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No. The property tax appeal process begins with the County Board. You may not file an appeal with the State Board until you have received your decision from the County Board.
Yes, you do risk losing the reduction you received from the County Board. The State Board may determine a value for your property which is the same as, lower than, or higher than the value established by the County Board. However, if the State Board does set aside the County Board's decision, the State Board may not assign a value higher than the Assessor's original value.
Yes. The Assessor has the right to appeal to the State Board if he or she is dissatisfied with the County Board's decision. If the Assessor files an appeal with the State Board, the State Board will notify you and provide you with instructions for filing an Answer To Notice of Appeal. The appeal process and hearing procedures will be the same as those described in this brochure.
Most property owners request an informal hearing. If you request an informal hearing, the State Board's decision cannot be appealed to Superior Court. The State Board will process your appeal as a request for an informal hearing unless either party requests a formal hearing. If either you or the Assessor requests a formal hearing, the State Board's decision may be appealed to Superior Court. You, as the Appellant, must request the formal hearing when you file your appeal with the State Board. The Assessor, as the Respondent, must request the formal hearing by notifying the State Board in writing within twenty calendar days from the date of mailing of the Notice of Appeal.
The State Board conducts informal hearings under Rules of Practice and Procedure found in WAG 456-10. These rules are designed to enable property owners to represent themselves at the hearing. Informal hearings are heard by one or more Board Members or by a Tax Referee.
The State Board conducts formal hearings under the provisions of the Washington State Administrative Procedure Act, RCW 34.05. Formal hearings are usually requested by persons considering an appeal to Superior Court on the record developed at the State Board hearing. A court reporter is normally present at formal hearings to record the oral testimony presented, and both parties are usually represented by an attorney.
You may obtain a Notice of Appeal - Property Tax form (BTAL 00) from any offices of the County Assessor or the Clerk of the County Board, or by contacting the State Board at 360-753-5446. The Notice of Appeal form is also available on the State Board's website. Appeals may also be filed using the format outlined in WAC 456-09-31 0 for formal hearings or WAC 456-10-31 0 for informal hearings.
To file an appeal, you must submit an "appeal packet" containing:
Do not send any other material to the State Board at the time you submit your appeal packet. After you receive the State Board's letter acknowledging receipt of your appeal packet, you can submit any additional material that supports your case. Any additional material that you submit to the State Board must also be provided to the County Assessor at least ten business days prior to your hearing.
Mail, fax, or deliver your appeal packet to the State Board's office in Olympia on or before the 30th day after the mailing date of the County Board Order Detailed instructions for mailing, faxing, or delivering your appeal packet are included on the Notice of Appeal form.
The first day of the 30-day period is the day after the County Board Order is "mailed" (the County Board Order may simply say "dated" or "issued" and not say "mailed".) The last day of the period-the 30th day-is included in the count, unless it falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal state holiday. Then, the 30-day period runs through the Saturday, Sunday, or legal state holiday to the next weekday. Remember that some months have 31 days, so you cannot assume, for example, that you have until June 18 to appeal a County Board Order that was mailed on May 18. If you do, you will be one day late, and the State Board cannot accept your appeal.
The State Board will notify you of the docket number assigned to your appeal. You will be notified of your hearing date by mail at least twenty calendar days before the date set for your hearing.
The State Board conducts most informal property valuation hearings in the county where the property is located. Formal hearings, hearings involving large valuations, or hearings involving complex legal issues are normally held in Olympia.
It is in your best interest to attend your hearing. The State Board can only consider sworn testimony. If you are unable to attend and are not represented, your appeal may be dismissed in accordance with WAC 456-09-745 or WAC 456-10-550. However, in most instances, if you are unable to attend and are not represented, the State Board will make a decision based on the written record.
You and the Assessor will each have the opportunity to present written and oral testimony and present witnesses in support of your respective opinions of value. RCW 84.40.0301 provides that the valuation placed on your property by the Assessor is presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on you to show that the Assessors valuation conclusion is incorrect. You can best do this by either showing significant errors in the Assessor's appraisal methods or computations or presenting compelling, independent evidence of your property's value.
All written and oral testimony must relate to the market value of the property under appeal, not the assessed value of other properties. State law (RCW 84.40.030) requires property to be assessed at 100 percent of its true and fair value. True and fair value is market value: the amount for which the property would sell on the open market.
Yes. The State Board will consider the market value of both land and improvements in determining a total value for the property. Your written and oral testimony should support the total market value of the property under appeal, not just the value of the land or the value of the improvements.
There are three acceptable methods for determining market value:
or any combination of the three approaches.
You should use the sales comparison (or market) approach. The best sales comparisons are sales of your property or sales of similar properties located in your area which have occurred within five years of your assessment date. Sales occurring closest to your assessment date and sales which are the most comparable to your property are given the greatest weight.
Yes. Both you and the Assessor may present different comparable sales to the State Board than those presented to the County Board. The Assessor must provide any new comparable sales to you and the State Board at least ten business days before the hearing. You also must provide any new comparable sales to the Assessor and the State Board at least ten business days before the hearing.
The comparable sales information which the Assessor used at your County Board hearing is readily available from the Assessor. This information includes a copy of your property's characteristics and the characteristics of the comparable sales the Assessor used at your County Board hearing. If you wish to present new comparable sales at your State Board hearing, you may obtain that information from records at the Assessors Office or from realtors or title companies. Select sale properties which sold closest to your assessment date and which are most comparable to your property. Property owners in King County can receive additional assistance by contacting the office of the King County Property Tax Advisor.
Prepare a written comparison sheet that shows why the Assessor's sales are not comparable to your property and why the comparable sales you have selected support your opinion of value. For each comparable sale on your sheet, be sure to include the account number or parcel number of the property, the address of the property, the date of the sale, and the sale price. Also include as much information regarding the key characteristics of the property as you feel necessary to support your opinion of value. Key characteristics to consider are:
Include a map showing the location of your property and the comparable sale properties. You should also include any other evidence which supports your reason for challenging the assessment; for example: appraisals prepared by others, documentation by qualified experts concerning problems, written commercial estimates of the cost to cure problems, and photographs or videos.
Prepare your case as thoroughly as possible. You must provide enough data to support your opinion of value. Your written and oral testimony should be understandable, logical, and believable. The State Board has extensive knowledge in many areas including appraisal practice and finance. However, the State Board will not sift through unorganized data in order to develop your case.
If your appeal involves new construction, you may also use a cost approach to determine the market value of your improvements. This approach details the cost to reproduce or replace the improvements at current prices. You must include all costs, including labor performed by you or a contractor, materials, permits, drawings, etc. The State Board recognizes the Marshall Valuation Service as one authority on construction costs. You should use the sales comparison approach to determine the market value of your land.
If your appeal involves commercial or industrial property, you may use all three approaches to value. You may want to consult a real estate appraiser or a lawyer to help you prepare your case. When sufficient data is available, the sales comparison approach and the income capitalization approach will be given more weight in most commercial and industrial appeals. Your income capitalization approach should be based upon market conditions--typical market income and expenses. Income and expenses of the property under appeal may also be used. Income, expenses, and capitalization rates must be verifiable and supported. You should provide a copy of your income and expense statement and all leases pertinent to the property. If the income or expenses of the property under appeal vary from typical market income and expenses, you must show why such variations are reasonable or typical for the property.
The State Board's decision will be mailed to you at a later date, normally within four months.
You should pay your taxes when they are due to avoid any interest and penalty charges. If the State Board's decision lowers your valuation, you will be entitled to a refund from the county.
If the hearing was conducted by a Tax Referee or one Board Member, the State Board will issue a Proposed Decision. You may file an exception to a Proposed Decision. You must file the letter of exception with the State Board within twenty calendar days of the date of mailing of the Proposed Decision. You must also file a copy with the Assessor. The letter of exception should be brief and must clearly specify why the Proposed Decision did not properly consider the evidence or that there was an omission of certain pertinent facts. The Assessor may submit a reply to the exception within ten business days. The State Board will then consider the matter and issue a Final Decision. There is no reconsideration from this Final Decision. If exceptions are not filed, the Proposed Decision becomes the State Board's Final Decision.
If the hearing was conducted by two or more Board Members, the State Board will normally issue a Final Decision. You may file a petition for reconsideration after a Final Decision has been issued. You must file the petition for reconsideration with the State Board within ten business days of the date of mailing of the Final Decision. You must also file a copy with the Assessor. The filing of a petition for reconsideration suspends the Final Decision until action by the State Board. The State Board may deny the petition, modify its decision, or reopen the hearing.
State law requires that County Assessors value all taxable property at 100% of its true and fair market value in terms of money, according to the highest and best use of the property. All real and personal property is subject to tax. Recent sales of comparable property are used to help set values.
The amount of money that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay a willing unobligated seller.
All taxable property in Franklin County is physically inspected at least once every six years on a cyclical basis. In addition, assessed values are updated county-wide on an annual basis by statistical analysis.
Not necessarily, because a single property sale does not establish the market value for surrounding properties.
No. In fact, it is generally not necessary for an appraiser to view the interior of a home that has been appraised previously. If access is refused, the appraiser must estimate the value of the property using whatever information he or she has available.
File a completed appeal petition with the County Board of Equalization by July 1 of the assessment year or within 30 days of when the change of value notice was mailed. Appeal forms are available from the clerk of the board or the Assessor's office. To appeal a valuation, you must show where the Assessor has erred in the property assessment.
The average 2022 tax rate in Franklin County is about $8.29 per $1000 of assessed valuation. Rates vary from area to area and from year to year, but multiplying the number of thousands of dollars of price or cost by $8.29 will provide a rough estimate of taxes.
The differences are due to three factors: the varying combination of taxing districts in different areas of the county (schools, fire or water districts, etc.); the size of the budget for each taxing district; the amount of voter-approved special levies and bonds.
The regular property tax levy of a taxing district is limited to 101% of the highest levy since 1985, plus amounts attributable to new construction within the boundaries of the district or annexations to the district.
Business machinery, equipment, and supplies are fully taxable, and are assessed as personal property. Household goods and personal effects are exempt from the property tax.
Trabajor/a Electoral: Típicamente este es un grupo de 20 a 24 personas dependiendo de la magnitud de la elección y el nivel de participación de los votantes. Los trabajadores de elecciones abren las boletas electorales después de verificar las firmas. Observan las boletas en caso de que el elector haya anotado a un candidato por escrito y apartan las boletas rotas y dañadas. Se aseguran que las boletas se coloquen en los distritos electorales correctos. El trabajo empieza el viernes antes de la elección y continua sin interrupción hasta 15 - 21 días después de una elección. En la mayoría de los casos trabajan 5 horas al día pero es posible que se les requiera trabajar las tardes y los fines de semana. Todo trabajo es realizado en el Centro de Elecciones del Condado de Franklin localizado en el 116 N 3rd Avenue en Pasco.
El pago actual es salario mínimo.
Por ley, se requiere que los trabajadores de elecciones asistan a una clase de instrucción. Las clases de entrenamiento se realizan el viernes antes de cada elección y duran aproximadamente una hora. Se les paga a las personas que asistan a la clase.
El aspirante debe estar inscrito para votar y:
Una urna electoral es otra opción para devolver su boleta electoral en forma segura, sin el costa de una estampilla de correo.
Las urnas estarán abiertas para recibir boletas 18 días antes de las elecciones, incluyendo el día de las elecciones. Estarán abiertas las 24 horas del día y cerrarán a las 8 pm el día de las elecciones.
Cuidadosamente, siga las instrucciones del sobre de su boleta. Coloque la boleta dentro del sobre de confidencialidad, firme el sobre para devolver, selle el sobre, y deposite su boleta dentro de una urna electoral.
Las boletas son coleccionadas de cada urna electoral por el personal del Condado de Franklin. Dos personas del personal electoral utilizarán el proceso de estructura jerárquica para transportar las boletas electorales.
Las boletas electorales son llevadas al Centro de Elecciones en donde son procesadas con las otras boletas devueltas por correo. La firma de cada boleta es verificada contra la firma en el archivo de inscripción del votante y si las firmas coinciden, la boleta sigue adelante.
A Ballot drop box is another way to securely return your mail ballot, without the cost of postage.
Drop boxes will be open to accept ballots 18 days prior to and including Election Day. They will be open 24 hours each day and will close at 8 pm on Election Day.
Carefully follow the instructions on the ballot envelope. Place the ballot in the secrecy sleeve, sign the outer envelope, seal all envelopes, and deposit your ballot into the box.
Ballots are collected from each drop box regularly by Franklin County Elections. Two official election workers will use a chain of custody process to transport all ballots.
Ballots are delivered to the Election Center where they are processed with other returned mail ballots. The signature on every ballot is checked against the voter's registration file and if it matches, the ballot moves forward.
The Board is independent of the Assessor's Office. They are comprised of three County residents who are appointed by the Franklin County Board of Commissioners for three-year terms. Board members receive a per diem for the days they are in hearings. The Board is governed by the state Department of Revenue as supported by RCW 84.08.020 and 84.08.060.
State law requires the Assessor to value all taxable property at 100% of its true and fair market value in money, according to the highest and best use of the property. Fair market value or true value is the amount that a willing and unobligated buyer is willing to pay to a willing and unobligated seller. The Assessor values real property using one or more acceptable appraisal methods: the market or sales comparison method, the cost approach, an income capitalization approach for income-producing property, or any combination of the three approaches.
The only way to appeal an Assessor's valuation of property is by filing a complete appeal petition in a timely manner with the Board of Equalization. There is no fee charged for filing an appeal. The prescribed appeal petition form must be used. A letter or phone call is not acceptable as a substitute for the petition form.
The petition must be filed with the Board of Equalization at the address:
Board of EqualizationFranklin County1016 N. 4th Avenue, Room A102Pasco, WA 99301
Petition forms are available directly from the BOE or may be downloaded from the Department of Revenue website at https://dor.wa.gov/get-form-or-publication
Please be advised that "Faxed" Petitions are acceptable only for the purpose of protecting a deadline to file. You must still submit the original Petition with signature to our office.
The most commonly used forms are:
A property owner or taxpayer may appeal. Taxpayer means the person or entity whose name and address appears on the assessment rolls, or their duly authorized agent. The appeal is filed with the Board of Equalization of the county in which the property is located.
The assessor will send you a notice when the assessed value of your property changes. You may also receive a notice showing "No Change" in value. The County Assessor is required to physically inspect and value real property at least every six years. Please note: Franklin County is on an annual revaluation cycle. After determining the value, the assessor mails the taxpayer a "Change of Value Notice" or "Value Notice". The notice will show the assessed value of land and improvements separately. The total assessed value should not exceed the market value of your property. The total assessed value is the only value you can appeal. The 'allocation' of value between land and improvements cannot be considered.
Also, keep in mind that the Assessor is obligated to send the notice to the 'owner' whose name and address appears on the assessment rolls. Often, the 'owner' and 'taxpayer' can also be two different parties. It is therefore your responsibility to notify the assessor of any incorrect information or address changes. It is additionally your responsibility to request that the Assessor or the mortgage or the lending company send copies of the notices to you.
July 1 of the assessment year or within 30 days of when a Change of Value notice or other determination was mailed by the Assessor's Office, whichever date is later.
If the petition is mailed, it must be postmarked by midnight of the deadline. Petitioners may hand deliver the petition to the Board Clerk and have it date stamped. If appealing other Assessor determinations, for example, denial of an application of current use or removal of a classification from property, citizens have 30 days from the date of the mailing of notification. Non-assessment appeals have the same appeal deadline, July 1 or 30 days after the notice, whichever is later.
Pursuant to WAC 458-14-116(6)(a): In counties with a multiyear revaluation cycle, once the board has issued a decision with respect to a taxpayer's real property, and when there has been no intervening change in assessed value, any subsequent appeal to the board by the same taxpayer relating to the same property shall be treated as a motion for reconsideration. The board must hold a hearing on the appeal/motion only if the taxpayer can show that there is newly discovered evidence that materially affects the basis for the board's decision and the taxpayer can show that the evidence could not with reasonable diligence have been discovered and produced at the original hearing. This evidence must be submitted along with the appeal.
Contact the Assessor's Office to review your valuation any time you have a question regarding your property value. Property owners can often settle disagreements at this level without continuing the appeal process. However, you still need to preserve your appeal rights by timely filing your petition with the Board of Equalization.
Yes. This allows parties to possibly resolve their dispute at this level so that a hearing before the independent Board of Equalization would not be necessary.
By either of two ways: Stipulation of Value or Withdrawal
Forms are normally processed through the Assessor's Office requiring appropriate signatures and forwarded to the Board of Equalization for proper finalization and closure.
A properly completed petition is the completion of all areas on the petition form to the best of one's ability and must also include specific reasons why the property owner believes that the Assessor's valuation is not correct. Arguments such as the amount of the tax, the assessed value of other properties, the percentage by which the assessment increased, personal hardship, and other matters unrelated to market value cannot, by law, be considered by the Board.
To appeal, you must show that the Assessor erred in the appraisal. To do this, you provide evidence that clearly shows that the appraisal value does not reflect market value.
Acceptable evidence includes, but is not limited to written contractor estimates of the cost to cure; letters or documents from government agencies and/or experts regarding development limitations; deeds describing easements that impact value; appraisal documents; excise documents of property sales; photos; and maps showing access limitations, etc. Evidence and testimony that estimate market value based on analysis of comparable sales is most persuasive. Appraisals, sales, written briefs, and photos are examples of evidence that may be relevant to the determination of market value.
The Board has no authority to consider assessed value comparisons of other properties to determine market value.
Information regarding sales of comparable properties may be obtained through personal research, local realtors, appraisers, at the County Assessor's office, or by accessing the Assessor's page. Because State law requires that all property be valued at 100% of market value, sales of comparable properties are the best indicator of market value. The BOE must use the standard of comparable sales to make their decision. Therefore, it is important to include comparable sales information in your appeal.
Comparable properties do not have to exactly match your property. Look for properties that are most similar, then note their differences and adjust the value of the other property to reflect those differences. For example, if your property has an obscured view, and the only similar property that sold has a much better view, discount the sale price to the amount you believe someone would be willing to pay for the lesser view. If your property has deteriorated conditions that would make it difficult to sell, provide written contractor estimates of the "cost to cure" for those conditions. Photos are a particularly effective support for arguments regarding conditions.
Additional evidence, above and beyond that required for complete petitions, may be submitted by mail up to seven business days prior to your hearing. Failure by any party to meet this requirement could result in the board's refusal to consider evidence that was not timely submitted. The Board has no authority to consider assessed value comparisons of other properties to determine market value.
You will be notified by mail at least 30 business days prior to the scheduled hearing of the date, time and place where hearings will be conducted.
You and the Assessor may each have the opportunity to give oral testimony in support of your opinions of value. You may even cross-examine each other and rebut the evidence. The hearing is an informal review designed to enable property owners to represent themselves without an attorney. Keep in mind that the Assessor is, by law, presumed to be correct. The burden of proof is on you to show that the assessed value is not correct by presenting clear, cogent and convincing evidence to support your estimate of market value. If you do not provide evidence to support why you feel the value is incorrect the Board has no alternative but to uphold the Assessor's valuation.
The BOE has the authority to raise, lower or sustain the Assessor's determination.
Decisions are typically mailed within 30 days of the hearing.
Either the Appellant or the Assessor may appeal a BOE decision to the State Board of Tax Appeals. An appeal must be filed with the State Board within thirty calendar days of the mailing date of the local Board's decision. You may also pay your taxes under protest and petition the Superior Court for a refund by filing a lawsuit under chapter 84.68 RCW.
Appeals to the State Board of Tax Appeals are heard on a "de novo" basis which means that it is a "new" hearing opportunity. The State Board conducts a full hearing on the appeal, and is not restricted to reviewing only the evidence considered by the BOE. The parties to the appeal can provide new arguments, testimony, and evidence to the State Board that was not presented to the local BOE. The State Board is bound by the same standards of review as the county boards which means that the Assessor's original value enjoys the same "presumption of correctness" to the value placed on the property by the BOE, even if the Assessor recommends a value change that the county board adopts.
BTA Forms are available by contacting the State Board of Tax Appeals at P.O. Box 40915, Olympia, WA 98504-0915 or may be obtained online at the Washington State Board of Tax Appeals website. You may also e-file an informal property valuation appeal to the BTA by accessing their website above.
If your case is still pending a hearing at the time taxes are due, April 30, you must still pay the taxes indicated by the Treasurer at that time. Once your hearing is held and a determination by the Board is made, if an adjustment to value has been determined, either a refund will be issued by the Treasurer or a credit may be applied to your second half taxes which are due October 31.
For court records of divorce, probate, criminal history, or civil lawsuits, contact The Franklin County Clerk's office at 509-545-3525. Records may be viewed at the Clerk's Office.
For certificates of marriage, contact the Franklin County Auditor's office at 509-545-3536. View the Franklin County Auditor page.
For birth or death certificates, contact the Benton /Franklin County Health Department at 509-547-9737 or 509-460-4200. Visit the Benton/Franklin Health District website.
This information can be provided by your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, schedules for civil cases can be obtained from the Court Administration 509-736-3071. For criminal case schedules, contact the Prosecuting Attorney's Office at 509-545-3543.
Divorce and civil lawsuits should be filed at the Franklin County Superior Court Clerk's Office. 509-545-3525.
Small claims matters are filed in District Court 509-545-3593.
View the Juror Reporting page.
Coordinated Legal Education, Advice and Referral System, "CLEAR" operates a lawyer referral service and provides information on community legal services. Services are provided for non-criminal, low-income/seniors, 60 and older, 888-201-1014, toll-free 888-201-9737, or TDD 888-387-7111.
You must first obtain a marriage license from the Franklin County Auditor's office. View the Auditor page.
Petitioning the court for restoration of the right to possess a firearm is complicated. You should hire an attorney. An attorney can guide you through the process and help you do it correctly. If you choose to do this on your own, then you are responsible for knowing and following the law and complying with all the rules and procedures. Reinstatement of Firearms Rights is not possible in all cases. To see if you qualify, review the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 9.41.040 Unlawful possession of firearms Ownership, possession by certain persons, Restoration of right to possess, Penalties) or contact an attorney.
The Franklin County District Court phone number is 509-545-3593. View the Franklin County District Court page.
The phone number for the Pasco Municipal Court is 509-545-3491. View the Pasco Municipal Court website.
View the Franklin County Contact Directory.
In this short video, Misperceptions about the Washington Courts, Washington State court officials address commonly misunderstood topics about the court system. The video was produced by the Board for Judicial Administration (BJA) Public Trust and Confidence Committee and TVW.
Franklin County consists of 1,242 square miles, equating to 795,000 acres. As of 2014, the population of Franklin County is 87,809.
To contact the local Department of Social and Health Services, call 509-545-1400. To report Welfare fraud, call 800-562-6906.
The Franklin County Courthouse was built in 1912 and dedicated on April 13, 1913. The courthouse is a neo-classical building and many architects working in this style referenced the classical buildings of Rome and Greece. V is actually a U in Latin, which, of course, was the language of ancient Rome. Its application to a 20th-century building is a bit of an affectation, but architects would apply this as a way to reference classical buildings from antiquity. In 1978, the Franklin County Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Yes we do! Visit the Assessor page, or call 509-545-3506 for assistance.
For information on how to obtain a birth certificate, contact:
Benton-Franklin County Health District7102 W Okanogan PlaceKennewick WA 99336Phone: 509-460-4200
The Washington State Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics issues certified copies of Birth, Death, Marriage, and Divorce certificates, for events that occurred within the State of Washington. These certificates can be ordered online from VitalChek.
You can get a marriage license at the Franklin County Auditor's office, located at 1016 N 4th Avenue, Pasco, WA 99301, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The cost is $58, and the license must be purchased at least 3 days in advance of the wedding. The license is then good for 60 days.
To verify the current Marriage License fee, call the Recording Department in the Auditor's Office at 509-545-3536.
To get a copy of a marriage certificate, send in both names and the year they were married. Cost is $3 for a certified copy.
Franklin County AuditorP.O. Box 1451Pasco, WA 99301
Divorce Decrees are handled by the Franklin County Clerk's office.
Please contact the Clerk's office in advance by calling 509-545-3525. They need to know how many pages the decree is, so they can charge you the correct amount. The cost for copies is $.50 per page. The cost for a certified copy is $5 for the first page and $1 per page thereafter.
Passports are issued by the Clerk's office. Applications may be picked up at the Clerk's office or online at Travel.State.Gov website.
Request forms, fee schedules, contacts and other relevant information can be found in the Public Records Requests section of the Franklin County website.
To contact the Master Gardener, call 509-736-2726. They are physically located in the Kennewick WSU Extension Office, 5600 E West Canal Place. For directions to the Kennewick Office, contact Franklin County WSU Extension at 509-545-3511.
A knowing and willful "course of conduct" directed at you which seriously:
The Court considers the following:
An Anti-harassment order is a special type of restraining order which is available only to victims of harassment. It is a civil order of the Court telling the person who harassed you not to bother you again. The police are notified of your anti-harassment order. The order is fully enforceable in any county in Washington.
An Anti-harassment Order can:
No. The law has been designed so you can get an order for Anti-harassment without a lawyer by filling out the forms yourself. Because you are seeking an order of the Court without the help of an attorney, you will have the paperwork and legwork to do. It is not unusual for this to take several hours.
You can get the forms free at the Franklin County District Court Civil Office, located on the main level of the courthouse. You need to fill out the forms as completely as possible, giving the Court written information about what has happened and why you need the court order. The clerk is not allowed to give legal advice. If you feel you need it, please contact an attorney.
You will need to know the respondent's first and last name, and an address where they can be served.
After you have completed your forms, you then will return them to the clerk.
You can return the forms on any Wednesday or Thursday at 8:30 am.
The respondent must be served with the papers you have filed along with the notice of the hearing. Service is very important and must occur before you can get your one-year Anti-harassment order. You may have law enforcement serve the respondent with these papers.
A full Anti-harassment order hearing date will be set before a judge. This hearing will be held within two weeks. At this hearing, both parties are given an opportunity to address the Court.
At the full Anti-harassment hearing, the Court will decide whether to sign your order and may make some changes. The order for Anti-harassment will generally last for a maximum of one year, but it could last longer if necessary.
If you are in immediate danger, you may obtain a temporary order for Anti-harassment prior to your full hearing in two weeks. Ask for and fill out the forms for a temporary Anti-harassment order.
Almost without exception, if you file your request early in the day, you will have a determination from the judge on the same day. You may need to explain why you need immediate protection. You must show reasonable proof of unlawful harassment by the respondent and that great or irreparable harm will be the result if the temporary Anti-harassment protection order is not granted. The judge can grant you a temporary order which must be served on the respondent, along with the notice of the hearing for the one year Anti-harassment order.
The temporary order will expire on the date of the hearing for the one year Anti-harassment order. You must attend the full hearing to extend your temporary order for Anti-harassment.
The filing fee is $83. There may also be a charge for having copies delivered (served on) the respondent. If you cannot afford the fees, the Court may allow you to go ahead without paying. Ask for and complete the form requesting a fee waiver.
You may not obtain a temporary order for Anti-harassment if you have already had two temporary orders against the respondent and not obtained the one-year order unless you can show the Court good cause for failing to get the one-year order. If you need to renew your one-year order, you may reapply by filing a new petition within three months of the expiration of your order.
The District Court must transfer the proceeding to the Superior Court when the respondent is under 18 years of age.
Any willful disobedience of the Anti-harassment order by the respondent shall subject the respondent to criminal penalties and the respondent may also be found in contempt of court.
Victims of acts of domestic violence are required to petition in the Superior Court.
Any individual, business, partnership or corporation (with a few exceptions) may bring a small claims action only to recover money; a "natural person", meaning a human being, may file a claim up to $10,000; the limit is $5,000 in all other cases. In general, the claim must be filed in the district court of the county in which the defendant(s) reside.
Exceptions and specific rules can be found at RCW 3.66.040. The State of Washington may not be sued in a small claims action. Attorneys and paralegals are excluded from appearing or participating with the plaintiff or defendant in a small claims action unless the judge grants permission.
There is a $50 filing fee paid by the plaintiff to the court clerk at the time the suit is filed. In addition, you may have some additional fees payable to the Sheriff or process server to have the Notice of Small Claim served on the defendant. As an alternative, you may commence the suit by registered or certified, return-receipt mailing. If you win your case, you are entitled to recover your costs of filing and service fees.
First, you will prepare a Notice of Small Claim form that is provided by the clerk. You are required to sign the Notice in the presence of the clerk unless otherwise instructed by the court. On the Notice form, a hearing date will be entered by the clerk. It is the plaintiff's responsibility to accurately identify the defendant, provide a proper address, and, if possible, provide a phone number.
The clerk will assist you with forms and general information about the process. The clerk is not allowed to give legal advice or attempt to predict how the judge might rule in a given situation. Service of the claim form can be accomplished by any of the following:
The Notice of Small Claim must be served on the defendant not less than ten days before the hearing. If you are having the sheriff's office serve the Notice, it is recommended that you take the paperwork to their office immediately to allow sufficient time to perform service in a timely manner. A return of service, or mail return receipt bearing the defendant's signature, must be filed at or before the time of the first hearing. You cannot personally serve the claim. See RCW Chapters 4.28 and 12.40, and CRLJ 5 for more detailed information.
In most cases, neither party is one hundred percent right or wrong. You are encouraged to try to settle your case before trial. If you settle the dispute before the hearing, you must inform the court so the hearing can be canceled and your case dismissed. If the other party agrees to pay at a later date, you may ask the court for a continuance. If the other party pays before the postponed date, ask the court to cancel the hearing. If you do not receive your money by the time of the continued hearing, proceed with the case in court. If you drop the suit, your filing fee and service costs are not returned.
To prepare for the trial, collect all papers, photographs, receipts, estimates, canceled checks, or other documents that concern the case. It may be helpful to write down ahead of time the facts of the case in the order that they occurred. This will help you to organize your thoughts and to make a clear presentation of your story to the judge.
Remember that judges are under pressure to process cases quickly, and you can help yourself by being well prepared. It is also a good idea to sit through a small claim court session before the date of your hearing. This will give you firsthand information about the way small claims cases are heard.
If the defendant fails to appear for trial, the plaintiff will be granted judgment for the amount of the claim proven in court, plus costs - provided the plaintiff can show proof of service. If the plaintiff fails to appear, the claim is dismissed. However, generally the court will permit the plaintiff to start over, if good cause for the nonappearance is shown.
After the judge hears both sides, the court will issue a judgment or dismiss the case. If the plaintiff wins, the judge will order the defendant to pay a certain amount for the claim, as well as the costs the plaintiff spent to bring the case and any interest on the amount owed. Once the judgment is issued, the clerk will enter it into the civil docket of the court and will provide a certified copy of the judgment to the prevailing party for no additional cost.
Even if you have a judgment, it does not necessarily mean that you will be paid. The Small Claims Court does not collect the judgment for you. If the debtor does not pay right away, the court may order a payment plan. If the losing party fails to pay, the judge may increase the amount of the judgment to cover the cost of enforcing the judgment. If the judgment remains unpaid, you may seek to enforce the judgment through the collection process, which could include garnishing the defendant's wages or bank accounts; or seeking to obtain the personal property of the debtor. Remember, the court clerks cannot give you legal advice so you may need the assistance of an attorney or collection agency, whose fees may be paid by the debtor.
When the judgment is paid in full you must send written notice to the District Court that the judgment has been satisfied and paid, or to the Superior Court if the judgment has been transcribed.
The party who files a claim or counterclaim cannot appeal unless the amount claimed exceeds $1,000. No party may appeal a judgment where the amount claimed is less than $250. If an appeal is taken to the Superior Court, the appealing party is required to follow the procedures set out in the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 12.36. The following steps must be taken within 30 days of the entry of the judgment:
When the appeal and bond are transferred to Superior Court, the appellant (person appealing the decision) may request the Superior Court suspend enforcement of the judgment until after the appeal is heard.
Within 14 days of filing the Notice of Appeal, the District Court clerk will transmit the court record to the Superior Court who will assign a new number and notify the District Court. The District Court clerk will advise the appellant of that number, and the appellant must then contact Franklin County Superior Court for further instructions.
Once the judgment has been appealed to the Superior Court, then enforcement of any judgment entered in the case will be handled in Superior Court in the same manner as any other Superior Court judgment.
Previously, many traffic and criminal charges were crimes. The Legislature has decriminalized many traffic, parks, wildlife, and fisheries offenses. The offenses are now called infractions and are civil cases.
You should note that you must respond within 15 days of the date that the ticket was issued. An infraction is not a crime, but failure to respond can result in the suspension of your driver's license. You can respond by either mailing the green ticket to the Court or bringing it in person to the Clerk's office. Select one of the boxes on the back of the ticket and verify your address. If you select box one you are electing to pay the penalty as shown on the front of the ticket.
Suitable attire is required. Shoes and shirts are necessary. Halter-tops, tank tops, and shorts are not permitted. Hats are to be removed upon entering the Courtroom. No smoking, food, or drink will be allowed. Children may be present in the Courtroom but if they disturb the proceedings you may be requested to remove them. The Court does not provide childcare. Upon your arrival, find your name on the calendar outside the District Court Office, and then have a seat in the proper Courtroom until the session convenes. You do not need to check with the Clerk unless your name is not on the list. When your case is called, come forward and stand behind one of the counsel tables until instructed otherwise by the Judge.
A mitigation hearing is where you admit you committed the violation, but wish to explain the circumstances of the infraction. To request a mitigation hearing you should check box two. The Judge, depending on the explanation and your record, may adjust the penalty. However, the Judge will not dismiss your ticket. As the Court is required to forward all committed traffic tickets to the Department of Licensing, it will appear on your driving record.
If you believe you did not commit the violation then you should select box three and have a contested hearing. Unless you request the officer to be subpoenaed, the procedure at the hearing will be for the Judge to read the sworn statement of the officer. If you wish to have the officer and any other witness present for your case, you must serve a subpoena upon the officer and other witnesses (s) at least seven days prior to the hearing. Contact the District Court Infraction Clerk if you plan to subpoena witness(s). As a result of a contested hearing, the penalty may stay the same, be reduced, or the ticket dismissed. In the event, you have subpoenaed a witness you may be required to pay court costs. A contested infraction hearing is a civil case and the Judge will decide the case based on the preponderance of the evidence.
You may, at your own expense, have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. If you are to be represented by counsel, the lawyer is required to file a notice of appearance with the Court, and the prosecutor, prior to the hearing date. A separate hearing is held when lawyers are involved and it is necessary to have sufficient notice for scheduling.
When you pay the penalty, mitigate, or if the Judge finds you have committed a traffic infraction at a contested hearing, the state law requires that the infraction be reported to the Department of Licensing. The infraction will then appear on your driving record. Neither the Court Clerk, nor the Judge, has the authority to keep the infraction off your record. If you win at a contested hearing and the infraction is dismissed, it is not reported to the Department of Licensing and will not appear on your driving record.
A failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed. If you asked for a hearing and do not appear your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner or a hearing missed, a $52 late penalty is added to the amount shown on the ticket. Your license may then be suspended if the penalty is not paid following a notice to pay the increased penalty, and the account may be assigned to a collection agency.
Rather than go through a hearing, the court has a policy allowing you to have your charge deferred (continued for a period and dismissed if you comply with certain requirements) in certain circumstances. A deferral may be available if you have not had an infraction deferred for seven years. If you wish to avoid a trial and have your charges deferred, you must request a deferral of the infraction rather than having a hearing. If the deferral is granted, you will be required to pay the penalty imposed of $200; may not have any driving offenses for the period of the deferral; and, if at the end of that deferral period you have complied with the requirements, the charges will be dismissed and not be on your driving record. If on the other hand, you receive another ticket, the charge will become a "committed infraction" on your record and you will have to face the consequences of the new infraction as well. Also, you will not be able to use the deferral right again for 7 years since a deferral is available only every 7 years. If you choose to use the deferral, you will not be required to return to court at the end of the period; the clerk will check your driving record and enter it as a "dismissal" or "committed" depending on the results of the record check.
If you do not win at a contested hearing you have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Franklin County. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment. There will be various appeal costs, payable in advance, including a $200 Superior Court filing fee. If you appeal, the Superior Court will review the record that was made at the District Court, but there will not be a new trial. The Clerk's office will provide you with information about the appellate process.
If you are unable to pay your entire penalty at the time of the hearing the court will allow up to 30 days to pay in full. If you are unable to pay within 30 days you may set up a time pay agreement with the court.
There will be a one-time fee of $10 to $25 added to the account, and first payment is required at the time the account is set up for payments.
You may appear on any Wednesday morning, at 8:30 am at the Franklin County District Court window to quash an outstanding warrant. You will be required to produce a photo I.D.
Your case will then be brought before the Judge. This is a one-time option per case.
You will be taken into custody for processing and to have the warrant served. Then you will be brought before the Court to address the outstanding matter, or you may post bail on the case and you will be given a court date.
You may post the bail on your case with either cash or a bail bond. Please call the Franklin County District Court office at 509-545-3593 and inquire as to how much the bail is on your case, and then post the appropriate amount. A court date will be set after the bail is posted.
Board Worker - This is a workforce of usually 20 to 24 people depending on the size of the election and level of voter participation. Board workers open mail ballots after signatures have been verified. They check for write-in candidates and torn or damaged ballots. They make sure the ballots are placed in the correct batches and precincts. Work begins 18 days before the Election and continues intermittently up to 15 to 21 days after an election. In most cases, they work 5 hours a day but can be required to work evenings and weekends. All work is performed at the Franklin County Election Center located at 116 N 3rd Avenue in Pasco.
The current pay is minimum wage.
Election board workers are required by law to attend an instruction class
An applicant must be registered to vote and maintain voter eligibility and:
While there are guidelines governing coroner involvement in a death investigation, each case is handled individually. Generally, the Franklin County Coroner's Office (FCCO) will be contacted by law enforcement or medical personnel when a person has died suddenly and with no clear explanation or under suspicious circumstances. The FCCO may be involved in varying degrees, depending on the circumstances.
The FCCO involvement may be extensive or minimal, depending on the case. During a full death investigation, the FCCO will respond to a death scene, take photos and video, interview witnesses, gather evidence and samples associated with the decedent, record measurements, record body parameters, and transport the body to the morgue. Following the scene investigation, the FCCO will contact next of kin, request medical and other pertinent records, conduct an autopsy, submit toxicology samples, complete the investigation with a comprehensive report, and if requested, discuss this report with the family. In addition, certain cases may dictate radiographs, computer simulations, total scene documentation, and clinical pathology analysis. Forensic specialists, such as anthropologists and odontologists, may be called in as necessary.
The FCCO has set up a framework from which the decision to autopsy is made by FCCO. Actual situations may require a variance from this outline. Autopsies may be required due to circumstance or age; autopsy by circumstance always overrides autopsy by age. An autopsy will be performed for any death surrounded by suspicious circumstances including any possibility of homicide, suicide, accident, occupational hazard contributing to the cause of death as well as any death occurring while the decedent was in custody and any stillborn with the possibility of neglect or criminality.
A full death investigation can take several months, depending on the nature of the death. This can be frustrating for the family and friends of the decedent because they want closure with their case. While we work expeditiously to complete each case we must rely on outside agencies for some of our work, like toxicology, which requires extra time.
Next of kin is recognized in the State of Washington in the following order; spouse, adult children (over 18 years of age), parents, siblings, and then grandparents.
Our determinations are held to the level of preponderance. This means that we must have more than 50% probability to make a determination of the cause and manner of death.
Death investigation reports have been maintained by the FCCO since the inception of the office. We will continue to maintain a report on every FCCO case indefinitely. Immediate family can have access to our report but may be required to show proof of relationship.
Immediate family, law enforcement having jurisdiction, prosecutor's office having jurisdiction, attending medical personnel, and in certain cases public health officials and labor and industry representatives. Insurance companies and attorneys do not have direct access to our reports and must be authorized by the family of the decedent.
The Franklin County Coroner's Office does not provide certified death certificates to families. Although we keep a photocopy of the death certificate, certified copies cannot be ordered through our office. We are one step in the process of completing the final death certificate. The completed death certificates are filed with the Benton Franklin Health Department. Death Certificates can be ordered at Vital Records.
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Most people who plant fruit trees in their backyard find the planting to be an enjoyable experience, and look forward to the time when they can pick fresh fruit to eat and to share with friends. Most of these people do not realize the work or responsibility that goes with that little tree when it is planted. Learn more about your responsibilities in maintaining your home grown trees (RCW 15.08 and RCW 15.09).
Local laws specify that you, the owner are responsible for controlling destructive pests and diseases of fruit trees on your property. This is true whether you plant the tree yourself, or buy property with fruit trees already on it.
The tree can harbor insects and diseases. If not properly controlled, these pests can move to a neighbor’s backyard tree or travel great distances to infest commercial orchards where they can cause serious economic damage.
Many pests and diseases attack fruit trees, but the main concerns for homeowners are codling moth, San Jose scale for apple; codling moth, San Jose scale and pear psylla for pear; and cherry fruit fly for cherry.
The female codling moth can lay over 100 eggs in her lifetime. The eggs are individually laid on foliage near apples/pears or directly on apples/pears as the moth travels through the orchard. The worms that hatch eat into the fruit, destroying it. San Jose scale is a serious parasite of apple and pear attacking both the fruit and wood of the tree. Cherry fruit fly inserts eggs under fruit skin. Eggs hatch into maggots that feed on fruit and remain in fruit through harvest.
Important: Fruit from infested apple, pear and cherry orchards is denied access to foreign markets due to a concern of pest introduction to that country. Additional cover sprays cost growers and backyard tree fruit owner's time and money. These additional sprays also eliminate growers from more lucrative markets because the marketplace is very concerned about sprays used on fruit. When the fruit is eliminated from markets, lower prices for fruit impacts the industry, affecting the economic well-being of our communities. Commercial apple, pear and cherry fruit growers have fewer control products due to pest resistance and the high cost of pesticide re-registration.
The only sure way to control codling moth, San Jose scale and cherry fruit fly on your backyard fruit tree is to spray with insecticides. This is what conventional and organic commercial growers do. A homeowner will have to apply 1 early spray for scale; codling moth late spring and summer 4 to 8 plus applications, depending on control product; cherry fruit fly late spring - summer every week from yellow fruit through the harvest of all fruit. Remember, a full-grown fruit tree takes special equipment - high pressure sprayers - to thoroughly cover the canopy.
If a commercial grower suspects that your tree is infested with a pest, the grower can file a complaint with the local Horticultural Pest and Disease Board. These Boards, set up in each county in Washington, are responsible for handling complaints and eliminating infestations.
There are two options. One is to start spraying apples and pears for San Jose scale and codling moth, and/or cherry's for cherry fruit fly on a regular basis. The second option is to cut the fruit tree down and buy your fruit from local sources. Information on pesticides and timing of sprays to control pests are available at WSU Chelan County Extension and Chelan County Pest Board.
Decide whether you want to accept the responsibility for taking care of the fruit tree(s) every year:
No, fruit trees are grafted onto a rootstock which is a different cultivar than the top, fruit producing part of the tree. The sprouts coming up from the rootstock will not produce desirable fruit.
All current job openings will be posted on our Employment Opportunities page, and posted in the Franklin County Human Resources Office. You may also call the Franklin County Human Resources Department at 509-546-5813 to inquire about available positions.
Applications are only accepted for current job openings. If there is a job posting that you are interested in and feel you are qualified for, applications may be completed by downloading a Franklin County Employment Application (PDF).
View current employment opportunities.
Yes, applications must be completed in person and/or by downloading a Franklin County Employment Application (PDF). Applications can be submitted to Human Resources via email, mail, fax, or in person.
Attaching a resume is highly recommended, but not required, when applying for a position. Some job postings may require that a resume be included. Please be sure to thoroughly review the application requirements.
You will need to complete a separate application for each position.
Applications must be received by Human Resources by the closing date as noted in the job posting. Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
Please view Prospective Employee Information.
The hiring process for these positions follows the rules established by the Franklin County Civil Service Commission and facilitated by the Human Resources Department. View the Civil Service Page.
All applications received prior to the position closing date will be forwarded to the hiring authority and you will be contacted by the hiring department if they feel your combination of experience, skills, education and/or training are a fit for the position.
We are located at:Franklin County CourthouseRoom A101 (Lower Level)1016 N 4 AvenuePasco, WA 99301
View map and driving directions.
If you still have questions pertaining to employment with Franklin County, you may contact the Human Resources Office by email, telephone, or by visiting us in the Franklin County Courthouse.
Franklin County will make reasonable accommodations to assist anyone with a disability in the application process. Please contact the Human Resources Office at 509-546-5813 if you require assistance.
View ADA Accessibility.
Franklin County Assessor's Office1016 N 4thPasco, WA 99301
Report the details (including the disposition of property) to our office via e-mail or on the listing. If the equipment is in your possession, continue to file the listing - due every April 30th, as usual. Please don't confuse relocating, selling, walking away from, or reorganizing the business, with closing it. You still need to report the equipment.
If you don't have the equipment, we need to know what you did with it. Specifically: the date that the business closed and the location of the equipment. If sold: sale date, sale price, new owner's name, new owner's address.
Send us the following document(s), within the appeal deadline, and we will review the assessment:
You can print a blank affidavit (PDF), or request one by email.
No, changes can only be made by written notification. Email us with the changes or annotate them on the listing.
We will accept them at any time, but a listing must be postmarked by April 30th to avoid a late filing penalty.
You have 30 days from the date on the notice of value.
The first step should be to contact our office, if you are not satisfied with the results that you receive then you can appeal the decision to the Board of Equalization. If you disagree with our calculation on reported assets, contact us.
Any equipment used in the operation of a business.
Yes, it should be reported regardless of the percentage of use.
There is $15,000 "Head of Household" exemption from the reported assessed value for sole proprietors only, this would affect taxes due in 2008. You must claim this on your listing every year. We will review your eligibility and apply the exemption as applicable.
We add 5% per month (or fraction of a month) to your tax bill, not to exceed 25% of the total tax.
If there are extenuating circumstances, notify us of the details.
Supplies are items used or consumed in the operation of the business.
Take the total amount purchased by the business annually and divide by 12. Enter that amount in block 3 of the listing.
The first half is due by April 30th and the second half by October 31st. Personal and real property taxes are due at the same time.
Same as real property, approximately 1.4% of the assessed value per year.
Contact the Franklin County Treasurer at 509-545-3518.
If you are a victim or a witness of a crime, you may have to testify in court. However, many cases plead without actually going to trial. If this happens, you will not be required to testify, as there will not be a trial. If you have concerns about testifying, contact the Victim/Witness Unit.
No. The State of Washington has charged the defendant with a crime, not you. As you have not charged the crime, you cannot drop the charges. Reporting a crime is not the same as charging a crime.
If you have medical bills or funeral expenses resulting from a crime, Crime Victims Compensation Program may cover expenses not covered by your insurance company, including deductibles and co-pays. Generally speaking, you are responsible to pay most other bills. If a defendant is found guilty, he or she could be ordered to pay restitution to you and/or your insurance company. In order to have restitution ordered, you must provide the Victim/Witness Unit with a summary and receipts for your losses.
It is essential that you report any contact from a defendant or his or her family/friends to law enforcement and/or the prosecutor's office immediately. This may be a violation. If you have evidence of the contact, such as voicemail, caller ID, a letter, or email, save the evidence until law enforcement and/or the prosecutor's office says to do otherwise. If you have not already done so, you may wish to obtain a protection order. The Victim/Witness Unit can also assist you in devising a safety plan.
If an attorney or investigator is contacting you, they most likely work for the defense. You have the right to speak with them or to decline to speak with them. You never have to speak with someone simply because they show up at your home/work or call you. Victims and witnesses often feel pressured to talk immediately, but you do not have to do so.
Statements given to law enforcement are rarely complete. They often lack detail that help the prosecutor or defense attorney better understand the case. Your interview helps us obtain more detail about what occurred.
Yes. You have the right to have someone of your choosing (generally an advocate, friend, or someone from the prosecutor's office) attend interviews with you, as long as there is no conflict. An example of a conflict would be that the person you wish to attend the interview is also a witness in the case. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that whoever attends the interview with you may become a witness at trial. If you have someone in mind that you want to attend the trial with you, it is best NOT to have that person attend the interview with you as well. In addition, that person may not interfere in the interview and is only there for your support.
It depends on the type of crime and the defendant's criminal history. When convicted some defendants may go to prison (if the time-ordered is longer than 12 months) or jail (if the time-ordered is less than 12 months) or they may be ordered to complete community service or some other alternative sentence.
Victims and witnesses are frequently asked not to contact defendants until a case is over. In some cases, contact with the defendant may be strictly prohibited. If you and the defendant were living together, the court will frequently order the defendant to find another place to stay if released from jail.
Register through the Washington Statewide Victim Information and Notification Service. You can register online or by phone. You can register online, and select Washington State. Follow the directions. To register by phone, call 877-846-3492.
You will not be notified unless you register through one of these methods. There is no automatic notification unless you register. If the defendant is released and is rearrested, you will need to register again. Registration is based on the booking number assigned when arrested.
In our justice system, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Almost all defendants plead "not guilty" when charged with a crime. They may decide to change their plea after talking with a lawyer, or they may decide to go to trial and require that the State prove them guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Not through the criminal justice system. Restitution is ordered for out of pocket expenses directly related to the crime. If you would like to seek compensation for pain and suffering, you may wish to file a civil suit. However, neither the Victim/Witness Unit nor the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney's Office can advise you in such a matter.
A protection order is an order that prohibits the respondent from contacting you. There are several kinds of civil protection orders: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Restraining, Anti-Harassment and Vulnerable Adults. You can apply for a protection order at the clerk's office for District or Superior Court. There may or may not be a charge to obtain a protection order. For more information, contact the Victim/Witness Unit at 509-545-3543, or call the Superior Court Clerk's Office at 509-545-3525 or District Court Clerk's Office at 509-545-2131. There are also criminal No Contact Orders that the prosecutor may enter in criminal cases. If you would like a criminal no-contact order, contact the Victim/Witness Unit at 509-545-3543.
If you are a witness to a crime and you must appear at trial, you will receive a subpoena from the Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney or another attorney in the case. The subpoena should state where and when you must appear. When you are subpoenaed for trial, call the office that issued the subpoena a day or two before trial to see if the case is going to trial has been continued, or has been resolved. You are normally subpoenaed to appear at the Franklin County Superior Court, Franklin County District Court, or Benton Franklin County Juvenile Justice Center. It is a good idea to check in with the prosecutor's office if you are subpoenaed to Superior or District Court prior to signing in with the clerk's office for your witness fees.
The attorneys in the office are prohibited, by law, from giving legal advice.
If the person has an attorney appointed by the court, or has retained an attorney, we are not allowed to speak to them. If the person does not have an attorney, we can't speak to them alone, or we could become a witness in the case.
At the arraignment, the person charged with the crime enters a plea of guilty or not guilty to the charge. If, at any time, during the case, the person enters a plea of guilty to the charge the case will go to sentencing, either the same day or at a later date, where the court decides what punishment is appropriate. If there is no plea of guilty the case will normally proceed to trial.
Contact the Administrative Office of the Courts for a brochure on this topic at the Washington Courts website.
A Guide on When and How to Challenge, Seal, Vacate or Expunge (PDF).
Crimes are reported to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over where the crime occurred. For example, if the crime occurred in Pasco, Washington, this may be the Pasco Police Department or Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
Contact the court and make arrangements to appear on the next docket day.
Court hearings are open to the public and anyone may attend. Sometimes witnesses may be excluded from a trial until they testify. The deputy prosecutor will notify you if this is the case.
Submit a written request to the applicable law enforcement agency.
Contact the Kennewick Division of Child Support at:1120 N EdisonKennewick, WA 99336Phone: 509-374-2000
You must apply to the court where the order is entered. You must also notify the prosecutor of your request.
Appear in court at the designated time. You will be notified if you need to appear at a different time than the time listed on your subpoena. If you have additional questions, contact our office.
Call the number on the bottom of the subpoena immediately and explain the situation. Occasionally a different time can be arranged.
You cannot drop the charges. The Prosecutor's Office, on behalf of the State of Washington, filed charges and we are the only ones that can dismiss the case. However, your position on a case is important, please call the deputy prosecutor assigned to the case.
Provide estimates or find similar items in local advertisements, magazines or the internet.
The defendant is required to make payments based on an order of the court or an agreement with the agency that is monitoring them.
Criminal restitution is money ordered by the court to repay a victim or the victim's insurance company for financial losses. It is the right of a victim to be reimbursed for losses caused directly by the commission of a crime.
Crime affects everyone in a different way. Additionally, many people have varying desires for punishment for the defendant. A VIS is your chance to tell the judge in your case how the crime has affected you and what you think should happen to the defendant.
The most common way to make a VIS is to write a letter to the judge. You do not need to know the judge's name. You can simply address your letter Honorable Judge. Your letter should be typed if possible but it can be handwritten if it is easy to read.
Another common method is to be present at sentencing and to make a verbal statement addressing the judge. In this case, you simply need to be present at sentencing. When the case is called, the judge will ask at some point whether there is someone who wants to speak on behalf of the victim. This is when you will speak. You will not be placed under oath, but naturally, you are expected to tell the truth. Normally you will stand near the table where the prosecutor is standing. The Victim/Witness Coordinator can attend the sentencing hearing with you and stand next to you when you speak if requested.
There are other options as well. Some people choose to bring pictures of a victim who is not able to be present for one reason or another. You can also make a video or audiotape or even a PowerPoint presentation. If you choose to do this, be sure to let the Victim/Witness Unit know so the courtroom can be set up properly.
There are many things to consider when making a VIS. Here are a few questions you might want to ask yourself:
If you do not want to make a VIS yourself, you can have someone else speak on your behalf. This also means that parents can speak on behalf of their children if the children are victims and that a family member or friend can speak on behalf of a deceased victim. The Victim/Witness Coordinator or a Victim Advocate can also read a statement you have written to the court, although it is much more powerful if it comes directly from the victim.
No one is required to make a VIS, even though they are very useful.
If the offender is sentenced to prison and in some other cases, your VIS will be sent to the Department of Corrections and reviewed when the release of the defendant is considered. Your VIS will also become part of the court record (if given verbally) and will remain a permanent part of the court file and the prosecutor's file.
Franklin County does not have the resources to suppress dust. However, we do have a permit system that allows landowners to hire a licensed firm to apply approved dust control products on their roads. There are some guidelines that must be followed which are explained in the permit. The permit may be obtained from Franklin County Public Works Department. Dust Abatement Page
Franklin County has a priority program that evaluates gravel roads based on specific criteria such as Average Daily Traffic (ADT), numbers of residents, commercial and industrial/recreational use, sensitive crops that are subject to damage from dust, county cost-benefit, and other factors such as availability of right-of-way. Funds for these types of projects are derived locally. There aren't any grant funds available to pave local roads. Therefore, paving of local roads competes with Maintenance and other construction projects for the limited resources that we have available to County Road. Franklin County has made paving of existing gravel roads a priority and has recently borrowed $4.5 Million to pave approximately 30 miles of road.
This is done to seal the surface of the roadway to protect the sub-grade from moisture. New asphalt is quite porous. Also, it gives you a wear surface that makes it last much longer and helps improve traction, particularly in the winter months when we are experiencing freezing rain and black ice that this area is known for.
By blading the road, you are knocking down the high spots and filling in the holes. This makes a smoother road and keeps the holes from getting bigger. We try to minimize the amount of blading that we perform when as much as practical, subject to complaints and road condition. Franklin County does not have the resources available to provide a water truck prior to blading.
Plows are assigned to a plow route with main arterials first, secondary roads next, and gravel roads last. With the responsibility of over 1,000 miles of roadway to maintain it takes considerable time to get to them all.
No. For Garbage Collection in Franklin County and portions of Benton County, Call Basin Disposal at 509-547-2476 or visit the Basin Disposal website.
No. For Garbage Collection in Benton County, call Waste Management at 509-582-5121 or visit the City of Kennewick Recycling website.
To report someone littering, call 1-866-LITTER 1 or visit the Litter Prevention website.
The Washington Supreme Court's recent opinion in State v. Blake, Cause Number 96873-0 (February 25, 2021), held that RCW 69.50.4013 and its predecessor statutes (collectively "RCW 69.50.4013" or "simple possession") are unconstitutional. This has resulted in an unprecedented number of post-conviction motions for relief.
No, all drug possession convictions impacted by the State v. Blake ruling in Franklin County Superior Court will be reviewed by the Prosecuting Attorney's Office, and the Court will enter an order to vacate and file that order with the Superior Court Clerk.
You may check your case file to see if an order has been entered in your case by using the clerk's records access portal website.
If you have trouble locating your case, you can email the clerk records department or call 509-545-3525 and choose option number 1.
Once a vacate order is entered the Clerk will update the court record and send a copy of the order to Washington State Patrol to update their records.
Refunds are ordered when the only conviction(s) on a case is for drug possession. Any LFOs paid on that case can be refunded to the defendant after an application is received and approved by the clerk.
Cases with a drug possession conviction and any other conviction are not eligible for a refund through this process.
1016 N 4th AvenueRoom 224 Main Floor LFO OfficePasco, WA 99301
Visit our office to complete the application and show proof of identity
View the Blake Refund Application (PDF).
Once the clerk has approved a refund application, the auditor's office will process your refund and will mail the check to the address provided on the application. You must keep your address updated with the superior court clerk.
When real property taxes become three years delinquent, the county treasurer begins foreclosure action. A certificate of delinquency is filed with Superior Court. In addition to taxes, foreclosure costs of approximately $1,500 per parcel begin to accrue.
Title searches are conducted for each of the parcels. As required by law, all parties with recorded legal interest (revealed by title search) are served by certified or registered mail with a notice and summons. A notice and summons is also published in the local newspaper. (RCW 84.64.050)
The treasurer receives a judgment from the court foreclosing on the tax liens and authorizing the sale of parcels. All of the parcels being foreclosed on can be redeemed by their owners, or other parties with recorded legal interest, up until the close of business the day before the sale. That is, they are allowed to pay all that is due, thus removing their parcel from the sale.
Franklin County holds a Foreclosure sale once per year according to RCW 84.64.060.
The next sale is scheduled for Friday, December 9, 2022. The sale will be held online at the GovEase website.
You can see the results of the prior Foreclosure sale under the auctions/documents tab on this website.
Franklin County's latest Foreclosure document filed with the court will be located here via a hyperlink, which will include all parcels in foreclosure:
Parcels may be redeemed at any time up to and including the day before the sale by the recorded interest owners at the time the Certificate of Delinquency is filed. Therefore, you will periodically need to check for updates.
All sales may be subject to special assessment liens of other taxing districts and competing federal liens not extinguished by this sale, whether known or unknown. City LID liens, where known, will be announced. It is up to you to know exactly what you are bidding on. We do not overturn a sale and refund the purchase price because a bidder didn't know what they were bidding on, or because they didn't understand the legal description.
If prior lien holders attempt to collect on their liens after the property has been foreclosed on, it is entirely up to the new owner to defend against these claims. (RCW 84.64.080)
A deed will be issued within 30 to 60 days of the date of sale. Deeds are forwarded to the County Auditor's Office for recording and mailed to the address provided on the bidder registration.
Tax deeds and Treasurer's deeds provide the purchaser no guarantees. There can be clouded title or other problems, which the county is neither aware of nor responsible for to the purchaser.
Prior owners have no rights to the property after Foreclosure, unless they were a minor or legally incompetent. Minors and people declared legally incompetent have the right to redeem anytime within three years from the date of the foreclosure sale. If they do so, they must pay the amount that the property sold for, plus interest on the tax amount. If there were any improvements made by the new owner, those would also be paid for. (RCW 84.64.070)
If a parcel is sold at a foreclosure auction for more than the amount owing, the surplus money can be claimed by the previous record owner. This is the party who held title on the day that the Certificate of Delinquency was filed. They have up to three years from the date of the sale to make their claim. (RCW 84.64.080)
If no person submits a minimum bid for the property offered for sale, the county becomes the winning bidder by default and the property then becomes tax title property. The county holds the property in trust for the taxing districts and any future sales are held according to the tax title statutes RCW 36.35.
All properties held by Franklin County are sold by public auction. At any time, the public can search properties owned by Franklin County on this website through the property tax inquiry parcel search, by typing Franklin County on the owner search line. They can then fill out an application for re-sale of tax title property on particular parcel(s) - Land Sale Application (XLS) for the commissioners to authorize the re-sale of the tax title property.
If you should have any further questions, please contact our office at 509-545-3518 or email us.