Steve Powell asks judge to set aside 'excessive' sum given to victims
Steve Powell, father-in-law of missing Utah mom Susan Cox Powell, is asking a Washington superior court judge to set aside a $1.8 million judgment against him.
In a court document filed in Pierce County on Monday, Powell said he learned last month the court had awarded his victims that sum earlier this year and asked Judge Vicki L. Hogan to vacate the judgment and revisit the issue in a new hearing.
Powell, who is representing himself, said the damages awarded are "excessive, both in terms of defendant's resources and of plaintiff's claims," calling the amount so large "that the verdict must have been the result of passion or prejudice."
Powell said he failed to appear or respond to the court action due to "excusable neglect" he was unable to check the court docket or hire an attorney. He learned about the decision on Oct. 24, after receiving a document from an attorney representing the victims.
Powell, 63, was convicted of 14 counts of voyeurism in June 2012 for snapping surreptitious photos of two young girls who lived in his Puyallup neighborhood. He received a 30-month sentence.
Powell is currently incarcerated at the Monroe Correctional Complex. He was scheduled to be released on Nov. 4, but the Washington Department of Corrections nixed that plan after the owner of a home where Powell wanted to live had second thoughts.
Unless he comes up with a new release plan that passes official review, Powell will remain in prison until he completes his term in March.
Since Aug. 28, when the $1.8 million judgment was entered against Powell, it has accrued nearly $43,000 in interest, or $651.50 per day. Just like any credit debt, Powell will have to pay the interest as well as the principal.
Seattle Attorney Anne Bremner, who represents the victims, on Tuesday filed papers asking the judge to approve an application to garnish Powell's holdings with the Spokane Teachers Credit Union.
Susan Cox Powell, 28, disappeared from her home in West Valley City in December 2009. Her husband, Josh, Steve Powell's son, killed himself and their two young boys in February 2012.