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State v. Miller

Court of Appeals of Washington, Division 3

June 4, 2015

The State of Washington, Respondent ,
v.
Samuel Miller, Petitioner

Appeal from Yakima Superior Court. Docket No: 13-1-00411-4. Judge signing: Honorable Ruth E Reukauf, Donald Engel. Judgment or order under review. Date filed: 10/03/2013.

Janet G. Gemberling (of Janet Gemberling, PS ), for petitioner.

Joseph A. Brusic, Prosecuting Attorney, and Tamara A. Hanlon, Deputy, for respondent.

Authored by Robert E. Lawrence-Berrey. Concurring: George B. Fearing, Kevin M. Korsmo.

OPINION

Page 237

 Lawrence-Berrey, J.

[188 Wn.App. 104] [¶1] The Yakima County District Court dismissed charges against Samuel Miller, concluding that Mr. Miller's CrRLJ 3.3 right to a speedy trial was violated. The district court found that the State failed to bring Mr. Miller to trial within 90 days of the issuance of the citation, as required by City of Seattle v. Bonifacio, 127 Wn.2d 482, 900 P.2d 1105 (1995). The State appealed to Yakima County Superior Court. The superior court reversed and remanded the matter on the grounds that Bonifacio was superseded by the 2003 revisions to CrRLJ 3.3. We granted discretionary review, and we now affirm the superior court.

FACTS

[¶2] On September 29, 2012, a Yakima County sheriff's officer issued Samuel Miller a uniform criminal citation for driving with a suspended license and without an ignition interlock device. The officer checked the box for a mandatory court appearance; however, he did not enter an appearance date on the citation. The back of the citation instructed that if the appearance date box was blank, the court would [188 Wn.App. 105] give written notification of when to appear. And, if notice was not received within 15 days, the citation instructed the person to call the court immediately. Mr. Miller called the court to find out the date and was told that there was no record.

[¶3] On December 5, the State filed a complaint alleging the same offenses. Mr. Miller appeared at his first court appearance on January 3, 2013. The district court entered an order setting conditions of release and released Mr. Miller on his own recognizance.

[¶4] On January 17, at Mr. Miller's arraignment, Mr. Miller objected pursuant to CrRLJ 2.1, CrRLJ 3.3, and Bonifacio. On February 8, he contended that the State violated CrRLJ 2.1 by waiting over 3 months from the date of the citation to file a complaint and that the delay caused the issuance of the citation to initiate the criminal proceedings under Bonifacio. Further, he contended that the criminal proceedings triggered the time-for-trial clock under CrRLJ 3.3 and, because he was not brought to trial within 90 days, the charges against him must be dismissed. The State argued that Bonifacio was no longer good law, considering the 2003 amendments to the time-for-trial rules in CrRLJ 3.3. The State maintained that Mr. Miller's time-for-trial clock began at the time of his arraignment on January 17 and that his speedy trial right under CrRLJ 3.3 was not violated.

[¶5] The district court concluded that Bonifacio controlled because it was never overruled. The court also concluded that the officer's failure to file the citation within two days violated CrRLJ 2.1(d), the issuance of the citation initiated criminal proceedings and triggered the speedy trial clock, and Mr. Miller's speedy trial date had expired on January 17. The district court dismissed the charges with prejudice because of the violation of Mr. Miller's right to a speedy trial.

[¶6] The State appealed to the superior court. The superior court held that the district court erred in dismissing [188 Wn.App. 106] the case. The court generally concluded that the 2003 amendments to the time-for-trial rules were rewritten since the holding ...


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