issue in this case is whether the duration of a domestic
violence (DV) no-contact order entered by a court of limited
jurisdiction is limited to the length of the underlying
suspended sentence. The State appeals a published Court of
Appeals decision that vacated a no-contact order and held
that the district court lacked authority pursuant to RCW
10.99.050 to enter a no-contact order exceeding the duration
of the underlying sentence. State v. Granath, 200
Wn.App. 26, 401 P.3d 405, review granted, 189 Wn.2d
1009, 402 P.3d 823 (2017). We affirm.
AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
facts of this case are not disputed. A jury convicted Wendy
Granath in King County District Court of two gross
misdemeanor DV crimes-cyberstalking and violation of a DV
no-contact order-based on e-mails she sent to her estranged
husband. Clerk's Papers (CP) at 35; Pet. for Review at 2.
In November 2012, Granath was sentenced to 364 days in jail
with 334 days suspended for 24 months. CP at 35. As a
condition of her suspended sentence, she was prohibited from
contacting her estranged husband. The court issued a separate
no-contact order pursuant to RCW 10.99.050 reflecting the
directive not to contact her estranged husband. The judge did
not enter an expiration date, and so, by the terms of the
pattern form order, it expired by default five years later.
completed her sentence in December 2014. She thereafter moved
to vacate the no-contact order on the basis that it ended
when she was no longer subject to the underlying no-contact
condition of the sentence. The district court denied the
motion, stating it "had lawful authority to issue a
separate order under [chapter] 10.99 [RCW], which is a
stand-alone provision." Id. at 22. Granath
appealed to the King County Superior Court, which affirmed
the district court. Granath then sought discretionary review
from the Court of Appeals, which reversed in a published
opinion. It held that the district court did not have
statutory authority to issue a no-contact order that lasted
longer than the defendant's suspended sentence.
Granath, 200 Wn.App. at 37-38. We granted
review. 189 Wn.2d 1009.
RCW 10.99.050 provides a district court the authority to
issue a DV no-contact order that lasts longer than the
defendant's suspended sentence?
Overview of a district court's limited sentencing
courts are courts of limited jurisdiction created by the
legislature. CONST, art. IV, §§ 1, 12; Smith v.
Whatcom County Dist. Ct, 147 Wn.2d 98, 104, 52 P.3d 485
(2002). "The legislature has sole authority to prescribe
their jurisdiction and powers." Smith, 147
Wn.2d at 104. To understand a district court's authority
in this context, we review the relevant statutory grants of
affirmative grant of subject matter jurisdiction in this case
is RCW 3.66.060. It provides a district court jurisdiction
that is "[c]oncurrent with the superior court of all
misdemeanors and gross misdemeanors committed in their
respective counties and of all violations of city
ordinances." RCW 3.66.060. The statute also authorizes a
district court to impose a fine of $5, 000 and a jail
sentence of one year. Id.
is a specific legislative provision that extends a district
court's jurisdiction over DV offenses for up to five
years. RCW 3.66.068(1)(a) states in relevant part:
(1) A court has continuing jurisdiction and authority to
suspend the execution of all or any part of its sentence upon
stated terms, including installment payment of fines for a
period not to exceed: (a) Five years after imposition of
sentence for a defendant sentenced for a domestic violence
statute authorizes a district court to suspend all or part of
a DV sentence for up to five years and impose sentencing
conditions in its judgment and sentence. If a defendant
violates a condition of the sentence, then a district court
may revoke the suspended sentence. RCW 3.66.069.
last statutory grant of authority that is relevant to this
case is RCW 10.99.050(1), which authorizes a court to issue a
no-contact order to "record" a no-contact
condition it includes in the judgment and sentence. The
When a defendant is found guilty of a crime and a condition
of the sentence restricts the defendant's ability to have
contact with the victim, such condition shall be
recorded and a written certified copy of that order
shall be provided to the victim.
RCW 10.99.050(1) (emphasis added). This case requires us to
determine whether RCW 10.99.050 authorizes a district court
to issue a no-contact order that lasts longer than the
sentence it imposes. Because resolution of this case requires
statutory interpretation, our review is denovo. State v.
Armendariz, 160 Wn.2d 106, 110, 156 P.3d 201 (2007).
plain language of RCW 10.99.050 resolves the issue presented
to the statute's plain language to determine whether it
addresses the duration of a no-contact order. Its plain
meaning is determined by consulting "the statute in
which the provision at issue is found, as well as related
statutes or other provisions of the same act in which the
provision is found." Dep't of Ecology v.
Campbell & Gwinn, LLC, 146 Wn.2d 1, 10, 43 P.3d 4
(2002). If the legislature's intent is clear based on the
plain language of the statute, "then the court must give
effect to that plain meaning as an expression of legislative
intent." Id. at 9-10.
10.99.050 is silent on the duration of a no-contact order,
and consulting other provisions of the same act does not help
us understand the intended time span of the no-contact order.
Other orders issued prior to sentencing pursuant to chapter
10.99 RCW have explicit termination provisions and therefore
do not help us determine the duration of a postsentencing
order. RCW 10.99.040(5) (a prefiling DV no-contact order
expires at arraignment or within 72 hours if no charges are
filed), (3) (a DV no-contact order entered or extended at
arraignment terminates if the defendant is acquitted or the
charges are dismissed).The parties agree that the statute is
silent on the order's duration, but each interprets the
statute's silence differently.
State takes the position that RCW 10.99.050
"independently authorizes" a district court to
issue a DV no-contact order so long as it imposes a
no-contact condition of the sentence. Pet. for Review at 9.
Other provisions of RCW 10.99.050 refer to no-contact orders
as "issued" rather than "recorded, " and
the State infers use of the word "issued" means the
order stands independently of the underlying sentence
condition. See, e.g., RCW 10.99.050(2)(a), (3). The
State does not cite authority for this conclusion, but
proceeds to make a public ...