CrR 8.3 - DismissalComments for CrR 8.3 must be received no later than April 30, 2008.
GR 9 COVER SHEET
Submitted by the Board of Governors of the Washington State Bar Association
Purpose: The suggested addition of new subsection (c) to CrR 8.3 is intended to codify a common law pretrial dismissal procedure in criminal cases akin to summary judgment motions in civil cases. The Supreme Court called for enactment of such a rule when it described the contours of the motion procedure in State v. Knapstad,107 Wn.2d 346, 353-54 & n.1, 729 P.2d 48 (1986) (“We . . . take this opportunity to clarify this pretrial motion procedure by this opinion and suggest a formal rule be considered subsequently, if necessary.”). The language of the new subsection recognizes that, pursuant to the holding in Knapstad, charges in a criminal case may be dismissed for insufficient evidence prior to trial on motion by the defendant. The procedures are derived from those described in the Knapstad decision and those that have developed in criminal proceedings since the case was decided in 1986.
Paragraph (1) of the rule provides that the defendant’s motion must be in writing and supported by an affidavit or declaration alleging that the state cannot prove a prima facie case. Alternatively, the facts may be agreed to by stipulation. Under paragraph (2), the prosecuting attorney may submit opposing affidavits or declarations. Paragraph (3) provides that the court, viewing all evidence in the light most favorable to the prosecuting attorney and making all reasonable inferences in the light most favorable to the prosecuting attorney, must grant the motion if there are no material disputed facts and the undisputed facts do not establish a prima facie case of guilt. If the motion is granted, paragraph (4) directs the court to enter a written order granting the motion without prejudice and setting forth the evidence relied upon and conclusions of law.
Under paragraph (3), a decision denying a motion to dismiss is not subject to appeal under RAP 2.2. However, a decision granting a motion to dismiss under the rule is final and appealable under the counterpart amendment to RAP 2.2(b)(1).
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