Chapter 10.29 RCW

STATEWIDE SPECIAL INQUIRY JUDGE ACT

Sections

10.29.010Short title.
10.29.020Intent.
10.29.050Powers and duties of statewide special inquiry judge.
10.29.060Disclosures by witnessPenalty.
10.29.070Rules.
10.29.100Vacancy in office.
10.29.110Duties of special prosecutor or designee.
10.29.120Advising county prosecuting attorneyFiling and prosecution of informationsExpenses of prosecutions.
10.29.130Disqualification of judge from subsequent proceedings.

NOTES:

Special inquiry judge: RCW 10.27.050, 10.27.170 through 10.27.190.


Short title.

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the Statewide Special Inquiry Judge Act.



Intent.

It is the intent of the legislature in enacting this chapter to strengthen and enhance the ability of the state to detect and eliminate organized criminal activity.



Powers and duties of statewide special inquiry judge.

A statewide special inquiry judge shall have the following powers and duties:
(1) To hear and receive evidence of crime and corruption.
(2) To appoint a reporter to record the proceedings; and to swear the reporter not to disclose any testimony or the name of any witness except as provided in RCW 10.27.090.
(3) Whenever necessary, to appoint an interpreter, and to swear him or her not to disclose any testimony or the name of any witness except as provided in RCW 10.27.090.
(4) When a person held in official custody is a witness before a statewide special inquiry judge, a public servant, assigned to guard him or her during his or her appearance may accompany him or her. The statewide special inquiry judge shall swear such public servant not to disclose any testimony or the name of any witness except as provided in RCW 10.27.090.
(5) To cause to be called as a witness any person believed by him or her to possess relevant information or knowledge. If the statewide special inquiry judge desires to hear any such witness who was not called by the special prosecutor, it may direct the special prosecutor to issue and serve a subpoena upon such witness and the special prosecutor must comply with such direction. At any time after service of such subpoena and before the return date thereof, however, the special prosecutor may apply to the statewide special inquiry judge for an order vacating or modifying the subpoena on the grounds that such is in the public interest. Upon such application, the statewide special inquiry judge may in its discretion vacate the subpoena, extend its return date, attach reasonable conditions to directions, or make such other qualification thereof as is appropriate.
(6) Upon a showing of good cause may make available any or all evidence obtained to any other public attorney, prosecuting attorney, city attorney, or corporation counsel upon proper application and with the concurrence of the special prosecutor. Any witness' testimony, given before a statewide special inquiry judge and relevant to any subsequent proceeding against the witness, shall be made available to the witness upon proper application to the statewide special inquiry judge. The statewide special inquiry judge may also, upon proper application and upon a showing of good cause, make available to a defendant in a subsequent criminal proceeding other testimony or evidence when given or presented before a special inquiry judge, if doing so is in the furtherance of justice.
(7) Have authority to perform such other duties as may be required to effectively implement this chapter, in accord with rules adopted by the supreme court relating to these proceedings.
(8) Have authority to hold in contempt of court any person who shall disclose the name or testimony of a witness examined before a statewide special inquiry judge except when required by a court to disclose the testimony given before such statewide special inquiry judge in a subsequent criminal proceeding.



Disclosures by witnessPenalty.

Any witness who shall disclose the fact that he or she has been called as a witness before a statewide special inquiry judge or who shall disclose the nature of the testimony given shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.



Rules.

The supreme court shall develop and adopt rules to govern the procedures of a statewide special inquiry judge proceeding including rules assuring the confidentiality of all proceedings, testimony, and the identity of persons called as witnesses. The adoption of such rules shall be subject to the approval of such rules by the senate and house judiciary committees.



Vacancy in office.

Whenever a statewide special inquiry judge or special prosecutor appointed under this chapter dies or in any other way is rendered incapable of continuing the duties of his or her office, a successor shall be appointed to serve for the remainder of the judge's or prosecutor's term in the manner provided for by *RCW 10.29.030 and 10.29.080 for the appointment of statewide special inquiry judges and special prosecutors.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 10.29.030 and 10.29.080 were repealed by 2009 c 560 § 24.



Duties of special prosecutor or designee.

The special prosecutor or his or her designee shall:
(1) Attend all proceedings of the statewide special inquiry judge;
(2) Have the authority to issue subpoenas for witnesses statewide;
(3) Examine witnesses, present evidence, draft reports as directed by the statewide special inquiry judge, and draft and file informations under RCW 10.29.120.



Advising county prosecuting attorneyFiling and prosecution of informationsExpenses of prosecutions.

(1) The special prosecutor shall advise the county prosecuting attorney in any affected county of the nature of the statewide special inquiry judge investigation and of any informations arising from such proceedings unless such disclosures will create a substantial likelihood of a conflict of interest for the county prosecuting attorney.
(2) The special prosecutor may file and prosecute an information in the county where proper venue lies, after having advised the county prosecuting attorney as provided in this section and determined that such prosecuting attorney does not intend to do so, or pursuant to an agreement between them that the special prosecutor shall do so.
(3) Informations filed and prosecuted pursuant to this chapter shall meet the requirements of chapter 10.37 RCW.
(4) The expenses of prosecutions initiated and maintained by the special prosecutor shall be paid as part of the statewide special inquiry judge program as provided in *RCW 10.29.090.

NOTES:

*Reviser's note: RCW 10.29.090 was repealed by 2009 c 560 § 24.



Disqualification of judge from subsequent proceedings.

The judge serving as a special inquiry judge shall be disqualified from acting as a magistrate or judge in any subsequent court proceeding arising from such inquiry except alleged contempt for neglect or refusal to appear, testify, or provide evidence at such inquiry in response to an order, summons, or subpoena.