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Johnson v. State

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma

April 10, 2015

BILLIE JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
STATE OF WASHINGTON, MAGGIE MILLER-STOUT, WENDY STIGALL, LORRAINE CREVIER, WINIFRED WILLIAMS, GAIL CLARKE, CHRISTOPHER FITZPATRICK, JOHN DOES 1-6, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, JOHN DOE STOUT, JOHN DOE STIGALL, JOHN DOE CREVIER, JOHN DOE WILLIAMS, JANE DOE FITZPATRICK, JOHN DOE CLARKE, Defendants.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

ROBERT J. BRYAN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion and Memorandum for Summary Judgment and Dismissal. Dkt. 14. The Court has considered the pleadings filed in support of, and opposition to, the motion and the file herein.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Originally filed in the Thurston County Superior Court, plaintiff's complaint alleges a federal claim based on 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 and state law claims based on false imprisonment and negligent supervision. Dkt. 4-1.

On February 20, 2015, defendants filed a motion for a summary judgment and dismissal. Dkt. 14. On March 16, 2015, plaintiff filed a response (Dkt. 21), and on March 20, 2015, defendants filed a reply (Dkt. 23).

RELEVANT FACTS

On June 22, 1998, the Kitsap County Superior Court entered a Judgment and Sentence, Cause Number XX-X-XXXXX-X, sentencing Mr. Larry W. Fields under Washington State's Special Sex Offender Sentencing Alternative ("SSOSA") on his guilty plea for two counts of attempted first degree child molestation and one count of attempted second degree child molestation. Dkt. 16, at 24-31. The court sentenced Mr. Fields to four months in confinement and to 93.5 months in community custody, a total of 97.5 months ("1998 sentence"). Id.

On August 31, 2004, after Mr. Fields served the four months in the Kitsap County Jail and while he was in community custody on the SSOSA sentence, Mr. Fields' probation officer discovered a "marijuana grow operation" on Mr. Fields' property. Dkt. 17, at 21-27. He subsequently pleaded guilty to one count of manufacture of marijuana. See Dkt. 16, at 33-41

On October 20, 2004, the Kitsap County Superior Court entered a Judgment and Sentence, Cause Number XX-X-XXXXX-X, sentencing Mr. Fields to 12 months and one day incarceration on his guilty plea to one count of manufacture of marijuana. Id. The Judgment and Sentence, dated October 20, 2004, was silent as to whether this sentence should run concurrently with, or consecutive to, Mr. Fields' 1998 sentence. Id., at 35. It appears that the Kitsap County Superior Court did not consider this question at the time because the suspended portion of Mr. Fields' SSOSA sentence had not yet been revoked.

On November 17, 2004, the Kitsap County Superior Court orally revoked Mr. Fields' suspended SSOSA sentence, under Cause Number XX-X-XXXXX-X, orally sentencing him to serve the 12 months and one day concurrently with his 1998 SSOSA sentence. Dkt. 22, at 18-28.

On November 19, 2004, the Kitsap County Superior Court issued an Order Amending Judgment and Sentence, under Cause Number XX-X-XXXXX-X, reflecting that Mr. Fields will no longer be on SSOSA. Dkt. 17, at 37. This order failed to incorporate the Kitsap County Superior Court's oral ruling, dated November 17, 2004, that Mr. Fields' SSOSA sentence be revoked or that the sentences run concurrently. Id.

On February 9, 2005, the Kitsap County Superior Court issued an Order Revoking SSOSA sentence, revoking Mr. Fields' suspended SSOSA sentence and ordering that Mr. Fields "serve all previously suspended sentence with the [Department of Corrections]." Dkt. 16, at 43. This order also failed to reflect the Kitsap County Superior Court's oral ruling, dated November 17, 2004, that Mr. Fields' sentences run concurrently. Id.; See Dkt. 16, at 49-50.

When Mr. Fields began his incarceration on November 23, 2004, the Department of Corrections ("DOC") calculated his sentences as concurrent. Dkt. 22, at 30. See Dkt. 14, at 17. In fact, subsequent 2006 and 2009 intake audits show that Mr. Fields' sentences ran concurrently. Dkt. 22, at 32-33. Accordingly, Mr. Fields' maximum expiration date was set as September 29, 2012. Dkt. 16, at 4. Although in 2010 Mr. Fields was eligible for community custody at an approved address in lieu of earned release time, he elected to remain in prison until September 29, 2012, the maximum expiration date. Id., at 16.

In early September 2012, Mr. Fields discovered that the DOC had failed to give him credit for the four months served in the Kitsap County Jail. See Dkt. 22, at 40. As a result, on September 12, 2012, Mr. Fields filed a grievance with the DOC, stating that "[his] sentence had been served in its entirety as of May 29, 2012 and that to date [he's] been imprisoned for 101 days beyond the 97 month maximum sentence." Id. That same day, Ms. Lorraine Crevier, a Correctional Records Technician, emailed the Kitsap County Jail, stating that "[Mr. Fields] will be releasing on his max date of 9/29/12" and asking whether "[Mr. Fields] gets any credit at [the Kitsap County Jail] from 1998." Id., at 15. On September 13, 2012, the Kitsap County Jail confirmed that Mr. Fields had spent time there from May 20, 1998, to August 12, 1998. Id.

On September 24, 2012, five days before Mr. Fields' expected maximum expiration date, the DOC acknowledged that it had not previously given him credit for the time served in the Kitsap County Jail. Id., at 40; Dkt. 16, at 47; See Dkt. 16, at 5-6 ("The [DOC] records prior to that time did not include that Mr. Fields received 84 credits from Kitsap County Jail for the time he served in 2004"). The DOC did not release Mr. Fields, however. Instead, the DOC informed him that it was recalculating the two sentences as consecutive and that his maximum expiration date would be July 7, 2013. Dkt. 22, at 40.

Specifically, Ms. Crevier stated in her declaration that, following Dress v. Washington State Dep't of Corr., 168 Wn.App. 319 (2012), she reviewed Mr. Fields' "2004 judgment and sentence, " finding "no language [therein] or any other superior court order directing the 2004 sentence to run concurrently to his 1998 judgment and sentence." Dkt. 16, at 4. As a result, she determined that the two sentences should run consecutively. Id., at 5.

In addition, Ms. Wendy Stigall, a Correctional Records Program Administrator, stated in her declaration that she "concurred with Ms. Crevier's reading of Mr. Fields' 2004 judgment and sentence as consecutive to his 1998 judgment and sentence because the 2004 judgment and sentence was silent on the issue of whether it was concurrent" and because "reading it as concurrent would require insertion of language that the court did not include in the 2004 judgment and sentence or other orders." Dkt. 15, at 4. Accordingly, Ms. Crevier reset Mr. Fields' maximum expiration date from September 29, 2012, to July 7, 2013. Dkt. 16, at 47.

On January 3, 2013, Mr. Fields submitted an offender's kite to the DOC, stating that the Kitsap County Superior Court had ordered that the two sentences run concurrently. Dkt. 22, at 52. On February 8, 2013, the DOC responded as follows: "Kitsap Causes AA & AB were reviewed per Dress decision [and] found at that time to be consecutive causes." Id.

On February 21, 2013, Mr. Fields filed a Motion to Modify or Correct Judgment and Sentence with the Kitsap County Superior Court. Dkt. 17, at 9-40. In response, on March 8, 2013, the Kitsap County Superior Court entered an Order Amending the Judgment and Sentence and Order Revoking SSOSA Sentence, under Cause Number XX-X-XXXXX-X, to include the following language: "The sentence in this case shall be served concurrently with the sentence ordered in [the 1998 case]." Dkt. 16, at 49-50. The court explained that its Order Revoking SSOSA sentence, dated February 9, 2005, "failed to specifically include language stating that the prison term ...


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