TODAY WE ARE FILING A CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT AGAINST THE WASHINGTON LEGISLATURE FOR FAILING TO FUND OUR COURTS.
Today, the Stritmatter firm filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Washington for its historical constitutional failure to properly fund the Courts. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Washington State ranked 50 out of 50 in state funding for trial courts in 2012 and little has changed since.
Citing to decades of unanswered Court requests for financial help, the Complaint features the words of State Supreme Court Justices, such as former Chief Barbara Madsen who wrote in 2015:
[O]ur courts continue to struggle with high caseloads, reduced staff, old information systems, growing needs for interpreters, and inadequate structures. Meeting the justice needs of the people of Washington requires adequate funding from the legislature.”… “Justice matters, but the stark reality is that adequate funding is still the most severe obstacle impeding fair, accessible and timely justice for the people of Washington.”
The named Plaintiffs represent hundreds and perhaps thousands of proposed class Plaintiffs impacted by the trial courts’ breakdowns in functioning.
THE COMPLAINT DOES NOT SEEK MONEY DAMAGES. INSTEAD IT ASKS THAT THE LEGISLATURE BE COMPELLED TO ADEQUATELY AND REASONABLY FUND THE THIRD BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT.
The legal team for this case includes: Karen Koehler, Garth Jones, Dan Laurence, Ed Moore, Gemma Zanowski. And Alysha Koehler law clerk.