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2013 House Bill 1934: Concerning visitation rights for persons, including grandparents, with an ongoing and substantial relationship with a child
  1. Introduced by Sen. Jamie Pedersen, (Seattle) (D) on February 19, 2013, establishes a process by which a person who is not the parent of a child may petition for visitation rights with the child if the person has established an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child. This act directs the court to grant visitation rights if the child would likely suffer harm or the substantial risk of harm if visitation between the petitioner and the child is not granted and if granting visitation between the child and petitioner is in the best interest of the child.
    • Referred to the House Judiciary Committee on February 19, 2013.
      • Substitute offered in the House on February 21, 2013, provides that an ongoing and substantial relationship may not be established based solely on a relationship that results from the person's role as a paid or volunteer service provider, such as a teacher, counselor, coach, or child care provider. Allows consideration of the financial resources of all parties when determining whether to order the petitioner to pay fees in advance. In addition, it requires the court to order the petitioner to pay costs and attorneys' fees if the petitioner brought the action in bad faith or without a reasonable basis.
    • Referred to the House Rules Committee on February 22, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Mike Hope, (Lake Stevens) (R) on March 7, 2013, provides that an "ongoing and substantial relationship" must be based on a relationship with substantial continuity for at least two years (rather than at least one year), unless the child is under the age of two years, in which case there must be substantial continuity for at least half of the child's life.. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Matt Manweller (Ellensburg) (R) on March 7, 2013, adds "the love, affection, and strength of the current relationship between the child and the respondent" to the list of factors that a court shall consider when determining whether visitation is in the best interest of the child. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Sen. Jamie Pedersen, (Seattle) (D) on March 7, 2013, clarifies that the petitioner must allege in his or her affidavit that the petitioner has an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Jay Rodne (North Bend) (R) on March 7, 2013, clarifies that the petitioner must allege in his or her affidavit that the petitioner has an ongoing and substantial relationship with the child. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Matt Shea (Spokane Valley) (R) on March 7, 2013, provides that either the parent consented to or allowed the formation of the relationship, or the relationship formed as a result of the parent's unavailability or inability to perform caretaking functions, for a substantial period of time while the substantial relationship was being formed. The amendment failed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
      • Amendment offered by Rep. Matt Shea (Spokane Valley) (R) on March 7, 2013, amends the definition of "parent" to specify that the term means a "fit" biological, adoptive, or adjudicated parent. The amendment passed by voice vote in the House on March 7, 2013.
  2. Passed 56 to 40 in the House on March 7, 2013, establishes new standards and procedures for a person who is not a parent to petition for visitation with a child, and repeals existing statutes relating to third-party visitation actions.
    Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No"

  3. Received in the Senate on March 11, 2013.
    • Referred to the Senate Law & Justice Committee on March 11, 2013.

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