Oral Argument: February 25, 2015.
Appeal from King County Superior Court. Docket No: 95-1-07306-5. Judge signing: Honorable Palmer Robinson. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 02/12/2014.
Sallyea O. McClinton, pro se.
Dana M. Nelson (of Nielsen Broman & Koch PLLC ), for appellant.
Daniel T. Satterberg, Prosecuting Attorney, and Stephanie F. Guthrie, Deputy, for respondent.
Authored by Mary Kay Becker. Concurring: Linda Lau, Ann Schindler.
Mary Kay Becker, J.
[186 Wn.App. 828] [¶1] -- This appeal questions the authority of the Department of Corrections to use GPS (global positioning system) monitoring to keep track of a sex offender who is serving the community custody portion of a sentence imposed for crimes committed in 1995. In 1995, the statutes regulating supervision of community custody did not specifically provide the Department with authority to use GPS monitoring. But they did give the Department the responsibility to monitor court-imposed conditions of sentence. Here, the court imposed geographical limitations on the offender's movements while in community custody. We conclude it is within the Department's authority to impose GPS monitoring to assure a 1995 sex offender complies with those court-imposed conditions.
[¶2] A jury convicted appellant Sallyea McClinton of three offenses: first degree rape while armed with a deadly weapon, attempted rape in the first degree, and first degree burglary. In 1997, the court imposed a sentence of 226 months in prison followed by 24 months of community custody, as required by former RCW 9.94A.120(9)(b) (1995).
[186 Wn.App. 829] [¶3] McClinton began his term of community custody in June 2013. By the terms of his sentence, he was under the supervision of community corrections officers employed by the Department of Corrections.
[¶4] In November 2013, a community corrections officer ordered McClinton to report to have a GPS monitoring device installed on his person. McClinton disregarded this order. A court determined that he had violated the conditions of his sentence and imposed 240 days of confinement as a sanction. McClinton appeals. He contends that the court was without authority to sanction him for failing to submit to GPS monitoring because the Department lacked authority to require it.
[¶5] The issue is technically moot. Because McClinton has already served the term of confinement imposed for this violation, we cannot afford relief. We nevertheless exercise our discretion to hear the matter in order to provide an authoritative determination of an issue that is likely to recur. In re Pers. Restraint of Mattson, 166 Wn.2d 730, 736, 214 P.3d 141 (2009).
[¶6] The issue requires the court to interpret sentencing statutes. Interpretation of a statute is a question of law that appellate courts review de novo. In re Post Sentencing Review of Charles, 135 Wn.2d 239, 245, 955 P.2d 798 (1998).
[¶7] The terms of a defendant's sentence are governed by the version of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1981, ch. 9.94A RCW, in effect when the crime was committed. State v. Medina, 180 Wn.2d 282, 287, 324 P.3d 682 (2014). McClinton's crimes were committed in September and October 1995. Our citations to the Act refer to the version in effect at that time.
[¶8] McClinton contends the analytical framework for his case is found in In re Personal Restraint of Capello, 106 Wn.App. 576, 24 P.3d 1074, review denied, 145 Wn.2d 1006 (2001). Capello was convicted of a sex offense and sentenced under the 1995 version of the Act. In 1995, only the [186 Wn.App. 830] sentencing court had authority to impose conditions of community custody. The statute under which Capello was sentenced, former RCW 9.94A.120 (1995), permitted but did not require the court to order him to obtain the Department's preapproval of his proposed residence location and living arrangements before he transferred to community ...