Steven Powell tries again to have $1.9M civil judgment thrown out

Steven Powell tries again to have $1.9M civil judgment thrown out

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TACOMA, Wash. — Steven Powell is still fighting the $1.9 million civil judgment against him.

Powell, 63, who is representing himself, filed a nine-page, handwritten motion Friday in Tacoma's Pierce County Superior Court requesting the civil suit against him be dismissed.

Powell was convicted in May 2012 by a Tacoma jury of 14 counts of voyeurism for taking photographs of two neighbor girls, then ages 8 and 10, with a telephoto lens while they were nude or partially nude in their bathroom.

The two girls later filed a civil suit against Powell and in August were awarded $1.8 million by a judge. Powell challenged the civil judgment, claiming the damages awarded were "excessive."

But in November, a Pierce County Superior Court judge upheld the judgment and noted that Powell now owed $1.9 million due to interest.

On Friday, Powell filed a sometimes rambling motion to have the judgment thrown out on a technicality. Powell claims he was not properly served with an order setting case schedule while in prison, and because he was not served by July 2, 2012, the court no longer had jurisdiction over him.

"As such, the August 28, 2013, judgment is void and should be set aside," Powell wrote in his motion.

Anne Bremner, the Seattle-based attorney for the girls, had previously stated that she personally served Powell with the civil lawsuit on the day he was sentenced for his criminal case in June 2012, but Powell never responded. After more than a year without a response, Bremner said the civil suit moved into the default phase.

Powell also filed a motion Friday to be allowed to give oral arguments backing his motion for dismissal via telephone from prison. He is currently incarcerated at the Monroe Correctional Complex in Washington.

Powell has been eligible for early release from prison since May but has been unable to come up with a required "offender release plan" that the Washington Department of Corrections will approve. If he fails to come up with one, he will be released in March after serving his entire sentence.

Earlier this month, Powell filed a response that required him to list his assets because of the civil judgment. In it, Powell wrote that he intended to resume living at his home in Puyallup once his sentence was fulfilled. He noted in court documents that his daughter Alina and son John still lived there, and if he were to lose his house, they "would become homeless."

Powell also made note of his prior offender release plans that were rejected by the Washington Department of Corrections, claiming his plans were rejected "for reasons DOC refuses to specify and enumerate" and calling the decision an "apparent arbitrary refusal."


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