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L.H. v. Department of Labor and Industries

December 23, 1996

[L.H.], APPELLANT,
v.
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES, STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT. [M.F.], APPELLANT, V. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES, STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT. [M.L.], APPELLANT, V. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRIES, STATE OF WASHINGTON, RESPONDENT.



Appeal from Superior Court of King County. Docket No: 93-2-08534-6. Date filed: 06/07/94. Judge signing: Hon. Larry Jordan.

Order Denying Appellant's Motion for Reconsideration June 3, 1997,

Authored by C. Kenneth Grosse. Concurring: Ronald E. Cox, H. Joseph Coleman.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Grosse

GROSSE, J. -- This consolidated case concerns three individuals, abused as children while residents of states other than Washington, who repressed memories of the abuse. Each one, after attaining majority, moved to the state of Washington, and underwent counseling, during which they consciously recalled the abuse. Each applied for benefits under RCW 7.68, Washington's crime victims' compensation act (hereinafter referred to as the CVCA), as the "victim" of a criminal act committed "against a resident of the State of Washington." The three individuals contend they are eligible because their injury occurred when they recovered their memories, at a time when they were Washington State residents. We hold that the residency requirement must be satisfied at the time the criminal perpetrated the act. The appellants are not entitled to benefits even though their injuries became manifest while they were Washington residents.

Therefore, we affirm the superior court.

The parties stipulated to the following facts.

L.H.

L.H.'s grandfather assaulted her on several occasions between 1950 and 1963. The assaults took place in California, and possibly Oregon, up until L.H. became 13 years old, but not while a Washington State resident. L.H. repressed memory of the events. She became a Washington resident in 1978, and became conscious of the assaults during counseling in 1990. L.H. applied for benefits with Washington's Department of Labor and Industries (the Department) under the CVCA. The Department denied the application, an industrial appeals Judge (IAJ) held hearings, and the IAJ issued a proposed decision and order affirming the Department. The Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA) denied review, thus adopting the proposed decision and order as its final order. RCW 51.52.106.

M.F.

When M.F. was between 1 and 11 years old, her father and brother assaulted her. The assaults occurred in Connecticut between 1963 and 1974, while M.F. was not a Washington State resident, and she repressed her memory. In 1989, M.F. became a Washington State resident. During counseling, she became conscious of the assaults. M.F. applied for benefits under the CVCA. The Department denied the application, an IAJ held hearings, and the IAJ issued a proposed order and decision affirming the Department. The BIIA denied review.

M.L.

M.L. was born in 1943 and suffered abuse between 1943 and 1957. M.L. was not a resident of Washington State at the time she was abused, and the acts were not perpetrated in Washington State. M.L. repressed memory of the events. In 1970, M.L. moved to Washington State. During psychotherapy in 1990, M.L. became conscious of the assaults. She applied to the Department for CVCA benefits. The Department denied the application, an IAJ held hearings, and the IAJ issued a proposed order and decision affirming the Department. The BIIA denied review.

L.H., M.F., and M.L., who will be collectively referred to as "the applicants," each appealed to superior court. The superior court affirmed the BIIA, and the applicants appealed to the State Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ...


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