Category: News & Updates

New Immigration Law Clinic at KCLS

In cooperation with the Eastside Legal Assistance Program (ELAP), The Welcoming Center at the Kent branch of KCLS is sponsoring a new immigration law clinic to assist with questions about green cards, seeking asylum, filing out immigration forms, immigration court hearings, bringing family members to the U.S. and more.  To learn if you qualify for a free 45-minute consultation, contact ELAP’s main line at (425) 747-7274.

Responding to a Petition for Visits

The Northwest Justice Project, via its self-help site WashingtonLawHelp.org, has released a new guide to help custodial parents respond to a petition from a third-party–such as a grandparent or another relative–for visitation rights.  It’s titled You Have Been Served with a Petition for Visits and includes a complete set of instructions and forms.  Depending on your circumstances, you may also need to read through the information in two related NJP guides: Which Court can Enter Custody Orders? Questions and Answers about Jurisdiction –which will help you understand how to determine if a Washington court has the right to consider a petition for visitation–and Washington’s New Non-Parent Visitation Rights –which provides a general overview of our State’s Non-Parent Visitation Rights law.

Debt Collection Laws in Washington Make It Easy for Collectors

An in-depth article in the Seattle Times takes a look the laws and rules that permit collections firms to make life painful for debtors in Washington State.  With the addition of court-sanctioned fees and the highest post-judgment interest rates in the county, lawmakers are finally taking another look the industry.

The Library hosts a Debt Defense Clinic that is put on by the Northwest Justice Project.

A lot of helpful information can also be found on the WashingtonLawHelp.org website.

Public Defenders to Help Vacating Eligible Convictions

The King County Office of Public Defense has announced a new initiative to help people remove eligible convictions from their record.  Eligibility depends on the type of conviction (many misdemeanors and non-violent Class B & Class C felonies) as well as the amount of time that has passed since the conviction – among other things.

 

The Seattle Times published a good article on the announcement, which can be found HERE.

Information on the Office of Public Defense can be found HERE.

WSBA Members To Get Access to Fastcase!

Beginning in “early 2019,” the Washington State Bar Association is going to give all active members access to Fastcase as part of their bar membership.  Once it goes live, bar members will have full access to their extensive collection of caselaw, statutes, regulations, court rules, and other materials.  The arrangement will allow unlimited research and includes webinar training and customer support from Fastcase reference attorneys.  You can read the full press release HERE.

Washington State Assists Furloughed Federal Employees

The Washington State Employment Security Department has announced that Federal workers furloughed due to the partial shutdown of the Federal government may apply for unemployment benefits.  Interested workers can apply online or by phone at 800-318-6022.  They will need to provide verification of their wages in the event ESD cannot reach their agencies.  For more information, visit ESD’s web site.

How to Nullify Your Property’s Discriminatory Covenants

Many Seattle homeowners are unaware that their property may have restrictive covenants (dictating what types of people can own the property) attached to it that are based on outdated, unenforceable and racist policies from the past.  But beginning January 1st of 2019, homeowners can ask the King County Recorder’s Office to modify any of their deeds that contain such language.  Read the Seattle Times article HERE.

IdentityTheft.gov Helps You Recover from Identity Theft

The Federal Trade Commission’s online resource, IdentityTheft.gov, can help you recover from identity theft.  The site uses a three-step process to gather information about your situation, create a recovery plan for immediate action and follow-up steps and, if you choose to create a personal account, to help you track the steps you’ve taken and update your recovery plan as you proceed.  It provides sample letters and checklists.  It also includes custom checklists for specific types of accounts that are often the target of identify thieves and special forms for situations like tax, medical and child identity theft.  The recommended routine is to follow the site’s interview process to produce a custom recovery plan but you can also jump directly to a complete list of all recovery steps contained within the site.  It includes numerous independent links related to identity theft and identity protection, including links to information about the warning signs of identify theft, what your rights are in an identity theft situation and how to contact credit bureaus.

Infographics Help Explain Legal Research Visually

Thanks to LeighAnne Thompson, Reference Librarian at Seattle University School of Law, our site now has copies of the following legal research guides, presented as infographics created with Piktochart.

Many people are visual learners so using the infographics format leverages this fact and can help people better understand information, even complex information like legal research processes.  Please let us know if you find these helpful by sending us an email.

Legal Research Strategy

Researching Municipal Law

Washington Legislative History

Washington Administrative Law