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WPIC 2.14 Officer—Public Officer—Definition

11 WAPRAC WPIC 2.14Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11 Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 2.14 (5th Ed)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal
December 2021 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part I. General Instructions
WPIC CHAPTER 2. Definitions
WPIC 2.14 Officer—Public Officer—Definition
Officer and public officer mean a person holding office under a city, county, state, or the federal government, who performs a public function and in so doing is vested with the exercise of some sovereign power of government [, and includes all assistants, deputies, clerks, and employees of any public officer and all persons lawfully exercising or assuming to exercise any of the powers or functions of a public officer].
Use this instruction to define officer or public officer. Do not use this instruction to define public servant or peace officer. Those terms have their own statutory definitions. See WPIC 2.22 (Public Servant—Definition) and WPIC 2.16 (Peace Officer—Definition).
If the federal government is not involved, use WPIC 2.11 (Government—Definition), with this instruction. If the federal government is involved, further definition may be needed. Use bracketed material as applicable. For directions on using bracketed phrases, see WPIC 4.20 (Introduction).
RCW 9A.04.110(13).
This definition of public officer, including all employees, assistants, deputies or clerks of a public officer, rather than the more restrictive common law definition, should be given for offenses of misappropriation of record or injury to record by public officer. State v. Korba, 66 Wn.App. 666, 832 P.2d 1346 (1992). The definition was held inapplicable to a work study assistant for the Seattle Municipal Court, whose clerical chores did not “meet the definition of those performed by a public officer.” State v. Liewer, 65 Wn.App. 641, 829 P.2d 236 (1992).
A transit fare enforcement officer, employed by a private entity for carrying out fare enforcement, was neither a public officer nor a public servant for purposes of a prosecution for making false statements to public officer. State v. K.L.B., 180 Wn.2d 735, 328 P.3d 886 (2014).
For a discussion of de facto public servants, see the Comment to WPIC 2.22 (Public Servant—Definition).
[Current as of November 2018.]
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