Chapter 7.43 RCW

INJUNCTIONSDRUG NUISANCES

Sections

7.43.010Injunction authorized.
7.43.020ComplaintAffidavit.
7.43.030Temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.
7.43.040Temporary restraining order or preliminary injunctionBond required.
7.43.050Priority of actions.
7.43.060Dismissal of citizen complaintLimitations.
7.43.070Service of complaint.
7.43.080Order of abatement.
7.43.090Final order of abatement.
7.43.100Sale of items subject to forfeitureUse of proceeds.
7.43.110Violation of injunctionContempt of court.
7.43.120Fine constitutes lien.
7.43.130Recovery of damages not precluded.


Injunction authorized.

(1) Every building or unit within a building used for the purpose of unlawfully manufacturing, delivering, selling, storing, or giving away any controlled substance as defined in chapter 69.50 RCW, legend drug as defined in chapter 69.41 RCW, or imitation controlled substances as defined in chapter 69.52 RCW, and every building or unit within a building wherein or upon which such acts take place, is a nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented, whether it is a public or private nuisance.
(2) As used in this chapter, "building" includes, but is not limited to, any structure or any separate part or portion thereof, whether permanent or not, or the ground itself.



ComplaintAffidavit.

The action provided for in RCW 7.43.010 shall be brought in the superior court in the county in which the property is located. Such action shall be commenced by the filing of a complaint alleging the facts constituting the nuisance.
Any complaint filed under this chapter shall be verified or accompanied by affidavit. For purposes of showing that the owner or his or her agent has had an opportunity to abate the nuisance, the affidavit shall contain a description of all attempts by the applicant to notify and locate the owner of the property or the owner's agent.
In addition, the affidavit shall describe in detail the adverse impact associated with the property on the surrounding neighborhood. "Adverse impact" includes, but is not limited to, the following: Any search warrants served on the property where controlled substances were seized; investigative purchases of controlled substances on or near the property by law enforcement or their agents; arrests of persons who frequent the property for violation of controlled substances laws; increased volume of traffic associated with the property; and the number of complaints made to law enforcement of illegal activity associated with the property.
After filing the complaint, the court shall grant a hearing within three business days after the filing.



Temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction.

Upon application for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction, the court may, upon a showing of good cause, issue an ex parte restraining order or preliminary injunction, preventing the defendant and all other persons from removing or in any manner interfering with the personal property and contents of the place where the nuisance is alleged to exist and may grant such preliminary equitable relief as is necessary to prevent the continuance or recurrence of the nuisance pending final resolution of the matter on the merits. However, pending the decision, the stock in trade may not be so restrained, but an inventory and full accounting of all business transactions may be required.
The restraining order or preliminary injunction may be served by handing to and leaving a copy with any person in charge of the place or residing in the place, or by posting a copy in a conspicuous place at or upon one or more of the principal doors or entrances to the place, or by both delivery and posting. The officer serving the order or injunction shall forthwith make and return into court an inventory of the personal property and contents situated in and used in conducting or maintaining the nuisance.
Any violation of the order or injunction is a contempt of court, and where such order or injunction is posted, mutilation or removal thereof while the same remains in force is a contempt of court if such posted order or injunction contains a notice to that effect.



Temporary restraining order or preliminary injunctionBond required.

A temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction shall not issue under this chapter except upon the giving of a bond or security by the applicant, in the sum that the court deems proper, but not less than one thousand dollars, for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered by any party who is found to have been wrongfully restrained or enjoined. A bond or security shall not be required of the state of Washington, municipal corporations, or political subdivisions of the state of Washington.



Priority of actions.

An action under this chapter shall have precedence over all other actions, except prior matters of the same character, criminal proceedings, election contests, hearings on temporary restraining orders and injunctions, and actions to forfeit vehicles used in violation of the uniform controlled substances act.



Dismissal of citizen complaintLimitations.

(1) If the complaint under this chapter is filed by a citizen, the complaint shall not be dismissed by the citizen for want of prosecution except upon a sworn statement made by the citizen and the citizen's attorney, if the citizen has one. The statement shall set forth the reasons why the action should be dismissed. The case shall only be dismissed if so ordered by the court.
(2) In case of failure to prosecute the action with reasonable diligence, or at the request of the plaintiff, the court, in its discretion, may substitute any other citizen consenting to be substituted for the plaintiff.



Service of complaint.

A copy of the complaint, together with a notice of the time and place of the hearing of the action shall be served upon the defendant at least one business day before the hearing. Service may also be made by posting the papers in the same manner as is provided for in RCW 7.43.030. If the hearing is then continued at the request of any defendant, all temporary orders and injunctions shall be extended as a matter of course.



Order of abatement.

(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, if the existence of the nuisance is established in the action, an order of abatement shall be entered as part of the final judgment in the case. Plaintiff's costs in the action, including those of abatement, are a lien upon the building or unit within a building. The lien is enforceable and collectible by execution issued by order of the court.
(2) If the court finds and concludes that the owner of the building or unit within a building: (a) Had no knowledge of the existence of the nuisance or has been making reasonable efforts to abate the nuisance, (b) has not been guilty of any contempt of court in the proceedings, and (c) will immediately abate any such nuisance that may exist at the building or unit within a building and prevent it from being a nuisance within a period of one year thereafter, the court shall, if satisfied of the owner's good faith, order the building or unit within a building to be delivered to the owner, and no order of abatement shall be entered. If an order of abatement has been entered and the owner subsequently meets the requirements of this subsection, the order of abatement shall be canceled.



Final order of abatement.

Any final order of abatement issued under this chapter shall:
(1) Direct the removal of all personal property subject to seizure and forfeiture pursuant to RCW 69.50.505 from the building or unit within a building, and direct their disposition pursuant to the forfeiture provisions of RCW 69.50.505;
(2) Provide for the immediate closure of the building or unit within a building against its use for any purpose, and for keeping it closed for a period of one year unless released sooner as provided in this chapter; and
(3) State that while the order of abatement remains in effect the building or unit within a building shall remain in the custody of the court.



Sale of items subject to forfeitureUse of proceeds.

In all actions brought under this chapter, the proceeds and all moneys forfeited pursuant to the forfeiture provisions of RCW 69.50.505 shall be applied as follows:
(1) First, to the fees and costs of the removal and sale;
(2) Second, to the allowances and costs of closing and keeping closed the building or unit within a building;
(3) Third, to the payment of the plaintiff's costs in the action; and
(4) Fourth, the balance, if any, to the owner of the property.
If the proceeds of the sale of items subject to seizure and forfeiture do not fully discharge all of the costs, fees, and allowances, the building or unit within a building shall then also be sold under execution issued upon the order of the court, and the proceeds of the sale shall be applied in a like manner.
A building or unit within a building shall not be sold under this section unless the court finds and concludes by clear and convincing evidence that the owner of the building or unit within a building had actual or constructive knowledge or notice of the existence of the nuisance. However, this shall not be construed as limiting or prohibiting the entry of any final order of abatement as provided in this chapter.



Violation of injunctionContempt of court.

An intentional violation of a restraining order, preliminary injunction, or order of abatement under this chapter is a contempt of court as provided in chapter 7.21 RCW.



Fine constitutes lien.

Whenever the owner of a building or unit within a building upon which the act or acts constituting the contempt have been committed, or the owner of any interest in the building or unit has been found in contempt of court, and fined in any proceedings under this chapter, the fine is a lien upon the building or unit within a building to the extent of the owner's interest. The lien is enforceable and collectible by execution issued by order of the court.



Recovery of damages not precluded.

The abatement of a nuisance under this chapter does not prejudice the right of any person to recover damages for its past existence.