State v. Blake Information and Resources
Blake Civil Consequences:
In its State v. Blake decision, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled the state’s former simple drug possession laws unconstitutional. Historically, these laws caused tremendous harm to communities of color, deprived many thousands of people of their freedom, and caused great harm to their abilities to get jobs, housing, and governmental benefits.
The Blake decision requires that all prior convictions be vacated and all monies paid into the courts as a result of those decisions (Legal Financial Obligations) must be returned to all who were unconstitutionally convicted (going back as far as 1972).
OCLA contracts with civil legal aid providers that assist victims eligible to civil relief as a result of the Blake decision. OCLA-funded providers offer a range of services including representation, Blake-related resources (such as the Refund Bureau administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts), guidance, and self-help materials. The objective is to ensure that individuals impacted by these historically racist convictions receive the information, resources, and legal assistance they need to guarantee that unconstitutional convictions are vacated and all monies paid as a result of these are rightfully returned.
Looking for Legal Help?
If you need legal help, consider reaching out to any of the organizations listed below. However, if you require help with resentencing or are currently in custody, we recommend that you contact your local public defender’s office. A list of public defender offices is here.
OCLA-Contracted Organizations Providing Blake-Related civil Legal Information and Assistance:
We proudly collaborate with dedicated organizations that provide legal help related to the Blake decision:
- Civil Survival: Committed to empowering and assisting those impacted by the criminal justice system.
- The Way to Justice: Advocating for a fairer justice system and providing guidance for those affected by the Blake ruling.
- Living with Conviction: Offering support and resources for individuals dealing prior criminal convictions and legal financial oblations (LFOs).
- Northwest Justice Project: Providing legal assistance to those in need.
Other Legal Resources and Sources of Blake-Related Legal Help:
- Washington Law Help: A comprehensive hub for legal self-help resources, including specific Blake-related forms for those aiming to vacate prior convictions or remit LFOs.
- Justice in Motion: This platform empowers individuals by allowing them to access their criminal histories, vital for those seeking to redress prior criminal justice involvement.
- Office of Public Defense: OCLA’s sister judicial branch agency is a partner in our efforts to secure justice for individuals with unconstitutional convictions.
OCLA Tenant Right to Appointed Counsel Program
OCLA Report to Legislature on Year-One Experience (July 28, 2022)
OCLA RTC Implementation Memos to Superior Court Judges Association, Clerks, and Court Administrators
FY 22-23 Office of Civil Legal Aid — COVID-19 Legal Aid Program
The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) announces the availability of $1.5 million in funding for an 18-month Pandemic Educational Legal Assistance Program. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is below.
The Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) announces the availability of $2.75 million in funding for an 18-month Pandemic Civil Legal Aid Program. The Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) is below.
What People Are Saying About The Need for Emergency COVID-19 Civil Legal Aid
What People Are Saying — 1 Pager
Former Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst and Mariners General Counsel Fred Rivera — The Seattle Times (April 14, 2020)
Former Attorney General Rob McKenna and Former Access to Justice Board Chair Salvador Mungia — The Tacoma News Tribune (June 14, 2020)
Senator Ann Rivers and Representative Monica Stonier — The Columbian (August 30, 2020)
Washington State Supreme Court Justice (and former Chief Justice) Debra Stephens and Access to Justice Board Chair Francis Adewale — The Spokesman-Review (January 20, 2021)
COVID-19 Emergency Civil Legal Aid Program
January 2021 Report to Legislature on OCLA’s Emergency COVID-19 Civil Legal Aid Program
“… And Justice For All”
“… One Person at a Time: Tarra Simmons”
Watch this video of a former civil legal aid client telling how civil legal aid changed her life.
“Civil Legal Aid: The Business Case”
Watch this video of Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer, Brad Smith, explaining why businesses care about civil legal aid and justice for all.
2016 Civil Justice Reinvestment Plan
2015 Civil Legal Needs Study Update Related Materials:
- 2015 Civil Legal Needs Study Update — Final Report
- Civil Legal Needs Study Update — Probability Survey Report (June 2015)
- Whites vs Non Whites Views of Civil Justice System
- Civil Legal Needs Study Update — Technical Paper on Problems Experienced by Victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (July 2015)
- Legal Problems of Low-Income LGBTQ Individuals
- 2014 CLNS Survey Questionnaire
- Report of the Civil Legal Needs Study Scoping Group (December 2012)
- Statewide Poverty Demographics and Client Service Capacity
2016 Statewide Civil Legal Aid to Crime Victims Program
Family Law Automated Forms Assembly System (Technology Assisted Forms)
2003 Civil Legal Needs Study
- Washington State Civil Legal Needs Study (9/2003)
- Task Force on Civil Equal Justice Funding, Final Report (5/2004)
- Task Force on Civil Equal Justice Funding, Quantification Analysis (5/2004)
The Office of Civil Legal Aid is required to report biennially on the status of access to the civil justice system for low-income people eligible for state-funded legal aid.
Here Are Some Other Places to Find Information About Civil Legal Aid and Related Services
- Washington Supreme Court
- Administrative Office for the Courts
- Board for Judicial Administration
- Office of Public Defense
- Access to Justice Board
- Legal Foundation of Washington
- Equal Justice Coalition
- Alliance for Equal Justice