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This lawsuit seeks to restore to thousands of Washington Residents legal final obligations (“LFOs”) collected, received, and retained by Defendants State of Washington (“Washington”), King County, and Snohomish County (together, “Defendants”), and all other Washington Counties (together, “Defendant Class members”), as a result of convictions under Washington’s strict liability drug possession statute, RCW 69.50.4013, and its predecessor statute.
Such “harsh penalties for such innocent passivity” are unconstitutional, id. at *7, resulting in the invalidation of the statute, rendering illegal the convictions of countless Washington residents.
Compounding the harm, in Washington, much like the rest of the United States, drug convictions have hit communities of color disproportionately. Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are impacted disparately by drug convictions. As the Blake Court noted, RCW 69.50.4013 “has affected thousands upon thousands of lives, and its impact has hit young men of color especially hard.” Id. at *10.
Accordingly, Plaintiffs The Civil Survival Project, Irene Slagle, Christina Zawaideh, and Julia Reardon have brought claims seeking to recover legal financial obligations (“LFOs”) wrongfully collected, received, and retained by the Defendants, and for further monetary, equitable and injunctive relief necessary to make impacted individuals whole with respect to the harms they suffered.