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Washington DOC Agrees to Pay $87,000 to Settle False Imprisonment Suit

On April 1, 2008, the Washington Department of Corrections (DOC) agreed to pay $87,000 to a former prisoner who was incarcerated 339 days beyond his lawful release date.
On September 7, 2000, Chris Weddle was sentenced for unlawful manufacture of a controlled substance. The DOC computed Weddle’s sentence as 57 months of actual custody.

However, Weddle’s sentencing judge later vacated his sentence, believing that Weddle was ineligible for the Drug Offender Sentencing Alternative (DOSA). This caused the DOC to recalculate Weddle’s release date.

The court subsequently reimposed its original DOSA sentence, but the DOC did not recalculate Weddle’s release date consistent with the new sentence. As a result, Weddle served 339 days longer than he should have.

Weddle sued the DOC claiming negligence and false imprisonment. Prison officials did not dispute Weddle’s factual allegations, and sought only to determine damages. Negotiations between the parties resulted in an $87,000 settlement.

Weddle was represented by attorney Rogers Wilson of Tacoma, Washington. See: Weddle v. State of Washington, Superior Court for Thurston County (WA), Case No. 07-2-0039-6.

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Related legal case

Weddle v. State of Washington