Costs of support, treatment, and confinement — Order — Contempt of court.
(1) Whenever legal custody of a child is vested in someone other than his or her parents, under this chapter, and not vested in the department of social and health services, after due notice to the parents or other persons legally obligated to care for and support the child, and after a hearing, the court may order and decree that the parent or other legally obligated person shall pay in such a manner as the court may direct a reasonable sum representing in whole or in part the costs of support, treatment, and confinement of the child after the decree is entered.
(2) If the parent or other legally obligated person willfully fails or refuses to pay such sum, the court may proceed against such person for contempt.
(3) Whenever legal custody of a child is vested in the department under this chapter, the parents or other persons legally obligated to care for and support the child shall be liable for the costs of support, treatment, and confinement of the child, in accordance with the department's reimbursement of cost schedule. The department shall adopt a reimbursement of cost schedule based on the costs of providing such services, and shall determine an obligation based on the responsible parents' or other legally obligated person's ability to pay. The department is authorized to adopt additional rules as appropriate to enforce this section.
(4) To enforce subsection (3) of this section, the department shall serve on the parents or other person legally obligated to care for and support the child a notice and finding of financial responsibility requiring the parents or other legally obligated person to appear and show cause in an adjudicative proceeding why the finding of responsibility and/or the amount thereof is incorrect and should not be ordered. This notice and finding shall relate to the costs of support, treatment, and confinement of the child in accordance with the department's reimbursement of cost schedule adopted under this section, including periodic payments to be made in the future. The hearing shall be held pursuant to chapter 34.05 RCW, the Administrative Procedure Act, and the rules of the department.
(5) The notice and finding of financial responsibility shall be served in the same manner prescribed for the service of a summons in a civil action or may be served on the parent or legally obligated person by certified mail, return receipt requested. The receipt shall be prima facie evidence of service.
(6) If the parents or other legally obligated person objects to the notice and finding of financial responsibility, then an application for an adjudicative hearing may be filed within twenty days of the date of service of the notice. If an application for an adjudicative proceeding is filed, the presiding or reviewing officer shall determine the past liability and responsibility, if any, of the parents or other legally obligated person and shall also determine the amount of periodic payments to be made in the future. If the parents or other legally responsible person fails to file an application within twenty days, the notice and finding of financial responsibility shall become a final administrative order.
(7) Debts determined pursuant to this section are subject to collection action without further necessity of action by a presiding or reviewing officer. The department may collect the debt in accordance with RCW 43.20B.635, 43.20B.640, 74.20A.060, and 74.20A.070. The department shall exempt from payment parents receiving adoption support under *RCW 74.13.100 through 74.13.145, parents eligible to receive adoption support under *RCW 74.13.150, and a parent or other legally obligated person when the parent or other legally obligated person, or such person's child, spouse, or spouse's child, was the victim of the offense for which the child was committed.
(8) An administrative order entered pursuant to this section shall supersede any court order entered prior to June 13, 1994.
(9) The department shall be subrogated to the right of the child and his or her parents or other legally responsible person to receive support payments for the benefit of the child from any parent or legally obligated person pursuant to a support order established by a superior court or pursuant to RCW 74.20A.055. The department's right of subrogation under this section is limited to the liability established in accordance with its cost schedule for support, treatment, and confinement, except as addressed in subsection (10) of this section.
(10) Nothing in this section precludes the department from recouping such additional support payments from the child's parents or other legally obligated person as required to qualify for receipt of federal funds. The department may adopt such rules dealing with liability for recoupment of support, treatment, or confinement costs as may become necessary to entitle the state to participate in federal funds unless such rules would be expressly prohibited by law. If any law dealing with liability for recoupment of support, treatment, or confinement costs is ruled to be in conflict with federal requirements which are a prescribed condition of the allocation of federal funds, such conflicting law is declared to be inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict.
[1995 c 300 § 1; 1994 sp.s. c 7 § 529; 1993 c 466 § 1; 1977 ex.s. c 291 § 76.]
| *Reviser's note: RCW 74.13.100 through 74.13.145 and74.13.150 were recodified as RCW 74.13A.005 through 74.13A.080 and 74.13A.085 pursuant to 2009 c 520 § 95.|
Effective date -- 1995 c 300: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [May 9, 1995]." [1995 c 300 § 2.]
Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 1994 sp.s. c 7: See notes following RCW 43.70.540.
Effective dates -- Severability -- 1977 ex.s. c 291: See notes following RCW 13.04.005.