1) If the building or unit is not subject to the interests of innocent legal owners, provide for the immediate closure of the building or unit within a building against its use for any purpose, and for keeping it closed for a period of one year unless released sooner as provided in this chapter; and
(2) State that while the order of abatement remains in effect, the building or unit within a building shall remain in the custody of the court.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10 An intentional violation of a restraining
order, preliminary injunction, or order of abatement under this chapter
brought by a political subdivision is a misdemeanor and shall be
punishable as such. If the violation also constitutes a criminal
offense under another provision of the law, the violation may be
prosecuted pursuant to this section or the other provision of law, or
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11 Whenever the owner of a building or unit
within a building upon which the act or acts constituting the contempt
have been committed, or the owner of any interest in the building or
unit has been found in contempt of court, and fined in any proceedings
under this chapter, the fine is a lien upon the building or unit within
a building to the extent of the owner's interest, subject to the lien
of the legal owner. The lien is enforceable and collectible by
execution issued by order of the court.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12 An action may not be brought pursuant to
this section against any governmental entity or any charitable or
nonprofit organization that is conducting, with ordinary care and
skill, activities relating to prevention or education concerning
criminal street gangs.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 13 The abatement of a nuisance under this
chapter does not prejudice the right of any person to recover damages
for its past existence.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 14 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. 15 Sections 1 through 14 of this act
constitute a new chapter in Title 9 RCW.