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 3     MARIAN RUSSELL,               )
 4                    Complainant,   )
 5               vs.                 ) DOCKET NO. TV-090289
                                     ) Volume II
 6     BUMBLEBEE MOVING NORTH, INC., ) Pages 27 - 59
 7                    Respondent.    )

                A hearing in the above matter was held on
       April 27, 2009, at 1:39 p.m., at 1300 South Evergreen
       Park Drive Southwest, Olympia, Washington, before
       Administrative Law Judge ADAM TOREM.

                The parties were present as follows:
                 MARIAN RUSSELL, by Marian Russell, pro se,
16     Post Office Box 1612, Edmonds, Washington 98020;
       telephone, (425) 673-7027.
       (via bridge), Assistant Attorney General, 1400 South
19     Evergreen Park Drive Southwest, Post Office Box 40128,
       Olympia, Washington 98504; telephone, (360) 664-1186.




24     Kathryn T. Wilson, CCR

25     Court Reporter

 1     _____________________________________________________

 2                        INDEX OF EXHIBITS

 3     _____________________________________________________



 6        1                34        38

 7        2                          38

 8        3                35        38

 9        4                35        38

10        5                          38

11        6                36        38

12        7                36        38

13        8                58        58













 1                       P R O C E E D I N G S

 2              JUDGE TOREM:    We'll be on the record in a

 3     hearing regarding Ms. Marian Russell versus Bumblebee

 4     Moving North, Incorporated.   My name is Adam Torem, the

 5     administrative law judge, and this is Docket TV-090289.

 6     This is a private complaint as opposed to a

 7     Commission-issued complaint against Bumblebee, and I'll

 8     note that Bumblebee has not appeared today.    Is anyone

 9     from Bumblebee or Mr. Warner on the bridge line today?

10     All right.

11              Present here is Ms. Russell.     She made an

12     appearance at the prehearing conference last week.      I

13     believe we have all of her contact information in the

14     record, and Commission staff was here earlier with

15     Ms. Otto, who is available for testimony, if necessary,

16     but at the prehearing conference last week, I was made

17     aware of some proposed exhibits, which included a

18     declaration from Diana Otto and a couple of supporting

19     attachments.   Since that time, I was provided some

20     other proposed exhibits, and we can go over those in

21     just a moment.

22              Ms. Russell, I want to go over quickly what

23     the agenda is today, and this is really your hearing,

24     so I'll give you an opportunity to testify under oath,

25     and I'll swear you in to do that at the right time, and

 1     probably right after we go over the exhibits.     So I've

 2     taken appearances today, and I've noted that Bumblebee

 3     is not here, so eventually, if you wanted to move for

 4     me to hold them in default, then I will entertain that.

 5     Then I will swear you in so you can give me an opening

 6     statement or just your sworn testimony and pointing out

 7     what you believe are the highlights that I need to look

 8     at in the exhibits.    As part of your testimony, you can

 9     ask me to admit certain exhibits into the record and go

10     over those again by number as I've seen them so far.

11                 But the issue before us today, as I can tell

12     from your complaint, is you are seeking a refund of the

13     $3,163 that you were charged and that you paid to the

14     moving company for this move back in, I believe, 2007,

15     late 2007.

16                 MS. RUSSELL:   August 31st, 2007.

17                 JUDGE TOREM:   Thank you.   So the issue today

18     is for you to prove that you were overcharged for the

19     move, and that way, under Revised Code of Washington,

20     Title 81, Chapter 04, Section 230, that's the only

21     statute I found that gave me jurisdiction to require

22     the Company to pay you a refund.     I have to have proof

23     that you were overcharged, so once we determine that,

24     then you will have met your burden for relief today in

25     that way.

 1               The only other item that I need to prove

 2     today, and we will get this under evidence, to show I

 3     have jurisdiction, is that your complaint was filed

 4     within two years of the move or two years of you

 5     becoming aware that you had been overcharged, so we

 6     will just take the dates of that August 31st, 2007, and

 7     the date of your complaint, which was February of this

 8     year on the record under sworn testimony, and that will

 9     be proof as well as the documents that you meet the

10     limitations requirement for timing.

11               Those are the two areas I'm going to need

12     your proof on if you want to prevail on the overcharge

13     issue.   I understand you have a small claims court date

14     on Friday, and that will be the appropriate place to

15     talk about the damages to any of the items, so we are

16     all on same page.   Any questions about what we need to

17     do today then?

18               MS. RUSSELL:   I don't believe so.

19               JUDGE TOREM:   Let me ask that you stand and

20     raise your right hand and I will swear you in.


22     Whereupon,

23                      MARIAN RUSSELL,

24     having been first duly sworn, was called as a witness

25     herein and was examined and testified as follows:

 1               JUDGE TOREM:    Is anyone from Bumblebee on the

 2     bridge line?   Ms. Russell, I think the next order of

 3     business is if you wanted me to hold the moving company

 4     and Mr. Warner in default.    The way to do that is ask

 5     me, pursuant to RCW 34.05.440, which is the

 6     Administrative Procedure Act, and/or our Administrative

 7     Code provisions at WAC 480-07-450 to hold the Company

 8     in default because they failed to respond, as far as I

 9     know, to any part of your complaint.   The Commission

10     has no filings, as I checked last week, of anything

11     other than returned mail that was attempted to be

12     delivered, but that they were notified verbally of this

13     complaint and have actual notice to the best of what

14     the record shows but have not responded.   Do you want

15     to make such a motion?

16               MS. RUSSELL:    Let me clarify that a little

17     bit.   I sent it to them by return receipt mail, and

18     they didn't pick it up.   I think a couple of weeks

19     passed, and all of this is written somewhere in these

20     papers.   That time passed, and it finally came back to

21     me, and the post office made the required attempts to

22     deliver it without success.

23               So what I did was I have a daughter just

24     living north of San Francisco in Fairfax, California,

25     so I mailed everything to her.   Her last name is

 1     different.   She has a different address.   She faxed it

 2     to them and they got it in about four days, and they

 3     signed for it, and that documentation is in everywhere.

 4               JUDGE TOREM:    Is that your original claim or

 5     the complaint in this case?

 6               MS. RUSSELL:    It's hard to differentiate

 7     between the two.   All along they were very evasive.

 8     They didn't respond many time to -- Sandra White was

 9     the first person that dealt with me for about a year.

10     She would be very kind and patient with them and say,

11     Mr. Warner, do you realize that you are racking up

12     violations here, and if you need help, let me know, and

13     there were all kinds of excuses time and again as to

14     why he didn't respond to her or me.    It kept going on

15     and on.

16               As I said initially, I thought this would be

17     over in a short time.    I never dreamed it would come to

18     this, because I'm not a confrontational person, and I

19     would just rather not have this happen, but I think if

20     people are doing something wrong, and a company has a

21     responsibility to the public they are serving, and I

22     think they need to be informed and penalized.    So if I

23     might say as well as getting recovery of what I paid

24     for the move, and that was really based on the

25     information that Sandra White and Diane Otto got

 1     together --

 2              JUDGE TOREM:    Let's deal with this first

 3     issue about holding them in default and then I'll mark

 4     it as exhibit numbers so we can officially have it in

 5     the record and we will know what you are referring to.

 6              To the best of your knowledge, the Complaint

 7     you filed with the Commission, I'm going to mark that

 8     as Exhibit 1.   I have it as received February 19th,

 9     2009, and this was what you filed with us.   My notes

10     say that the Commission sent the moving company a copy

11     of the Complaint some time thereafter, and certified

12     mail was returned back to the Commission as unclaimed

13     on March the 18th, but it was sent to their original or

14     their last known address, and then we had a notice of

15     hearing that went out back on April the 2nd setting up

16     last week's prehearing conference and today's hearing,

17     and then it went to your address and was signed for on

18     April 6th, and that the envelope going to the moving

19     company was returned despite it being sent to their

20     last known address as undeliverable.

21              So under our rules, if it's sent to the

22     company's last known address, they are required to keep

23     that current with the Commission.   That's the best we

24     can do to make attempt to communicate with them, so I

25     am going to hold them in default according to the

 1     statute and the rule.    They are not here despite other

 2     best attempts to contact them, and the statutory and

 3     regulatory requirements have been met for default.

 4              So let's turn to these exhibits.     I've

 5     already marked your complaint as Exhibit 1, and the

 6     other exhibits that I'm aware of are Ms. Otto's

 7     declaration.   It's dated today.   I was given an advance

 8     copy last week, but I understand a seventh paragraph

 9     was added, so that's a two-page document.     She has a

10     couple of attachments.    Attachment A was a total of 50

11     pages, and this appears to be, Ms. Russell, the

12     document where it has all of the Complaint documents

13     from the Commission, including Ms. Otto and Ms. White

14     and a number of others.   All of the e-mails are

15     compiled into one document here, and this is the

16     Complaint file, so that will be Exhibit 3, and it's 50

17     pages.

18              Exhibit 4 is also an attachment to Ms. Otto's

19     declaration, and this is a copy of various documents

20     relating to your move.    There is a Better Business

21     Bureau complaint that you apparently filed.    There are

22     a number of letters back and forth between you and the

23     Company, copies of the estimate sheet and some other

24     documents relating to the move.    As it's labeled, it

25     looks like there were 42 pages, so that's Exhibit 4,

 1     and then Carlene Hughes submitted a declaration.    It's

 2     dated April 22nd.    That's last Wednesday when we had

 3     our prehearing conference, and it's discussing the

 4     attached audit record, which I will mark as Exhibit 6.

 5     So the declaration from Ms. Hughes is two pages, and

 6     the audit report doesn't have page numbers but --

 7     actually, it does.    It's 68 pages.

 8              Then I was also given today and I'll mark as

 9     Exhibit 7, which is a copy of the -- so Tariff 15-B,

10     which is from May 17th of 2006 and effective June 1 of

11     that same year, this is the one that it doesn't have

12     the actual page numbers directly on it.

13              MS. RUSSELL:     That was so hard when I was

14     trying to go over what I had and mark different things

15     that were pertinent to this, and I was getting very

16     confused with pages not being numbered.

17              JUDGE TOREM:     It's also supplemented and will

18     be part of the same exhibit by Order No. 1 in Docket

19     TV-071649, and that's the August 15th, 2007, order

20     increasing the maximum rates that are in this tariff by

21     25 percent, so the tariff was effective June of 2006,

22     and the maximum rates were increased in August of 2007.

23     That will be Exhibit 7.   Did you have additional

24     documents besides those, Ms. Russell, that you wanted

25     me to consider today?

 1              MS. RUSSELL:     No.   I was told this was

 2     totally separate from the concern about my furniture

 3     damage, and that's been taken care of in small claims

 4     court, so I didn't really get much into all of this.

 5              JUDGE TOREM:     Again, as I told you, the

 6     requirements today are simply for you to prove how much

 7     you paid for your move.   You've been sworn in to

 8     testify, so I can have you talk about the dates of the

 9     move, and it's now established the date of the

10     Complaint.   Then you can tell me about the cost of the

11     move and what the value of the move might have been

12     since my jurisdiction, again, in relation to that

13     statute has to do with the overcharging, and you will

14     have to help me put a value on that move.

15              I may also send a -- if I don't think I have

16     enough information, I might send out what's called a

17     Bench request, and I would send it to you as the only

18     party in this case since Commission staff, as much as

19     they might be of assistance to you, they are not a

20     party, but they can certainly help you answering the

21     questions I might send out later this week, and that

22     way, if there is anything technical and needed out of

23     the tariff or otherwise to establish the value of the

24     Complaint, they can assist you with that, okay?

25              MS. RUSSELL:     Okay.

 1               JUDGE TOREM:   So I'm going to admit into the

 2     record since there is no one here to object Exhibits 1

 3     through 7.   It appears they are all relevant to the

 4     nature of what happened in your case, and I have

 5     previewed those documents to determine the relevance in

 6     advance, so I'm going to admit Exhibits 1 through 7 as

 7     the documentary evidence in your case, and I know,

 8     Ms. Russell, you drove down from Edmonds today, so I do

 9     appreciate the effort.   You will probably spend more

10     time in the car than in the hearing room.

11               MS. RUSSELL:   That's true, or at Starbucks

12     coffee.   I did need to stop for that.

13               JUDGE TOREM:   I will hear from you now since

14     I've got the exhibits admitted.

15               MS. RUSSELL:   I believe you asked me on what

16     basis I would say this is a default or that I was

17     overcharged.   Well, I know nothing about all of these

18     things.   It's totally based on what Diana Otto found

19     out, because I don't know about these tariffs, rules,

20     statutes, so I'm going by what her very good

21     investigation brought forth, and she ended up saying

22     they had no right to move me at all because they did so

23     many things wrong, and so I would like to recover that.

24               In addition, if I may add this, I think that

25     they should be fined by the Commission because so much

 1     time was spent, so many delays by Mr. Warner.    He would

 2     think of more excuses why he wasn't able to meet the

 3     time line here and there time and again, and that was

 4     very costly to the Commission, and I don't think -- I

 5     just truly think from the beginning he was totally

 6     trying to drag this out, and my furniture restorer, who

 7     gave me an estimate of my damages, and someone else in

 8     the Commission said he was just hoping you would give

 9     up or die, so I wasn't going to let it go.   I just had

10     to pursue it.

11               JUDGE TOREM:   Can you confirm for me what you

12     arranged to pay him or how the estimate process was

13     brought to your attention of what you would pay?

14               MS. RUSSELL:   I don't remember him giving me

15     an actual estimate.   It's just all so confusing to me

16     now.   It's quite awhile ago and it was all so

17     traumatic, but the final payment they asked for me, and

18     the head man that was with the group of movers had a

19     different figure, and he said on the basis of, and

20     again, I really should have documented that extra time

21     they spent, and I know they did spend extra time.     I

22     did agree with him there, and the final figure he came

23     up with was $3,163, and that's what I paid them, and I

24     don't have a copy of a check or anything, but I've

25     sworn I'm telling the truth.

 1                 JUDGE TOREM:   So that was higher, you are

 2     saying, than the initial estimate?

 3                 MS. RUSSELL:   Yes, it was, and the initial

 4     estimate -- you know, that is somewhere here.     (Witness

 5     indicating.)

 6                 JUDGE TOREM:   I believe Ms. Otto's

 7     declaration Attachment B had the paperwork that had an

 8     estimate.

 9                 MS. RUSSELL:   There is a lot of scratching

10     out on that, and also somewhere I brought along the

11     efforts that my process servers went through to serve

12     him.   It should be among my things here.

13                 JUDGE TOREM:   You've handed me a copy of what

14     looks to be --

15                 MS. RUSSELL:   There are two pages there.

16                 JUDGE TOREM:   I'm looking at what I think is

17     already in Attachment B, or now Exhibit 4, and I'm just

18     looking to see if these are the same.     It looks like

19     Pages 24 and 25.    Yes, So these are the documents that

20     are here, and on this one, I'll note for the record

21     that it says you paid by check and scratched out, but

22     the numbers are $3,163, and ma'am, is that your

23     recollection of what you paid them?

24                 MS. RUSSELL:   That's exactly what I paid.

25                 JUDGE TOREM:   So it looks like there were

 1     four movers at ten-and-a-quarter hours each.

 2                 MS. RUSSELL:    There were actually six, and

 3     there is some notation among Diana's findings that

 4     mentioned no lunch break, and I stopped them and I

 5     bought pizzas for all of them and sodas, so they

 6     definitely had a lunch break, and there were six of

 7     them.

 8                 JUDGE TOREM:    You can hold onto this original

 9     estimate.    That's already included in Exhibit 4, so the

10     ten-and-a-quarter hours, that doesn't account for a

11     lunch break?

12                 MS. RUSSELL:    I guess we don't count when

13     they weren't working.      Yes, I believe that's true.

14                 JUDGE TOREM:    From my look at that, it

15     doesn't appear there is any break in the time.      It was

16     all straight time in that estimate.

17                 MS. RUSSELL:    I'm not sure, but it was about

18     an hour that it took for lunch.     Where would that be?

19                 JUDGE TOREM:    This says it starts at eight

20     o'clock in the morning and they were done at 7:45 at

21     night.

22                 MS. RUSSELL:    That's right.   I believe they

23     arrived at 8:30.    It says 8:30 here, and again, it's a

24     little fuzzy now after all this time, but I know they

25     were there a good long time.      (Witness indicating.)

 1               JUDGE TOREM:   Okay.   So there is some

 2     question whether it accounts for lunch or not.

 3               MS. RUSSELL:   Yes.    This probably isn't

 4     relevant, Your Honor, but they made so many promises,

 5     even about laying plastic on the halls, covering my

 6     mattress, putting everything back in place.     The halls

 7     weren't covered.   My mattress wasn't covered, and in

 8     addition to that, they left things in the garage, such

 9     as a picnic table, that should have been brought

10     upstairs to the deck, and my daughter had a beautiful

11     black leather couch, and her cushions were left in the

12     garage as well as the picnic table and other things.

13     They just didn't bother putting them back.     They just

14     left them.   They were just so careless.

15               I have lamp shades -- you know lamp shades

16     have the little wire at the top that you can handle it

17     by.   They touched the lamp shades on the fabric.      There

18     were fingerprints on every lamp shade, dirty

19     fingerprints, breaks in the fabric of the lamp shades,

20     and I have one lamp shade that has a beautiful, unique

21     appearance, and it matched the base of the lamp, and

22     they took a round lamp shade and forced it on top of

23     that.   Anybody would know not to do that, and it took

24     me a long time to separate the two.     That's one of the

25     many things.

 1                JUDGE TOREM:   I'm sorry to hear about the

 2     damage, but again, the damage --

 3                MS. RUSSELL:   I know.    That goes to the other

 4     thing.

 5                JUDGE TOREM:   Let me ask you though, because

 6     that tells me a little bit about maybe I can determine

 7     the value of the move.    You are acknowledging that

 8     these six movers worked hard that day but didn't do a

 9     satisfactory job.

10                MS. RUSSELL:   Correct.

11                JUDGE TOREM:   Had this move gone as you

12     wanted it to, would the price of $3,163 have been a

13     reasonable value for the move?

14                MS. RUSSELL:   Definitely.    For all the hours

15     they were there, yes, I would have been happy to pay

16     that.    I thought it was reasonable.    It wasn't until

17     after they left, and there were some things in rooms.

18     I couldn't get into the room to move anything.     They

19     had them right in the way of the door.

20                JUDGE TOREM:   So had the move been done

21     professionally and up to expectations, then that would

22     have been a reasonable value for it?

23                MS. RUSSELL:   Uh-huh, I think so.

24                JUDGE TOREM:   Again, maybe we will send out

25     what's a Bench request to determine what the market

 1     value of a move of this amount of material as reflected

 2     in the exhibits might be, and I would encourage you to

 3     work with Commission staff or get some assistance in

 4     formulating a written answer.

 5                 MS. RUSSELL:   I would be happy to.

 6                 JUDGE TOREM:   They may have some other

 7     archived files that would be a good place to find out

 8     what the going rate would have been under that tariff

 9     to move that number of pounds or that volume of

10     material.    I'm not sure the appropriate measure.

11                 You are asking me to give a complete refund,

12     because apparently, the value of the move might be

13     closer to zero at this point in your mind; is that

14     correct?

15                 MS. RUSSELL:   Well, I'm not sure what you

16     mean.   In other words, I don't feel if everything had

17     gone well that that would be a fair price?    Is that

18     what you are asking me?

19                 JUDGE TOREM:   I was trying to determine that

20     in the last question as to what had it gone well would

21     be an appropriate price, but now given the

22     circumstances, given what you've testified and

23     documented occurred and that things weren't done

24     professionally, your items were still moved from one

25     place in Edmonds from the old house to the new house

 1     within the same city, what would you pay for that move,

 2     if anything, and the answer might be zero.      The answer

 3     might be between zero and what you actually paid,

 4     because the bottom-line question is how much were you

 5     overcharged, because according to the statute, I can

 6     only refund what you were overcharged.

 7                MS. RUSSELL:   Again, I have to refer to the

 8     damages.   When you see what happened, you just don't

 9     think anybody had a right to charge, you know?      Some

10     things just can't be fixed.      There is a huge gouge in

11     the back of one of my wing-back chairs, and they stuck

12     it in the corner by the fireplace.      I didn't see it

13     until about two months later. The whole back is ripped

14     this way and that way.    (Witness indicating.)

15                JUDGE TOREM:   So diagonally and horizontally?

16                MS. RUSSELL:   Yes.

17                JUDGE TOREM:   Was it your impression they set

18     it in a way that you wouldn't see it?

19                MS. RUSSELL:   I believe so, uh-huh, and I

20     don't know if this is relevant or not, but my daughter

21     didn't actually see it, but she was around the corner,

22     and she heard these two men, obviously they were

23     carrying a piece of furniture, and she heard it drop,

24     and one of them said, "Gee, I really thought that would

25     break when we did that," and I would have to have her

 1     testify that was true.   It's as though they didn't

 2     care.   That was the feeling we got throughout the whole

 3     thing, that they really didn't care less about any of

 4     it.   Maybe they were angry at the Company.

 5               Then another one said, and I don't know if it

 6     was the same one because she didn't see the guys around

 7     the corner when they were carrying in her leather couch

 8     without the cushions, which were still in the garage,

 9     one of them said, "I sure would like to rip this off."

10               JUDGE TOREM:   That tells me a little bit of

11     your daughter's impressions of the type of people

12     working for the Company, but again, the bottom-line

13     issues for me to resolve under the jurisdiction the

14     Commission has here are what they charged you and how

15     much you think you were overcharged.

16               MS. RUSSELL:   Yeah.

17               JUDGE TOREM:   There is limited guidance in

18     the statutes and the regulations on how I determine

19     that, so I take that to mean that I have whatever

20     discretion might be reasonable under the law to

21     determine what was there.   So the more you can describe

22     to me about the value of the move, and so far, you are

23     putting a value of zero dollars, and that's taking into

24     account that you also now have to go out and recover

25     any damages you can regarding getting the materials and

 1     the furniture fixed up.

 2               MS. RUSSELL:    The dining table is about to

 3     fall apart.   We have to watch when we go near it.         The

 4     cross things on the bottom are loose.     One of the

 5     chairs, all the joints are loose in it, and the top of

 6     the table moves.     You have to be careful.    I cannot use

 7     it.

 8               JUDGE TOREM:    I take it that wasn't the

 9     original condition at the old house?

10               MS. RUSSELL:     Absolutely not.     It was in

11     perfect condition.

12               JUDGE TOREM:    Ms. Russell, is there anything

13     else you want to tell me about the Complaint today?

14               MS. RUSSELL:    I can't think of anything else.

15     Let me see here.     I just mentioned as I did before time

16     lines missed and excuses made and Sandra White

17     informing them that they needed to conform to the rules

18     as he was accruing further violations and fines and

19     then totally ignoring the packet, that first packet

20     that I sent by certified mail, and then he said to

21     Diana, it's noted in these papers here, that he doesn't

22     know why that wasn't picked up.    He chose to ignore it,

23     and I sent it through my daughter to send it Fed Ex to

24     him.   That's the only way he picked it up, and then he

25     wanted to send someone to look over my furniture, and I

 1     have to tell you that was kind of a joke too, but we

 2     won't go into that.

 3               JUDGE TOREM:   Let me leave what's for the

 4     small claims court jurisdiction on Friday.

 5               MS. RUSSELL:   Yes, sorry.

 6               JUDGE TOREM:   I'm looking at the tariff,

 7     which we've marked as Exhibit 7, to see if there are

 8     any questions that come to mind that might be answered

 9     now as opposed to in the form of a Bench request.

10     There are questions in Item 80 about when they can

11     demand payment, and you don't have to follow along.

12     I'm just speaking this out for the record more than

13     anything else.

14               Item 85 talks about the estimates, and I can

15     look at the estimates contained in Exhibit 4,

16     comparison with this if there is any indication as to

17     value.   It looks as though Item 90 might be a way for

18     me to determine the valuation options either as

19     declared by you, the value of the items if they wrote

20     that down, or the weight of the shipment to determine

21     what the value of the goods was, but I'm not seeing

22     necessarily directly jumping out at me from the tariff

23     items where there might be a minimum charge for the

24     move and a maximum charge and whether or not Diana

25     Otto's in Exhibit 3, her summary listing of all the

 1     violations under our regulations that she found in

 2     auditing the Company or looking at the Complaint just

 3     in your case, the audit attached to Ms. Hughes's

 4     declaration talks about several other complaints, at

 5     least as evidence that this is not the only case for

 6     you in which this company has problems.

 7              MS. RUSSELL:    I saw that mentioned somewhere.

 8     So this Item 90, what was that about?

 9              JUDGE TOREM:    Item 90 in the tariff is

10     carrier liability for household goods and customer

11     valuation options, and again, it looks like more a

12     question of what the legal limitations on the carrier

13     might be for moving items when they do it on your

14     behalf, so that might be something that the small

15     claims court judge is interested in, but I think less

16     for you to make a case than for Mr. Warner and the

17     Company to show if there should be any legal

18     limitation.   Again, that will be for them on Friday if

19     they come to court in Snohomish County.

20              I think the easiest thing for me to do then

21     is simply send out a Bench request later this afternoon

22     or tomorrow requesting any documentation from the

23     tariff or from Ms. Otto's item, Exhibits 2, 3, and 4,

24     that tell me under the Commission's interpretation

25     whether they are entitled to have charged anything for

 1     this move.   I recognize that Ms. Otto indicated as much

 2     that they should not have been able to charge, but the

 3     fact is, they did charge, and I need in the language of

 4     the statute to determine how much you've been

 5     overcharged.

 6                And the reason I'm going back and forth on

 7     this is because it's not wholly clear in the statute as

 8     to whether or not I should determine a violation, call

 9     it a technical violation, perhaps, of the way their

10     bills of lading are written or the failure to comply

11     with a variety of the technical regulations disqualify

12     them from receiving any funds even if they committed

13     the move and they moved the goods from Point A to

14     Point B, or if I need to look at a different set of

15     factors.

16                We don't see too many private complaints

17     before the Commission, and I want to make sure that

18     whatever I issue here is not only fair to you and fair

19     to Mr. Warner but also will stand up in any court that

20     you might have to take this judgment to have it

21     enforced against the Company.   I would hate for you to

22     come all the way down here today, have me simply find

23     them in default and say, Well, they are not here to

24     defend themselves.   You get a full refund and have

25     another judge wearing a robe in a courtroom somewhere

 1     indicate that's not sufficient to carry the day.     I

 2     would rather document my decision a little more

 3     scientifically and make sure that whatever comes out

 4     today is something that the commissioners that I work

 5     for stand behind as well as is fully explained to a

 6     judge that has to enforce any future judgment, so

 7     that's why I'm asking these questions and why I will

 8     send out a Bench request.

 9                 MS. RUSSELL:   I appreciate your being so

10     thorough.

11                 JUDGE TOREM:   You deserve that and so does

12     the Commission to make sure this sort of complaint is

13     handled thoroughly.   You've driven all the way down

14     here, and as you said, you didn't think it would ever

15     go this far.

16                 MS. RUSSELL:   I'm not used to doing anything

17     like this.

18                 JUDGE TOREM:   I think then you know where I'm

19     coming from and why I will be sending out this formal

20     written request.    You will probably get an e-mail copy

21     of it or simply get it in the mail.

22                 MS. RUSSELL:   In the mail is better for me.

23     My daughter has a computer, and I don't like to bother

24     her all the time, and I'm completely illiterate, and

25     I'm ashamed to say that.

 1               JUDGE TOREM:   I believe you will get a copy

 2     at your mailing address, which I believe is a PO box,

 3     so look at this later this week.    You may want to talk

 4     to Ms. Otto or Commission staff in getting a response

 5     out.   I'll set the due date for that probably -- today

 6     is April 27th.   I'll set it for next Friday, May 8th,

 7     and then we will have that information come into the

 8     record and close the record at that time.     Do you have

 9     any questions, ma'am?

10               MS. RUSSELL:   I don't so.     I think you've

11     covered everything.

12               JUDGE TOREM:   I did promise I would be

13     prepared today, so I'm glad that met your expectation.

14               MS. RUSSELL:   I hope that I answered

15     everything satisfactorily.   As I said, I feel like a

16     fish out of water.    I have a degree in speech

17     pathology, but nothing about law.      Although, I have a

18     cousin that's a lawyer in Oregon.

19               JUDGE TOREM:   I certainly understand, ma'am.

20     Being a consumer is one thing, and then having to

21     become a lawyer in your own defense is another.     I

22     appreciate the efforts you've made and bringing the

23     copies as requested for the Commission today.

24               MS. RUSSELL:   I just couldn't see them doing

25     this to somebody else, you know.    If they are doing it

 1     to me, I know -- in fact, there was some reference that

 2     there are some other people, and I just think it's very

 3     unfair that they should just be so lacking in integrity

 4     that he would not care what he does to people.

 5               JUDGE TOREM:   Okay.   Thank you again,

 6     Ms. Russell, and I will take the matter under

 7     advisement.   I will issue the Bench request and set a

 8     due date for May 8th, and then the following week, I

 9     can get an order out indicating that you've met the

10     statute of limitations in establishing the value of the

11     move, and therefore, based on the payment, it will be

12     an easy math question as to what the math overcharge

13     was.

14               MS. RUSSELL:   Another thing, if I might say,

15     Your Honor, how does one get the money out of these

16     people?   That's another question, right?

17               JUDGE TOREM:   What I wanted to make sure is

18     that any overcharge that I find and order the Company

19     to bring back from you, consult with Commission staff

20     on how to serve that to the Company.    We will certainly

21     be sending it to the Company as an order, and

22     Commission staff may attempt to enforce that, but the

23     ultimate jurisdiction will be to have it converted in

24     superior court to a judgment and then have that

25     judgment collected from the Company.

 1              MS. RUSSELL:    We don't even know how to serve

 2     them because we can't find them.   We can't find an

 3     address or an actual place where he lives.

 4              JUDGE TOREM:    I'm looking to see if I brought

 5     that in with me, and I don't think I did.     In our

 6     statutes, it talks about which court has to enforce

 7     this, and I'm looking for the paper but I don't see it,

 8     but it is in the Revised Code of Washington that I

 9     cited to you earlier.   It could be 81.04.240 or 250,

10     but it should be in the 81.04.200 series that talks

11     about enforcing a Commission judgment in superior

12     court, but I can't give you any further legal advice

13     about how to go about that.   It will probably be the

14     same sort of way that your small claims judgment has to

15     be enforced, and the folks at the small claims court

16     may be able to give you a little better advice for that

17     county as to how to get a judgment enforced.    It may

18     involve registering the judgment with the court, and

19     again, because we are an administrative state agency

20     having our ruling reduced to a judgment in an official

21     judicial system, if that makes any sense to you.

22              MS. RUSSELL:    Not really; sorry.

23              JUDGE TOREM:    If you ask the court clerk on

24     Friday the same question about anything that you might

25     be awarded in small claims court, the same guidance

 1     would apply, and you may ask the court clerk a second

 2     question as to the agency proceeding at UTC and how

 3     that in addition to your small claims court judgment,

 4     assuming you get one, can be put together for one

 5     package for enforcements so you have one total grand

 6     figure; whatever they might award you on Friday,

 7     assuming you prevail, and whatever overcharge I might

 8     find in your behalf be put into one judgment against

 9     the Company.   They might be able to answer that

10     question better.

11               MS. RUSSELL:   Okay.

12               JUDGE TOREM:   As much as my title might be

13     administrative law judge, we are a tribunal of sorts,

14     but we are not a court in the nature of wearing robes

15     and issuing contempt orders or judgments that can be

16     enforced for funds in this case.    Our penalties and/or

17     fines might be submitted to the company for payment,

18     but if they don't pay, we go to superior court the same

19     way to have those enforced, okay?

20               MS. RUSSELL:   I want to make sure that you've

21     got everything you are supposed to have, and some of

22     this I guess was for me.

23               JUDGE TOREM:   I wanted to make sure you had a

24     copy.   One of those copies was for you and then there

25     was a copy for me.

 1                MS. RUSSELL:   And this is Carlene Hughes.

 2     (Witness indicating.)

 3                JUDGE TOREM:   I have a copy of that.

 4                MS. RUSSELL:   And I have a declaration for

 5     the small claims court that Diana sent me.

 6                JUDGE TOREM:   If you have an additional copy

 7     of Ms. Hughes declaration, I'll take that for the

 8     records center and make sure they have a copy of that

 9     as well.   We are going to get a copy electronically

10     from the assistant attorney general, so she may send

11     that over, and if you don't have one handy, that's fine

12     too.

13                MS. RUSSELL:   No, I don't seem to have this

14     one.   This is a staff report.

15                JUDGE TOREM:   That staff report was the

16     attachments from Ms. Hughes.     Did you want to hold on

17     to that?   Is that your only copy?

18                MS. RUSSELL:   It seems to be.

19                JUDGE TOREM:   Why don't you hang onto that.

20     We will get a copy electronically that I can submit to

21     our records center.

22                MS. RUSSELL:   So all of this is mine to hang

23     onto; is that correct?

24                JUDGE TOREM:   Yes, ma'am, and I'm satisfied

25     that I have the copies that I need for me to review and

 1     that we can get official copies to the records center

 2     based on what you've submitted or what the Commission

 3     staff will submit electronically, okay?

 4                MS. RUSSELL:   Here is something you should

 5     have.   These are the attempts to reach Mr. Warner that

 6     my process server made.

 7                JUDGE TOREM:   Did you want me to make of copy

 8     of this?

 9                MS. RUSSELL:   I'm not sure if I gave you a

10     copy or if it's among all of those things, but sure,

11     please, copy it.   That's probably something good for

12     you to have.   Here's something.   I'm not sure if he

13     knew positively, but I said to the process

14     server apparently he was married at one time,

15     Mr. Warner, and no longer married, and the beginning of

16     this year, signed his house over to his wife, and I

17     said to the process server, does he have any children,

18     because that might be a way to get a hold of him, and I

19     understand he had a girlfriend too, and he said no, and

20     I don't know how he arrived at this, he doesn't have

21     any children, and yet some of the documentation from, I

22     think it was Sandra, he said he was supposed to get

23     something back to her and he couldn't.    He missed the

24     time limit again, and the excuse was that it was a

25     holiday, so this must have been this past December.       It

 1     was a holiday, and he was taking care of his sick

 2     infant daughter, and I thought, well, so he has a

 3     child, or maybe that was another excuse.

 4              JUDGE TOREM:    I'm going to mark this.    It's

 5     six pages.   It looks like a couple of them are repeats,

 6     but I'll keep this entire declaration of diligence and

 7     the attached papers from your process server and mark

 8     that as Exhibit 8 to demonstrate the attempts you've

 9     made to find him.

10              MS. RUSSELL:    Again, as confused as I've been

11     getting with all this paperwork, I'm quite sure I made

12     a copy of that for myself and it's probably home.

13              JUDGE TOREM:    I'm going to make a copy and

14     return it to you in a moment.   Was there anything else

15     for me to put on the record today?

16              MS. RUSSELL:    Did you put down that I think

17     the Commission deserves to penalize him?   What else?      I

18     guess that was basically it.

19              JUDGE TOREM:    All right.   The main thrust I

20     wanted to be sure for you is that I have your request

21     for relief of $3,163 as an overcharge, and I will be

22     sending out that Bench request to more finalize that

23     amount and to determine the value of the move can be

24     set at zero, and then also the request that I find them

25     or otherwise penalize the Company is something I might

 1     be able to do on my own power.    I may or may not choose

 2     to exercise that discretion, but I will look at the

 3     files submitted by Diana Otto and Carlene Hughes and

 4     all the supporting investigation that went around it.

 5               MS. RUSSELL:    That Sandra White works so

 6     hard.   Whatever you send me, for some curious reason,

 7     everything that comes to me that Diana Otto or

 8     Ms. White would send me would come in one day.     I don't

 9     know what it is.   This packet was mailed, I guess, the

10     day that we had the phone conference, and I got it the

11     next day, and that happens every time.      I guess that is

12     because it's the capital?   I don't know.    Nothing else

13     comes that quickly.    Did you want this box for all the

14     stuff you have or --

15               JUDGE TOREM:    No, ma'am.   I'm marked all the

16     exhibits here, so I think we are all set.     I'm going to

17     make a copy of this.    It's almost 2:30 and this hearing

18     is adjourned and we are off the record.

19                (Hearing adjourned at 2:26 p.m.)







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