Certificate of Discharge Law and Legal Definition
A certificate of discharge is a written statement that one party has discharged its obligation to the other party who accepts the discharge. It is also known as satisfaction piece or satisfaction.
A certificate of discharge may be given for different purposes. For example, it may be executed by the mortgagee to the mortgagor when the debt secured by a mortgage is satisfied. It may also be issued to a prisoner who has completed his/her sentencing requirements.
The following is an example of a state statute (Washington) on Certificate of Discharge issued to a prisoner:
Rev. Code Wash. (ARCW) § 9.94A.637. Discharge upon completion of sentence -- Certificate of discharge -- Issuance, effect of no-contact order -- Obligations, counseling after discharge
(1) (a) When an offender has completed all requirements of the sentence, including any and all legal financial obligations, and while under the custody and supervision of the department, the secretary or the secretary's designee shall notify the sentencing court, which shall discharge the offender and provide the offender with a certificate of discharge by issuing the certificate to the offender in person or by mailing the certificate to the offender's last known address.
(b) (i) When an offender has reached the end of his or her supervision with the department and has completed all the requirements of the sentence except his or her legal financial obligations, the secretary's designee shall provide the county clerk with a notice that the offender has completed all nonfinancial requirements of the sentence.
(ii) When the department has provided the county clerk with notice that an offender has completed all the requirements of the sentence and the offender subsequently satisfies all legal financial obligations under the sentence, the county clerk shall notify the sentencing court, including the notice from the department, which shall discharge the offender and provide the offender with a certificate of discharge by issuing the certificate to the offender in person or by mailing the certificate to the offender's last known address.
(c) When an offender who is subject to requirements of the sentence in addition to the payment of legal financial obligations either is not subject to supervision by the department or does not complete the requirements while under supervision of the department, it is the offender's responsibility to provide the court with verification of the completion of the sentence conditions other than the payment of legal financial obligations. When the offender satisfies all legal financial obligations under the sentence, the county clerk shall notify the sentencing court that the legal financial obligations have been satisfied. When the court has received both notification from the clerk and adequate verification from the offender that the sentence requirements have been completed, the court shall discharge the offender and provide the offender with a certificate of discharge by issuing the certificate to the offender in person or by mailing the certificate to the offender's last known address.(2) (a) For purposes of this subsection (2), a no-contact order is not a requirement of the offender's sentence. An offender who has completed all requirements of the sentence, including any and all legal financial obligations, is eligible for a certificate of discharge even if the offender has an existing no-contact order that excludes or prohibits the offender from having contact with a specified person or business or coming within a set distance of any specified location.
(b) In the case of an eligible offender who has a no-contact order as part of the judgment and sentence, the offender may petition the court to issue a certificate of discharge and a separate no-contact order by filing a petition in the sentencing court and paying the appropriate filing fee associated with the petition for the separate no-contact order. This filing fee does not apply to an offender seeking a certificate of discharge when the offender has a no-contact order separate from the judgment and sentence.
(i) (A) The court shall issue a certificate of discharge and a separate no-contact order under this subsection (2) if the court determines that the offender has completed all requirements of the sentence, including all legal financial obligations. The court shall reissue the no-contact order separately under a new civil cause number for the remaining term and under the same conditions as contained in the judgment and sentence.
(B) The clerk of the court shall send a copy of the new no-contact order to the individuals protected by the no-contact order, along with an explanation of the reason for the change, if there is an address available in the court file. If no address is available, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order to the prosecutor, who shall send a copy of the no-contact order with an explanation of the reason for the change to the last known address of the protected individuals.
(ii) Whenever an order under this subsection (2) is issued, the clerk of the court shall forward a copy of the order to the appropriate law enforcement agency specified in the order on or before the next judicial day. The clerk shall also include a cover sheet that indicates the case number of the judgment and sentence that has been discharged. Upon receipt of the copy of the order and cover sheet, the law enforcement agency shall enter the order into any computer-based criminal intelligence information system available in this state used by law enforcement agencies to list outstanding warrants. The order shall remain in this system until it expires. The new order, and case number of the discharged judgment and sentence, shall be linked in the criminal intelligence information system for purposes of enforcing the no-contact order.
(iii) A separately issued no-contact order may be enforced under chapter 26.50 RCW.
(iv) A separate no-contact order issued under this subsection (2) is not a modification of the offender's sentence.
(3) Every signed certificate and order of discharge shall be filed with the county clerk of the sentencing county. In addition, the court shall send to the department a copy of every signed certificate and order of discharge for offender sentences under the authority of the department. The county clerk shall enter into a database maintained by the administrator for the courts the names of all felons who have been issued certificates of discharge, the date of discharge, and the date of conviction and offense.
(4) An offender who is not convicted of a violent offense or a sex offense and is sentenced to a term involving community supervision may be considered for a discharge of sentence by the sentencing court prior to the completion of community supervision, provided that the offender has completed at least one-half of the term of community supervision and has met all other sentence requirements.
(5) The discharge shall have the effect of restoring all civil rights not already restored by RCW 29A.08.520, and the certificate of discharge shall so state. Nothing in this section prohibits the use of an offender's prior record for purposes of determining sentences for later offenses as provided in this chapter. Nothing in this section affects or prevents use of the offender's prior conviction in a later criminal prosecution either as an element of an offense or for impeachment purposes. A certificate of discharge is not based on a finding of rehabilitation.
(6) Unless otherwise ordered by the sentencing court, a certificate of discharge shall not terminate the offender's obligation to comply with an order that excludes or prohibits the offender from having contact with a specified person or coming within a set distance of any specified location that was contained in the judgment and sentence. An offender who violates such an order after a certificate of discharge has been issued shall be subject to prosecution according to the chapter under which the order was originally issued.
(7) Upon release from custody, the offender may apply to the department for counseling and help in adjusting to the community. This voluntary help may be provided for up to one year following the release from custody.
Legal Definition list
- Certificate of Deposit
- Certificate of Creditable Coverage (Health Care)
- Certificate of Conformity
- Certificate of Compulsory Arbitration
- Certificate of Competency Program
- Certificate of Discharge
- Certificate of Distribution
- Certificate of Eligibility
- Certificate of Final Completion
- Certificate of Good Faith
- Certificate of Incorporation