Vancouver, WA asked in Criminal Law, Gov & Administrative Law and Health Care Law for Washington

Q: so if Inslee continues to call this and emergency does this mean he can keep doing this forever?

also does he have the right to jail and fine people for not complying with his wishes? and if so why are so many officers of the law refusing to enforce his mandates? thank you for responding

1 Lawyer Answer
Stan Glisson
Stan Glisson
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Tacoma, WA
  • Licensed in Washington

A: Violation of the Governor's order is a gross misdemeanor, so a person can be arrested for it. Does "he" have the right to jail people? No, that is not the function of his office. But local law enforcement anywhere in the state can enforce the statute.

Since it only went in to effect today, I personally haven't heard of any agencies refusing to enforce the law. They do however have discretion about whether to make an arrest on the spot or just make a referral to prosecutors for charging. I'd be surprised if any police 'refuse' to enforce this or any law, but if it does I'd say address that question to the police agencies. If a police agency actually takes a policy of refusing to enforce a particular law, they would presumably be prepared to answer questions about that policy.

And you're very welcome. If you're a twitter user, I went in to more depth on this topic and can respond to questions on my twitter feed, @stanglisson.

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