State v. Hubbard – Washington Supreme Court

Court: Washington Supreme Court
Case No.: 
Hearing Date: 
June 28, 2018

Case Description:
Mr. Hubbard pled guilty to possession of stolen property in 2004. Mr. Hubbard had completed all of the terms of his sentence, including paying off his legal financial obligations (LFOs).  Mr. Hubbard’s petition for a Certificate of Discharge (COD) included evidence of his completion of sentence terms by February 25, 2013, and requested that the COD be dated to that date which the trail court granted. Then the Court of Appeals reversed. The petition for review presented the Court with the opportunity to address the flawed statutory construction of the Court of Appeals barring the trial court from dating the COD as of the date of completion, and the issues of substantial public importance implicated by such an interpretation of RCW 9.94A.

Amicus Description:
The Amicus focused on whether the effective date of a certificate and order of discharge under RCW 9.94A.637 is the date for which there is verification that a defendant has satisfied the conditions of their sentence, as the trial court concluded. The Amicus also addressed whether the Court of Appeals’ interpretation of RCW 9.94A.637 which causes delay in eligibility for vacating a criminal record and harmful consequences to employment opportunities is an issue of substantial public interest such that review by this Court is warranted.

The Supreme Court unanimously decided that a person seeking a certificate of discharge from their criminal convictions must be allowed to use the date that they completed the terms of their sentence, not just when the court first heard about it. Please click here for the full opinion.