Bill Title: Creating a private right of action for harm from violations of the state Constitution or state law by peace officers
Companion Bill: none
AN ACT Relating to creating a private right of action for harm from violations of the state Constitution or state law by peace officers; amending RCW 4.24.420; adding a new chapter to Title 7 RCW; and providing an effective date.
What the Bill says:
establishes a more meaningful remedy through a civil cause of action by which victims of such misconduct by peace officers or their employers may obtain compensation for their injuries and an award of costs and attorney fees incurred in seeking the remedy. By enacting this chapter, the legislature intends to preclude the creation of the doctrine of qualified immunity as it has developed in litigation of suits under 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.
Our Summary Opinion:
It permits suing the individual officers whenever someone perceives that the officers actions were unconstitutional and thus their civil liberties were harmed. Civil suits have a much lower thresh hold than criminal suits and frequently amounts for damages are awarded when the defendant in the case was exonerated in a judicial court of any crime. Constitutional violations are crimes. Allowing individuals to be sued will only do two things; 1) force police officers and their unions to pay out for higher level of insurance coverage to prevent the total loss of an individual officers personal financial stability, and 2) reduce the number of people willing to take this job risking not only their lives but the financial structure of their families. Vote No for funding the bill.