Pierce County judge nixes court oversight of Western State Hospital reforms

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — A Pierce County judge has quashed a previous ruling that would have required court-ordered oversight of Western State Hospital reforms.

The News Tribune reports (http://goo.gl/KIBLeh ) Superior Court Judge Susan Serko ruled Friday, saying it seems to her the role of the court system is not to order system-wide reform.

Court Commissioner Craig Adams appointed a special master in July to review admissions policies and end "psychiatric boarding" within six months. Serko's ruling means that process won't take place, barring an appeal.

It's the most recent move as the state and courts go back and forth over patient admissions and access to the state's largest psychiatric hospital.

Boarding refers to the practice of detaining people in other facilities without required treatment while they wait for admission to Western. The Washington State Supreme Court declared boarding unconstitutional in 2014.