The city of Lakewood filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Social and Health Services May 22, 2018 in Pierce County Superior Court in an attempt to compel the state to stop its current practice of releasing patients with violent, criminal or predatory histories from Western State Hospital into adult family homes that are not equipped to handle their specific needs and whose primary role, as defined by state law, is to offer housing to vulnerable adults.
The lawsuit cites Pierce County countywide planning policies, created in the 1990s under the direction of the Growth Management Act, which require fair distribution of adult family homes and essential services facilities across the region.
Historically that has not occurred. Lakewood is home to 7 percent of the county’s population, but 29 percent of the county’s adult family homes are located in Lakewood city limits.
The lawsuit names Washington state, DSHS, Western State Hospital, the Aging and Long-term Support Administration, Woodville Adult Family Home LLC and Margaret W. Karimim as defendants.