Cases meeting the statutory requirements as defined by RCW 7.06, are subject to and must proceed in arbitration. Any civil, non-domestic action, other than an appeal from a court of limited jurisdiction, is subject to arbitration under this statute if:
- the action is at issue in Superior court;
- the relief requested is for money damages only; and
- no claim exceeds the jurisdictional limit of $50,000, exclusive of attorney's fees, interest, or costs.
The Mandatory Arbitration Rules (see below) apply only to cases governed by RCW 7.06 and do not include arbitration by private agreement or under other statutes, except by stipulation under MAR 8.1.
Note that "at issue" means that all parties have been joined, and that all claims, counterclaims, and cross-claims have been answered.
The Statement of Arbitrability must by filed by the deadline shown on the case schedule or by any extended deadline granted by the court, including a show cause order. Thereafter, a case may be transferred to arbitration only by leave of the assigned judge.
A filing fee of $220 is required before the case will be transferred to the Arbitration Department.
Mandatory Arbitration Department
King County Superior Court
516 Third Avenue
Seattle WA 98104
Phone: (206) 477-2460
Fax: (206) 205-0545
8:30am - 12:00noon
1:00pm - 4:30
Pursuant to RCW 7.06.040, an arbitrator must be a member of the state bar association who has been admitted to the bar for a minimum of five years or who is a retired judge. They must have a minimum of 15% of their practice in any area where a case would be assigned.
Potential arbitrators may be added to the panel of available arbitrators by completing the required training and an Arbitrator’s Biography and Oath of Office Form. Completing the training is mandatory only if you have been on the arbitration panel for less than 5 years or have served as arbitrator for less than 5 arbitration hearings in King County.
If you are interested in serving as an arbitrator, please review the Arbitrator Complaint Process and complete an Arbitrator’s Biography and Oath of Office Form and return to the Mandatory Arbitration Department at email@example.com.
State legislation passed in 1979 and implemented in King County in 1980 introduced arbitration as a simpler, more economical way to obtain prompt, equitable resolution of disputes subject to the statute. Arbitration initially was mandatory, then became discretionary in 1983, and then became mandatory once more (for counties with populations over 150,000) in 2002. A filing fee of $120 was introduced in 2000 to help defray the costs of the program. This fee was raised to $220 in 2002. The jurisdictional limit originally was set at $10,000 but was raised to $15,000 in 1982, to $25,000 in 1985, to $35,000 in 1988, and finally to $50,000 in 2005. The population requirement also was reduced to 100,000 in 2005.