For immediate release June 1, 2023 

Contact: Sarah Spier, Director of External Relations 509.828.9963   


DOH “Played” Thurston County Judge 

There are rules which govern our legal process.  And, then, there are “dirty tricks.”    

One of the rules holds that during litigation, when going before a judge, especially in “ex parte” hearings where only one of the two parties is present, the attorneys for one side are supposed to keep the judge informed as to what the other side is doing. 

The Assistant Attorney General representing the Department of Health was told last night by Daybreak attorney David H. Smith that Daybreak would file a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Department of Health today.  The DOH’s attorney intended to, and did file, a TRO this morning for DOH today against Daybreak.  Dueling TROs. 

 One problem.  The Assistant Attorney General failed to notify the judge of Daybreak’s TRO. 

 That’s both a dirty trick and a violation of the rules of professional conduct.  DOH has a history of denying Daybreak due process. 

DOH is trying to deprive Daybreak’s patients’ life-saving treatment.  Daybreak’s TRO includes letters from patients and parents testifying to the value of the organization. “I can say with certainty that Daybreak saved my life,” wrote a former patient who completed treatment at Daybreak and has been sober for one year.1 “While I was an in-patient, I began to work through why I was using, I found joy in being alive and sober. I had a safe place to be filled with support. I began to see a future for myself.” 

Other patients and parents express similar sentiments. “Daybreak Youth services has gone above and beyond for my son whom is in their care at this very moment.,” wrote one parent.  “I, as a mother, cannot be more thankful and grateful for this facility. They not only saved my son’s life but gave him a real second chance at life.”   

Current actions by the DOH are already causing grave harm to the 98 distraught kids at Daybreak and their families, some of whom are being uprooted by Managed Care Organizations at the behest of the DOH.  At least one patient who wanted to stay at Daybreak was told that if she didn’t agree to be moved that she would be “homeless.” 

“Being shady and sneaky to try to take down a good thing is absolutely despicable and I don’t really understand how you [the DOH] look in the mirror knowing you are taking away a real lifeline for so many families. I [name deleted] mother of a current resident at Daybreak Youth Services am so beyond grateful and will stand and fight with Daybreak forever.”   

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Note: Daybreak provides an indispensable suite of services that help some of Washington’s most vulnerable youth including: 

  • Two residential inpatient facilities for substance use disorder (Spokane and Vancouver); 
  • A Restorative Receiving center, focusing on stabilizing youth that have been or who are at risk of being commercially and sexually exploited; 
  • An Evaluation & Treatment Center, focusing on mental health crises and suicide; 
  • Three WISE teams in Spokane (family-focused wrap around intensive services for clients and their families);  
  • Fully accredited schools in both Spokane & Vancouver.