Grievance Procedures

Penny Allen filed this request with the Superior Court Administration of Port Orchard, WA .
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Penny Allen

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to RCW Ch. 42.56 (Public Records Act), I hereby request the following records:

All communications by and between Kitsap County Superior Court Administration and Kitsap County Juvenile Court Administration, CASA, and Superior Court Judges, and departmental staff of both administrations and all practicing (notified) attorneys regarding grievances filed against CASA , GAL and court appointed custody investigators. Please include all correspondence relating to any changes in processes and procedures whether suggested, in planning stages of discussion or implemented since January 01, 2017 which are relating to or effecting grievance policies and procedures and the handling and processing of grievance procedures.

For each record that the agency contends is exempt from public disclosure, please specifically identify the record by subject, title, author, custodian and date, and specifically state how the specific statutory exemption applies to the record as required by RCW 42.56.210(3). For each responsive record that you contend is exempt from public disclosure, in whole or in part, please specifically identify the record by subject, title, author, custodian and date, and state how a specific statutory exemption applies to each record as required by RCW 42.56.210(3)
Public Records Disclosure Request 7.10.2017

Please limit your search to the time period 1/01/2017 to present.

For those responsive records that currently exist in electronic format (such as email, Word, or PDF files), please provide those documents in such native format by either forwarding the files to me by email or making those files available for inspection.

For those documents which exist only in paper form or where paper copies of records available in electronic form contain handwritten marks or notes, please provide both the native electronic record and a copy of the paper record for inspection.

"Public record" includes "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of government or the performance of any governmental or proprietary function prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state, county, or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics." RCW 42.56.010(2).

'"Writing' means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostatting, photographing, and every other means of recording any form of communication or representation including, but not limited to, letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, motion picture, film and video recordings, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, diskettes, sound recordings, and other documents including existing data compilations from which information may be obtained or translated." RCW 42.56.010(3).

This request specifically includes -and you are specifically directed to obtain, preserve in native format, and produce -any records that exist on any computers, hard drives, portable phones, jump drives, BlackBerries, iPhone, Kindle, IPad, or other devices, or in email, data, voice mail, or text mail accounts owned, controlled or paid for, directly or indirectly, by any agency or taxpayer.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Penny Allen

From: Frank Maiocco

Good evening -

Please find, attached, the Kitsap County Superior Court's 5 day letter regarding your request for public records, emailed on July 26, 2017.

Thank you very much.

Frank A. Maiocco, Jr.
Court Administrator
Kitsap County Superior Court
fmaiocco@co.kitsap.wa.us

From: Penny Allen

I thank you for your response to my records request. Respectfully, the records should already be posted available for public access. I am providing clarification of the records I'm seeking in order to assist you in verifying where the documents can be found and viewed by the public.

These documents would have been created since May, 2017 under the supervision of the court administrator and GAL program manager. If the documents exist but have not yet been published, please indicate when they are expected to be implemented and what Rule(s) are to be followed until they are fully implemented and the existing Rule(s) will be exempt or nullified.

Current Washington State Grievance rules—2000 c 124: "Each superior court shall adopt rules establishing and governing procedures for filing, investigating, and adjudicating grievances made by or against guardians ad litem under Titles 11, 13, and 26 RCW." [ 2000 c 124 § 16.

In keeping with the State rule, Kitsap Superior Court had adopted (and currently has published) GUARDIAN AD LITEM RULE 7: GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES which states in part, “Each court shall promulgate rules that set out or refer to policies and procedures establishing and governing the filing, investigating, and adjudicating grievances made by or against guardians ad litem under Titles, 11, 13, and 26 RCW. The rules shall, at a minimum, comply with and address the following: (a) Clear and concise. The rules shall be clear, and concise and easily understood by both attorneys and non-attorneys…”

In May 2017, Kitsap County Superior Court Judge Sally Olsen explained in a letter addressed to the complainant regarding a second request for the GAL response to a grievance that she and all of the Superior Court Judges decided to deny the claimant access to the reply of the Respondent in the claimants own matter. Thereby denying the claimant the ability to appeal the decision.

Despite the Rule encompassing all Titles of child advocates/court appointed investigators, Judge Olsen stated the reason for withholding the investigator's response was because:

“Following a thorough discussion, the judges concluded that 1) the Court needs to establish a custody investigator grievance procedure that is clearly distinguishable from the Courts current GAL grievance procedures. 2)the Courts local Guardian Ad Litem rules require a revision in order to properly comport with overriding State GAL rules.”

I am requesting documents which lend support to that statement from Judge Olsen. Documents would include the following information:

1) The ‘new grievance procedure’ that should be followed when filing or adjudicating a grievance against a child custody investigator.

2) Records which clarify the courts position on why there should be a different procedure for grievances filed against a child custody
investigator as opposed to a GAL.

3) Information of what policy and/or rule grants authority to change rules mid-stride a grievance that was submitted under an existing set of rules; Allowing a new unwritten, unpublished rule to take precedence.

4) Any supporting Documentation which identifies the authority of the superior court GAL committee (comprised of 3 superior court judges) to conclude that the established local rule should be changed to be non- consistent or “comport” (?) with Washington State rule.

5) Documents which verify that existing rules may be disregarded when there are plans to “establish” or adopt new rules considering the new rules have not been established yet.

6) Please provide any Documentation which identifies statutes, rules or any precedent supporting that a grievant cannot be privy to the reply of the respondent in their own grievance filing.

I request fees be waived as this information should already be accessible to the public and is of interest to the public in ensuring that Kitsap County Court system continues to strive to assure due process and equal protection under the law, promoting access to justice to all persons, and restoring public confidence and trust in the judiciary.

SIncerely,

From: Frank Maiocco

Good morning, Ms. Allen:

Please find, attached, a letter and incorporated attachments, to your request for court administrative records of July 26, 2017 as clarified by your email on August 3, 2017.

Thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,

Frank A. Maiocco, Jr.
Court Administrator
Kitsap County Superior Court
fmaiocco@co.kitsap.wa.us

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