LCR 4. Civil Case Schedule
Local Civil Rule
(a) Case Schedule. Except as otherwise provided in these rules or ordered by the Court, when an initial pleading is filed and a new civil case file is opened, the Clerk will prepare and file a scheduling order (referred to in these rules as a "Case Schedule"). When an initial pleading is filed electronically the Clerk will provide an electronic copy to the party filing the initial pleading. When an initial pleading is filed in paper form the Clerk will provide two copies to the party filing the initial pleading.
(b) Cases not governed by a Case Schedule. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the following cases will not be issued a Case Schedule on filing:
(1) Change of name;
(2) Domestic violence protection (RCW chapter 26.50);
(3) Anti-harassment protection (RCW chapter 10.14);
(4) Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act (URESA) and Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA). See LFLR 5;
(5) Unlawful detainer;
(6) Foreign judgment;
(7) Abstract or transcript of judgment;
(8) Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Restitution, or Review, or any other Writ;
(9) Civil commitment;
(10) Proceedings under RCW chapter 10.77;
(11) Proceedings under RCW chapter 70.96A;
(12) Proceedings for isolation and quarantine;
(13) Vulnerable adult protection (RCW 74.34);
(14) Proceedings referred to referee under RCW 4.48. See LCR 53.1;
(16) Sexual Assault protection (RCW 7.90)
(17) Emancipation of a Minor. See LFLR 18;
(18) Will Contests, Probate and TEDRA Matters;
(19) Marriage Age Waiver Petitions. See LFLR 19;
(20) Receivership Proceedings (filed as an independent action and not under an existing proceeding);
(21) Work Permits;
(22) Small Claims Appeals;
(23) Petition to Approve Minor/Incapacitated Adult Settlement (when filed as an independent action and not under an existing proceeding).
(c) Service of Case Schedule on Other Parties.
(1) The party filing the initial pleading shall promptly provide a copy of the Case Schedule to all other parties by (a) serving a copy of the Case Schedule on the other parties along with the initial pleading, or (b) serving the Case Schedule on the other parties within 10 days after the later of the filing of the initial pleading or service of any response to the initial pleading, whether that response is a notice of appearance, an answer, or a CR 12 motion. The Case Schedule may be served by regular mail, or electronically when the party being served has agreed to accept electronic service pursuant to GR 30(b)(4), with proof of service to be filed promptly in the form required by CR 5.
(2) A party who joins an additional party in an action shall serve the additional party with the current Case Schedule together with the first pleading served on the additional party.
(d) Amendment of Case Schedule. The Court, either on motion of a party or on its own initiative, may modify any date in the Case Schedule for good cause, except that the trial date may be changed only as provided in LCR 40(e). If a party by motion requests an amendment of the Case Schedule, that party shall prepare and present to the Court for signature an Amended Case Schedule, which upon approval of the Court shall be promptly filed and served on all other parties. The motion shall include a proposed Amended Case Schedule. If a Case Schedule is modified on the Court's own motion, the Court will prepare and file the Amended Case Schedule and promptly issue it to all parties. Parties may not amend a Case Schedule by stipulation without approval of the assigned Judge, except as provided below:
(1) The Deadline for Disclosure of Possible Primary Witnesses and/or the deadline for Disclosure of Additional Witnesses (LCR26 (b)) may be extended by written stipulation of all parties without the necessity of a court order for an additional period not to exceed 14 days without first applying for approval of the assigned judge, provided that the stipulation contains the following provision: “No party may assert this delay in the Disclosure of Witnesses as a basis for a continuance of the established trial date”.
(2) The Discovery Cutoff (LCR 37(g)) may be extended by written stipulation of all parties without the necessity of a court order for an additional period not to exceed 14 days without first applying for approval of the assigned judge, provided that the stipulation contains the following provision: “No party may assert this extension of the Discovery Cutoff as a basis for a continuance of the established trial date.”
(e) Form of Case Schedule.
(1) Case Schedule. A Case Schedule for each type of case, which will set the time period between filing and trial and the scheduled events and deadlines for that type of case, will be established by the Court by General Order, based upon relevant factors including statutory priorities, resources available to the Court, case filings, and the interests of justice.
(2) A Case Schedule, which will be customized for each type of case, will be in generally the following form:
|Confirmation of Issues (LFLR 4(c) for dissolution and modification cases)|| F+16
|Status Conference, if needed (Domestic Relations cases only-see LFLR 4(e))
|Confirmation of Joinder (LCR 4.2(a) for civil cases)
|Last Day for Filing Statement of Arbitrability without a Showing of Good Cause for Late Filing (LMAR 2.1)
|Confirmation of Completion of Genetic Testing (LFLR 4(d) for paternity cases)
|Disclosure of Possible Primary Witnesses (LCR 26(b))||T-22|
|Disclosure of Possible Additional Witnesses (LCR 26(b))
|Final Date to Change Trial and to File Jury Demand (non-family law civil cases)(LCR 38(b)(2))
|Discovery Cutoff (LCR 37(g))
|Deadline for Engaging in Alternative Dispute Resolution
|Deadline for filing “Joint Confirmation Regarding Trial Readiness” (LCR 16)
|Exchange of Witness and Exhibit Lists and Documentary Exhibits (LCR 4(j))
|Deadline for Hearing Dispositive Pretrial Motions (LCR 56, CR 56)
|Deadline for filing Trial Briefs, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Jury Instructions
|Joint Statement of Evidence (LCR 4(k))
IT IS ORDERED that all parties shall comply with the foregoing schedule and that sanctions, including but not limited to those set forth in CR 37, may be imposed for noncompliance. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the party filing this action must serve this Order Setting Case Schedule on all other parties.
Dated:________________________ _____________________________ (Judge)
I understand that a copy of this document must be given to all parties: ____________________ (Signature)
Note: a number in the right column preceded by an “F” refers to the number of weeks after filing; a number in the right column preceded by a “T” refers to the number of weeks before trial.
(f) Monitoring. At such times as the Presiding Judge may direct, the Clerk will monitor cases to determine compliance with these rules.
(g) Enforcement; Sanctions; Dismissal; Terms.
(1) Failure to comply with the Case Schedule may be grounds for imposition of sanctions, including dismissal, or terms.
(2) The Court, on its own initiative or on motion of a party, may order an attorney or party to show cause why sanctions or terms should not be imposed for failure to comply with the Case Schedule established by these rules.
(3) If the Court finds that an attorney or party has failed to comply with the Case Schedule and has no reasonable excuse, the Court may order the attorney or party to pay monetary sanctions to the Court, or terms to any other party who has incurred expense as a result of the failure to comply, or both; in addition, the Court may impose such other sanctions as justice requires.
(4) As used with respect to the Case Schedule, "terms" means costs, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred or to be incurred as a result of the failure to comply; the term "monetary sanctions" means a financial penalty payable to the Court; the term "other sanctions" includes but is not limited to the exclusion of evidence.
(h) Failure to Follow Schedule. The court may enter an order of dismissal without prejudice and without further notice for failure to attend a status conference required by these rules as designated on the Case Schedule or to appear in response to the order to show cause issued for failure to appear for a status conference. In family law cases where the parties have agreed upon a final disposition, the dismissal may be set aside by an Ex Parte Commissioner.
(i) Failure to Appear on Scheduled Trial Date
(1) The failure of a party seeking affirmative relief or asserting an affirmative defense to appear for trial on the scheduled trial date will result in dismissal of the claims or affirmative defenses without further notice.
(2) If the party against whom claims are asserted fails to appear, the party seeking relief must proceed with the trial on the record. Unless final orders are entered at the time of trial, the party shall file their proposed final documents within thirty days of the trial decision.
(j) Exchange of Witness and Exhibit Lists. In cases governed by a Case Schedule pursuant to LCR 4, the parties shall exchange, no later than 21 days before the scheduled trial date: (A) lists of the witnesses whom each party expects to call at trial; (B) lists of the exhibits that each party expects to offer at trial, except for exhibits to be used only for impeachment; and (C) copies of all documentary exhibits, except for those to be used only for illustrative purposes. In addition, non documentary exhibits, except for those to be used only for illustrative purposes, shall be made available for inspection by all other parties no later than 14 days before trial. Any witness or exhibit not listed may not be used at trial, unless the Court orders otherwise for good cause and subject to such conditions as justice requires. See LCR 26 (witness disclosure requirements.)
(k) Joint Statement of Evidence. In cases governed by a Case Schedule pursuant to LCR 4 the parties shall file, no later than 5 court days before the scheduled trial date, a Joint Statement of Evidence, so entitled, containing (A) a list of the witnesses whom each party expects to call at trial and (B) a list of the exhibits that each party expects to offer at trial. The Joint Statement of Evidence shall contain a notation for each exhibit as to whether all parties agree as to the exhibit's authenticity or admissibility.
(l) Non dispositive Pretrial Motions. All non dispositive pretrial motions and supporting materials, including but not limited to motions to exclude evidence, shall be served and filed pursuant to the requirements of LCR 7(b). Responsive documents shall also be served and filed pursuant to the requirements of LCR 7(b). In addition, working copies of all motion documents shall be provided pursuant to the requirements of LCR 7(b).
(m) Trial Briefs, Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, and Jury Instructions. Except as otherwise ordered by the Court, parties shall serve copies of the trial brief or memorandum of authorities, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law in non-jury cases, and proposed jury instructions for jury cases, upon opposing parties, with a working copy submitted to the assigned Judge, no later than five court days before the scheduled trial date.
1. Time Standards. The Court has adopted the following time standards for the timely disposition of cases. In view of the backlog of cases and the scarcity of judicial resources, it may take some time before these standards can be met.
(a) General Civil. Ninety percent of all civil cases should be settled, tried, or otherwise concluded within 12 months of the date of case filing; 98 percent within 18 months of filing; and the remainder within 24 months of filing, except for individual cases in which the Court determines that exceptional circumstances exist and for which a continuing review should occur.
(b) Summary Civil. Proceedings using summary hearing procedures, such as those landlord-tenant and replevin actions not requiring full trials, should be concluded within 30 days of filing.
(c) Family Law. Ninety percent of all family law matters should be settled, tried, or otherwise concluded within nine months of the date of case filing, with custody cases given priority; 98 percent within 12 months and 100 percent within 15 months, except for individual cases in which the Court determines that exceptional circumstances exist and for which a continuing review should occur.
(d) Criminal and Juvenile. Criminal and juvenile cases should be heard within the times prescribed by CrR 3.3 or JuCR 7.8.
2. Case Schedule. The term "plaintiff" throughout these rules is intended to include a "petitioner" if that is the correct term for the party initiating the action.
If there is more than one plaintiff, it is the responsibility of each plaintiff to see that the Case Schedule is properly served upon each defendant. This does not mean that multiple copies of the Case Schedule must be served upon each defendant, only that every plaintiff will be held accountable for a failure to serve a copy of the Case Schedule upon a defendant. Multiple plaintiffs should decide among themselves who will serve the Case Schedule upon each defendant.
3. Attorneys and parties are expected to exercise good faith in complying with this rule – for example, by not listing a witness or exhibit that the attorney or party does not actually expect to use at trial.
4. A party wishing to present the testimony of a witness who has been listed by another party may not rely on the listing party to obtain the witness's attendance at trial. Instead, a subpoena should be served on the witness, unless the party is willing to risk the witness's failure to appear.
5. All witnesses must be listed, including those whom a party plans to call as a rebuttal witness. The only exception is for witnesses the need for whose testimony cannot reasonably be anticipated before trial; such witnesses obviously cannot be listed ahead of time.
6. The deadlines in the Case Schedule do not supplant the duty of parties to timely answer interrogatories requesting the names of individuals with knowledge of the facts or with expert opinions. Disclosure of such witnesses known to a party should not be delayed to the deadlines established by this rule.
[Adopted effective January 1, 1990; amended effective September 1, 1992; September 1, 1993; September 1, 1996; September 1, 2001; September 1, 2002; September 1, 2003; September 1, 2004; September 1, 2008; June 1, 2009; September 1, 2010; December 1, 2010; March 1, 2011; June 1, 2011; September 1, 2011; September 1, 2012; September 2, 2013.]