I recently learned claiming ignorance can exempt you from the law in Thurston County. In February I attempted to sue the seller of my home for failure to disclose known structural defects (per RCW 64.06.013) that he had attempted and failed to repair himself. I discovered the damage when I started renovating.
My case was presented in front of protem Judge Stephen Greer of Kitsap County. That day Judge Greer set a dangerous precedent with his ruling. Despite overwhelming evidence, including verbal confirmation from the seller that he was aware of the defects, Judge Greer excused the seller from any liability because he wasn’t a licensed contractor and didn’t know any better.
Can I get out of a ticket because I didn’t know the speed limit? Can I tell an officer I was unaware two drinks would put me over the legal limit to drive? No, I can’t use that excuse.
This ruling sets the precedent that people don’t need to be accountable or be aware of the laws. Every day individuals and businesses are fined or liable for something they weren’t aware of, so why can others avoid responsibility for something they know of? I believe these judges in Washington need to follow the state’s laws and regulations and stick to some standards. Judge Greer taking pity on a man who “didn’t know any better” is a small example of how the justice system hardly serves justice and instead allows ignorance and incompetence to be a defense.