JAMES D. MOCK, a single person, DANELLE BAME on behalf of minor child J.B. (DOB 06/09/01), a single person, and LINDA and TOM RYAN, a married couple, Appellants,
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, by and through its DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, STATE OF WASHINGTON (DOC), Respondent.
were injured in an armed attack by an offender who was
serving a term of community custody under supervision by the
Department of Corrections. The issue is whether the
department can be held liable for failing to report the
offender's previous community custody violations to the
court. Summary judgment was properly granted to the
department. Under applicable statutes, sanctions for
community custody violations are imposed by the department in
an administrative process, not by the court.
case was dismissed on summary judgment. Summary judgment is
proper where there are no genuine issues of material fact and
the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Hertog v. City of Seattle, 138 Wn.2d 265, 275, 979
P.2d 400 (1999). We make the same inquiry as the trial court.
Hertog, 138 Wn.2d at 275. The facts and reasonable
inferences are considered in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Hertog, 138 Wn.2d at 275. Questions
of law are reviewed de novo. Hertog, 138 Wn.2d at
McKay was in his forties when he was convicted of felony
harassment for threatening to kill his wife. It was his first
criminal conviction. After serving several months in jail, he
was released in June 2012 to begin serving a 12-month term of
community custody under the supervision of the Department of
Corrections. Community corrections officer Mark Deabler was
assigned to supervise McKay.
was ordered to have no contact with his wife. On June 27,
2012, the first day of supervision, Deabler and other
officers contacted McKay's wife to make sure McKay was
not violating the no-contact order. The chronological entries
in McKay's case file include a note from that day
documenting "lots of red flags" disclosed by
McKay's wife. She reported they were ending a 20-year
marriage, McKay was a long-time alcohol user, he was on
disability and not working, he had "burned all his
bridges" with family, he was asking third parties about
her and making threats to kill her and to commit suicide, he
talked about "'shooting cops, '" he was
trained in martial arts, and he had access to firearms
through family. He had been to treatment twice, but it
"sounds like he drinks all day."
9, 2012, McKay committed a new offense. Intoxicated, he drove
to the home of family friends and demanded to know where his
wife was. When they did not tell him, he repeatedly rammed
his van through their garage doors, causing extensive damage
to the cars inside. Police arrested McKay for investigation
of malicious mischief and booked him into jail.
garage-ramming incident was not only a criminal offense, it
was also a violation of the terms of McKay's community
custody sentence. In 2009, the legislature made the
administrative process outlined in RCW 9.94A.737 the
exclusive enforcement mechanism for violations in cases like
McKay's, with exceptions not relevant here. RCW
9.94A.6332(7) ("if the offender is being supervised by
the department, any sanctions shall be imposed by the
department pursuant to RCW 9.94A.737"). Reporting
violations to the court is not part of the administrative
process that is currently in effect.
offender is accused of committing a high level violation of a
condition or requirement of community custody, the department
may sanction the offender to not more than 30 days in total
confinement after an administrative hearing. RCW
9.94A.737(4). Deabler considered the garage-ramming incident
to be a high level violation. He described McKay's
adjustment to supervision as "nonexistent." At
Deabler's request, a hearing officer imposed the maximum
30 days of confinement.
McKay was in jail for the 30-day sanction, his wife tried to
serve him with divorce papers. McKay reportedly tried to call
his wife, in violation of the no contact order. Deabler wrote
in an internal e-mail that he hoped the prosecutor would file
charges against McKay "and not let him out."
12, 2012, the King County prosecutor filed a felony charge of
malicious mischief against McKay for the garage-ramming
incident. A high bail was set. McKay was unable to pay it,
and he remained incarcerated.
standard sentence range for the malicious mischief charge was
three to nine months. McKay negotiated a plea bargain that
allowed him to request a drug offender sentencing
alternative. The sentencing court accepted the guilty plea on
September 18, 2012. By order of the court pursuant to RCW
9.94A.660, the department provided the summary of a chemical
dependency examination report on McKay. McKay was assessed as
alcohol and drug dependent and likely to continue committing
crimes while under the influence. He admitted he had hit
"rock bottom" and needed treatment. According to
the report, a certified residential treatment provider in
Chehalis could make a bed available for McKay beginning on
November 5, 2012. McKay's parents agreed to provide a
clean and sober living environment for him until that date.
September 28, 2012, the court sentenced McKay to a
treatment-based residential sentence of three to six months.
See RCW 9.94A.660 (drug offender sentencing alternative). As
a condition of sentence, McKay was to reside with his parents
and report for supervision by the department until he entered
Deabler was not informed of the guilty plea and did not know
that McKay was requesting a treatment sentence. After the
judgment and sentence was entered, Deabler received an e-mail
advising him that McKay had been released ...