State of Washington v. William A. Page

Case Date: 06/14/2012

DO NOT CITE. SEE GR 14.1(a).

Court of Appeals Division III
State of Washington

Opinion Information Sheet

Docket Number: 30104-4
Title of Case: State of Washington v. William A. Page
File Date: 06/14/2012

Appeal from Ferry Superior Court
Docket No: 08-1-00047-8
Judgment or order under review
Date filed: 07/15/2011
Judge signing: Honorable Allen C Nielson

Authored byTeresa C. Kulik
Concurring:Dennis J. Sweeney
Dissenting:Laurel H. Siddoway


Counsel for Appellant(s)
 Dennis W. Morgan  
 Attorney at Law
 Po Box 1019
 Republic, WA, 99166-1019

Counsel for Respondent(s)
 Loreva Marie Preuss  
 Department of Fish and Wildlife
 600 Capitol Way N
 Olympia, WA, 98501-1091

                                                                        JUNE 14, 2012
                                                                  In the Office of the Clerk of Court
                                                                WA State Court of Appeals, Division III

                                     DIVISION THREE

STATE OF WASHINGTON                                 No.  30104-4-III
                      Respondent,               )
              v.                                )
WILLIAM A. PAGE,                                )   UNPUBLISHED OPINION
                      Appellant.                )

       Kulik, J.  --  William A. Page appeals his sentence for his conviction of six counts 

of unlawful wildlife trafficking.  Mr. Page contends that his Fourteenth Amendment due 

process rights were violated because he was not fully and accurately informed as to the 

criminality of his conduct and the severity of the penalty.  The State mischarged three of 

the six offenses as felonies rather than gross misdemeanors.  Mr. Page chose to go to trial 

instead of bail forfeiting as a final disposition of the case.  Mr. Page now seeks to bail 

forfeit his offenses as a final disposition due to the reduction of his felonies to gross 


No. 30104-4-III
State v. Page

       We agree that under these facts Mr. Page's due process rights were violated. We 

reverse and remand to allow Mr. Page to forfeit bail.


       On December 11, 2008, the State charged Mr. Page with nine counts of various 

wildlife offenses under chapter 77.15 RCW.  The charges were amended twice, with a 

final charge of three felony counts of unlawful wildlife trafficking in the first degree and 

three misdemeanor counts of unlawful wildlife trafficking in the second degree.  A jury 

convicted Mr. Page on all six counts and the court entered judgment on December 18, 

2009.  Mr. Page appealed his convictions for all six counts based on prejudicial 

testimony.  In an unpublished opinion, State v. Page, noted at 161 Wn. App. 1036, 2011 

WL 1758636, this court affirmed the convictions on the grounds of the appeal.  However, 

this court reduced the felonies to gross misdemeanors based on the improper aggregation 

of values under the 2010 case of State v. Yon, 159 Wn. App. 195, 246 P.3d 818 (2010).  

This court remanded the case for resentencing on six misdemeanor counts of unlawful 

trafficking in the second degree.

       At the resentencing hearing, Mr. Page requested bail forfeiture as a final 

disposition on all six counts in accordance with CrRLJ 3.2(r).  During his right of 


No. 30104-4-III
State v. Page

allocution, Mr. Page stated that the only reason he did not bail forfeit on the original 

charges was to avoid a felony conviction on his record.  The court denied bail forfeiture

and sentenced Mr. Page to six months' imprisonment on each count, running 

concurrently.  The court also imposed various fees and costs totaling $7,610.  Mr. Page 

appeals this sentence. 


       Due Process Violation. Whether a violation of Mr. Page's due process rights 

occurred is reviewed de novo.  See State v. Oppelt, 172 Wn.2d 285, 290, 257 P.3d 653 

(2011).  If no due process violations exist, the sentence is reviewed for an abuse of 

discretion.  State v. Hunter, 102 Wn. App. 630, 640, 9 P.3d 872 (2000).

       Mr. Page contends that the denial of bail forfeiture as a final disposition on 

remand constitutes a denial of due process.  The Fourteenth Amendment to the United 

States Constitution provides that no state shall "deprive any person of life, liberty, or

property, without due process of law."  U.S. Const. amend. XIV.  As applicable to Mr. 

Page, the due process clause has been interpreted to mean that "[c]itizens must have 

notice not only of what conduct is criminal but also of the severity of the penalty."  

Hunter, 102 Wn. App. at 638 (citing BMW of N. Am., Inc. v. Gore, 517 U.S. 559, 574, 

116 S. Ct. 1589, 134 L. Ed. 2d 809 (1996); United States v. Batchelder, 442 U.S. 114, 


No. 30104-4-III
State v. Page

123, 99 S. Ct. 2198, 60 L. Ed. 2d 755 (1979)).  

       Illustrating this principle, Division One of this court in Hunter considered a due 

process argument for the imposition of a drug fund contribution as part of a sentence. 

Hunter, 102 Wn. App. at 632-33.  The defendant, Mr. Hunter, argued that the mere 

inclusion of a drug fund contribution as part of the sentencing statute failed to provide 

adequate notice of when one will be imposed and in what amount.  Id. at 637.  The court 

determined that Mr. Hunter knew a drug fund contribution may be exacted because it was 

provided for in the statute.  Id. at 639.  Further, a statutory maximum of fines for his 

crime existed.  Id. Therefore, no due process violation resulted.  Id. at 641.

       Here, however, the State mischarged Mr. Page.  And Mr. Page chose not to bail 

forfeit, to go to trial, and to try to avoid felony convictions.  RCW 9A.20.021(2) provides 

the maximum penalties for conviction of gross misdemeanors.  RCW 77.15.060 provides

that convictions under chapter 77.15 RCW may be punished in accordance with the

Washington State criminal code.  

       But when a person is not fully and accurately informed of the nature of the crime 

or the penalties, due process is violated.  Because of the State's mischarging of counts 2, 

5, and 6, Mr. Page was not fairly apprised of the charges against him.  If felonies 

had not been charged, he would have had the option of bail forfeiture.  See former 


No. 30104-4-III
State v. Page

RCW 77.15.050(1) (1998).  Taken together, the statute, court rule CrRLJ 3.2(r) allowing 

for bail forfeit, and State v. Yon, 159 Wn. App. 195 compel us to reverse the convictions 

and remand to allow Mr. Page the option to forfeit bail on the corrected charges.  We 

reverse and remand.

       A majority of the panel has determined this opinion will not be printed in the 

Washington Appellate Reports, but it will be filed for public record pursuant to 

RCW 2.06.040.

                                            Kulik, J.


Sweeney, J.