SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES
(Economic Services Administration)
[Filed April 14, 2020, 3:06 p.m., effective April 14, 2020, 3:06 p.m.]
Effective Date of Rule: Immediately upon filing.
Purpose: Due to the ongoing national and state emergency relating to COVID-19, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has made temporary changes to its certified mail signature gathering procedures to limit direct contact with recipients. This emergency WAC will clarify that these temporary procedures employed by USPS are acceptable for purposes of certified mail service.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: New WAC 388-14A-2210.
Under RCW 34.05.350
the agency for good cause finds that immediate adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule is necessary for the preservation of the public health, safety, or general welfare, and that observing the time requirements of notice and opportunity to comment upon adoption of a permanent rule would be contrary to the public interest.
Reasons for this Finding: USPS certified mail delivery procedures have already been changed. This has had an immediate effect on the department's ability to serve notices by certified mail. This emergency rule will ensure child support enforcement actions can continue, providing crucial financial resources to clients.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 1, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: April 14, 2020.
Katherine I. Vasquez
WAC 388-14A-2210What is the procedure for service by certified mail during the COVID-19 emergency?
(1) Due to the ongoing national and state emergency relating to COVID-19, the united states postal service has made temporary changes to its certified mail signature gathering procedures to limit direct contact with recipients. As long as these special signature gathering procedures remain in effect, the division of child support (DCS) will consider service by certified mail, return receipt requested when required under chapter 388-14A WAC to be successful ten days after the following requirements are satisfied:
(a) The notice is sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, with restricted delivery to the noncustodial or custodial parent DCS is serving; and
(b) The postal service employee signs the receipt on behalf of the individual taking delivery as required by current postal service restricted delivery procedures.
(2) The individual taking delivery under section (1)(b) of this section is presumed to be the subject of service or the authorized agent of the subject.