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Thread: Email I just got from Washington State Chief Justice

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    Dear Mr. Braun:

    In response to your e-mail message I can indicate that we do not currently maintain a lockbox or storage area for weapons here at the Temple of Justice. We have declined to provide a lock box for the following reasons:

    (1) This building is entirely a court facility and, therefore, pursuant to RCW 9.41.300(b) no one should be entering the building with a weapon.
    (2) The local legislative authority has not provided the court with a lock box.
    (3) The court’s receptionists are not law enforcement officers and, thus, would be uncomfortable handling weapons handed over to them by visitors to the building.

    Chief Justice Gerry Alexander
    WA State Supreme Court

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    The man must stop reading after the first paragraph or something...
    (b) Those areas in any building which are used in connection with court proceedings, including courtrooms, jury rooms, judge's chambers, offices and areas used to conduct court business, waiting areas, and corridors adjacent to areas used in connection with court proceedings. The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).

    For purposes of this subsection (1)(b), "weapon" means any firearm, explosive as defined in RCW 70.74.010, or any weapon of the kind usually known as slung shot, sand club, or metal knuckles, or any knife, dagger, dirk, or other similar weapon that is capable of causing death or bodily injury and is commonly used with the intent to cause death or bodily injury.

    In addition, the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box sufficient in size for pistols and key to a weapon owner for weapon storage, or shall designate an official to receive weapons for safekeeping, during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building. The locked box or designated official shall be located within the same building used in connection with court proceedings. The local legislative authority shall be liable for any negligence causing damage to or loss of a weapon either placed in a locked box or left with an official during the owner's visit to restricted areas of the building.

    The local judicial authority shall designate and clearly mark those areas where weapons are prohibited, and shall post notices at each entrance to the building of the prohibition against weapons in the restricted areas;
    If the whole building is a restricted area, then the local legislative authority shall provide either a stationary locked box or a designated official for any visitor going to the building's restricted areas (i.e. inside).
    "If we were to ever consider citizenship as the least bit matter of merit instead of birthright, imagine who should be selected as deserved representation of our democracy: someone who would risk their daily livelihood to cast an individually statistically insignificant vote, or those who wrap themselves in the flag against slightest slights." - agenthex

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    He seems to have overlooked this portion of 9.41.300(b);

    The restricted areas do not include common areas of ingress and egress to the building that is used in connection with court proceedings, when it is possible to protect court areas without restricting ingress and egress to the building. The restricted areas shall be the minimum necessary to fulfill the objective of this subsection (1)(b).


    Also wouldn't the local judicial authority be Wa. State since it is a state court?
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Who do you contact in a case of the State Supreme Court not providing a Lock Box or safe area of storage?

    The Attorney General?

    It's not that I'm concerned about it for myself, but more so helping everything get set straight when it comes to this matter.

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    The man must stop reading after the first paragraph or something.
    ...
    He seems to have overlooked this portion of 9.41.300(b);
    Hardly, see (2) in his reply.

    What you both seem to be overlooking is that the court itself isn't responsible for providing the facility, the "local legislative authority" is. It seems pretty clear that the legislators, in writing this, had municipal and superior courts in mind, and perhaps neglected to consider the Supreme Court as a special case. And the RCW (not surprisingly) falls short in that it neither provides any penalty for the lack of provision, nor specify that, in the event of such a lack, that the ban will not apply.

    That being said, I would still fault the Chief Justice (and each of his colleagues jointly and severally) for just ignoring this issue when they presumably could have brought it to someone's attention. I can guarantee you that, if the final defect mentioned in my previous paragraph were remedied--i.e. that the absense of a storage arrangement meant that carry was permitted--the oversight would have been remedied long before now!



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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    Dear Mr. Braun:
    (1)*** **This building is entirely a court facility and, therefore, pursuant to RCW 9.41.300(b) no one should be entering the building with a weapon.
    (2)*** **The local legislative authority has not provided the court with a lock box.
    (3)*** **The court’s receptionists are not law enforcement officers and, thus, would be uncomfortable handling weapons handed over to them by visitors to the building.
    If he really thought they were covered by 1. why did he then go on with 2 and 3?

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    trevorthebusdriver wrote:
    Aaron1124 wrote:
    Dear Mr. Braun:
    (1) This building is entirely a court facility and, therefore, pursuant to RCW 9.41.300(b) no one should be entering the building with a weapon.
    (2) The local legislative authority has not provided the court with a lock box.
    (3) The court’s receptionists are not law enforcement officers and, thus, would be uncomfortable handling weapons handed over to them by visitors to the building.
    If he really thought they were covered by 1. why did he then go on with 2 and 3?
    You guys are being way too harsh - the statute requires the local legislative authority to provide the boxes - the courts do not just command legislatures to do stuff - they wait until a party with standing brings an action to compel the local leg. auth to do somthing - now somebody tell me who that woul dbe, the state legislature? Alternatively as their is no local leg. for the S. Ct., then maybe the stat. does not apply as a matter of statutory construction.

    if you want to find out, file a lawsuit, or if you want to clarify the responsibilities, get a bill introduced to fix it.

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    I just contacted two state legislatures regarding this issue.. hoping to get some clarification on it.

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    Speaking of which.. check out the interior of the Washington State Legislatures Building... wow



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    It's even more impressive in person. The view from the top of the rotunda is amazing.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Mr. Braun,

    I have contacted our policy staff and asked them to look into this. I will get back to you as soon as I get a response from them. Usually, this takes a couple of days.

    Sincerely,

    Tina Bodine, Legislative Assistant to
    Senator Joseph Zarelli
    18th Legislative District
    360.786.7634 Fax 360.786.7524
    Senator Zarelli's Web Site http://www1.leg.wa.gov/senate/zarelli
    Bill Information http://www.leg.wa.gov/legislature

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    I have been pushing my State representatives for a similar "Safe Storage" law here in Utah. It is unacceptable that I should have to either leave my weapon in the car and be unarmed for the whole walk to the courthouse, or be unarmed the entire trip if I am taking public transportation (which I do almost exclusively when going downtown).

    Ideally, responsible citizens would be able to carry EVERYWHERE, no exceptions, but that isn't going to happen any time soon...

    Good luck! Keep fighting the good fight!

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    I agree. I won't be surprised if the legislature does conclude that their RCW includes the Supreme Court as well. I wonder what sort of action would be taken if they hear that they don't provide a safe area of storage for a legal weapon.

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    kparker wrote:
    And the RCW (not surprisingly) falls short in that it neither provides any penalty for the lack of provision, nor specify that, in the event of such a lack, that the ban will not apply.

    This is a problem with many Statutes that involve Government and their actions. How about violation of the Preemption statute?

    What good are laws without penalties. Ever notice how every law that involves citizens has a designation of some level of Felony or Misdemeanor yet those laws that cover Government have none. No fines, no jail for those that violate, etc., etc.

    So much for "Equality under the Law".
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

    "If you refuse to stand up for others now, who will stand up for you when your time comes?"

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    Time to start complaining to the State Legislatures!

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    I believe the legal remedy for something like this is A Writ of Mandamus.


    A writ of mandamus or mandamus (which means "we command" in Latin), or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".[1] Mandamus is a judicial remedy which is in the form of an order from a superior court to any government, subordinate court, corporation or public authority to do or forbear from doing some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing, as the case may be, and which is in the nature of public duty and in certain cases of a statutory duty.[2] It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. Mandamus may be a command to do an administrative action or not to take a particular action, and it is supplemented by legal rights. It must be a judicially enforceable and legally protected right before one suffering a grievance can ask for a mandamus. A person can be said to be aggrieved only when he is denied a legal right by someone who has a legal duty to do something and abstains from doing it.

    Since you have been denied the right to check you gun as required by state law, you should be able to ask a court for a Writ of Mandamus to require them to comply with the law.

    However since it is a state law, only State Courts can issue the writ, so who would issue a writ to the Supreme Court?

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    Right Wing Wacko wrote:
    I believe the legal remedy for something like this is A Writ of Mandamus.


    A writ of mandamus or mandamus (which means "we command" in Latin), or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".[1] Mandamus is a judicial remedy which is in the form of an order from a superior court to any government, subordinate court, corporation or public authority to do or forbear from doing some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing, as the case may be, and which is in the nature of public duty and in certain cases of a statutory duty.[2] It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. Mandamus may be a command to do an administrative action or not to take a particular action, and it is supplemented by legal rights. It must be a judicially enforceable and legally protected right before one suffering a grievance can ask for a mandamus. A person can be said to be aggrieved only when he is denied a legal right by someone who has a legal duty to do something and abstains from doing it.

    Since you have been denied the right to check you gun as required by state law, you should be able to ask a court for a Writ of Mandamus to require them to comply with the law.

    However since it is a state law, only State Courts can issue the writ, so who would issue a writ to the Supreme Court?
    I would guess one would have to take the matter to one of the following:

    A) Legislature

    B) Governor

    C) Attorney General

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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    Right Wing Wacko wrote:
    *I believe the legal remedy for something like this is A Writ of Mandamus.


    A writ of mandamus or mandamus (which means "we command" in Latin), or sometimes mandate, is the name of one of the prerogative writs in the common law, and is "issued by a superior court to compel a lower court or a government officer to perform mandatory or purely ministerial duties correctly".[1] Mandamus is a judicial remedy which is in the form of an order from a superior court to any government, subordinate court, corporation or public authority to do or forbear from doing some specific act which that body is obliged under law to do or refrain from doing, as the case may be, and which is in the nature of public duty and in certain cases of a statutory duty.[2] It cannot be issued to compel an authority to do something against statutory provision. Mandamus may be a command to do an administrative action or not to take a particular action, and it is supplemented by legal rights. It must be a judicially enforceable and legally protected right before one suffering a grievance can ask for a mandamus. A person can be said to be aggrieved only when he is denied a legal right by someone who has a legal duty to do something and abstains from doing it.

    Since you have been denied the right to check you gun as required by state law, you should be able to ask a court for a Writ of Mandamus to require them to comply with the law.

    However since it is a state law, only State Courts can issue the writ, so who would issue a writ to the Supreme Court?
    I would guess one would have to take the matter to one of the following:

    A) Legislature

    B) Governor

    C) Attorney General
    Of the three it would have to be the legislature as they would be the local legislative authority.

    The Gov. and AG will stay quiet on the subject because the law does not require them to act.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Aaron1124 wrote:
    (2) The local legislative authority has not provided the court with a lock box.

    Chief Justice Gerry Alexander
    WA State Supreme Court
    Seems like he is saying that the local legislative authority is something different than his office. I think you should e-mail him back and ask for clarification as to who the local legislative authority is and how to contact them, as they are clearly required by law to provide the locked box.

    He is basically saying that you are right but that it isn't his job to provide the lockbox it is the "local legislative authority" since he uses the same legale terminology in his e-mail that is used in the statue I don't think he is unfamiliar with it. He is pointing you in the right direction...

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    TriCityOC wrote:
    Aaron1124 wrote:
    (2) The local legislative authority has not provided the court with a lock box.

    Chief Justice Gerry Alexander
    WA State Supreme Court
    Seems like he is saying that the local legislative authority is something different than his office. I think you should e-mail him back and ask for clarification as to who the local legislative authority is and how to contact them, as they are clearly required by law to provide the locked box.

    He is basically saying that you are right but that it isn't his job to provide the lockbox it is the "local legislative authority" since he uses the same legale terminology in his e-mail that is used in the statue I don't think he is unfamiliar with it. He is pointing you in the right direction...
    Who is the "Local legislative authority" normally considered? For the municipal court, isn't the local legislative authority the City Council? Meaning on a state level, it would lead me to believe it's the Washington State Legislature. I'll check into it.

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    Obviously, the most striking aspect of this is that we now have on record the Chief Justice of the WA SC stating that he does not follow the law partially due to staff comfort level.

    We. Are. Doomed.

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    I forwarded his email to a couple of different Washington State legislatures, so I'm awaiting a response to see if what he says falls within the law or not.

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    The verdict is in.....

    ...

    ...

    The Legislature exempts the Washington State Supreme Court.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Dear Aaron, Thank you for your inquiry. In response to your email, Rep. Upthegrove asked me to work with policy staff of the House Judiciary Committee to answer your question. It appears that the lock box requirement does not apply to the Supreme Court. The law is silent on courts that are not governed by a "local legislative authority." It would apply to counties (superior and district courts) and cities (municipal courts). The law does not distinguish between the Supreme Court and other locations "used in connection with court proceedings." Therefore, it would still be illegal to bring a weapon to the Supreme Court. I hope this is the information you need. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can be of further assistance. Sincerely, _________________________________________ Rachel Smith Legislative Assistant to Rep. Dave Upthegrove Phone: (360) 786-7868 Webpage: http://hdc.leg.wa.gov/members/upthegrove/index.asp Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000

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    Regular Member kwiebe's Avatar
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    Good to get this clarified but it did little to restore my faith in the Chief Justice.

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    kwiebe wrote:
    Obviously, the most striking aspect of this is that we now have on record the Chief Justice of the WA SC stating that he does not follow the law partially due to staff comfort level.

    We. Are. Doomed.
    No, the ChiefJustice is not the legislative authority. Of the three branches of government (Legislative, Judicial, Executive) he is in the JUDICIAL branch, and as such has no legislative authority.

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