Lawsuits could come soon in Susan Cox Powell case

Posted at 6:30 PM, May 28, 2012

SEATTLE -- Lawsuits could soon be filed against authorities in Washington state and Utah over police's case involving Susan Cox Powell's disappearance, and the deaths of her two children.

Anne Bremner, the attorney for Susan Cox Powell's parents, told FOX 13 she is drafting a series of lawsuits that could be filed, depending on how responsive authorities were to the Cox family's requests over the next few weeks. One of those requests is to view the West Valley City Police Department's records on the missing persons investigation.

"Defendants have the right to police reports and discovery," Bremner said in an interview Monday. "Victims should, too."

West Valley City police have denied her request to view the records on behalf of Susan's parents, Chuck and Judy Cox. Bremner said she plans to appeal, and if she is denied again, the Cox family has given her approval to file a lawsuit.

"The investigation is done," she told FOX 13. "I mean, Josh is dead and they never arrested anybody for years. Under the victims rights laws, we're entitled to those records and we made that request under those laws."

West Valley City authorities have denied previous records requests citing the ongoing criminal investigation. They have also declined to comment citing pending litigation that has been threatened by Bremner.

The Cox family is also contemplating a lawsuit against Washington's Department of Social and Health Services over the deaths of Susan's children, Charlie and Braden. They were killed by their father, Josh Powell, in an explosion and house fire in February.

"What the family really wants is change to make sure this doesn't happen to another family," Bremner said.

Washington's DSHS has said it is conducting an investigation into the deaths of Charlie and Braden. A child fatality review team will meet again at the end of June. The results of the internal review are not expected to be made public for weeks.

A third lawsuit being prepared could allow for the Cox family to have access to Steven Powell's home in Puyallup, Wash., should they prevail. Bremner, who represents the teenaged girls that Powell is accused of surreptitiously photographing, is planning to sue him on their behalf.

Bremner told FOX 13 she is seeking Powell's assets, which include his home.

"If it's a situation where they take his house, it could be further searched for evidence in Susan Cox Powell's case," she said.

Steven Powell, 62, is scheduled to be sentenced in Tacoma June 15 on 14 counts of voyeurism. He faces up to 70 years in prison, but the average sentence for a case like this is about 5 years.

"We are planning to ask for a 10-year sentence," Pierce Co. prosecutor Grant Blinn told FOX 13 on Monday. "That would represent the maximum sentence for each victim."

Related: stories related to the search for Susan Cox Powell