WSR 05-11-079



(Economic Services Administration)

[ Filed May 17, 2005, 4:40 p.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-19-099.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The Division of Child Support (DCS) is amending: WAC 388-14A-3600 The parties may resolve any child support case by entering a consent order or an agreed settlement and 388-14A-6300 Duty of the administrative law judge in a hearing to determine the amount of a support obligation.

Hearing Location(s): Office Building 2, Auditorium, DSHS Headquarters Building, 1115 Washington, Olympia, WA 98504 (public parking at 11th and Jefferson), on June 21, 2005, at 10:00 a.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: Not earlier than June 22, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: DSHS Rules Coordinator, P.O. Box 45850, Olympia, WA 98504, delivery 4500 10th Avenue S.E., Lacey, WA, e-mail, fax (360) 664-6185, by 5:00 p.m., June 21, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Stephanie Schiller, DSHS Rules Consultant, by June 17, 2005, TTY (360) 664-6178 or (360) 664-6097.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: DCS seeks to clarify the rules regarding the contents of administrative child support orders, especially to reenact a prior requirement that each administrative support order set a noncustodial parent's support obligation as a sum certain amount, with an amount per month for each child covered by the order. DCS also seeks to clarify that the support order must contain the date of birth for every child covered by the order so that the parents are able to determine when the child support obligation ends.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: See above.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.050, 34.05.220, 74.20A.310, 74.20A.055, and 74.20A.056.

Statute Being Implemented: 45 C.F.R. 303.11, 45 C.F.R. 303.100, RCW 26.23.050, 74.20A.055, and 74.20A.056.

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

Name of Proponent: Department of Social and Health Services, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Nancy Koptur, DCS HQ, P.O. Box 9162, Olympia, WA 98507-9162, (360) 664-5065.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. This rule does not have an economic impact on small businesses. It only affects individuals who have support obligations or individuals who are owed child support.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The rule does meet the definition of a significant legislative rule but DSHS/DCS is exempt from preparing further analysis under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(b)(vii).

May 11, 2005

Andy Fernando, Manager

Rules and Policies Assistance Unit

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 03-17-013, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03)

WAC 388-14A-3600   The parties may resolve any child support case by entering a consent order or an agreed settlement.   (1) The division of child support (DCS) may enter a consent order or agreed settlement to finalize any dispute in which a party requests a hearing. DCS attempts to settle matters through agreement when possible.

(a) An agreed settlement is signed only by the parties (((DCS, the custodial parent and the noncustodial parent))) to the dispute.

(b) A consent order must be signed by the parties and by an administrative law judge (ALJ) provided that:

(i) In a telephone hearing, the ALJ may sign on behalf of any party if that party gives their consent on the record; and

(ii) The ALJ approves a consent order without requiring testimony or a hearing, unless entry of the order would be unlawful.

(2) An agreed settlement or consent order is final and enforceable on:

(a) The date the last party signs the agreed settlement, if all parties signed the agreed settlement;

(b) The date the ALJ signs the consent order; or

(c) If the ALJ defaults one of the parties to the proceeding, the latest of the following dates:

(i) The date the ALJ signed the consent order;

(ii) The date the last party signed the agreed settlement; or

(iii) The date the order of default is final. See WAC 388-14A-6110 and 388-14A-6115 to determine whether the ALJ issues an initial order or a final order.

(3) A party to a consent order or an agreed settlement may:

(a) Not petition for review of the settlement or order under WAC 388-02-0560;

(b) Petition for modification under WAC 388-14A-3925; and

(c) Petition to vacate the settlement or consent order under WAC 388-14A-3700. However, the ALJ may only vacate a settlement or consent order after making a finding of fraud by a party, or on any other basis that would result in manifest injustice.

(4) If a hearing has been scheduled, DCS files a copy of the agreed settlement or consent order with the office of administrative hearings (OAH), and OAH issues an order dismissing the hearing. There are no hearing rights on the order dismissing the hearing.

(5) An agreed settlement or consent order entered under this section must comply with the requirements of WAC 388-14A-6300 if the dispute concerns a notice and finding of financial responsibility or a notice and finding of parental responsibility or other notice or petition to determine the amount of a support obligation.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.220(1), 74.08.090, 74.20A.056, 74.20A.310, 26.26.315, 26.26.320, 26.26.330, 26.26.335, 74.20A.055, 2002 c 302, and 2002 c 199. 03-17-013, 388-14A-3600, filed 8/12/03, effective 9/12/03. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.220(1). 01-24-082, 388-14A-3600, filed 12/3/01, effective 1/3/02. Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 34.05.220(1), 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056. 01-03-089, 388-14A-3600, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-11-150 and 388-11-430.]

AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 01-03-089, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01)

WAC 388-14A-6300   Duty of the administrative law judge in a hearing to determine the amount of a support obligation.   (1) A support order entered under this chapter must conform to the requirements set forth in RCW 26.23.050(3) and 26.23.050(5).

(2) In hearings held under this chapter to contest a notice and finding of financial responsibility or a notice and finding of parental responsibility or other notice or petition, the administrative law judge (ALJ) must determine:

(a) The noncustodial parent's obligation to provide support under RCW 74.20A.057;

(b) The names and dates of birth of the children covered by the support order;

(c) The net monthly income of the noncustodial parent (NCP) and any custodial parent (CP);

(((c))) (d) The NCP's share of the basic support obligation and any adjustments to that share, according to his or her circumstances;

(((d))) (e) If requested by a party, the NCP's share of any special child-rearing expenses;

(((e))) (f) The NCP's obligation to provide medical support under RCW 26.18.170;

(((f))) (g) The NCP's accrued debt and order payments toward the debt; ((and))

(((g))) (h) The NCP's current and future monthly support obligation as a per month per child amount and order payments in that amount; and

(i) The NCP's total current and future support obligation as a sum certain and order payments in that amount.

(((2))) (3) Having made the determinations required in subsection (2) above, the ALJ must order the NCP to make payments to the Washington state support registry (WSSR).

(4) The ALJ must allow the division of child support (DCS) to orally amend the notice at the hearing to conform to the evidence. The ALJ may grant a continuance, when necessary, to allow the NCP or the CP additional time to present rebutting evidence or argument as to the amendment.

(((3))) (5) The ALJ may not require DCS to produce or obtain information, documents, or witnesses to assist the NCP or CP in proof of defenses to liability. However, this rule does not apply to relevant, nonconfidential information or documents that DCS has in its possession.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 74.08.090, 26.23.050, 34.05.220, 74.20A.055, 74.20A.056, 45 CFR 303.11, 45 CFR 303.100. 01-03-089, 388-14A-6300, filed 1/17/01, effective 2/17/01. Formerly WAC 388-11-100 and 388-11-210.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office