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Judge denies exception to 7-day limit on competency services

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SEATTLE (AP) — A federal judge has turned down a request from the state that would give health officials more time before providing competency services to mentally ill people in jails.

U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman had issued a permanent injunction against the state social services agency for failing to provide competency services in a timely manner. Her order set a strict seven-day deadline after a judge's order.

But the Attorney General's office asked for exceptions in certain situations.

Pechman turned them down, saying the state should be more creative in finding solutions instead of asking for a rule-change.

The only exception she granted was for when the person in question needs medical care before receiving competency services.

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