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AGO Opinions with Topic: SHERIFF
AGO 1990 No. 4 >  May 24, 1990
SHERIFF - LAW ENFORCEMENT - CITIES AND TOWNS - CONTRACTS - INTERLOCAL COOPERATION ACT - COUNTIES
SHERIFF ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- CONTRACTS ‑- INTERLOCAL COOPERATION ACT ‑- COUNTIES 1.  The county sheriff's duty to enforce state law applies equally in incorporated and unincorporated areas of the county.  2.  If a city is unable to provide for adequate police protection, the county sheriff must take this factor into account in allocating the resources of the sheriff's office.  However, the statutes do not obligate the sheriff to provide a city with a specific number of police officers or a specific level of police services.  3.  If a city wants to obtain a specific number of county police officers or level of police services, the Interlocal Cooperation Act empowers the city to contract with the county to provide those services.
AGO 1980 No. 20 >  October 10, 1980
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - CITY - POLICE - COUNTY - SHERIFF - LAW ENFORCEMENT - COMMUNICATIONS
RECORDING OF EMERGENCY PHONE CALLS TO A POLICE AGENCY (1) Under the provisions of chapter 9.73 RCW, the "incoming phone calls" exception in RCW 9.73.090(1)(a) does permit a police agency to record those incoming calls which are not of an "emergency" nature(2) Assuming the foregoing, however, care must be taken in applying the "incoming phone calls" exception in RCW 9.73.090(1)(a) where the call is received by a police agent who has deliberately induced a criminal suspect, not yet arrested or formally charged, to make an incoming call to the police agency; there, wherever the spirit or the letter of the statute dictates taped mutual consent or judicial authorization prior to recording a telephone conversation with a criminal suspect, the "incoming calls" exception could well be held inapplicable even if single party consent is present.(3) The several statutory exceptions to the Privacy Act set forth in RCW 9.73.030(2), RCW 9.73.090(1)(a), RCW 9.73.090(1)(b) and RCW 9.73.090(2) do not overlap each other in such a way as to render any such exception(s) totally duplicative of another and therefore unnecessary and superfluous.
AGO 1961 No. 5 >  January 30, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF
AUTHORITY TO RECEIVE A REWARD FROM THE UNITED STATES POST OFFICE DEPARTMENT A county sheriff is prohibited by RCW 42.22.040 (2) from receiving a reward from the United States Post Office Department for the performance of services instrumental to the solution of a crime relating to the postal service, unless the matter for which the reward is offered is in no way connected with or related to his services as county sheriff.
AGO 1961 No. 25 >  April 28, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE FELONY CASES IN THIRD AND FOURTH CLASS CITIES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE FELONY CASES IN THIRD AND FOURTH CLASS CITIES A sheriff, as chief law enforcement officer of a county, has the authority to investigate upon his own initiative all felony cases which occur within cities of the third and fourth class in his county.
AGO 1961 No. 26 >  May 2, 1961
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - ROAD PATROLMAN AS SUBJECT TO CIVIL SERVICE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- ROAD PATROLMAN AS SUBJECT TO CIVIL SERVICE A road patrolman employed in a dual capacity by the county commissioners and the county sheriff and who was appointed deputy sheriff prior to the effective date of Initiative No. 23 is covered by the provisions of chapter 41.14 RCW, the civil service act for sheriffs.
AGO 2004 No. 4 >  December 23, 2004
COUNTIES - JAILS - SHERIFF - STATE OFFICERS - STATE PATROL
Responsibility of county jail to accept for booking persons arrested and presented at the jail by state patrol officers or other state employees with law enforcement powers 1.  A county sheriff, as supervisor of the county jail, is required to accept arrestees presented at the jail for booking and housing pending disposition of charges, whether the arrestees are presented by county officers, by state patrol officers, or by other state employees with criminal law enforcement responsibilities.     2.  The county sheriff does not have authority to (1) limit the hours during which the county jail will accept arrestees presented for booking by state officers, or (2) limit the number of arrestees that can be presented during a stated time period.  3.  RCW 43.135.060 does not require the state to reimburse counties for the cost of booking or housing arrestees presented at the county jail by state patrol officers or other state employees, since this practice is neither a “new program” nor an “expansion of an existing program.”
AGO 1972 No. 12 >  June 13, 1972
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE - LIQUOR - AGE REQUIREMENT FOR CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CIVIL SERVICE ‑- LIQUOR ‑- AGE REQUIREMENT FOR CERTAIN CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES A county civil service commission for sheriff's office employees, organized and operating under the provisions of chapter 41.14 RCW, may not promulgate a blanket regulation excluding persons otherwise qualified under RCW 41.14.100 from making application for any civil service position in a sheriff's department, regardless of its duties, on the basis of their being less than twenty-one years of age and thus not legally able to enter a tavern for law enforcement purposes; however, in those selected classes of positions which require the employee to enter taverns for these purposes, a requirement that the applicant be at least twenty-one years of age, and thus legally able to enter a tavern, would be valid.
AGO 1991 No. 10 >  March 13, 1991
COUNTIES - SHERIFF - CORONER - MOTOR VEHICLES - USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES FORFEITED BY SHERIFF
COUNTIES ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CORONER ‑- MOTOR VEHICLES ‑- USE OF MOTOR VEHICLES FORFEITED BY SHERIFF RCW 69.50.505(f)(1) provides that forfeited property may be retained for use by a law enforcement agency of the state.  A coroner does not act as a law enforcement agency of the state.  Therefore, a coroner is not entitled to use a motor vehicle forfeited pursuant to RCW 69.50.505(f)(1).
AGO 1975 No. 19 >  August 22, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT FOR DEPUTY SHERIFF
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT FOR DEPUTY SHERIFF In view of the amendment of RCW 42.14.100 by § 3, chapter 95, Laws of 1963, a deputy county sheriff is not required by state law to be a resident of the county which he serves.
AGO 1984 No. 9 >  March 6, 1984
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - COMMISSIONERS - SHERIFF - SALARIES OR COMPENSATION
AUTHORITY TO FIX SALARIES OF DEPUTY SHERIFFS RCW 41.14.140 does not authorize, or empower, a county sheriff to fix the compensation of his deputies without regard to what the board of county commissioners might have determined.
AGO 1984 No. 16 >  June 28, 1984
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - FUNDS
RETENTION BY COUNTY SHERIFF OF LOST OR ABANDONED MONEY A county sheriff, who officially comes into possession of "lost and found" money, may not keep and retain that money for his office's own use under any of the applicable provisions of chapter 63.40 RCW.
AGO 1984 No. 24 >  September 21, 1984
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - ARREST - FEES
FEE UPON UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO SERVE ARREST WARRANT Where a county sheriff makes one or more unsuccessful attempts to serve (or execute) an arrest warrant which is later cancelled or expires without having been successfully executed, and the sheriff makes a return of "not found" in order to show his efforts to execute the warrant, the sheriff is then entitled to a fee of five dollars "for making a return" plus a mileage fee, as provided for in RCW 36.18.040.
AGO 1991 No. 27 >  July 25, 1991
COUNTIES - CITIES AND TOWNS - CIVIL SERVICE - SHERIFF - POLICE
Seniority status of city police officer transferring to county sheriff's office RCW 41.14.260 provides that a city police officer transferring to a county sheriff's office pursuant to RCW 41.14.250 shall have the same rights, benefits and privileges as the officer would have been entitled to if the officer had been a member of the sheriff's office since the beginning of the officer's employment with the city.  Pursuant to this statute, the officer's seniority is determined by the date of the officer's original hire with the city.
AGO 1963 No. 66 >  October 18, 1963
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL DEFENSE DIRECTOR - OFFICES NOT INCOMPATIBLE - COMPENSATION
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CIVIL DEFENSE DIRECTOR ‑- OFFICES NOT INCOMPATIBLE ‑- COMPENSATION (1) The offices of county sheriff and civil defense director are not incompatible. (2) A sheriff who also holds the office of civil defense director may receive compensation for said office in addition to his regular salary as sheriff.
AGO 1964 No. 124 >  October 20, 1964
COUNTIES - COMMISSIONERS - SHERIFF - DEFENSE OF FALSE ARREST CASES - EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS
COUNTIES ‑- COMMISSIONERS ‑- SHERIFF ‑- DEFENSE OF FALSE ARREST CASES ‑- EXPENDITURE OF PUBLIC FUNDS A county can in a proper case (in this connection see AGO 61-62 No. 71 [[to Mark Litchman, State Representative on October 11, 1961]], and AGO 63-64 No. 118) provide legal services 61-62 No. 71, and AGO 63-64 No. 118) provide legal services for the sheriff and his deputies when they are sued as the result of an official act but this responsibility is not a statutory duty of the prosecuting attorney's office.
AGO 1967 No. 9 >  March 15, 1967
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTIES - FIRST, SECOND OR THIRD CLASS - SHERIFF - APPOINTMENTS OUTSIDE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE - JAILER - HEAD JAILER
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTIES - FIRST, SECOND OR THIRD CLASS - SHERIFF - APPOINTMENTS OUTSIDE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE - JAILER - HEAD JAILER The only positions which are outside the classified civil service in the sheriff's office of a first, second or third class county are the positions of sheriff and three principal positions comparable to undersheriff, a chief criminal deputy and a chief civil deputy; accordingly, the sheriff of such a county may not fill the position of jailer or head jailer by appointment outside the classified civil service except to the extent that he may designate himself, or his undersheriff, chief criminal deputy or chief civil deputy as jailer or head jailer.
AGO 1968 No. 9 >  February 20, 1968
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - MOTOR VEHICLES - LIENS - RECOVERY AND DISPOSITION OF STOLEN VEHICLES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - MOTOR VEHICLES - LIENS - RECOVERY AND DISPOSITION OF STOLEN VEHICLES (1) Where a sheriff finds a reported stolen vehicle abandoned on a public highway or at some other place in his county, he may, in the absence of available public equipment and facilities for such purposes, employ the operator of a private towing and storage service to tow and store such vehicle until the owner appears and claims it. (2) In such a case, the private towing and storage operator who has been thus employed may assert a lien in the vehicle against the owner for payment of such towing and storage charges as are due at the time the owner appears to claim the vehicle.
AGO 1989 No. 19 >  October 23, 1989
FIREARMS - AUCTION OF FIREARMS - CITIES AND TOWNS - SHERIFF - STATE PATROL - LAW ENFORCEMENT
FIREARMS ‑- LAW ENFORCEMENT ‑- STATE PATROL ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- AUCTION OF FIREARMS In order to comply with the auction requirements of RCW 9.41.098, a law enforcement agency must conduct its initial auction of firearms within one year after accumulating ten "forfeited" firearms as defined in the statute, excluding any firearms which the agency is legally entitled to retain for its own use; agencies which have not accumulated ten "forfeited" firearms may use their own discretion in deciding when to conduct an auction.
AGO 1996 No. 7 >  May 16, 1996
CITIES AND TOWNS - COUNTIES - SHERIFF - POLICE - PUBLIC EMPLOYMENT
Transfer rights of sheriff's employees laid off as a result of formation of police department in city incoporated before enactment of statutes granting transfer rights RCW 35.13.360 through .400 do not entitle sheriff's employees to transfer to the police department of a city which, having incorporated prior to the effective date of those statutes, but having contracted with the county for law enforcement services for several years, then (subsequent to the enactment of the statutes) forms its own police department.
AGO 1959 No. 16 >  February 24, 1959
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - DUTIES WITH REGARD TO ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- DUTIES WITH REGARD TO ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLES Motor vehicles left in storage by other than registered owner in excess of fifteen days is abandoned and must be turned over to the sheriff.  Garage owner failing to do so is guilty of a misdemeanor under RCW 46.64.050 and forfeits his claim for storage.
AGO 1959 No. 28 >  April 6, 1959
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - DISMISSAL OF PROBATIONER BY APPOINTING AUTHORITY
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION - DISMISSAL OF PROBATIONER BY APPOINTING AUTHORITY (1)  The sheriff as appointing authority under Initiative No. 23 who dismisses a probationer is not required to notify the civil service commission of the basis for the dismissal. (2)  A probationer who has been dismissed does not have the right to have his dismissal reviewed by the civil service commission.
AGO 1959 No. 29 >  April 16, 1959
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - AUTHORITY TO BE APPOINTED DEPUTY SHERIFF IN AN ADJOINING COUNTY AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR HIS WORK WHILE STILL SHERIFF - RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT OF DEPUTY SHERIFF
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - AUTHORITY TO BE APPOINTED DEPUTY SHERIFF IN AN ADJOINING COUNTY AND RECEIVE COMPENSATION FOR HIS WORK WHILE STILL SHERIFF - RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT OF DEPUTY... (1)  A deputy sheriff with a regular commission must be a resident of the county in which he holds such commission. (2)  An elected sheriff may not be appointed a regular deputy sheriff in another county; if he is so appointed he is a de facto officer and is not entitled to compensation from the appointing authority.
AGO 1959 No. 30 >  April 27, 1959
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - APPLICABILITY OF VETERANS PREFERENCE ACTS TO INITIATIVE NO. 23, SHERIFFS' EMPLOYEES' CIVIL SERVICE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - APPLICABILITY OF VETERANS PREFERENCE ACTS TO INITIATIVE NO. 23, SHERIFFS' EMPLOYEES' CIVIL SERVICE 1.  RCW 73.16.010, which provides that veterans shall be preferred for appointment and employment in every public department is not applicable to positions covered by Initiative No. 23. 2.  RCW 41.04.010, which provides that veterans shall be given a preference in all competitive examinations for public office, position or employment is applicable to position covered by Initiative No. 23. 3.  Either a "newspaper article" or a "paid legal publication" is sufficient to meet one of the requirements of public notice of civil service examination contained in proposed civil service Rule V, § 1.
AGO 1959 No. 44 >  June 5, 1959
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF HIS DEPUTIES UNDER INITIATIVE 23
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF HIS DEPUTIES UNDER INITIATIVE 23 A county sheriff is no longer liable for the acts of his deputies who are in the classified service since the enactment of Initiative 23; but he is liable for acts of his deputies who are not in the classified service.
AGO 1960 No. 146 >  September 28, 1960
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - DISPOSAL OF STOLEN PROPERTY
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - DISPOSAL OF STOLEN PROPERTY There is no legal procedure for the disposition of stolen tangible property which has come into the county sheriff's possession in the course of his official duties.
AGO 1960 No. 170 >  December 27, 1960
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - FEE SCHEDULE
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF -FEE SCHEDULE (1) A sheriff may charge ten cents per mile in serving a summons and complaint where service is not obtained until the fifth trip.(2)  A $2.00 fee is applicable to returns of execution, personal and real, attachments, personal and real, and order of sale, personal and real.(3)  Under RCW 36.18.040 the fee for serving or executing any other writ or process in a civil action or proceeding not specifically covered by other provisions of the act is $2.00 and mileage; and for the execution of any process requiring or commanding something to be done in a criminal action the fee is $4.00. (4)  The sheriff may charge $3.00 for levying each writ of attachment or execution and $2.00 for filing the same with the auditor.(5)  In computing mileage traveled the sheriff may round off the mileage traveled at the nearest mile.(6)  The fees to be charged for processing of a sale under order of sale and execution are set forth in the opinion.(7)  Under RCW 6.16.020 (3) a television set may be included in the exemption from execution allowed a household.
AGLO 1982 No. 25 >  November 10, 1982
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - JAILS
ACCEPTANCE OF PRISONERS IN EXCESS OF JAIL CAPACITY A county sheriff or director of a county department of corrections is not authorized to refuse to accept custody of persons ordered by a court of competent jurisdiction to be confined in a county jail, or to release other prisoners to make room for such persons, for the sole purpose of avoiding overcrowding in violation of State Jail Commission custodial care standards.
AGLO 1981 No. 28 >  October 27, 1981
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE
INSPECTION OF SHERIFF'S OFFICE BY CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION A county sheriff may not legally adopt and enforce an administrative rule under which no civil service commission member or members would be allowed on the sheriff's department's premises during the course of an inspection or investigation conducted under RCW 41.14.060(3) unless accompanied by a member of the sheriff's staff.
AGLO 1980 No. 13 >  March 18, 1980
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF
CLOTHING ALLOWANCE FOR CIVILIAN CLOTHING As amended by § 1, chapter 132, Laws of 1979, RCW 36.28.180 does authorize the expenditure of county money for civilian clothing for nonuniformed sheriff deputies such as detectives, but only to the extent that the civilian clothing in question has been determined to be necessary for the performance of their official duties.
AGLO 1979 No. 5 >  January 18, 1979
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE
DISMISSAL OR SUSPENSION OF DEPUTY SHERIFFS The provisions of chapter 41.14 RCW constitute the exclusive means of removing, suspending, demoting or otherwise taking action adverse to the employment status of a deputy sheriff whose employment is covered by that law, any provisions contained in a collective bargaining agreement to the contrary not withstanding.
AGLO 1975 No. 8 >  January 31, 1975
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CORONER
VACANCY IN OFFICE (1) A vacancy in the office of county sheriff created by a resignation does not constitute an "incapacity" within the meaning of RCW 36.24.010 so as to require the county coroner to perform the duties of the sheriff until the vacancy is filled by the county commissioners. (2) If, upon the occurrence of a vacancy in the office of county sheriff, the superior court of the county were to appoint an acting sheriff under the provisions of RCW 36.28.090, its action would be entitled to a presumption of validity and even if ultimately established to be invalid, it would nevertheless establish the appointee as the defacto county sheriff.
AGLO 1978 No. 8 >  March 14, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CIVIL SERVICE - HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARIAN AS CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONER
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CIVIL SERVICE ‑- HIGH SCHOOL LIBRARIAN AS CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONER


RCW 41.14.030 does not prohibit a person from simultaneously serving as a county civil service commissioner and as a high school librarian.

 

AGLO 1978 No. 20 >  June 22, 1978
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF DEPUTY SHERIFFS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF DEPUTY SHERIFFS Neither the fact that RCW 41.14.190 is a special statute relating only to deputy county sheriffs and related personnel nor the further fact that this law was originally adopted as part of an initiative to the people is sufficient to cause the statute (prohibiting political activities by deputy sheriffs) to remain fully enforceable and unaffected by the later enactment of § 1, chapter 136, Laws of 1974, 1st Ex.Sess., whereby the legislature granted the right to participate in designated political activities to all state and local governmental employees.
AGLO 1977 No. 32 >  July 25, 1977
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CONDUCT OF SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CONDUCT OF SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS Even though the statutes relating to duties of a county sheriff do not, themselves, expressly require him to conduct search and rescue operations he may well have a duty to do so either because of his involvement in the county emergency services organization or because a criminal investigation may be called for under the facts of a given case.
AGLO 1973 No. 59 >  May 31, 1973
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF - CONCEALED WEAPONS - ISSUANCE OF PERMIT
OFFICES AND OFFICERS ‑- COUNTY ‑- SHERIFF ‑- CONCEALED WEAPONS ‑- ISSUANCE OF PERMIT A county sheriff may not refuse to issue a permit to carry a concealed weapon under RCW 9.41.070 solely on the ground that the person applying for such permit is not a resident of his particular county.
AGLO 1974 No. 62 >  June 28, 1974
TAXATION - RETAIL SALES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - COUNTY - SHERIFF
APPLICABILITY OF RETAIL SALES TAX TO SALES OF UNCLAIMED PERSONAL PROPERTY The provisions of chapter 82.08 RCW (retail sales tax) are not applicable to sales by a county sheriff of unclaimed personal property pursuant to chapter 63.40 RCW unless the county is for some reason required to be registered for purposes of the business and occupation tax or the public utility tax by reason of its engagement in activities other than the sale of unclaimed personal property.
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