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Thread: OT: Restoring Rights (Lawyer Referral)

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    OT: Restoring Rights (Lawyer Referral)

    I had someone ask me about getting their rights restored, and not being an expert on the subject I referred them to Paul Ferris (listed on the NWCDL page) as that seems to be his area of expertise. They emailed him about two weeks ago with a pretty in-depth description of their situation and haven't heard anything back from him. I Googled his name to see if he had an alternate webpage or anything and even found a recent BBB complaint against him saying that he pretty much "took the money and ran" and didn't really do anything for the client, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other lawyers that specialize in restoring rights that I could point them to.

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    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    http://www.rainierlaw.com/

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    State Researcher Bill Starks's Avatar
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    Joe Devlin, Tacoma (Atty that does restoration of rights)

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    Regular Member Dave_pro2a's Avatar
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    Juvenile or adult offense?

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrayedString View Post
    I had someone ask me about getting their rights restored, and not being an expert on the subject I referred them to Paul Ferris (listed on the NWCDL page) as that seems to be his area of expertise. They emailed him about two weeks ago with a pretty in-depth description of their situation and haven't heard anything back from him. I Googled his name to see if he had an alternate webpage or anything and even found a recent BBB complaint against him saying that he pretty much "took the money and ran" and didn't really do anything for the client, so I'm wondering if anyone knows of any other lawyers that specialize in restoring rights that I could point them to.
    You do not need a lawyer to petition for your civil rights restoration in WA. it is set up as a do-it-yourself system.

    Go to your county web site, (some counties have the packet online, like Spokane Co) or the county clerk, and ask for RCW 9.41.047 packet. Each county does it a little bit differently so you need your county's packet.

    You need to file in the county the offense occurred in, or the county you presently reside in. You need an official copy of the original conviction/court order, a copy of a WSP background check, and the county .047 paperwork. Take it to the county clerk and get a court date...DO NOT MISS THAT COURT DATE!!!!!! Get the WSP Background check last...it is time sensitive.

    It will cost somewhere between $200 and $300 dollars for your court costs. In your hearing you will explain to the judge why you wish to have your civil rights restored, and your WSP paperwork will show you have been good since the original problem. When the Judge order your rights restored, (By law) the county clerk has 72 hours to get that information to NCIS..and you are then good to go.

    I have not actually done this for myself, but I have taken someone I love through the process...it works.

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    Regular Member badkarma's Avatar
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    Unless you have a DV or conviction w/ a firearm, you can do it yourself. The process could not be easier as mentioned above. I know 2 people who went through it and in Pierce county the person didn't have to speak and the judge didn't need the letter explaining the reason. He just signed off on it. The person bought a handgun that following week at Cabela's and nothing came back from NCIC so it either went through quickly or the conviction didn't show up.
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    Thanks guys. I think they want to talk to a lawyer because there is some prior juvenile stuff along with a single adult conviction many years ago. I don't know the full detail myself, but will pass along these lawyer suggestions.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrayedString View Post
    Thanks guys. I think they want to talk to a lawyer because there is some prior juvenile stuff along with a single adult conviction many years ago. I don't know the full detail myself, but will pass along these lawyer suggestions.
    It is VERY difficult to get a lawyer to talk to you about this process...The reason is, you must represent yourself at the hearing...a lawyer CANNOT do it for you. Understand?

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    Regular Member Grim_Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrayedString View Post
    Thanks guys. I think they want to talk to a lawyer because there is some prior juvenile stuff along with a single adult conviction many years ago. I don't know the full detail myself, but will pass along these lawyer suggestions.
    I had a juvenile record including 1 felony. I did the whole process without the paid services of an attorney. It really is an easy process if you do the research. About a month of phone calls and 2 days at the juvenile court in Port Orchard and it was done. Both times at the court took less then half an hour. For adult related offenses, if you contact the PA involved and get their Ok, they will just sign off and not even bother showing up for your court hearing.
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    Regular Member 509rifas's Avatar
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    http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=f...bute&formID=45

    Motion and Declaration to Seal Records of Juvenile Offender (MTAF)
    Notice of Respondentís Motion to Seal Records of Juvenile Offender
    Order of Motion to Seal Records of Juvenile Offender

    I did the whole process myself.
    The juvenile court staff are actually pretty helpful when they find out you're just a law abiding adult trying to clear up the mistakes of your past.

    If your adult conviction was a felony there's more you'd have to do.
    RCW 9.41.047 governs adult restoration (as opposed to sealing.) The conditions are laid out in the law, and they are fairly simple.

    From my understanding of the case law on the matter, once you meet the requirements, they HAVE to restore:


    28012-4-II - State of Washington, Respondent v. Sigiel J. Swanson, Appellant File Date: 03/04/2003
    "RCW 9.41.040(4) analysis
    On its face, RCW 9.41.040(4) gives no discretion to the restoring
    court once the enumerated, threshold requirements are met. In fact, the
    only discretion that the statute contemplates belongs to the petitioning
    individual, and that discretion concerns his decision to petition the court
    in the first place. The provision states, 'the individual may petition a
    court of record to have his or her right to possess a firearm restored.'
    RCW 9.41.040(4) (emphasis added). This fact militates against a
    construction of RCW 9.41.040(4) that gives the restoring court any
    discretion to grant or deny the petition on grounds other than non-
    compliance with the enumerated, threshold requirements."

    "Because RCW 9.41.040(4) imposes no requirements other than the enumerated,
    pre-petition requirements noted above, Swanson had no burden to show that
    he is safe to own and possess guns. If the Legislature desired to impose
    that burden, it certainly knew the language to employ, as evidenced by the
    other statutes discussed above that impose such a burden. By the
    Legislative omissions in the statute, we hold that RCW 9.41.040(4) imposes
    only a ministerial duty9 on the court when the enumerated, threshold
    requirements are met. Therefore, the trial court erred when it declined to
    restore Swanson's firearm rights."

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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    It is VERY difficult to get a lawyer to talk to you about this process...The reason is, you must represent yourself at the hearing...a lawyer CANNOT do it for you. Understand?
    That would be a new one on me. The only place I know of where lawyers aren't allowed is Small Claims Court and Small Claims cannot handle firearms rights restoration. In Spokane County we have people who do their own and people who have a lawyer help them, probably about 60/40 respectively. Can you cite the statutory provision or court rule that precludes representation at a restoration hearing?

    PS - - anyone who wants to do this on their own needs to look at RCW 9.41.040. Looks to me like the restoration provision of .047 apply to involuntary commitments and NGIs
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