April 4, 2019
from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia
(CMD-13858-83), (Hon. Steven Wellner, Trial Judge)
Madsen for appellant.
Aloi, Assistant United States Attorney, with whom Jessie K.
Liu, United States Attorney, and Elizabeth Trosman, Nicholas
P. Coleman, T. Anthony Quinn, and Jillian D. Willis,
Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief, for
Glickman and Thompson, Associate Judges, and Washington,
legislation enacted in 2014, the Council of the District of
Columbia (the "Council") "decriminalized the
possession of ... marijuana for personal
2015, the Council enacted legislation entitled "Record
Sealing for Decriminalized and Legalized Offenses Act of
2014," codified as D.C. Code § 16-803.02 (2017).
1983, appellant, Antonin Washington, was charged with two
counts of possession of marijuana and two counts of
possession of phencyclidine (PCP). Mr. Washington pled guilty
to one count of possession of PCP; Superior Court records
indicate that the disposition of the marijuana counts and one
of the PCP counts was nolle prosequi . On May 4,
2017, relying on § 16-803.02, Mr. Washington filed a motion
to seal the publicly available records of his "arrests
and related court proceedings" in the 1983 matter (as
well as records in matters from other years not involved in
this appeal). In an August 29, 2017, order, the Superior
Court denied the motion, stating that "[p]ossession of
PCP is not a decriminalized or legalized offense" and
therefore that Mr. Washington could not "avail himself
of relief under ... § 16-803.02 ...." The court did not
address whether to grant Mr. Washington a part of the relief
he sought by sealing the records of his accompanying
appeal followed. We affirm the Superior Courts ruling
insofar as it denied sealing of the records of Mr.
Washingtons PCP arrest, charges, and conviction. However, we
remand for the Superior Court to consider whether to seal the
records relating to Mr. Washingtons accompanying arrest and
charges for marijuana possession.
16-803.02 (2017) provides in ...