Lacey proposes amends harassment section of municipal code to remove mental health language

City also discusses behavioral nuisance ordinance


​​​​Lacey’s General Government and Public Safety Committee had its regular meeting yesterday, May 23, to discuss code amendments.

The meeting opened with a staff report about implementing the amendments to Municipal Code 9.12.060, which discusses criminal harassment.

“There has been some case law that has changed the state of the law, thus necessitates an update to the Lacey Municipal Code,” Assistant City Attorney Matt Sharp said.

“Just this year, the state legislature passed an update to their statutes. They are going to remove that mental health language from the state statute,” Sharp added.

The state statute amendment removed the clause because of an old case [State v. Williams, 144 Wn.2d 197 (2001)] that prompted a review of the constitutionality of the provision.

Recommending the modification of the municipal code will ensure that the Lacey Municipal Code complies better with state law and the constitution.

Behavioral Nuisance Ordinance

City Attorney Dave Schneider briefed the committee about the potential municipal code changes on behavioral nuisance.

“Nuisances are defined specifically throughout the Lacey municipal code in various areas. Typically, there [are] a few instances where they're automatically categorized as [a] misdemeanor and can be prosecuted, but for the most part, they are civil violations that are handled in a civil route through the hearing examiner,” Schneider explained.

Schneider discussed the conduct that may occur on a property that the city would also like to categorize as a nuisance.

“A chronic behavioral public nuisance is basically a property that has repeated violations on it over a certain number of times,” Scheider said.

The full draft of the ordinance is ready, and Scheider plans to send it to the council in late June.

Editors note: the title was updated to reflect a more accurate depiction of the meeting. 


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  • AugieH

    Another example of journalistic non-reporting. What is and what are examples of "mental health language"?

    Does this mean "nutty as a fruitcake" is no longer to be used?

    Thursday, May 25, 2023 Report this

  • psterry

    please be more specific

    Thursday, May 25, 2023 Report this