WSR 97-09-019




(Economic Services Administration)

(Public Assistance)

[Filed April 8, 1997, 10:40 a.m.]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 96-21-131.

Title of Rule: Revision to WAC 388-11-285.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.20A.055.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 74.20A.055.

Summary: To conform with amendments to RCW 74.20A.055.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Nancy Koptur, P.O. Box 9162, Mailstop 45860, Olympia, WA 98507, (360) 586-3077.

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, Economic Services Administration, Division of Child Support, governmental.

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Explanation of Rule, its Purpose, and Anticipated Effects: To conform with amendments to RCW 74.20A.055.

Proposal Changes the Following Existing Rules: Additions to WAC 388-11-285.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This change does not meet the requirements for a small business economic impact statement.

Section 201, chapter 403, Laws of 1995, does not apply to this rule adoption. Does not apply to this rule adoption under RCW 34.05.328.

Hearing Location: Lacey Government Center (behind Tokyo Bento restaurant), 1009 College Street S.E., Room 104-A, Lacey, WA 98503, on June 10, 1997, at 10:00.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Leslie Baldwin by May 27, 1997, (360) 902-7540, TTY (360) 902-8324, e-mail

Submit Written Comments to: Leslie Baldwin, Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504-5850, FAX (360) 902-8292, by June 10, 1997.

Date of Intended Adoption: No sooner than June 11, 1997.

April 8, 1997

Merry A. Kogut, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION (Amending Order 3964, filed 4/10/96, effective 5/11/96 WAC 388-11-285 Notice and finding of financial responsibility. (1) The agency may serve a notice and finding of financial responsibility (NFFR) on a responsible parent to establish a support obligation under chapter 26.21 or 74.20A RCW if there is no order that establishes the responsible parent's support obligation or specifically relieves the responsible parent of a support obligation.

(2) The agency shall serve an NFFR like a summons in a civil action or by certified mail, return receipt requested.

(3) In an NFFR, the agency shall include the information required by WAC 388-11-210 and RCW 74.20A.055 and calculate:

(a) The responsible parent's accrued support debt and current support obligation using, in the following order of preference:

(i) Actual income;

(ii) Estimated income, if the agency has:

(A) Incomplete information;

(B) Information based on the prevailing wages in the responsible parent's trade or profession; or

(C) Information that is not current.

(iii) Imputed income under RCW 26.19.071(6); and

(b) The responsible parent's health insurance coverage obligation under WAC 388-11-215.

(4) The responsible parent shall make all support payments after service of an NFFR to the Washington state support registry. The agency shall not credit payments made to any other party after service of an NFFR except as provided in WAC 388-11-015 and 388-11-280.

(5) An NFFR becomes final and subject to immediate wage withholding and enforcement without further notice under chapters 26.18, 26.23, and 74.20A RCW unless the responsible parent, within twenty days of service of the NFFR in Washington:

(a) Contacts the agency and signs an agreed settlement; or

(b) Files a written request with the agency for a hearing.

(6) An NFFR served in another state becomes final and subject to collection action according to WAC 388-11-305.

(7) The effective date of a hearing request is the date the agency receives the request.

(8) A hearing on the merits of an objection to an NFFR is for the limited purpose of resolving the accrued support debt and current support obligation.

(9) The responsible parent has the burden of proving any defenses to liability. See WAC 388-11-065.

(10) In any hearing under this section, if the responsible parent provides credible evidence that would rebut the presumption of paternity set forth in RCW 26.26.040, the presiding officer shall order the agency to refer the matter for the scheduling of an appropriate hearing in superior court to determine whether the presumption should be rebutted.

(11) "Credible evidence" for the purposes of subsection (10) of this section means proof of facts worthy of belief that at or near the time of conception, the circumstances were such as to render it impossible that the responsible parent could be the biological parent of the child.

(12) A referral under subsection (10) of this section shall not be grounds to dismiss the notice. A referral under subsection (10) shall not be grounds to continue the hearing if there is any other basis on which to establish a support obligation against the responsible parent.

(13) The agency shall mail notice of any hearing scheduled under this section to the physical custodian at the physical custodian's last known address. The physical custodian may participate in the hearing to the extent allowed under WAC 388-11-400 through 388-11-425.

(((11))) (14) If a responsible parent requests a late hearing under WAC 388-11-310, the responsible parent must show good cause for filing a late hearing request if the request is filed more than one year after service of the NFFR.

(((12))) (15) WAC 388-11-155 governs the duration of an obligation established under this section.

(((13))) (16) An NFFR shall fully and fairly apprise the responsible parent of the rights and responsibilities in this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.20A.055 and 74.08.090. 96-09-036 (Order 3964), 388-11-285, filed 4/10/96, effective 5/11/96.]

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