Category Archives: Courts

graphic for CROP

Removing a Barrier to Reentry

By | Courts, Criminal Justice, Legal Aid | No Comments

By: Tarra Simmons, 2016 Goldmark Fellow 
Northwest Justice Project

On June 24, 2016 I became the first person in our state to obtain a Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity. The Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP) became available to persons with a criminal conviction on June 9, 2016 after the unanimous passage of ESHB 1553 in the 2016 state legislative session.  The law allows people who have been convicted of certain crimes to petition a judge for a certificate that shows they have completed their sentence and have been law abiding citizens. In the words of King County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg a CROP is “a receipt that says the person has paid their debt to society and can move forward.” Read More

Rubber Stamp pic

Report Finds Courts Sacrifice Justice for Efficiency With Regards to Debt Buyer Cases

By | Courts, Debt, Legal Aid | No Comments

By: Scott Kinkley, Attorney at the Northwest Justice Project

Garnishment is a terrifying, if not catastrophic, event especially for someone living on the margins of poverty where a single garnishment can produce devastating collateral damage like divorce and homelessness. It should never be acceptable for this harsh remedy to be employed against people who never got their day in court or never owed the debt in the first place. Yet, with increasing frequency the media is reporting horror stories about poor people being garnished for debts they paid or never owed by a handful of billion dollar companies most people have never heard of. These companies, debt buyers, do exactly what their moniker implies. They buy debt. They buy debt in bulk for pennies on the dollar from creditors or other debt buyers. This industry has flooded state courts with lawsuits on defaulted credit obligations bought and sold in a number of unregulated markets. Fueled by Read More