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ISSAQUAH LAW GROUP

Issaquah Law Group: Experienced Counsel; Client Focus

PHILOSOPHY: Formed in 2014, Issaquah Law Group is a law firm with one focus: providing businesses and insurers with high quality legal representation with the responsiveness of a smaller firm. ILG was founded on the principle that strong client relationships are the key to successful legal representation and strong relationships are built upon clear and consistent communication. 

LITIGATION: We work closely with our clients to fully and accurately understand their goals, work collaboratively to formulate specific legal strategies, and execute the agreed plan of action utilizing methods most likely to result in the efficient and effective resolution of the matter. ILG attorneys have a broad base of litigation experience to draw on in all Federal and State courts from on-the-ground investigations to Supreme Court appeals in the areas of personal injury and wrongful death, product liability, commercial general liability, labor & employment, construction litigation, and catastrophic losses due to fire and explosion.

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COMMUNITY: In addition, the Lawyers at Issaquah Law Group remain active in the legal and civic community. A core commitment of our Issaquah Attorneys is community service. Our attorneys' civic involvement includes the King County Civil Rights Commission; the City of Issaquah Planning Policy Commission; the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, service as a pro tem judge. We live and work in the Pacific Northwest, and we aim to make it a better place.

In addition, through The Amateur Law Professor Blog and LinkedIn postings, we share pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Supreme Court, as well as the pertinent opinions and decisions of the Washington State Courts of Appeal so that our clients can be as update to date on cutting legal issues as we are.

Court of Appeals: Div. III – Court Cannot Add Requirements to Statute for Sex Offender’s Petition

 

State v. Hooper

This case is a consolidated appeal wherein two petitioners’ cases appealing the same issue were decided together by the Court of Appeals.

Hooper and Felice were both convicted of sex crimes when they were 13 and 12 years old respectively.  Both were required to register as sex offenders.  In 2008, they both petitioned the court to relieve them of their duties to register as sex offenders.  The trial court denied both petitions because Spokane County Juvenile Court requires that a petitioner who was under 15 when he committed the sex offense produce updated polygraph test results and an updated psychological evaluation before the court will consider relieving a petitioner of his duty to register.  Neither petitioner did this. 

RCW 9A.44.140(4) sets out the requirements for a sex offender to petition for relief to register:

An offender having a duty to register under RCW 9A.44.130 for a sex offense . . . committed when the offender was a juvenile may petition the superior court to be relieved of that duty. The court shall consider the nature of the registerable offense committed, and the criminal and relevant noncriminal behavior of the petitioner both before and after adjudication, and may consider other factors.

The lower court believed that “may consider other factors” granted it authority to require additional conditions before considering a petition.  Division III held that “may consider other factors” to mean the court can think about other things, but it cannot require the petitioner to produce other things. 

The Court went on to say that indeed the requirement of an updated polygraph test and an updated psychological evaluation is a great idea, but unfortunately that is not what the statute requires.  The lower court’s order denying the petitions for failure to provide the test and evaluation was reversed.  However, this does not mean that Hooper’s and Felice’s petitions are granted.  The lower court will still have discretion to deny the petition after giving the statutory considerations.  I bet I can guess what the result of the next hearing will be:

Denied

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