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Office of Civil Legal Aid

RCW 2.53; RCW 13.34

The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is an independent judicial-branch agency that administers and ensures accountability for the Legislature’s investment in civil legal aid services for low-income persons throughout Washington state. State funded civil legal aid is a core component of the justice system, furthering the judicial branch’s constitutional obligation to fairly administer civil justice in all cases. State civil legal aid funding is used to help provide essential civil (non-criminal) legal assistance, advice, and representation to more than 25,000 low-income individuals each year with respect to civil legal problems that affect basic human needs, including personal and family safety and security; shelter preservation; mortgage foreclosure and homelessness prevention; consumer fraud, debt collection, garnishment, and bankruptcy; and access to health care, education, and other essential governmental services. Pursuant to an interagency agreement with the Department of Commerce, Office of Crime Victims Advocacy, OCLA administers a statewide, federally funded program to provide civil legal assistance to victims of crime on civil legal matters arising from their criminal victimization. OCLA’s activities are overseen by a bipartisan Civil Legal Aid Oversight Committee established by RCW 2.53.010. Pursuant to RCW 13.34.100(2)(6) and RCW 2.53.045, OCLA also contracts with private attorneys and public and private legal agencies to provide standards-based legal representation in dependency cases to children who remain legally free six months following termination of their parents’ legal rights.

Agency Mission

The mission of the Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is to work within the judicial branch to promote equity and justice for low-income Washington state residents and communities through the funding and oversight of effective, economical, and responsive civil legal aid services on matters that affect basic human needs, and to ensure accountability for state-appropriated funds dedicated to this purpose. Consistent with statutory directives, OCLA works to ensure effective, standards-based representation of legally free children in dependency cases.
Request 49,151,000
Net change from current biennium 13,830,000 Increase
Percent change from current biennium 39.2% Increase

Operating Budget: Summary

Appropriated Funds

2017-19 Appropriations Appropriated Funds Expenditures
Amount Estimated Balance   2015-17 Actual 2017-19 Estimated 2019-21 Proposed
General Fund - Basic Account - Private/Local 99,910
33,434,000 General Fund - Basic Account - State 25,930,000 33,434,000 47,263,000
1,463,000 Judicial Stabilization Trust Acct - State 1,427,487 1,463,000 1,464,000
44,000 Pension Funding Stabilization Acct - State 44,000 44,000
34,941,000 Total Appropriated Funds 27,457,397 34,941,000 48,771,000

Non-Appropriated Funds

2017-19 Non-Appropriated Funds Expenditures
Amount Balance Non-Apropriated Funds 2015-17 Actual 2017-19 Estimated 2019-21 Proposed
(380,000) Foreclosure Fairness Account - Nonappropriated 380,000 380,000
(380,000) Total Non-Appropriated Funds 380,000 380,000

Operating Budget: Program Summary

Program Title Actual Estimated Proposed
Actual Estimated Estimated Proposed Proposed
Annual Total 14,157,934 15,276,194 6,040,391 22,784,000 26,367,000

Operating Budget: Change from Preceding Biennium

Actual Estimated Proposed
Amount Percent Amount Percent Amount Percent
3,018,245 12.4% (6,140,812) (22.4%) 27,834,415 130.6%

Employment Summary

  Actual Estimated Proposed
  2016-17 Actual 2017-18 Estimated 2018-19 Estimated 2019-20 Proposed 2020-21 Proposed
FTE Staff Years 2.9 3.8 4.0 2.5 2.5