Petterson has been serving a term of community custody under
a special sex offender sentencing alternative (SSOSA) for
over 15 years. RCW 9.94A.670. After Petterson successfully
completed treatment, the court removed most of his community
custody conditions. The Washington State Department of
Corrections (Department) now seeks to ensure that while
Petterson is on community custody, he is required to comply
with department-imposed conditions. At issue here is whether
courts must require this condition and whether courts have
authority to modify community custody conditions after
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
received a sentencing alternative under the SSOSA statute
when he pleaded guilty to child molestation in the first
degree in 2002. Clerks Papers (CP) at 6-12. The superior
court ordered 68 months of confinement with 62 months
suspended for the maximum term of life. Id. In
accordance with the SSOSA statute, the suspended sentence was
conditioned on community custody for the length of the
maximum term. Id. For Petterson, this meant a
lifetime of community custody. Id. One of the
conditions required Petterson to comply with any conditions
imposed by the Department (department-compliance condition).
department-compliance condition was suspended after a series
of proceedings from 2005 to 2008. In October 2005, Petterson
appeared for his treatment termination hearing, which is
mandated by the SSOSA statute as a time to review community
custody conditions and treatment. RCW
9.94A.670. The court found that Petterson had
successfully completed treatment and, upon a joint request,
terminated his treatment. CP at 14-16. The court mistakenly
also terminated his community custody as a result of a
scrivener's error. Id. The mistake was
subsequently discovered, and the State filed a motion to
amend the order in December 2006. CP at 17. The court granted
the amendment in March 2007, and the Court of Appeals
affirmed. CP at 22-24, 35-39.
superior court held a hearing in April 2008 to determine next
steps in light of the Court of Appeals' decision.
Verbatim Report of Proceedings (VRP) (Apr. 18, 2008) at 4-10.
At this hearing, Petterson moved to modify his community
custody. Id. The court deferred a final decision
until Community Corrections Officer (CCO) David Payne could
be present. Id. at 11-12. The court held the next
hearing on May 5, 2008, with CCO Payne but ultimately decided
to further delay the decision to allow the Attorney
General's Office to be present. VRP (May 5, 2008) at
11-12. The court reconvened on May 30, 2008, but no one from
the Attorney General's Office appeared. VRP (May 30,
2008) at 1. The State told the court that the
prosecutor's office had communicated with the Department
and the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board and neither body
was taking a position. Id. at 4. The court ruled
that it had the authority to modify community custody
conditions and signed an order suspending all of
Petterson's conditions except for two: (1) obey all laws,
and (2) update the Department of any change in address or
phone number. CP at 40.
that series of proceedings, Petterson has maintained strict
compliance with his remaining conditions. CP at 105-18. He
also reported to his CCO 13 times between 2009 and 2015 even
though he was not required to do so. Id. The court
ordered that he be removed from the sex offender registry in
2013 after the Department filed a report detailing
Petterson's compliance. CP at 43. Despite his record of
complete compliance and successfully completing treatment,
the Department's position on Petterson's conditions
drastically changed when he moved to King County and his case
was transferred to a new CCO.
moved to King County in 2014, and his new CCO proposed
reinstating a slew of community custody conditions, including
going back to treatment despite his graduation from treatment
nearly nine years earlier. CP at 105, 121-36. Petterson
declined to sign the new conditions, citing the 2008 order
suspending most conditions. CP at 136. The Department then
filed an amicus motion to reinstate the department-compliance
condition, arguing the court did not have the authority to
remove it in 2008. CP at 54-64. The court granted the motion,
and the Court of Appeals affirmed. CP at 142-46; State v.
Petterson, 198 Wn.App. 673, 394 P.3d 385 (2017). The
Court of Appeals held that the court did not have authority
to modify any community custody conditions in 2008 because
the treatment termination hearing occurred in 2005, and that
regardless of the timing, the department-compliance condition
was mandatory and could never be suspended.
Petterson, 198 Wn.App. at 682-84. The Court of
Appeals went even further and held that after final judgment
and sentencing, the court loses jurisdiction to the
Department. Id. at 681-82.
petitioned for review, which this court granted. State v.
Petterson, 189 Wn.2d 1001, 400 P.3d 1257 (2017). We hold
that while the department- compliance condition is
statutorily mandatory, the court retains jurisdiction during
the life of a SSOSA and has authority to modify discretionary
the court have authority to modify community custody
conditions at the 2008 hearing?
courts have authority to remove the department-compliance
courts lose jurisdiction to the Department after imposing a
SSOSA and lack authority to modify conditions ...