How do you vacate a pre-1975 Fishing violation?

In the 2014 Washington State Legislative Session, Substitute House Bill 2080 was passed.  This bill allows people that were convicted prior to January 1, 1975 of any statute or rule regarding the regulation of fishing activities, who claimed to be exercising a treaty Indian fishing right, to apply to the sentencing court for vacation of the misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, or felony conviction for the offense. 

  • The conviction must have been prior to January 1, 1975.

  • The applicant must: be a member of a tribe that may excise treaty Indian fishing rights at the location where the offense occurred, 

  • If the convicted person is deceased, a member of the person's family or an official representative of the tribe of which the person was a member may apply to the court on behalf of the deceased person.

  • The state has to have been enjoined from taking enforcement of action of the statute or rule to the extent that it interferes with a treaty Indian fishing rights.

If these requirements are met, the court must vacate the record of conviction, even if the requirements defined in RCW 9.94A.640 are not met.

Pattern forms that can be used specifically for these matters are published in the Vacating/Sealing Records section of the Court Forms page on the public web site.  Also, the brochure "A Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, Vacating Convictions, and Deleting Criminal History Records" has been updated to include instructions on these matters.  The brochure is located on the Resources, Publications, and Reports page of the public web site (

RN id: 2353