WA Legal Roundup: Division II
Flowers is a sex offender and RCW 9A.44.130(11)(a) requires him to register as a sex offender. He registered in Cowlitz County. He was a transient sex offender, which required him to check in with the county sheriff once a week. Cowlitz County had a policy that required sex offenders to list all their locations of the previous week. Flowers checked in with the sheriff but listed false locations. He was charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
Flowers filed a Knapstad motion to dismiss the charge. The trial court granted his motion because the RCW did not require that he list his previous locations, the statue violates separation of powers, the statute violates equal protection, and the statute violates due process. The State appeals.
The appeals court addressed the statutory interpretation issue. They held that the clear statutory interpretation of RCW 9A.44.130(11)(a) did not require a transient sex offender to list their previous locations, therefore, Flowers had not committed a crime. They affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of the charge.