Justice for all low-income people in Washington

Aiken v. Aiken

November 2, 2016

NJP was granted leave to appear as amicus (friend of the court) in an important recent Supreme Court case of Aiken v. Aiken, Supreme Court No.92631-0. In Aiken, a father challenged entry of a domestic violence protection order and sought cross-examination of his teenage daughter, who had attempted suicide to avoid visitation with the abusive father.  NJP-Everett’s Mark Ferraz was allowed to present oral argument as amicus and he and NJP-Tacoma’s Jennifer Ammons co-authored NJP’s brief. The Supreme Court held there is no right to cross examination or live testimony before entry of a domestic violence protection order, upholding the prior decision in Gourley v. Gourley, that allowing testimony and cross-examination must be determined on a case-by-case basis. The court stated: While individual circumstances may warrant the cross-examination and live testimony of child witnesses under due process principles before a domestic violence protection order can be issued, there is no statutory right to either under chapter 26.50 RCW.