LETTER: Initiative 1491 would violate due process

The extreme-risk protection order measure would allow ex-parte hearings that benefit only one person: the accuser.

Initiative 1491 is unjust and unnecessary.

A more common sense and reasonable law passed by the Washington state legislature in 2015 is “Joel’s Law.”

It actually provides help for the accused, early detection, intervention and a hearing before a judge after 72 hours of mental-health-related detention.

The accused may present evidence explaining why he or she is not a danger to him-/herself or others. I-1491 doesn’t provide this due process procedure.

Washington State House Bill 1857 mirroring I-1491 was considered in 2015.

Because of its many faults, it never even saw a floor vote.

Initiative I-1491 allows an extreme-risk protection order to be issued by a court to remove firearms from an accused in an ex-parte hearing.

What’s this?

An ex-parte hearing is conducted for the benefit of only one party.

If a family or household member claims that another family or household member is mentally incompetent or dangerous to themselves or others, the accused could have his or her firearms confiscated by a court with no notice and with an expedited, ex-parte hearing without a required notification to the accused to be able to be present to defend him-/herself.

I-1491 stigmatizes and misrepresents the mentally ill.

The law is so vague that even an ex-roommate could initiate I-1491 proceedings.

In the Fifth and 14th Amendments to our U.S. Constitution, the due process clause reads in part, “No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”

Your rights just disappear on the say-so of someone else.

Even the American Civil Liberties Union does not support I-1491.

Go to https://know1491.org for more information.

Learn about this terrible initiative.

Defeat I-1491.

Eric Foth,

Port Angeles