EHB 1728

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

C 114 L 17

Synopsis as Enacted

Brief Description: Protecting minors from sexual exploitation.

Sponsors: Representatives Sawyer, Smith, Caldier, Jinkins, Fey, Kloba, Ortiz-Self, Stanford and Frame.

House Committee on Judiciary

Senate Committee on Law & Justice


Federal Stored Communications Act.

Under a federal law known as the Stored Communications Act, a provider of electronic communication services or remote computing services must disclose certain information about a subscriber or customer to a governmental entity when requested by an administrative subpoena authorized under either federal or state statute. Disclosable information includes only the following subscriber information, and not content of communications: name and address; local and long distance telephone connection records, or records of session times and durations; length and types of service; telephone or instrument number or other subscriber number or identity, including any temporarily assigned network address; and means and source of payment, including any credit card or bank account number.

Special Inquiry Judge Proceedings.

Special inquiry judge (SIJ) proceedings were established in 1971 with a stated intent of providing law enforcement with an investigatory tool in combating crime and corruption. A special inquiry judge is a superior court judge designated by a majority of the superior court judges of a county to hear and receive evidence of crime and corruption. An SIJ proceeding may be initiated by petition of the prosecuting attorney. In an SIJ proceeding, the SIJ may issue subpoenas for records and testimony relevant to an investigation when there is reason to suspect crime or corruption, which is a lower standard than probable cause. Special inquiry judge proceedings are secret and confidential, and records from the proceeding are available only to the attorney that instituted the proceeding, except as otherwise ordered by the court. An SIJ proceeding may be used only during criminal investigations and may not be used to gather evidence once a crime has been charged. An SIJ may not issue an indictment and may not act as a judge in any subsequent court proceeding arising from the investigation.

Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Washington criminal laws addressing the sexual exploitation of children establish a number of specific crimes, including:


In any criminal investigation of an offense involving the sexual exploitation of children, the prosecuting attorney must use the SIJ process when the prosecuting attorney determines it is necessary to the investigation to subpoena a provider of electronic communication services or remote computing services for production of records relevant to the investigation. Records of information that may be obtained under the subpoena include, but are not limited to, the following subscriber or customer information:

A provider of electronic communication services or remote computing services that receives a subpoena for subscriber or customer records may not disclose the existence of the subpoena to the subscribers or customers whose records or information are requested or released under the subpoena.

"Electronic communication service" means any service that provides users the ability to send or receive wire or electronic communications. "Remote computing service" means the provision to the public of computer storage or processing services by means of an electronic communications system.

Upon petition of a prosecuting attorney for the establishment of a SIJ proceeding in an investigation of sexual exploitation of children, the court shall establish the SIJ proceeding, if appropriate, as soon as practicable but no later than 72 hours after the filing of the petition.

Votes on Final Passage:








July 23, 2017