The Linebarger Case

Brief Overview

The people have a right of access to courts; indeed, it is ‘the bedrock foundation upon which rest all of the people’s rights and obligations.’”

Putman v. Wenatchee Valley Medical Center, P.S., 166 Wn.2d 974, 979, 216 P.3d 374 (2009) (quoting John Doe v. Puget Sound Blood Ctr., 117 Wn.2d 772, 780, 819 P.2d 370 (1991)).


Silent Majority Foundation filed an appeal on behalf of Rob Linebarger, an individual who sought to recall three Central Valley School District (Liberty Lake, WA) school board members who instituted harsh COVID-19 protocols. Although Mr. Linebarger had hired two attorneys (not SMF attorneys) to assist with the recall, the recall was unsuccessful, and the Central Valley School District sought sanctions (monetary compensation) from Mr. Linebarger and his attorneys.  $22,500 of the $30,000 in sanctions was assessed against Mr. Linebarger. Mr. Linebarger, with the assistance of SMF filed this appeal, challenging the award of the sanctions as he was exercising his constitutional right to Recall Washington Public Officers. WA Constitution, Article I, Sec. 33 and 34. (verbiage below)

SECTION 33 RECALL OF ELECTIVE OFFICERS. Every elective public officer of the state of Washington expect [except] judges of courts of record is subject to recall and discharge by the legal voters of the state, or of the political subdivision of the state, from which he was elected whenever a petition demanding his recall, reciting that such officer has committed some act or acts of malfeasance or misfeasance while in office, or who has violated his oath of office, stating the matters complained of, signed by the percentages of the qualified electors thereof, hereinafter provided, the percentage required to be computed from the total number of votes cast for all candidates for his said office to which he was elected at the preceding election, is filed with the officer with whom a petition for nomination, or certificate for nomination, to such office must be filed under the laws of this state, and the same officer shall call a special election as provided by the general election laws of this state, and the result determined as therein provided. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]

SECTION 34 SAME. The legislature shall pass the necessary laws to carry out the provisions of section thirty-three (33) of this article, and to facilitate its operation and effect without delay: Provided, That the authority hereby conferred upon the legislature shall not be construed to grant to the legislature any exclusive power of lawmaking nor in any way limit the initiative and referendum powers reserved by the people. The percentages required shall be, state officers, other than judges, senators and representatives, city officers of cities of the first class, school district boards in cities of the first class; county officers of counties of the first, second and third classes, twenty-five per cent. Officers of all other political subdivisions, cities, towns, townships, precincts and school districts not herein mentioned, and state senators and representatives, thirty-five per cent. [AMENDMENT 8, 1911 p 504 Section 1. Approved November, 1912.]

As the right to speak freely and to petition the government for redress are two of the most important rights protected by the Constitution, SMF sees tremendous value in fighting to ensure this type of censorship and government abuse does not continue.

Stay tuned as we await the Board Members' brief.


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