WA Legal Roundup: Division II
In re the Dependency of KBOhhh- a dependency case not about taking away or keeping a child!! Appellant Ms. Rioux appeals the trial court’s decision for her request for attorneys fees and sanctions against DSHS, concluding that RCW 13.50.100(10) does not apply in guardianship proceedings, and concluding that civil rules of discovery are the exclusive means for seeking a remedy when DSHS does not provide records. Ms. Rioux informally requested records from DSHS pertaining to herself and her daughter. DSHS never complied. Ms. Rioux must have forgotten to pick up a copy of the civil rules book because the Court held (after deciding to review de novo) that due to not complying with the statutory provisions the Court is affirming the trial court’s ruling denying her request to sanction DSHS and snag her attorney’s fees as well as requiring her to comply with the civil rules of discovery when requesting records from DSHS as opposed to submitting a simple request. (Darn- we are required to submit formal requests for productions when we want to obtain records from the other side who would have thought?) The Court also ruled, and DSHS eventually conceded, that legislative intent of RCW 13.50.100(10), although fails to state dependency guardianship proceedings as a category applies to them nonetheless because of the procedural similarities between the category of cases listed and a dependency guardianship proceeding. The court ruled that the portion of the statute stating “subject to the rules of discovery in civil cases” interpreted to mean that when a party wants to request records relating to themselves and their children from DSHS they may do so by serving DSHS with interrogatories, requests for production, subpoenas duces tecum, deposition notices, and other discovery allowed under the civil rules.