These rules govern the procedure in the superior court in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity with the exceptions stated in rule 81. They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 2005.]
There shall be one form of action to be known as "civil action."
No agreement or consent between parties or attorneys in respect to the proceedings in a cause, the purport of which is disputed, will be regarded by the court unless the same shall have been made and assented to in open court on the record, or entered in the minutes, or unless the evidence thereof shall be in writing and subscribed by the attorneys denying the same.
Except as provided in rule 4.1, a civil action is commenced by service of a copy of a summons together with a copy of a complaint, as provided in rule 4 or by filing a complaint. Upon written demand by any other party, the plaintiff instituting the action shall pay the filing fee and file the summons and complaint within 14 days after service of the demand or the service shall be void. An action shall not be deemed commenced for the purpose of tolling any statute of limitations except as provided in RCW 4.16.170.
(b) Tolling Statute. (Reserved. See RCW 4.16.170.)
(c) Obtaining Jurisdiction. (Reserved. See RCW 4.28.020.)
(1) The summons must be signed and dated by the plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney, and directed to the defendant requiring the defendant to defend the action and to serve a copy of the defendant's appearance or defense on the person whose name is signed on the summons.
(2) Unless a statute or rule provides for a different time requirement, the summons shall require the defendant to serve a copy of the defendant's defense within 20 days after the service of summons, exclusive of the day of service. If a statute or rule other than this rule provides for a different time to serve a defense, that time shall be stated in the summons.
(3) A notice of appearance, if made, shall be in writing, shall be signed by the defendant or the defendant's attorney, and shall be served upon the person whose name is signed on the summons. In condemnation cases a notice of appearance only shall be served on the person whose name is signed on the petition.
(4) No summons is necessary for a counterclaim or cross claim for any person who previously has been made a party. Counterclaims and cross claims against an existing party may be served as provided in rule 5.
(1) Contents. The summons for personal service shall contain: (i) the title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, and the names of the parties to the action, plaintiff and defendant; (ii) a direction to the defendant summoning the defendant to serve a copy of the defendant's defense within a time stated in the summons; (iii) a notice that, in case of failure so to do, judgment will be rendered against the defendant by default. It shall be signed and dated by the plaintiff, or the plaintiff's attorney, with the addition of the plaintiff's post office address, at which the papers in the action may be served on the plaintiff by mail.
(2) Form. Except in condemnation cases, and except as provided in rule 4.1, the summons for personal service in the state shall be substantially in the following form:
SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR (_______________) COUNTY ___________________________, ) Plaintiff, ) No. ______ v. ) ___________________________, ) SUMMONS (20 days) Defendant. ) TO THE DEFENDANT: A lawsuit has been started against you in the above entitled court by _______________, plaintiff. Plaintiff's claim is stated in the written complaint, a copy of which is served upon you with this summons. In order to defend against this lawsuit, you must respond to the complaint by stating your defense in writing, and by serving a copy upon the person signing this summons within 20 days after the service of this summons, excluding the day of service, or a default judgment may be entered against you without notice. A default judgment is one where plaintiff is entitled to what he asks for because you have not responded. If you serve a notice of appearance on the undersigned person, you are entitled to notice before a default judgment may be entered. You may demand that the plaintiff file this lawsuit with the court. If you do so, the demand must be in writing and must be served upon the person signing this summons. Within 14 days after you serve the demand, the plaintiff must file this lawsuit with the court, or the service on you of this summons and complaint will be void. If you wish to seek the advice of an attorney in this matter, you should do so promptly so that your written response, if any, may be served on time. This summons is issued pursuant to rule 4 of the Superior Court Civil Rules of the State of Washington. (signed) Print or Type Name ( ) Plaintiff ( ) Plaintiff's Attorney P. O. Address Dated Telephone Number
(c) By Whom Served.
Service of summons and process, except when service is by publication, shall be by the sheriff of the county wherein the service is made, or by the sheriff's deputy, or by any person over 18 years of age who is competent to be a witness in the action, other than a party. Subpoenas may be served as provided in rule 45.
(1) Of Summons and Complaint. The summons and complaint shall be served together.
(2) Personal in State. Personal service of summons and other process shall be as provided in RCW 4.28.080-.090, 23B.05.040, 23B.15.100, 46.64.040, and 48.05.200 and .210, and other statutes which provide for personal service.
(3) By Publication. Service of summons and other process by publication shall be as provided in RCW 4.28.100 and .110, 13.34.080, and 26.33.310, and other statutes which provide for service by publication.
(4) Alternative to Service by Publication. In circumstances justifying service by publication, if the serving party files an affidavit stating facts from which the court determines that service by mail is just as likely to give actual notice as service by publication, the court may order that service be made by any person over 18 years of age, who is competent to be a witness, other than a party, by mailing copies of the summons and other process to the party to be served at the party's last known address or any other address determined by the court to be appropriate. Two copies shall be mailed, postage prepaid, one by ordinary first class mail and the other by a form of mail requiring a signed receipt showing when and to whom it was delivered. The envelopes must bear the return address of the sender. The summons shall contain the date it was deposited in the mail and shall require the defendant to appear and answer the complaint within 90 days from the date of mailing. Service under this subsection has the same jurisdictional effect as service by publication.
(5) Appearance. A voluntary appearance of a defendant does not preclude the defendant's right to challenge lack of jurisdiction over the defendant's person, insufficiency of process, or insufficiency of service of process pursuant to rule 12(b).
(e) Other Service.
(1) Generally. Whenever a statute or an order of court thereunder provides for service of a summons, or of a notice, or of an order in lieu of summons upon a party not an inhabitant of or not found within the state, service may be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute or order, or if there is no provision prescribing the manner of service, in a manner prescribed by this rule.
(2) Personal Service Out of State--Generally. Although rule 4 does not generally apply to personal service out of state, the prescribed form of summons may, with the modifications required by statute, be used for that purpose. See RCW 4.28.180.
(3) Personal Service Out of State--Acts Submitting Person to Jurisdiction of Courts. (Reserved. See RCW 4.28.185.)
(4) Nonresident Motorists. (Reserved. See RCW 46.64.040.)
(f) Territorial Limits of Effective Service.
All process other than a subpoena may be served anywhere within the territorial limits of the state, and when a statute or these rules so provide beyond the territorial limits of the state. A subpoena may be served within the territorial limits as provided in rule 45 and RCW 5.56.010.
(g) Return of Service. Proof of service shall be as follows:
(1) If served by the sheriff or the sheriff's deputy, the return of the sheriff or the sheriff's deputy endorsed upon or attached to the summons;
(2) If served by any other person, the person's affidavit of service endorsed upon or attached to the summons; or
(3) If served by publication, the affidavit of the publisher, supervisor, principal clerk, or business manager of the newspaper showing the same, together with a printed copy of the summons as published; or
(4) If served as provided in subsection (d)(4), the affidavit of the serving party stating that copies of the summons and other process were sent by mail in accordance with the rule and directions by the court, and stating to whom, and when, the envelopes were mailed.
(5) The written acceptance or admission of the defendant, the defendant's agent or attorney;
(6) In case of personal service out of the state, the affidavit of the person making the service, sworn to before a notary public, with a seal attached, or before a clerk of a court of record.
(7) In case of service otherwise than by publication, the return, acceptance, admission, or affidavit must state the time, place, and manner of service. Failure to make proof of service does not affect the validity of the service.
(h) Amendment of Process.
At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems just, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended, unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result to the substantial rights of the party against whom the process issued.
(i) Alternative Provisions for Service in a Foreign Country.
(1) Manner. When a statute or rule authorizes service upon a party not an inhabitant of or found within the state, and service is to be effected upon the party in a foreign country, it is also sufficient if service of the summons and complaint is made: (A) in the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in an action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction; or (B) as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or a letter of request; or (C) upon an individual, by delivery to the party personally, and upon a corporation or partnership or association, by delivery to an officer, a managing or general agent; or (D) by any form of mail, requiring a signed receipt, to be addressed and mailed to the party to be served; or (E) pursuant to the means and terms of any applicable treaty or convention; or (F) by diplomatic or consular officers when authorized by the United States Department of State; or (G) as directed by order of the court. Service under (C) or (G) above may be made by any person who is not a party and is not less than 21 years of age or who is designated by order of the court or by the foreign court. The method for service of process in a foreign country must comply with applicable treaties, if any, and must be reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to give actual notice.
(2) Return. Proof of service may be made as prescribed by section (g) of this rule, or by the law of the foreign country, or by a method provided in any applicable treaty or convention, or by order of the court. When service is made pursuant to subsection (1)(D) of this section, proof of service shall include a receipt signed by the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee satisfactory to the court.
(j) Other Process.
These rules do not exclude the use of other forms of process authorized by law.
[Originally effective March 1, 1973; amended effective January 1, 1972; July 1, 1977; September 1, 1978; July 1, 1980; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1989; September 1, 1993; September 1, 1994; April 28, 2015.]
Actions authorized by RCW 26.09 shall be commenced by filing a petition or by service of a copy of a summons together with a copy of the petition on respondent as provided in rule 4. Upon written demand by the respondent, the petitioner shall pay the filing fee and file the summons and petition within 14 days after service of the demand or the service shall be void. No summons is necessary if both spouses sign a joint petition or if the respondent files a written joinder in the proceeding.
(b) Summons--Content, Form.
(1) Content. The summons shall contain the title of the action, the name of the county and the court in which the action is brought, the names of the parties, as petitioner and respondent, a direction to the respondent to serve a copy of his or her response on the person who has signed the summons, the time limit within which the copy of the response must be served, notice that failure to serve a copy of the response within the stated time may result in a judgment by default, the signature and address of the petitioner or petitioner's attorney, and the date.
(2) Form. The summons for personal service in the state in an action for dissolution of marriage shall be substantially in the form below. The summons for personal service in the state in any other action authorized by RCW 26.09 should be adapted from this form. The summons for personal service out of state should be adapted from this form and must include the modifications required by statute. See RCW 4.28.180.
SUPERIOR COURT OF WASHINGTON FOR (_______________) COUNTY In the Matter of the ) Marriage of ) No. ______ _______________, ) Petitioner, ) and ) _______________, ) SUMMONS FOR Respondent. ) DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE TO THE RESPONDENT: The petitioner has started an action in the above court requesting that your marriage be dissolved. Additional requests, if any, are stated in the petition, a copy of which is attached to this summons. You must respond to this summons and petition by serving a copy of your written response on the person signing this summons. If you do not serve your written response within 20 days after the date this summons was served on you, exclusive of the day of service, the court may enter an order of default against you, and at the end of 90 days after service and filing, the court may, without further notice to you, enter a decree dissolving your marriage and approving or providing for other relief requested in the petition. If you serve a notice of appearance on the undersigned person, you are entitled to notice before an order of default or a decree may be entered. You may demand that the petitioner file this action with the court. If you do so, the demand must be in writing and must be served upon the person signing this summons. Within 14 days after you serve the demand, the petitioner must file this action with the court, or the service on you of this summons and petition will be void. If you wish to seek the advice of an attorney in this matter, you should do so promptly so that your written response, if any, may be served on time. One method of serving a copy of your response on the petitioner is to send it by certified mail with return receipt requested. This summons is issued pursuant to rule 4.1 of the Superior Court Civil Rules of the State of Washington. Dated ________________________ (signed) __________________________ ___________________________________ Print or Type Name SERVE A COPY OF YOUR RESPONSE ON: ( ) Petitioner ( ) Petitioner's Attorney ________________________________________ Address ________________________________________ ________________________________________ (city) (zip)
(a) An attorney may undertake to provide limited representation in accordance with RPC 1.2 to a person involved in a court proceeding.
(b) Providing limited representation of a person under these rules shall not constitute an entry of appearance by the attorney for purposes of CR 5(b) and does not authorize or require the service or delivery of pleadings, papers or other documents upon the attorney under CR 5(b). Representation of the person by the attorney at any proceeding before a judge, magistrate, or other judicial officer on behalf of the person constitutes an entry of appearance pursuant to RCW 4.28.210 and CR 4(a)(3), except to the extent that a limited notice of appearance as provided for under CR 70.1 is filed and served prior to or simultaneous with the actual appearance. The attorney’s violation of this Rule may subject the attorney to the sanctions provided in CR 11(a).
[Effective October 29, 2002]
(a) Service--When Required.
Except as otherwise provided in these rules, every order required by its terms to be served, every pleading subsequent to the original complaint unless the court otherwise orders because of numerous defendants, every paper relating to discovery required to be served upon a party unless the court otherwise orders, every written motion other than one which may be heard ex parte, and every written notice, appearance, demand, offer of judgment, designation of record on appeal, and similar paper shall be served upon each of the parties. No service need be made on parties in default for failure to appear except that pleadings asserting new or additional claims for relief against them shall be served upon them in the manner provided for service of summons in rule 4. In an action begun by seizure of property, in which no person need be or is named as defendant, any service required to be made prior to the filing of an answer, claim, or appearance shall be made upon the person having custody or possession of the property at the time of its seizure.
(b) Service--How Made.
(1) On Attorney or Party. Whenever under these rules service is required or permitted to be made upon a party represented by an attorney the service shall be made upon the attorney unless service directly upon the party is ordered by the court. Service upon the attorney or upon a party shall be made by delivering a copy to the party or the party's attorney or by mailing it to the party's or the attorney's at his last known address or, if no address is known, filing with the clerk of the court an affidavit of attempt to serve. Delivery of a copy within this rule means: handing it to the attorney or to the party; or leaving it at the party's or the attorney's office with a clerk or other person in charge thereof; or, if there is no one in charge, leaving it in a conspicuous place therein; or, if the office is closed or the person to be served has no office, leaving it at the person's dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. Service on an attorney is subject to the restrictions in subsections (b)(4) and (5) of this rule and in rule 71, Withdrawal by Attorneys.
(2) Service by Mail. (A) How made. If service is made by mail, the papers shall be deposited in the post office addressed to the person on whom they are being served, with the postage prepaid. The service shall be deemed complete upon the third day following the day upon which they are placed in the mail, unless the third day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, in which event service shall be deemed complete on the first day other than a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, following the third day. (B) Proof of service by mail. Proof of service of all papers permitted to be mailed may be by written acknowledgment of service, by affidavit of the person who mailed the papers, or by certificate of an attorney. The certificate of an attorney may be in form substantially as follows: CERTIFICATE I certify that I mailed a copy of the foregoing _______________ to (here name the person, first name then last name), (plaintiff's) attorney, at (office address or residence), and to (here name the person, first name then last name), an additional (defendant's) attorney (or attorneys) at (office address or residence), postage prepaid, on (date). ___________________________________ (here name the person, first name then last name) Attorney for (Defendant) here name the person, first name then last name
(3) Service on Nonresidents. Where a plaintiff or defendant who has appeared resides outside the state and has no attorney in the action, the service may be made by mail if the party's residence is known; if not known, on the clerk of the court for the party. Where a party, whether resident or nonresident, has an attorney in the action, the service of papers shall be upon the attorney instead of the party. If the attorney does not have an office within the state or no longer resides in the state, the service may be upon the attorney personally either within or without the state, or by mail to the attorney at either the attorney's place of residence or office, if either is known, and if not known, then by mail upon the party, if the attorney's residence is known, whether within or without the state. If the residence of neither the party nor the party's attorney, nor the office address of the attorney is known, an affidavit of the attempt to serve shall be filed with the clerk of the court.
(4) Service on Attorney Restricted After Final Judgment. A party, rather than the party's attorney, must be served if the final judgment or decree has been entered and the time for filing an appeal has expired, or if an appeal has been taken (i) after the final judgment or decree upon remand has been entered or (ii) after the mandate has been issued affirming the judgment or decree or disposing of the case in a manner calling for no further action by the trial court. This rule is subject to the exceptions defined in subsection (b)(6).
(5) Required Notice to Party. If a party is served under circumstances described in subsection (b)(4), the paper shall (i) include a notice to the party of the right to file written opposition or a response, the time within which such opposition or response must be filed, and the place where it must be filed; (ii) state that failure to respond may result in the requested relief being granted; and (iii) state that the paper has not been served on that party's lawyer.
(6) Exceptions. An attorney may be served notwithstanding subsection (b)(4) of this rule if (i) fewer than 63 days have elapsed since the filing of any paper or the issuance of any process in the action or proceeding or (ii) if the attorney has filed a notice of continuing representation.
(7) Service by Other Means. Service under this rule may be made by delivering a copy by any other means, including facsimile or electronic means, consented to in writing by the person served or as authorized under local court rule. Service by facsimile or electronic means is complete on transmission when made prior to 5:00 p.m. on a judicial day. Service made on a Saturday, Sunday, holiday or after 5:00 p.m. on any other day shall be deemed complete at 9:00 a.m. on the first judicial day thereafter; Service by other consented means is complete when the person making service delivers the copy to the agency designated to make delivery. Service under this subsection is not effective if the party making service learns that the attempted service did not reach the person to be served.
(c) Service--Numerous Defendants.
In any action in which there are unusually large numbers of defendants, the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may order that service of the pleadings of the defendants and replies thereto need not be made as between the defendants and that any cross claim, counterclaim, or matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense contained therein shall be deemed to be denied or avoided by all other parties and that the filing of any such pleading and service thereof upon the plaintiff constitutes due notice of it to the parties. A copy of every such order shall be served upon the parties in such manner and form as the court directs.
(1) Time. Complaints shall be filed as provided in rule 3(a). Except as provided for discovery materials in section (i) of this rule and for documents accompanying a notice under ER 904(b), all pleadings and other papers after the complaint required to be served upon a party shall be filed with the court either before service or promptly thereafter.
(2) Sanctions. The effect of failing to file a complaint is governed by rule 3. If a party fails to file any other pleading or paper under this rule, the court upon 5 days' notice of motion for sanctions may dismiss the action or strike the pleading or other paper and grant judgment against the defaulting party for costs and terms including a reasonable attorney fee unless good cause is shown for, or justice requires, the granting of an extension of time.
(3) Limitation. No sanction shall be imposed if prior to the hearing the pleading or paper other than the complaint is filed and the moving attorney is notified of the filing before the attorney leaves the office for the hearing.
(4) Nonpayment. No further action shall be taken in the pending action and no subsequent pleading or other paper shall be filed until the judgment is paid. No subsequent action shall be commenced upon the same subject matter until the judgment has been paid.
(e) Filing With the Court Defined.
The filing of pleadings and other papers with the court as required by these rules shall be made by filing them with the clerk of the court, except that the judge may permit the papers to be filed with him or her, in which event the judge shall note thereon the filing date and forthwith transmit them to the office of the clerk. Papers may be filed by facsimile transmission if permitted elsewhere in these or other rules of court, or if authorized by the clerk of the receiving court. The clerk may refuse to accept for filing any paper presented for that purpose because it is not presented in proper form as required by these rules or any local rules or practices.
(f) Other Methods of Service.
Service of all papers other than the summons and other process may also be made as authorized by statute.
(g) Certified Mail.
Whenever the use of "registered" mail is authorized by statutes relating to judicial proceedings or by rule of court, "certified" mail, with return receipt requested, may be used.
(h) Service of Papers by Telegraph. [Rescinded.]
(i) Discovery Material Not To Be Filed; Exceptions.
Depositions upon oral examinations, depositions upon written questions, interrogatories and responses thereto, requests for production or inspection and responses thereto, requests for admission and responses thereto, and other discovery requests and responses thereto shall not be filed with the court unless for use in a proceeding or trial or on order of the court.
(j) Filing by Facsimile. (Reserved. See GR 17--Facsimile Transmission.)
[Originally effective July 1, 1976; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1978; September 1, 1983; September 1, 1988; September 1, 1993; September 17, 1993; October 29, 1993; September 1, 2005; December 9, 2014; April 28, 2015.]
In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any superior court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included. The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, a Sunday nor a legal holiday. Legal holidays are prescribed in RCW 1.16.050. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.
When by these rules or by a notice given thereunder or by order of court an act is required or allowed to be done at or within a specified time, the court for cause shown may at any time in its discretion:
(1) with or without motion or notice, order the period enlarged if request therefore is made before the expiration of the period originally prescribed or as extended by a previous order; or
(2) upon motion made after the expiration of the specified period, permit the act to be done where the failure to act was the result of excusable neglect; but it may not extend the time for taking any action under rules 50(b), 52(b), 59(b), 59(d), and 60(b).
(c) Proceeding Not To Fail for Want of Judge or Session of Court.
No proceeding in a court of justice in any action, suit, or proceeding pending therein, is affected by a vacancy in the office of any or all of the judges or by the failure of a session of the court.
(d) For Motions--Affidavits.
A written motion, other than one which may be heard ex parte, and notice of the hearing thereof shall be served not later than 5 days before the time specified for the hearing, unless a different period is fixed by these rules or by order of the court. Such an order may for cause shown be made on ex parte application. When a motion is supported by affidavit, the affidavit shall be served with the motion; and, except as otherwise provided in rule 59 (c), opposing affidavits may be served not later than 1 day before the hearing, unless the court permits them to be served at some other time.
(e) Additional Time After Service by Mail.
Whenever a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some proceedings within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper upon the party and the notice or paper is served upon the party by mail, 3 days shall be added to the prescribed period.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
There shall be a complaint and an answer; a reply to a counterclaim denominated as such; an answer to a cross claim, if the answer contains a cross claim; a third party complaint, if a person who was not an original party is summoned under the provisions of rule 14; and a third party answer, if a third party complaint is served. No other pleading shall be allowed, except that the court may order a reply to an answer or a third party answer.
(b) Motions and Other Papers.
(1) How Made. An application to the court for an order shall be by motion which, unless made during a hearing or trial, shall be made in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and shall set forth the relief or order sought. The requirement of writing is fulfilled if the motion is stated in a written notice of the hearing of the motion.
(2) Form. The rules applicable to captions and other matters of form of pleadings apply to all motions and other papers provided for by these rules.
(3) Signing. All motions shall be signed in accordance with rule 11.
(4) Identification of Evidence. When a motion is supported by affidavits or other papers, it shall specify the papers to be used by the moving party.
(5) Telephonic Argument. Oral argument on civil motions, including family law motions, may be heard by conference telephone call in the discretion of the court. The expense of the call shall be shared equally by the parties unless the court directs otherwise in the ruling or decision on the motion.
(c) Demurrers, Pleas, etc., Abolished. Demurrers, pleas and exceptions for insufficiency of a pleading shall not be used.
(d) Security for Costs. (Reserved. See RCW 4.84.210 et seq.)
(a) Claims for Relief.
A pleading which sets forth a claim for relief, whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim, shall contain (1) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief and (2) a demand for judgment for the relief to which the pleader deems the pleader is entitled. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded.
(b) Defenses; Form of Denials.
A party shall state in short and plain terms the defenses to each claim asserted and shall admit or deny the averments upon which the adverse party relies. If a party is without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of an averment, the party shall so state and this has the effect of a denial. Denials shall fairly meet the substance of the averments denied. When a pleader intends in good faith to deny only a part or a qualification of an averment, the pleader shall specify so much of it as is true and material and shall deny only the remainder. Unless the pleader intends in good faith to controvert all the averments of the preceding pleading, the pleader may make his denials as specific denials of designated averments or paragraphs, or the pleader may generally deny all the averments except such designated averments or paragraphs as the pleader expressly admits; but, when the pleader does so intend to controvert all its averments, the pleader may do so by general denial subject to the obligations set forth in rule 11.
(c) Affirmative Defenses.
In pleading to a preceding pleading, a party shall set forth affirmatively accord and satisfaction, arbitration and award, assumption of risk, contributory negligence, discharge in bankruptcy, duress, estoppel, failure of consideration, fault of a nonparty, fraud, illegality, injury by fellow servant, laches, license, payment, release, res judicata, statute of frauds, statute of limitation, waiver, and any other matter constituting an avoidance or affirmative defense. When a party has mistakenly designated a defense as a counterclaim or a counterclaim as a defense, the court on terms, if justice so requires, shall treat the pleading as if there had been a proper designation.
(d) Effect of Failure To Deny.
Averments in a pleading to which a responsive pleading is required, other than those as to the amount of damage, are admitted when not denied in the responsive pleading. Averments in a pleading to which no responsive pleading is required or permitted shall be taken as denied or avoided.
(e) Pleading To Be Concise and Direct; Consistency.
(1) Each averment of a pleading shall be simple, concise, and direct. No technical forms of pleadings or motions are required.
(2) A party may set forth two or more statements of a claim or defense alternately or hypothetically, either in one count or defense or in separate counts or defenses. When two or more statements are made in the alternative and one of them if made independently would be sufficient, the pleading is not made insufficient by the insufficiency of one or more of the alternative statements. A party may also state as many separate claims or defenses as the party has regardless of consistency and whether based on legal or on equitable grounds or on both. All statements shall be made subject to the obligations set forth in rule 11.
(f) Construction of Pleadings.
All pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice. The adoption of this rule shall not be considered an adoption or approval of the forms of pleading in the Appendix of Forms approved in rule 84, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
[Adopted effective March 1, 1974; amended effective September 18, 1992; April 28, 2015.]
It is not necessary to aver the capacity of a party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity or the legal existence of an organized association of persons that is made a party. When a party desires to raise an issue as to the legal existence of any party or the capacity of any party to sue or be sued or the authority of a party to sue or be sued in a representative capacity, he shall do so by specific negative averment which shall include such supporting particulars as are peculiarly within the pleaders knowledge.
(b) Fraud, Mistake, Condition of the Mind.
In all averments of fraud or mistake, the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake shall be stated with particularity. Malice, intent, knowledge, and other condition of mind of a person may be averred generally.
(c) Condition Precedent.
In pleading the performance or occurrence of conditions precedent, it is sufficient to aver generally that all conditions precedent have been performed or have occurred. A denial of performance or occurrence shall be made specifically and with particularity.
(d) Official Document or Act.
In pleading an official document or official act, it is sufficient to aver that the document was issued or the act done in compliance with law.
In pleading a judgment or decision of a domestic or foreign court, judicial or quasi-judicial tribunal, or of a board or officer, it is sufficient to aver the judgment or decision without setting forth matter showing jurisdiction to render it.
(f) Time and Place.
For the purpose of testing the sufficiency of a pleading, averments of time and place are material and shall be considered like all other averments of material matter.
(g) Special Damage.
When items of special damage are claimed, they shall be specifically stated.
(h) Pleading Existence of City or Town.
In pleading the existence of any city or town in this state, it shall be sufficient to state in such pleading that the same is an existing city or town, incorporated or organized under the laws of Washington.
(i) Pleading Ordinance.
In pleading any ordinance of a county, city or town in this state it shall be sufficient to state the title of such ordinance and the date of its passage, whereupon the court shall take judicial notice of the existence of such ordinance and the tenor and effect thereof.
(j) Pleading Private Statutes. In pleading a private statute, or a right derived therefrom, it shall be sufficient to refer to such statute by its title, and the day of its passage, and the court shall thereupon take judicial notice thereof.
(k) Foreign Law.
(1) United States Jurisdictions. A party who intends to raise an issue concerning the law of a state, territory, or other jurisdiction of the United States shall set forth in the party's pleading facts which show that the law of another United States jurisdiction may be applicable, or shall state in the party's pleading or serve other reasonable written notice that the law of another United States jurisdiction may be relied upon.
(2) Other Jurisdictions. A party who intends to raise an issue concerning the law of a jurisdiction other than a state, territory or other jurisdiction of the United States shall give notice in the pleading of the foreign jurisdiction whose law the party contends may be applicable to the facts of the case. The following matters need not be pleaded, but may be discovered pursuant to rule 26: (i) the party's contentions as to which issues of law are governed by the foreign law; (ii) the substance of such foreign law; (iii) the expected effect of such foreign law on the legal issues and on the outcome of the case being tried; (iv) the specific foreign statutes, regulations, judicial and administrative decisions, documents and other nonprivileged written materials and translations thereof upon which the party intends to rely.
(3) Application of Foreign Law. Issues of foreign law may be simplified pursuant to rule 16 and determined in advance of trial pursuant to rule 56.
(4) Failure To Plead Foreign Law. If no party has requested in pleadings application of the law of a jurisdiction other than a state, territory or other jurisdiction of the United States, the court at time of trial shall apply the law of the State of Washington unless such application would result in manifest injustice.
(l) Burden of Proof.
Nothing in this rule shall be construed to shift or alter the burden of proof.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1983; September 1, 1985; April 28, 2015.]
Every pleading shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the court, the title of the action, the file number if known to the person signing it, and an identification as to the nature of the pleading or other paper.
(1) Names of Parties. In the complaint the title of the action shall include the names of all the parties, but in other pleadings it is sufficient to state the name of the first party on each side with an appropriate indication of other parties.
(2) Unknown Names. When the plaintiff is ignorant of the name of the defendant, it shall be so stated in the plaintiff's pleading, and such defendant may be designated in any pleading or proceeding by any name, and when the defendant's true name shall be discovered, the pleading or proceeding may be amended accordingly.
(3) Unknown Heirs. When the heirs of any deceased person are proper parties defendant to any action relating to real property in this state, and when the names and residences of such heirs are unknown, such heirs may be proceeded against under the name and title of the "unknown heirs" of the deceased. In any action brought to determine any adverse claim, estate, lien, or interest in real property, or to quiet title to real property, unknown parties shall be designated as "also all other persons or parties unknown claiming any right, title, estate, lien, or interest in the real estate described in the complaint herein."
(b) Paragraphs; Separate Statements.
All averments of claim or defense shall be made in numbered paragraphs, the contents of each of which shall be limited as far as practicable to a statement of a single set of circumstances; and a paragraph may be referred to by number in all succeeding pleadings. Each claim founded upon a separate transaction or occurrence, and each defense other than denials, shall be stated in a separate count or defense whenever a separation facilitates the clear presentation of the matters set forth.
(c) Adoption by Reference; Exhibits.
Statements in a pleading may be adopted by reference in a different part of the same pleading or in another pleading or in any motion. A copy of any written instrument which is an exhibit to a pleading is a part thereof for all purposes.
(d) Format Requirements. [Reserved. See GR 14.]
(e) Format Recommendations.
It is recommended that all pleadings and other papers include or provide for the following:
(1) Service and Filing. Space should be left at the top of the first page to provide on the right half space for the clerk's filing stamp, and space at the left half for acknowledging the receipt of copies.
(2) Title. All pleadings under the space under the docket number should contain a title indicating their purpose and party presenting them. For example: USE DO NOT USE
(3) Bottom Notation. At the left side of the bottom of each page of all pleadings and other papers an abbreviated name of the pleading or other paper should be repeated, followed by the page number. At the right side of the bottom of the first page of each pleading or other paper the name, mailing address and telephone number of the attorney or firm preparing the paper should be printed or typed.
(4) Typed Names. The names of all persons signing a pleading or other paper should be typed under their signatures.
(5) Headings and Subheadings. Headings and subheadings should be used for all paragraphs which shall be numbered with roman and/or arabic numerals.
(6) Numbered Paper. Use numbered paper.
(f) Personal [Identifiers] Prohibited. [Reserved. See GR 31(e).]
(g) Unpublished Opinions. [Reserved. See GR 14.1.]
[Originally effective July 1, 1976; amended effective September 1, 1990; September 1, 2007; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Every pleading, motion, and legal memorandum of a party represented by an attorney shall be dated and signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, whose address and Washington State Bar Association membership number shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign and date the party's pleading, motion, or legal memorandum and state the party's address. Petitions for dissolution of marriage, separation, declarations concerning the validity of a marriage, custody, and modification of decrees issued as a result of any of the foregoing petitions shall be verified. Other pleadings need not, but may be, verified or accompanied by affidavit. The signature of a party or of an attorney constitutes a certificate by the party or attorney that the party or attorney has read the pleading, motion, or legal memorandum, and that to the best of the party's or attorney's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is well grounded in fact;
(2) is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;
(3) it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief. If a pleading, motion, or legal memorandum is not signed, it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the pleader or movant. If a pleading, motion, or legal memorandum is signed in violation of this rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, may impose upon the person who signed it, a represented party, or both, an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay to the other party or parties the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the filing of the pleading, motion, or legal memorandum, including a reasonable attorney fee.
(b) In helping to draft a pleading, motion or document filed by the otherwise self-represented person, the attorney certifies that the attorney has read the pleading, motion, or legal memorandum, and that to the best of the attorney's knowledge, information, and belief, formed after an inquiry reasonable under the circumstances:
(1) it is well grounded in fact;
(2) it is warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law or the establishment of new law;
(3) it is not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and
(4) the denials of factual contentions are warranted on the evidence or, if specifically so identified, are reasonably based on a lack of information or belief. The attorney in providing such drafting assistance may rely on the otherwise self-represented person's representation of facts, unless the attorney has reason to believe that such representations are false or materially insufficient, in which instance the attorney shall make an independent reasonable inquiry into the facts.
[Originally effective March 1, 1974; amended effective January 1, 1974; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1990; September 17, 1993; October 29, 2002; September 1, 2005.]
(a) When Presented.
A defendant shall serve an answer within the following periods:
(1) Within 20 days, exclusive of the day of service, after the service of the summons and complaint upon the defendant pursuant to rule 4;
(2) Within 60 days from the date of the first publication of the summons if the summons is served by publication in accordance with rule 4(d)(3);
(3) Within 60 days after the service of the summons upon the defendant if the summons is served upon the defendant personally out of the state in accordance with RCW 4.28.180 and 4.28.185 or on the Secretary of State as provided by RCW 46.64.040. (4) Within the period fixed by any other applicable statutes or rules. A party served with a pleading stating a cross claim against another party shall serve an answer thereto within 20 days after the service upon that other party. The plaintiff shall serve a reply to a counterclaim in the answer within 20 days after service of the answer or, if a reply is ordered by the court, within 20 days after service of the order, unless the order otherwise directs. The service of a motion permitted under this rule alters these periods of time as follows, unless a different time is fixed by order of the court. (A) If the court denies the motion or postpones its disposition until the trial on the merits, the responsive pleading shall be served within 10 days after notice of the courts action. (B) If the court grants a motion for a more definite statement, the responsive pleading shall be served within 10 days after the service of the more definite statement.
(b) How Presented.
Every defense, in law or fact, to a claim for relief in any pleading, whether a claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim, shall be asserted in the responsive pleading thereto if one is required, except that the following defenses may at the option of the pleader be made by motion:
(1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter;
(2) lack of jurisdiction over the person;
(3) improper venue;
(4) insufficiency of process;
(5) insufficiency of service of process;
(6) failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted;
(7) failure to join a party under rule 19. A motion making any of these defenses shall be made before pleading if a further pleading is permitted. No defense or objection is waived by being joined with one or more other defenses or objections in a responsive pleading or motion. If a pleading sets forth a claim for relief to which the adverse party is not required to serve a responsive pleading, the pleader may assert at the trial any defense in law or fact to that claim for relief. If, on a motion asserting the defense numbered (6) to dismiss for failure of the pleading to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, matters outside the pleading are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by rule 56.
(c) Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings.
After the pleadings are closed but within such time as not to delay the trial, any party may move for judgment on the pleadings. If, on a motion for judgment on the pleadings, matters outside the pleadings are presented to and not excluded by the court, the motion shall be treated as one for summary judgment and disposed of as provided in rule 56, and all parties shall be given reasonable opportunity to present all material made pertinent to such a motion by rule 56.
(d) Preliminary Hearings.
The defenses specifically enumerated (1)-(7) in section (b) of this rule, whether made in a pleading or by motion, and the motion for judgment mentioned in section (c) of this rule shall be heard and determined before trial on application of any party, unless the court orders that the hearing and determination thereof be deferred until the trial.
(e) Motion for More Definite Statement.
If a pleading to which a responsive pleading is permitted is so vague or ambiguous that a party cannot reasonably be required to frame a responsive pleading, or if more particularity in that pleading will further the efficient economical disposition of the action, the party may move for a more definite statement before interposing a responsive pleading. The motion shall point out the defects complained of and the details desired. If the motion is granted and the order of the court is not obeyed within 10 days after the notice of the order or within such other time as the court may fix, the court may strike the pleading to which the motion was directed or make such order as it deems just.
(f) Motion To Strike.
Upon motion made by a party before responding to a pleading or, if no responsive pleading is permitted by these rules, upon motion made by a party within 20 days after the service of the pleading upon the party or upon the courts own initiative at any time, the court may order stricken from any pleading any insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.
(g) Consolidation of Defenses in Motion.
A party who makes a motion under this rule may join with it any other motions herein provided for and then available to the party. If a party makes a motion under this rule but omits therefrom any defense or objection then available to the party which this rule permits to be raised by motion, the party shall not thereafter make a motion based on the defense or objection so omitted, except a motion as provided in subsection (h)(2) hereof on any of the grounds there stated.
(h) Waiver or Preservation of Certain Defenses.
(1) A defense of lack of jurisdiction over the person, improper venue, insufficiency of process, or insufficiency of service of process is waived; (A) if omitted from a motion in the circumstances described in section (g); or (B) if it is neither made by motion under this rule nor included in a responsive pleading or an amendment thereof permitted by rule 15(a) to be made as a matter of course.
(2) A defense of failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, a defense of failure to join a party indispensable under rule 19, and an objection of failure to state a legal defense to a claim may be made in any pleading permitted or ordered under rule 7(a), or by motion for judgment on the pleadings, or at the trial on the merits.
(3) Whenever it appears by suggestion of the parties or otherwise that the court lacks jurisdiction of the subject matter, the court shall dismiss the action. (i) Nonparty at Fault. Whenever a defendant or a third party defendant intends to claim for purposes of RCW 4.22.070(1) that a nonparty is at fault, such claim is an affirmative defense which shall be affirmatively pleaded by the party making the claim. The identity of any nonparty claimed to be at fault, if known to the party making the claim, shall also be affirmatively pleaded.
[Adopted effective March 1, 1974; amended effective January 1, 1972; January 1, 1980; September 18, 1992; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Compulsory Counterclaims.
A pleading shall state as a counterclaim any claim which at the time of serving the pleading the pleader has against any opposing party, if it arises out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim and does not require for its adjudication the presence of third parties of whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction. But the pleader need not state the claim if; (1) at the time the action was commenced the claim was the subject of another pending action; or (2) the opposing party brought suit upon the pleader's claim by attachment or other process by which the court did not acquire jurisdiction to render a personal judgment on that claim, and the pleader is not stating any counterclaim under this rule.
(b) Permissive Counterclaims.
A pleading may state as a counterclaim any claim against an opposing party not arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the opposing party's claim.
(c) Counterclaim Exceeding Opposing Claim.
A counterclaim may or may not diminish or defeat the recovery sought by the opposing party. It may claim relief exceeding in amount or different in kind from that sought in the pleading of the opposing party.
(d) Counterclaim Against the State.
These rules shall not be construed to enlarge beyond the limits now fixed by law the right to assert counterclaims, or to claim credits against the State or an officer or agency thereof.
(e) Counterclaim Maturing or Acquired After Pleading.
A claim which either matured or was acquired by the pleader after serving the pleading may, with the permission of the court, be presented as a counterclaim by supplemental pleading.
(f) Omitted Counterclaim.
When a pleader fails to set up a counterclaim through oversight, inadvertence, or excusable neglect, or when justice requires, the pleader may by leave of court set up the counterclaim by amendment.
(g) Cross Claim Against Co-party.
A pleading may state as a cross claim any claim by one party against a co-party arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter either of the original action or of a counterclaim therein or relating to any property that is the subject matter of the original action. Such cross claim may include a claim that the party against whom it is asserted is or may be liable to the cross claimant for all or part of a claim asserted in the action against the cross claimant.
(h) Joinder of Additional Parties.
Persons other than those made parties to the original action may be made parties to a counterclaim or cross claim in accordance with the provisions of rules 19 and 20.
(i) Separate Trials; Separate Judgment.
If the court orders separate trials as provided in rule 42(b), judgment on a counterclaim or cross claim may be rendered in accordance with the terms of rule 54(b), even if the claims of the opposing party have been dismissed or otherwise disposed of.
(j) Setoff Against Assignee.
The defendant in a civil action upon a contract express or implied, other than upon a negotiable promissory note or bill of exchange, negotiated in good faith and without notice before due, which has been assigned to the plaintiff, may set off a demand of a like nature existing against the person to whom the defendant was originally liable, or any assignee prior to the plaintiff, of such contract, provided such demand existed at the time of the assignment thereof, and belonging to the defendant in good faith, before notice of such assignment, and was such a demand as might have been set off against such person to whom he was originally liable, or such assignee while the contract belonged to defendant.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) When Defendant May Bring in Third Party.
At any time after commencement of the action a defending party, as a third party plaintiff, may cause a summons and complaint to be served upon a person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the defending party for all or part of the plaintiff's claim against the defending party. The third party plaintiff need not obtain leave to make the service if the third party plaintiff files the third party complaint not later than 10 days after the third party plaintiff serves an original answer. Otherwise the third party plaintiff must obtain leave on motion upon notice to all parties to the action. The person served with the summons and third party complaint, hereinafter called the third party defendant, shall make defenses to the third party plaintiff's claim as provided in rule 12 and counterclaims against the third party plaintiff and cross claims against other third party defendants as provided in rule 13. The third party defendant may assert against the plaintiff any defenses which the third party plaintiff has to the plaintiff's claim. The third party defendant may also assert any claim against the plaintiff arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third party plaintiff. The plaintiff may assert any claim against the third party defendant arising out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff's claim against the third party plaintiff, and the third party defendant thereupon shall assert defenses as provided in rule 12 and counterclaims and cross claims as provided in rule 13. Any party may move to strike the third party claim, or for its severance or separate trial. A third party defendant may proceed under this rule against any person not a party to the action who is or may be liable to the third party defendant for all or part of the claim made in the action against the third party defendant.
(b) When Plaintiff May Bring in Third Party.
When a counterclaim is asserted against a plaintiff, the plaintiff may cause a third party to be brought in under circumstances which under this rule would entitle a defendant to do so.
(c) Tort Cases.
This rule shall not be applied in tort cases, to permit the joinder of a liability or indemnity insurance company, unless such company is by statute or contract directly liable to the person injured or damaged.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
A party may amend the party's pleading once as a matter of course at any time before a responsive pleading is served or, if the pleading is one to which no responsive pleading is permitted and the action has not been placed upon the trial calendar, the party may so amend it at any time within 20 days after it is served. Otherwise, a party may amend the party's pleading only by leave of court or by written consent of the adverse party; and leave shall be freely given when justice so requires. If a party moves to amend a pleading, a copy of the proposed amended pleading, denominated "proposed" and unsigned, shall be attached to the motion. If a motion to amend is granted, the moving party shall thereafter file the amended pleading and, pursuant to rule 5, serve a copy thereof on all other parties. A party shall plead in response to an amended pleading within the time remaining for response to the original pleading or within 10 days after service of the amended pleading, whichever period may be the longer, unless the court otherwise orders.
(b) Amendments To Conform to the Evidence.
When issues not raised by the pleadings are tried by express or implied consent of the parties, they shall be treated in all respects as if they had been raised in the pleadings. Such amendment of the pleadings as may be necessary to cause them to conform to the evidence and to raise these issues may be made upon motion of any party at any time, even after judgment; but failure so to amend does not affect the result of the trial of these issues. If evidence is objected to at the trial on the ground that it is not within the issues made by the pleadings, the court may allow the pleadings to be amended and shall do so freely when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the objecting party fails to satisfy the court that the admission of such evidence would prejudice him in maintaining his action or defense upon the merits. The court may grant a continuance to enable the objecting party to meet such evidence.
(c) Relation Back of Amendments.
Whenever the claim or defense asserted in the amended pleading arose out of the conduct, transaction, or occurrence set forth or attempted to be set forth in the original pleading, the amendment relates back to the date of the original pleading. An amendment changing the party against whom a claim is asserted relates back if the foregoing provision is satisfied and, within the period provided by law for commencing the action against the original party, the party to be brought in by amendment (1) has received such notice of the institution of the action that the new party will not be prejudiced in maintaining her or his defense on the merits, and (2) knew or should have known that, but for a mistake concerning the identity of the proper party, the action would have been brought against the new party.
(d) Supplemental Pleadings.
Upon motion of a party the court may, upon reasonable notice and upon such terms as are just, permit the party to serve a supplemental pleading setting forth transactions or occurrences or events which have happened since the date of the pleading sought to be supplemented. Permission may be granted even though the original pleading is defective in its statement of a claim for relief or defense. If the court deems it advisable that the adverse party plead to the supplemental pleading, it shall so order, specifying the time therefor.
No amendments shall be made to any pleading by erasing or adding words to the original on file, without first obtaining leave of court.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 2005; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Hearing Matters Considered.
By order, or on the motion of any party, the court may in its discretion direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it for a conference to consider: (1) The simplification of the issues; (2) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings; (3) The possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof; (4) The limitation of the number of expert witnesses; (5) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition of the action.
(b) Pretrial Order.
The court shall make an order which recites the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered, and which limits the issues for trial to those not disposed of by admissions or agreements of counsel; and such order when entered controls the subsequent course of the action, unless modified at the trial to prevent manifest injustice. The court in its discretion may establish by rule a pretrial calendar on which actions may be placed for consideration as above provided and may either confine the calendar to jury actions or to nonjury actions or extend it to all actions.
(-) Designation of Parties. The party commencing the action shall be known as the plaintiff, and the opposite party as the defendant.
(a) Real Party in Interest.
Every action shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest. An executor, administrator, guardian, bailee, trustee of an express trust, a party with whom or in whose name a contract has been made for the benefit of another, or a party authorized by statute may sue in the party's own name without joining the party for whose benefit the action is brought. No action shall be dismissed on the ground that it is not prosecuted in the name of the real party in interest until a reasonable time has been allowed after objection for ratification of commencement of the action by, or joinder or substitution of, the real party in interest; and such ratification, joinder, or substitution shall have the same effect as if the action had been commenced in the name of the real party in interest.
(b) Capacity To Sue or Be Sued. (Reserved.)
(c) Infants, or Incompetent Persons.
(1) Scope. Generally this rule does not affect statutes and rules concerning the capacity of infants and incompetents to sue or be sued.
(2) Guardian ad Litem for Infant. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.050.)
(3) Guardian ad Litem for Incompetents. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.060.)
(d) Actions on Assigned Choices in Action. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.080.)
(e) Public Corporations.
(1) Actions by. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.110.)
(2) Actions Against. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.120.)
(f) Tort Actions Against State. (Reserved. See RCW 4.92.)
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Joinder of Claims.
A party asserting a claim to relief as an original claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim, may join, either as independent or as alternate claims, as many claims, legal, equitable, or maritime, as the party has against an opposing party.
(b) Joinder of Remedies; Fraudulent Conveyances.
Whenever a claim is one heretofore cognizable only after another claim has been prosecuted to a conclusion, the two claims may be joined in a single action; but the court shall grant relief in that action only in accordance with the relative substantive rights of the parties. In particular, a plaintiff may state a claim for money and a claim to have set aside a conveyance fraudulent as to the plaintiff, without first having obtained a judgment establishing the claim for money.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Persons To Be Joined if Feasible.
A person who is subject to service of process and whose joinder will not deprive the court of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action shall be joined as a party in the action if (1) in the person's absence complete relief cannot be accorded among those already parties, or (2) the person claims an interest relating to the subject of the action and is so situated that the disposition of the action in the person's absence may (A) as a practical matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect that interest or (B) leave any of the persons already parties subject to a substantial risk of incurring double, multiple, or otherwise inconsistent obligations by reason of the person's claimed interest. If the person has not been so joined, the court shall order that the person be made a party. If the person should join as a plaintiff but refuses to do so, the person may be made a defendant, or, in a proper case, an involuntary plaintiff. If the joined party objects to venue and the person's joinder would render the venue of the action improper, the joined party shall be dismissed from the action.
(b) Determination by Court Whenever Joinder Not Feasible.
If a person joinable under (1) or (2) of section (a) hereof cannot be made a party, the court shall determine whether in equity and good conscience the action should proceed among the parties before it, or should be dismissed, the absent person being thus regarded as indispensable. The factors to be considered by the court include:
(1) to what extent a judgment rendered in the persons absence might be prejudicial to the person or those already parties;
(2) the extent to which, by protective provisions in the judgment, by the shaping of relief, or other measures, the prejudice can be lessened or avoided;
(3) whether a judgment rendered in the persons absence will be adequate;
(4) whether the plaintiff will have an adequate remedy if the action is dismissed for nonjoinder.
(c) Pleading Reasons for Nonjoinder.
A pleading asserting a claim for relief shall state the names, if known to the pleader, of any persons joinable under (1) or (2) of section (a) hereof who are not joined, and the reasons why they are not joined.
(d) Exception of Class Actions.
This rule is subject to the provisions of rule 23.
(e) Spouse or Domestic Partner Must Join--Exceptions. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.030.)
[Amended effective July 1, 1980; amended April 28, 2015.]
(a) Permissive Joinder.
All persons may join in one action as plaintiffs if they assert any right to relief jointly, severally, or in the alternative in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all of these persons will arise in the action. All persons may be joined in one action as defendants if there is asserted against them jointly, severally, or in the alternative, any right to relief in respect of or arising out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences and if any question of law or fact common to all defendants will arise in the action. A plaintiff or defendant need not be interested in obtaining or defending against all the relief demanded. Judgment may be given for one or more of the plaintiffs according to their respective rights to relief, and against one or more defendants according to their respective liabilities.
(b) Separate Trials.
The court may make such orders as will prevent a party from being embarrassed, delayed, or put to expense by the inclusion of a party against whom the party asserts no claim and who asserts no claim against the party, and may order separate trials or make other orders to prevent delay or prejudice.
(c) When Either Spouse or Either Domestic Partner May Join. (Reserved. See RCW 4.08.040.)
(d) Service on Joint Defendants; Procedure After Service.
When the action is against two or more defendants and the summons is served on one or more but not on all of them, the plaintiff may proceed as follows:
(1) If the action is against the defendants jointly indebted upon a contract, the plaintiff may proceed against the defendants served unless the court otherwise directs; and if the plaintiff recovers judgment it may be entered against all the defendants thus jointly indebted so far only as it may be enforced against the joint property of all and the separate property of the defendants served.
(2) If the action is against defendants severally liable, the plaintiff may proceed against the defendants served in the same manner as if they were the only defendants.
(3) Though all the defendants may have been served with the summons, judgment may be taken against any of them severally, when the plaintiff would be entitled to judgment against such defendants if the action had been against them alone.
(e) Procedure To Bind Joint Debtor. (Reserved. See RCW 4.68.)
[Amended effective July 1, 1980; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
Misjoinder of parties is not ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be dropped or added by order of the court on motion of any party or of its own initiative at any stage of the action and on such terms as are just. Any claim against a party may be severed and proceeded with separately.
Persons having claims against the plaintiff may be joined as defendants and required to interplead when their claims are such that the plaintiff is or may be exposed to double or multiple liability. It is not ground for objection to the joinder that the claims of the several claimants or the titles on which their claims depend do not have a common origin or are not identical but are adverse to and independent of one another, or that the plaintiff avers that the plaintiff is not liable in whole or in part to any or all of the claimants. A defendant exposed to similar liability may obtain such interpleader by way of cross claim or counterclaim. The provisions of this rule supplement and do not in any way limit the joinder of parties permitted under other rules and statutes.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Prerequisites to a Class Action.
One or more members of a class may sue or be sued as representative parties on behalf of all only if:
(1) the class is so numerous that joinder of all members is impracticable;
(2) there are questions of law or fact common to the class;
(3) the claims or defenses of the representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of the class; and
(4) the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.
(b) Class Actions Maintainable.
An action may be maintained as a class action if the prerequisites of section (a) are satisfied, and in addition:
(1) The prosecution of separate actions by or against individual members of the class would create a risk of (A) inconsistent or varying adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would establish incompatible standards of conduct for the party opposing the class, or (B) adjudications with respect to individual members of the class which would as a practical matter be dispositive of the interests of the other members not parties to the adjudications or substantially impair or impede their ability to protect their interest; or
(2) The party opposing the class has acted or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class, thereby making appropriate final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief with respect to the class as a whole; or
(3) The court finds that the questions of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over any questions affecting only individual members, and that a class action is superior to other available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the controversy. The matters pertinent to the findings include:
(A) the interest of members of the class in individually controlling the prosecution or defense of separate actions;
(B) the extent and nature of any litigation concerning the controversy already commenced by or against members of the class;
(C) the desirability or undesirability of concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular forum;
(D) the difficulties likely to be encountered in the management of a class action.
(c) Determination by Order Whether Class Action To Be Maintained; Notice; Judgment; Actions Conducted Partially as Class Actions.
(1) As soon as practicable after the commencement of an action brought as a class action, the court shall determine by order whether it is to be so maintained. An order under this subsection may be conditional, and may be altered or amended before the decision on the merits.
(2) In any class action maintained under subsection (b)(3), the court shall direct to the members of the class the best notice practicable under the circumstances, including individual notice to all members who can be identified through reasonable effort. The notice shall advise each member that (A) the court will exclude the member from the class if the member so requests by a specified date; (B) the judgment, whether favorable or not, will include all members who do not request exclusion; and (C) any member who does not request exclusion may, if the member desires, enter an appearance through counsel.
(3) The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsection (b)(1) or (b)(2), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and describe those whom the court finds to be members of the class. The judgment in an action maintained as a class action under subsection (b)(3), whether or not favorable to the class, shall include and specify or describe those to whom the notice provided in subsection (c)(2) was directed, and who have not requested exclusion, and whom the court finds to be members of the class.
(4) When appropriate, (A) an action may be brought or maintained as a class action with respect to particular issues, or (B) a class may be divided into subclasses and each subclass treated as a class, and the provisions of this rule shall then be construed and applied accordingly.
(d) Orders in Conduct of Actions.
In the conduct of actions to which this rule applies, the court may make appropriate orders:
(1) determining the course of proceedings or prescribing measures to prevent undue repetition or complication in the presentation of evidence or argument;
(2) requiring, for the protection of the members of the class or otherwise for the fair conduct of the action, that notice be given in such manner as the court may direct to some or all of the members of any step in the action, or of the proposed extent of the judgment, or of the opportunity of members to signify whether they consider the representation fair and adequate, to intervene and present claims or defenses, or otherwise to come into the action;
(3) imposing conditions on the representative parties or on intervenors;
(4) requiring that the pleadings be amended to eliminate therefrom allegations as to representation of absent persons, and that the action proceed accordingly;
(5) dealing with similar procedural matters. The orders may be combined with an order under rule 16, and may be altered or amended as may be desirable from time to time.
(e) Dismissal or Compromise.
A class action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court, and notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs.
(f) Disposition of Residual Funds.
(1) "Residual Funds" are funds that remain after the payment of all approved class member claims, expenses, litigation costs, attorneys' fees, and other court-approved disbursements to implement the relief granted. Nothing in this rule is intended to limit the parties to a class action from suggesting, or the trial court from approving, a settlement that does not create residual funds.
(2) Any order entering a judgment or approving a proposed compromise of a class action certified under this rule that establishes a process for identifying and compensating members of the class shall provide for the disbursement of residual funds. In matters where the claims process has been exhausted and residual funds remain, not less than twenty-five percent (25%) of the residual funds shall be disbursed to the Legal Foundation of Washington to support activities and programs that promote access to the civil justice system for low income residents of Washington State. The court may disburse the balance of any residual funds beyond the minimum percentage to the Legal Foundation of Washington or to any other entity for purposes that have a direct or indirect relationship to the objectives of the underlying litigation or otherwise promote the substantive or procedural interests of members of the certified class.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective January 3, 2006; April 28, 2015.]
In a derivative action brought by one or more shareholders or members to enforce a right of a corporation or of an unincorporated association, the corporation or association having failed to enforce a right which may properly be asserted by it, the complaint shall be verified and shall allege (a) that the plaintiff was a shareholder or member at the time of the transaction of which the plaintiff complains or that the plaintiff's share or membership thereafter devolved on the plaintiff by operation of law, and (b) that the action is not a collusive one to confer jurisdiction on a court of this state which it would not otherwise have. The complaint shall also allege with particularity the efforts, if any, made by the plaintiff to obtain the action the plaintiff desires from the directors or comparable authority and, if necessary, from the shareholders or members, and the reasons for the plaintiff's failure to obtain the action or for not making the effort. The derivative action may not be maintained if it appears that the plaintiff does not fairly and adequately represent the interests of the shareholders or members similarly situated in enforcing the right of the corporation or association. The action shall not be dismissed or compromised without the approval of the court, and notice of the proposed dismissal or compromise shall be given to shareholders or members in such manner as the court directs.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
An action brought by or against the members of an unincorporated association as a class by naming certain members as representative parties may be maintained only if it appears that the representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the association and its members. In the conduct of the action the court may make appropriate orders corresponding with those described in rule 23(d), and the procedure for dismissal or compromise of the action shall correspond with that provided in rule 23(e).
(a) Intervention of Right.
Upon timely application anyone shall be permitted to intervene in an action:
(1) when a statute confers an unconditional right to intervene; or
(2) when the applicant claims an interest relating to the property or transaction which is the subject of the action and the person is so situated that the disposition of the action may as a practical matter impair or impede the person's ability to protect that interest, unless the applicants interest is adequately represented by existing parties.
(b) Permissive Intervention.
Upon timely application, anyone may be permitted to intervene in an action:
(1) When a statute confers a conditional right to intervene; or
(2) When an applicants claim or defense and the main action have a question of law or fact in common. When a party to an action relies for ground of claim or defense upon any statute or executive order administered by a federal or state governmental officer or agency or upon any regulation, order, requirements, or agreement issued or made pursuant to the statute or executive order, the officer or agency upon timely application may be permitted to intervene in the action. In exercising its discretion the court shall consider whether the intervention will unduly delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties.
A person desiring to intervene shall serve a motion to intervene upon all the parties as provided in rule 5. The motion shall state the grounds therefor and shall be accompanied by a pleading setting forth the claim or defense for which intervention is sought.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(1) Procedure. If a party dies and the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court may order substitution of the proper parties. The motion for substitution may be made by the successors or representatives of the deceased party or by any party and, together with the notice of hearing, shall be served on the parties as provided by rule 5 for service of notices, and upon persons not parties in the manner provided by statute or by rule for the service of a summons. If substitution is not made within the time authorized by law, the action may be dismissed as to the deceased party.
(2) Partial Abatement. In the event of the death of one or more of the plaintiffs or of one or more of the defendants in an action in which the right sought to be enforced survives only to the surviving plaintiffs or only against the surviving defendants, the action does not abate. The death shall be suggested upon the record and the action shall proceed in favor of or against the surviving parties.
If a party becomes incompetent, the court upon motion served as provided in section (a) of this rule may allow the action to be continued by or against the party's representative.
(c) Transfer of Interest.
In case of any transfer of interest, the action may be continued by or against the original party unless the court upon motion directs the person to whom the interest is transferred to be substituted in the action or joined with the original party. Service of the motion shall be made as provided in section (a) of this rule.
(d) Public Offices; Death or Separation From Office. (Reserved.)
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Discovery Methods.
Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property, for inspection and other purposes; physical and mental examinations; and requests for admission.
(b) Discovery Scope and Limits.
Unless otherwise limited by order of the court in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery is as follows:
(1) In General. Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, which is relevant to the subject matter involved in the pending action, whether it relates to the claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. It is not ground for objection that the information sought will be inadmissible at the trial if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The frequency or extent of use of the discovery methods set forth in section (a) shall be limited by the court if it determines that: (A) the discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive; (B) the party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or (C) the discovery is unduly burdensome or expensive, taking into account the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, limitations on the parties resources, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation. The court may act upon its own initiative after reasonable notice or pursuant to a motion under section (c).
(2) Insurance Agreements. A party may obtain discovery and production of: (i) the existence and contents of any insurance agreement under which any person carrying on an insurance business may be liable to satisfy part or all of a judgment which may be entered in the action or to indemnify or reimburse for payments made to satisfy the judgment; and (ii) any documents affecting coverage (such as denying coverage, extending coverage, or reserving rights) from or on behalf of such person to the covered person or the covered person's representative. Information concerning the insurance agreement is not by reason of disclosure admissible in evidence at trial. For purposes of this section, an application for insurance shall not be treated as part of an insurance agreement.
(3) Structured Settlements and Awards. In a case where a settlement or final award provides for all or part of the recovery to be paid in the future, a party entitled to such payments may obtain disclosure of the actual cost to the defendant of making such payments. This disclosure may be obtained during settlement negotiations upon written demand by a party entitled to such payments. If disclosure of cost is demanded, the defendant may withdraw the offer of a structured settlement at any time before the offer is accepted.
(4) Trial Preparation: Materials. Subject to the provisions of subsection (b)(5) of this rule, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under subsection (b)(1) of this rule and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or by or for that other party's representative (including a party's attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of such party's case and that the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the court shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party concerning the litigation. A party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that party. Upon request, a person not a party may obtain without the required showing a statement concerning the action or its subject matter previously made by that person. If the request is refused, the person may move for a court order. The provisions of rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion. For purposes of this section, a statement previously made is: (A) a written statement signed or otherwise adopted or approved by the person making it; or (B) a stenographic, mechanical, electrical, or other recording, or a transcription thereof, which is substantially verbatim recital of an oral statement by the person making it and contemporaneously recorded.
(5) Trial Preparation: Experts. Discovery of facts known and opinions held by experts, otherwise discoverable under the provisions of subsection (b)(1) of this rule and acquired or developed in anticipation of litigation or for trial, may be obtained only as follows: (A)(i) A party may through interrogatories require any other party to identify each person whom the other party expects to call as an expert witness at trial, to state the subject matter on which the expert is expected to testify, to state the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert is expected to testify and a summary of the grounds for each opinion, and to state such other information about the expert as may be discoverable under these rules. (ii) A party may, subject to the provisions of this rule and of rules 30 and 31, depose each person whom any other party expects to call as an expert witness at trial. (B) A party may discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who is not expected to be called as a witness at trial, only as provided in rule 35(b) or upon a showing of exceptional circumstances under which it is impracticable for the party seeking discovery to obtain facts or opinions on the same subject by other means. (C) Unless manifest injustice would result, (i) the court shall require that the party seeking discovery pay the expert a reasonable fee for time spent in responding to discovery under subsections (b)(5)(A)(ii) and (b)(5)(B) of this rule; and (ii) with respect to discovery obtained under subsection (b)(5)(A)(ii) of this rule the court may require, and with respect to discovery obtained under subsection (b)(5)(B) of this rule the court shall require the party seeking discovery to pay the other party a fair portion of the fees and expenses reasonably incurred by the latter party in obtaining facts and opinions from the expert.
(6) Claims of Privilege or Protection as Trial-Preparation Materials for Information Produced. If information produced in discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as trial-preparation material, the party making the claim may notify any party that received the information of the claim and the basis for it. After being notified, a party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has; must not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved; and must take reasonable steps to retrieve the information if the party disclosed it before being notified. Either party may promptly present the information in camera to the court for a determination of the claim. The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.
(7) Discovery From Treating Health Care Providers. The party seeking discovery from a treating health care provider shall pay a reasonable fee for the reasonable time spent in responding to the discovery. If no agreement for the amount of the fee is reached in advance, absent an order to the contrary under section (c), the discovery shall occur and the health care provider or any party may later seek an order setting the amount of the fee to be paid by the party who sought the discovery. This subsection shall not apply to the provision of records under RCW 70.02 or any similar statute, nor to discovery authorized under any rules for criminal matters.
(8) Treaties or Conventions. If the methods of discovery provided by applicable treaty or convention are inadequate or inequitable and additional discovery is not prohibited by the treaty or convention, a party may employ the discovery methods described in these rules to supplement the discovery method provided by such treaty or convention.
(c) Protective Orders.
Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought, and for good cause shown, the court in which the action is pending or alternatively, on matters relating to a deposition, the court in the county where the deposition is to be taken may make any order which justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:
(1) that the discovery not be had;
(2) that the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place;
(3) that the discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery;
(4) that certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of the discovery be limited to certain matters;
(5) that discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the court;
(6) that the contents of a deposition not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way;
(7) that a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way;
(8) that the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the court. If the motion for a protective order is denied in whole or in part, the court may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery. The provisions of rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(d) Sequence and Timing of Discovery.
Unless the court upon motion, for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice, orders otherwise, methods of discovery may be used in any sequence and the fact that a party is conducting discovery, whether by deposition or otherwise, shall not operate to delay any other party's discovery.
(e) Supplementation of Responses.
A party who has responded to a request for discovery with a response that was complete when made is under no duty to supplement the response to include information thereafter acquired, except as follows:
(1) A party is under a duty seasonably to supplement response with respect to any question directly addressed to: (A) the identity and location of persons having knowledge of discoverable matters; and (B) the identity of each person expected to be called as an expert witness at trial, the subject matter on which the expert witness is expected to testify, and the substance of the expert witness's testimony.
(2) A party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response if the party obtains information upon the basis of which: (A) the party knows that the response was incorrect when made; or (B) the party knows that the response though correct when made is no longer true and the circumstances are such that a failure to amend the response is in substance a knowing concealment.
(3) A duty to supplement responses may be imposed by order of the court, agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to trial through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.
(4) Failure to seasonably supplement in accordance with this rule will subject the party to such terms and conditions as the trial court may deem appropriate.
(f) Discovery Conference.
At any time after commencement of an action the court may direct the attorneys for the parties to appear before it for a conference on the subject of discovery. The court shall do so upon motion by the attorney for any party if the motion includes:
(1) A statement of the issues as they then appear;
(2) A proposed plan and schedule of discovery;
(3) Any limitations proposed to be placed on discovery;
(4) Any other proposed orders with respect to discovery; and
(5) A statement showing that the attorney making the motion has made a reasonable effort to reach agreement with opposing attorneys on the matters set forth in the motion. Each party and each party's attorney are under a duty to participate in good faith in the framing of a discovery plan if a plan is proposed by the attorney for any party. Notice of the motion shall be served on all parties. Objections or additions to matters set forth in the motion shall be served not later than 10 days after service of the motion. Following the discovery conference, the court shall enter an order tentatively identifying the issues for discovery purposes, establishing a plan and schedule for discovery, setting limitations on discovery, if any, and determining such other matters, including the allocation of expenses, as are necessary for the proper management of discovery in the action. An order may be altered or amended whenever justice so requires. Subject to the right of a party who properly moves for a discovery conference to prompt convening of the conference, the court may combine the discovery conference with a pretrial conference authorized by rule 16.
(g) Signing of Discovery Requests, Responses, and Objections.
Every request for discovery or response or objection thereto made by a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign the request, response, or objection and state the party's address. The signature of the attorney or party constitutes a certification that the attorney or party has read the request, response, or objection, and that to the best of their knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry it is:
(1) consistent with these rules and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law;
(2) not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and
(3) not unreasonable or unduly burdensome or expensive, given the needs of the case, the discovery already had in the case, the amount in controversy, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation. If a request, response, or objection is not signed, it shall be stricken unless it is signed promptly after the omission is called to the attention of the party making the request, response, or objection and a party shall not be obligated to take any action with respect to it until it is signed. If a certification is made in violation of the rule, the court, upon motion or upon its own initiative, shall impose upon the person who made the certification, the party on whose behalf the request, response, or objection is made, or both, an appropriate sanction, which may include an order to pay the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred because of the violation, including a reasonable attorney fee.
(h) Use of Discovery Materials.
A party filing discovery materials on order of the court or for use in a proceeding or trial shall file only those portions upon which the party relies and may file a copy in lieu of the original.
(i) Motions; Conference of Counsel Required.
The court will not entertain any motion or objection with respect to rules 26 through 37 unless counsel have conferred with respect to the motion or objection. Counsel for the moving or objecting party shall arrange for a mutually convenient conference in person or by telephone. If the court finds that counsel for any party, upon whom a motion or objection in respect to matters covered by such rules has been served, has willfully refused or failed to confer in good faith, the court may apply the sanctions provided under rule 37 (b). Any motion seeking an order to compel discovery or obtain protection shall include counsels' certification that the conference requirements of this rule have been met.
(j) Access to Discovery Materials Under RCW 4.24.
(1) In General. For purposes of this rule, "discovery materials" means depositions, answers to interrogatories, documents or electronic data produced and physically exchanged in response to requests for production, and admissions pursuant to rules 26-37.
(2) Motion. The motion for access to discovery materials under the provisions of RCW 4.24 shall be filed in the court that heard the action in which the discovery took place. The person seeking access shall serve a copy of the motion on every party to the action, and on nonparties if ordered by the court.
(3) Decision. The provisions of RCW 4.24 shall determine whether the motion for access to discovery materials should be granted.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1989; December 28, 1990; September 1, 1992; September 17, 1993; September 1, 1995; January 12, 2010; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Perpetuation Before Action.
(1) Petition. A person who desires to perpetuate one's own testimony or that of another person regarding any matter that may be cognizable in any superior court may file a verified petition in the superior court in the county of the residence of any expected adverse party. The petition shall be entitled in the name of the petitioner and shall show: (A) that the petitioner expects to be a party to an action cognizable in a superior court but is presently unable to bring it or cause it to be brought; (B) the subject matter of the expected action and the petitioner's interest therein; (C) the facts which the petitioner desires to establish by the proposed testimony and his reasons for desiring to perpetuate it; (D) the names or a description of the persons the petitioner expects will be adverse parties and their addresses so far as known; and (E) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which the petitioner expects to elicit from each, and shall ask for an order authorizing the petitioner to take the depositions of the persons to be examined named in the petition, for the purpose of perpetuating their testimony.
(2) Notice and Service. The petitioner shall thereafter serve a notice upon each person named in the petition as an expected adverse party, together with a copy of the petition, stating that the petitioner will apply to the court, at a time and place named therein, for the order described in the petition. At least 20 days before the date of hearing the notice shall be served in the manner provided by law for service of summons; but if such service cannot with due diligence be made upon any expected adverse party named in the petition, the court may make such order as is just for service by publication or otherwise, and shall appoint, for persons not served personally in the manner provided by law, an attorney who shall represent them and, in case they are not otherwise represented, shall cross-examine the deponent. If any expected adverse party is a minor or incompetent, the court shall make such order as deemed appropriate for the protection of the minor or incompetent as provided in RCW 4.08.050 and 4.08.060.
(3) Order and Examination. If the court is satisfied that the perpetuation of the testimony may prevent a failure or delay of justice, it shall make an order designating or describing the persons whose depositions may be taken and specifying the subject matter of the examination and whether the depositions shall be taken upon oral examination or written interrogatories. The depositions may then be taken in accordance with these rules; and the court may make orders of the character provided for by rules 34 and 35. For the purpose of applying these rules to depositions for perpetuating testimony, each reference therein to the court in which the action is pending shall be deemed to refer to the court in which the petition for such deposition was filed.
(4) Use of Deposition. If a deposition to perpetuate testimony is taken under these rules or if, although not so taken, it would be admissible in evidence in the courts of the state in which it is taken, it may be used in any action involving the same subject matter subsequently brought in a superior court of this state, in accordance with the provisions of rule 32 (a).
(b) Perpetuation Pending Appeal.
If an appeal has been taken from a judgment of a superior court or before the taking of an appeal if the time therefor has not expired, the superior court in which the judgment was rendered may allow the taking of the depositions of witnesses to perpetuate their testimony for use in the event of further proceedings in the superior court. In such case the party who desires to perpetuate the testimony may make a motion in the superior court for leave to take the depositions, upon the same notice and service thereof as if the action was pending in the superior court. The motion shall show:
(1) the names and addresses of the persons to be examined and the substance of the testimony which the party expects to elicit from each;
(2) the reasons for perpetuating their testimony. If the court finds that the perpetuation of the testimony is proper to avoid a failure or delay of justice, it may make an order allowing the depositions to be taken and may make orders of the character provided for by rules 34 and 35, and thereupon the depositions may be taken and used in the same manner and under the same conditions as are prescribed in these rules for depositions taken in actions pending in the superior court.
(c) Perpetuation by Action.
This rule does not limit the power of a court to entertain an action to perpetuate testimony.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; Amended effective September 1, 2005; April 28, 2015.]
(-) Within the State. Depositions within the state may be taken before the following officers:
(2) Superior Courts. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.010(7).)
(3) Judicial Officers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.060.)
(4) Judges of Supreme and Superior Courts. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.080(3).)
(5) Inferior Judicial Officers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.090.)
(7) Special Commissions. (Reserved. See RCW 11.20.030.)
(a) Within the United States.
Within the United States or within a territory or insular possession subject to the dominion of the United States, depositions shall be taken before an officer authorized to administer oaths by the laws of the United States or of the place where the examination is held, or before a person appointed by the court in which the action is pending. A person so appointed has power to administer oaths and take testimony. The term "officer" as used in rules 30, 31, and 32 includes a person appointed by the court or designated by the parties under rule 29.
(b) In Foreign Countries.
In a foreign country, depositions may be taken:
(1) on notice before a person authorized to administer oaths in the place in which the examination is held, either by the law thereof or by the law of the United States; or
(2) before a person commissioned by the court, and the person so commissioned shall have the power by virtue of the person's commission to administer any necessary oath and take testimony; or
(3) pursuant to a letter rogatory or a letter of request; or
(4) pursuant to the means and terms of any applicable treaty or convention. A commission, a letter rogatory, or a letter of request shall be issued on application and notice, and on terms that are just and appropriate. It is not requisite to the issuance of a commission, a letter rogatory, or a letter of request that the taking of the deposition in any other manner is impracticable or inconvenient; and a commission, a letter rogatory, and a letter of request may all be issued in proper cases. A notice or commission may designate the person before whom the deposition is to be taken either by name or by descriptive title. A letter rogatory may be addressed "To the Appropriate Authority in (here name the country)." A letter of request or any other device permitted by any applicable treaty or convention shall be styled in the form prescribed by that treaty or convention. Evidence obtained in response to a letter rogatory or a letter of request need not be excluded merely for the reason that it is not a verbatim transcript or that the testimony was not taken under oath or for any similar departure from the requirements for depositions taken within the United States under these rules.
(c) Disqualification for Interest.
No deposition shall be taken before a person who is a relative or employee or attorney or counsel of any of the parties, or is a relative or employee of such attorney or counsel, or is financially interested in the action.
(d) Equal Terms Required.
Any arrangement concerning court reporting services or fees in a case shall be offered to all parties on equal terms. This rule applies to any arrangement or agreement between the person before whom a deposition is taken or a court reporting firm, consortium or other organization providing a court reporter, and any party or any person arranging or paying for court reporting services in the case, including any attorney, law firm, person or entity with a financial interest in the outcome of the litigation, or person or entity paying for court reporting services in the case.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1993; September 1, 2001; September 1, 2005; April 28, 2015.]
Unless the court orders otherwise, the parties may by written stipulation (1) provide that depositions may be taken before any person, at any time or place, upon any notice and in any manner and when so taken may be used like other depositions, and (2) modify the procedures provided by these rules for other methods of discovery.
(a) When Depositions May Be Taken.
After the summons and a copy of the complaint are served, or the complaint is filed, whichever shall first occur, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon oral examination. Leave of court, granted with or without notice, must be obtained only if the plaintiff seeks to take a deposition prior to the expiration of 30 days after service of the summons and complaint upon any defendant or service made under rule 4(e), except that leave is not required:
(1) if a defendant has served a notice of taking deposition or otherwise sought discovery; or
(2) if special notice is given as provided in subsection (b)(2) of this rule. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by subpoena as provided in rule 45. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes.
(b) Notice of Examination: General Requirements; Special Notice; Nonstenographic Recording; Production of Documents and Things; Deposition of Organization; Video Tape Recording.
(1) A party desiring to take the deposition of any person upon oral examination shall give reasonable notice in writing of not less than 5 days (exclusive of the day of service, Saturdays, Sundays and court holidays) to every other party to the action and to the deponent, if not a party or a managing agent of a party. Notice to a deponent who is not a party or a managing agent of a party may be given by mail or by any means reasonably likely to provide actual notice. The notice shall state the time and place for taking the deposition and the name and address of each person to be examined, if known, and, if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the deponent or the particular class or group to which the deponent belongs. If a subpoena duces tecum is to be served on the person to be examined, the designation of the materials to be produced as set forth in the subpoena shall be attached to or included in the notice. A party seeking to compel the attendance of a deponent who is not a party or a managing agent of a party must serve a subpoena on that deponent in accordance with rule 45. Failure to give 5 days notice to a deponent who is not a party or a managing agent of a party may be grounds for the imposition of sanctions in favor of the deponent, but shall not constitute grounds for quashing the subpoena.
(2) Leave of court is not required for the taking of a deposition by plaintiff if the notice: (A) states that the person to be examined is about to go out of the state and will be unavailable for examination unless the person's deposition is taken before expiration of the 30-day period; and (B) sets forth facts to support the statement. The plaintiff's attorney shall sign the notice, and the attorney's signature constitutes a certification by the attorney that to the best of the attorney's knowledge, information, and belief the statement and supporting facts are true. The sanctions provided by rule 11 are applicable to the certification. If a party shows that when the party was served with notice under this subsection (b)(2) the party was unable through the exercise of diligence to obtain counsel to represent him at the taking of the deposition, the deposition may not be used against the party.
(3) The court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time for taking the deposition.
(4) The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that the testimony at a deposition be recorded by other than stenographic means. The stipulation or the order shall designate the person before whom the deposition shall be taken, the manner of recording, preserving, and filing the deposition, and may include other provisions to assure that the recorded testimony will be accurate and trustworthy. A party may arrange to have a stenographic transcription made at the party's own expense. Any objections under section (c), any changes made by the witness, the witness's signature identifying the deposition as the witness's own or the statement of the officer that is required if the witness does not sign, as provided in section (e), and the certification of the officer required by section (f) shall be set forth in a writing to accompany a deposition recorded by nonstenographic means.
(5) The notice to a party deponent may be accompanied by a request made in compliance with rule 34 for the production of documents and tangible things at the taking of the deposition. The procedure of rule 34 shall apply to the request, including the time established by rule 34(b) for the party to respond to the request.
(6) A party may in a notice and in a subpoena name as the deponent a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency and designate with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. In that event the organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters known on which the deponent will testify. A subpoena shall advise a nonparty organization of its duty to make such a designation. The persons so designated shall testify as to the matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This subsection (b)(6) does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.
(7) The parties may stipulate in writing or the court may upon motion order that a deposition be taken by telephone or by other electronic means. For the purposes of this rule and rules 28(a), 37(a)(1), 37(b)(1), and 45(d), a deposition taken by telephone or by other electronic means is taken at the place where the deponent is to answer the propounded questions.
(8) Videotaping of depositions. (A) Any party may videotape the deposition of any party or witness without leave of court provided that written notice is served on all parties not less than 20 days before the deposition date, and specifically states that the deposition will be recorded on videotape. Failure to so state shall preclude the use of videotape equipment at the deposition, absent agreement of the parties or court order. (B) No party may videotape a deposition within 120 days of the later of the date of filing or service of the lawsuit, absent agreement of the parties or court order. (C) On motion of a party made prior to the deposition, the court shall order that a videotape deposition be postponed or begun subject to being continued, on such terms as are just, if the court finds that the deposition is to be taken before the moving party has had an adequate opportunity to prepare, by discovery deposition of the deponent or other means, for cross examination of the deponent. (D) Unless otherwise stipulated to by the parties, the expense of videotaping shall be borne by the noting party and shall not be taxed as costs. Any party, at that party's expense, may obtain a copy of the videotape. (E) A stenographic record of the deposition shall be made simultaneously with the videotape at the expense of the noting party. (F) The area to be used for videotaping testimony shall be suitable in size, have adequate lighting and be reasonably quiet. The physical arrangements shall be fair to all parties. The deposition shall begin by a statement on the record of: (a) the operators name, address and telephone number, (b) the name and address of the operators employer, (c) the date, time and place of the deposition, (d) the caption of the case, (e) the name of the deponent, and (f) the name of the party giving notice of the deposition. The officer before whom the deposition is taken shall be identified and swear the deponent on camera. At the conclusion of the deposition, it shall be stated on the record that the deposition is concluded. When more than one tape is used, the operator shall announce on camera the end of each tape and the beginning of the next tape. (G) Absent agreement of the parties or court order, if all or any part of the videotape will be offered at trial, the party offering it must order the stenographic record to be fully transcribed at that party's expense. A party intending to offer a videotaped recording of a deposition in evidence shall notify all parties in writing of that intent and the parts of the deposition to be offered within sufficient time for a stenographic transcript to be prepared, and for objections to be made and ruled on before the trial or hearing. Objections to all or part of the deposition shall be made in writing within sufficient time to allow for rulings on them and for editing of the tape. The court shall permit further designations of testimony and objections as fairness may require. In excluding objectionable testimony or comments or objections of counsel, the court may order that an edited copy of the videotape be made, or that the person playing the tape at trial suppress the objectionable portions of the tape. In no event, however, shall the original videotape be affected by any editing process. (H) After the deposition has been taken, the operator of the videotape equipment shall attach to the videotape a certificate that the recording is a correct and complete record of the testimony by the deponent. Unless otherwise agreed by the parties on the record, the operator shall retain custody of the original videotape. The custodian shall store it under conditions that will protect it against loss or destruction or tampering, and shall preserve as far as practicable the quality of the tape and the technical integrity of the testimony and images it contains. The custodian of the original videotape shall retain custody of it until 6 months after final disposition of the action, unless the court, on motion of any party and for good cause shown, orders that the tape be preserved for a longer period. (I) The use of videotaped depositions shall be subject to rule 32.
(c) Examination and Cross Examination; Record of Examination; Oath; Objections.
Examination and cross examination of witnesses may proceed as permitted at the trial under the provisions of the Washington Rules of Evidence (ER). The officer before whom the deposition is to be taken shall put the witness on oath and shall personally, or by someone acting under the officer's direction and in the officer's presence, record the testimony of the witness. The testimony shall be taken stenographically or recorded by any other means ordered in accordance with subsection (b)(4) of this rule. If requested by one of the parties, the testimony shall be transcribed. All objections made at the time of the examination to the qualifications of the officer taking the deposition, or to the manner of taking it, or to the evidence presented, or to the conduct of any party, and any other objection to the proceedings, shall be noted by the officer upon the deposition. Evidence objected to shall be taken subject to the objections. A judge of the superior court, or a special master if one is appointed pursuant to rule 53.3, may make telephone rulings on objections made during depositions. In lieu of participating in the oral examination, parties may serve written questions in a sealed envelope on the party taking the deposition and the party shall transmit them to the officer, who shall propound them to the witness and record the answers verbatim.
(d) Motion To Terminate or Limit Examination.
At any time during the taking of the deposition, on motion of a party or of the deponent and upon a showing that the examination is being conducted in bad faith or in such manner as unreasonably to annoy, embarrass, or oppress the deponent or party, the court in which the action is pending or the court in the county where the deposition is being taken may order the officer conducting the examination to cease forthwith from taking the deposition, or may limit the scope and manner of the taking of the deposition as provided in rule 26(c). If the order made terminates the examination, it shall be resumed thereafter only upon the order of the court in which the action is pending. Upon demand of the objecting party or deponent, the taking of the deposition shall be suspended for the time necessary to make a motion for an order. The provisions of rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(e) Submission to Witness; Changes; Signing.
When the testimony is fully transcribed the deposition shall be submitted to the witness for examination and shall be read to or by the witness, unless such examination and reading are waived by the witness and by the parties. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered upon the deposition by the officer with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making them. The deposition shall then be signed by the witness, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the witness is ill or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the witness within 30 days of its submission to the witness, the officer shall sign it and state on the record the fact of the waiver or of the illness or absence of the witness or the fact of the refusal to sign together with the reason, if any, given therefore; and the deposition may then be used as fully as though signed unless on a motion to suppress under rule 32(d)(4) the court holds that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part.
(f) Certification and Service by Officer; Exhibits; Copies; Notice.
(1) The officer shall certify on the deposition transcript that the witness was duly sworn and that the transcript is a true record of the testimony given by the witness. The officer shall then secure the transcript in an envelope endorsed with the title of the action and marked "Deposition of (here insert name of witness)" and shall promptly serve it on the person who ordered the transcript, unless the court orders otherwise. Documents and things produced for inspection during the examination of the witness, shall, upon the request of a party, be marked for identification and annexed to and returned with the deposition, and may be inspected and copied by any party, except that: (A) the person producing the materials may substitute copies to be marked for identification, if the person affords to all parties fair opportunity to verify the copies by comparison with the originals; and (B) if the person producing the materials requests their return, the officer shall mark them, give each party an opportunity to inspect and copy them, and return them to the person producing them, and the materials may then be used in the same manner as if annexed to and returned with the deposition. Any party may move for an order that the original be annexed to the deposition transcript and filed with the court, pending final disposition of the case.
(2) Upon payment of reasonable charges therefore, the officer shall furnish a copy of the deposition transcript to any party or the deponent.
(3) The officer serving or filing the deposition transcript shall give prompt notice of such action to all parties and file such notice with the clerk of the court.
(g) Failure To Attend or To Serve Subpoena; Expenses.
(1) If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition fails to attend and proceed therewith and another party attends in person or by attorney pursuant to the notice, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred by such party and such other party's attorney in attending, including reasonable attorney fees.
(2) If the party giving the notice of the taking of a deposition of a witness fails to serve a subpoena upon the witness and the witness because of such failure does not attend, and if another party attends in person or by attorney because such party expects the deposition of that witness to be taken, the court may order the party giving the notice to pay to such other party the reasonable expenses incurred by such other party and such other party's attorney in attending, including reasonable attorney fees.
(h) Conduct of Depositions.
The following shall govern deposition practice:
(1) Conduct of Examining Counsel. Examining counsel will refrain from asking questions he or she knows to be beyond the legitimate scope of discovery, and from undue repetition.
(2) Objections. Only objections which are not reserved for time of trial by these rules or which are based on privileges or raised to questions seeking information beyond the scope of discovery may be made during the course of the deposition. All objections shall be concise and must not suggest or coach answers from the deponent. Argumentative interruptions by counsel shall not be permitted.
(3) Instructions Not To Answer. Instructions to the deponent not to answer questions are improper, except when based upon privilege or pursuant to rule 30 (d). When a privilege is claimed the deponent shall nevertheless answer questions related to the existence, extent, or waiver of the privilege, such as the date of communication, identity of the declarant, and in whose presence the statement was made.
(4) Responsiveness. Witnesses shall be instructed to answer all questions directly and without evasion to the extent of their testimonial knowledge, unless properly instructed by counsel not to answer.
(5) Private Consultation. Except where agreed to, attorneys shall not privately confer with deponents during the deposition between a question and an answer except for the purpose of determining the existence of privilege. Conferences with attorneys during normal recesses and at adjournment are permissible unless prohibited by the court.
6) Courtroom Standard. All counsel and parties shall conduct themselves in depositions with the same courtesy and respect for the rules that are required in the courtroom during trial.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; April 2, 1979; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1988; September 1, 1989; September 1, 1993; September 1, 2005; April 20, 2015.]
(a) Serving Questions; Notice.
After the summons and a copy of the complaint are served, or the complaint is filed, whichever shall first occur, any party may take the testimony of any person, including a party, by deposition upon written questions. The attendance of witnesses may be compelled by the use of subpoena as provided in rule 45. The deposition of a person confined in prison may be taken only by leave of court on such terms as the court prescribes. A party desiring to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating;
(1) the name and address of the person who is to answer them, if known, and if the name is not known, a general description sufficient to identify the person or the particular class or group to which the person belongs; and
2) the name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken. A deposition upon written questions may be taken of a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency in accordance with the provisions of rule 30(b)(6). Within 15 days after the notice and written questions are served, a party may serve cross questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with cross questions, a party may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with redirect questions, a party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. The court may for cause shown enlarge or shorten the time.
(b) Officer To Take Responses and Prepare Record.
A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly, in the manner provided by rule 30 (c), (e), and (f), to take the testimony of the witness in response to the questions and to prepare, certify, and serve the deposition transcript, attaching thereto the copy of the notice and the questions received by the officer, on the party taking the deposition, unless the court orders otherwise.
(c) Notice of Service.
When the deposition has been served, the officer shall promptly give notice of its service to all other parties and file such notice with the clerk of the court.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1988; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Use of Depositions.
At the trial or upon the hearing of a motion or an interlocutory proceeding, any part or all of a deposition, so far as admissible under the Rules of Evidence applied as though the witness were then present and testifying, may be used against any party who was present or represented at the taking of the deposition or who had reasonable notice thereof, in accordance with any of the following provisions:
(1) Any deposition may be used by any party for the purpose of contradicting or impeaching the testimony of deponent as a witness or for any purpose permitted by the Rules of Evidence.
(2) The deposition of a party or of anyone who at the time of taking the deposition was an officer, director, or managing agent, or a person designated under rule 30 (b)(6) or 31 (a) to testify on behalf of a public or private corporation, partnership or association or governmental agency which is a party may be used by an adverse party for any purpose.
(3) The deposition of a witness, whether or not a party, may be used by any party for any purpose if the court finds: (A) that the witness is dead; or (B) that the witness resides out of the county and more than 20 miles from the place of trial, unless it appears that the absence of the witness was procured by the party offering the deposition or unless the witness is an out-of-state expert subject to subsection (a)(5)(A) of this rule; or (C) that the witness is unable to attend or testify because of age, illness, infirmity, or imprisonment; or (D) that the party offering the deposition has been unable to procure the attendance of the witness by subpoena; or (E) upon application and notice, that such exceptional circumstances exist as to make it desirable, in the interest of justice and with due regard to the importance of presenting the testimony of witnesses orally in open court, to allow the deposition to be used.
(4) If only part of a deposition is offered in evidence by a party, an adverse party may require the party to introduce any other part which ought in fairness to be considered with the part introduced, and any party may introduce any other parts.
(5) The deposition of an expert witness may be used as follows: (A) The discovery deposition of an opposing partys rule 26(b)(5) expert witness, who resides outside the state of Washington, may be used if reasonable notice before the trial date is provided to all parties and any party against whom the deposition is intended to be used is given a reasonable opportunity to depose the expert again. (B) The deposition of a health care professional, even though available to testify at trial, taken with the expressly stated purpose of preserving the deponents testimony for trial, may be used if, before the taking of the deposition, there has been compliance with discovery requests made pursuant to rules 26(b)(5)(A)(i), 33, 34, and 35 (as applicable) and if the opposing party is afforded an adequate opportunity to prepare, by discovery deposition of the deponent or other means, for cross examination of the deponent. Substitution of parties pursuant to rule 25 does not affect the right to use depositions previously taken; and, when an action has been brought in any court of the United States or of any state and another action involving the same issues and subject matter is afterward brought between the same parties or their representatives or successors in interest, all depositions lawfully taken and duly filed in the former action may be used in the latter as if originally taken therefor. A deposition previously taken may also be used as permitted by the Rules of Evidence. (b) Objections to Admissibility. Subject to the provisions of rule 28(b) and subsection (d)(3) of this rule, objection may be made at the trial or hearing to receiving in evidence any deposition or part thereof for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence if the witness were then present and testifying.
(c) Effect of Taking or Using Depositions.
A party does not make a person the party's own witness for any purpose by taking the person's deposition. The introduction in evidence of the deposition or any part thereof for any purpose other than that of contradicting or impeaching the deponent makes the deponent the witness of the party introducing the deposition, but this shall not apply to the use by an adverse party of a deposition under subsection (a)(2) of this rule. At the trial or hearing any party may rebut any relevant evidence contained in a deposition whether introduced by the party or by any other party.
(d) Effect of Errors and Irregularities in Depositions.
(1) As to Notice. All errors and irregularities in the notice for taking a deposition are waived unless written objection is promptly served upon the party giving the notice.
(2) As to Disqualification of Officer. Objection to taking a deposition because of disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualification becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.
(3) As to Taking of Deposition. (A) Objections to the competency of a witness or to the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony are not waived by failure to make them before or during the taking of the deposition, unless the ground of the objection is one which might have been obviated or removed if presented at that time. (B) Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the questions or answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of parties, and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly presented, are waived unless seasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the deposition. (C) Objections to the form of written questions submitted under rule 31 are waived unless served in writing upon the party propounding them within the time allowed for serving the succeeding cross or other questions and within 5 days after service of the last questions authorized.
(4) As to Completion and Return of Deposition. Errors and irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition is prepared, signed, certified, sealed, endorsed, transmitted, filed, or otherwise dealt with by the officer under rules 30 and 31 are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is, or with due diligence might have been, ascertained.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1983; September 1, 1993; amended April 28, 2015.]
(a) Availability; Procedures for Use.
Any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation or a partnership or association or governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. Interrogatories may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after the summons and a copy of the complaint are served upon the defendant, or the complaint is filed, whichever shall first occur, and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party. Interrogatories shall be so arranged that after each separate question there shall appear a blank space reasonably calculated to enable the answering party to place the written response. In the event the responding party either chooses to place the response on a separate page or pages or must do so in order to complete the response, the responding party shall clearly denote the number of the question to which the response relates, including the subpart thereof if applicable. Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by the person making them, and the objections signed by the attorney making them. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections if any, within 30 days after the service of the interrogatories, except that a defendant may serve answers or objections within 40 days after service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant. The parties may stipulate or any party may move for an order under rule 37(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to answer an interrogatory.
(b) Scope; Use at Trial.
Interrogatories may relate to any matters which can be inquired into under rule 26(b), and the answers may be used to the extent permitted by the Rules of Evidence. An interrogatory otherwise proper is not necessarily objectionable merely because an answer to the interrogatory involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, but the court may order that such an interrogatory need not be answered until after designated discovery has been completed or until a pretrial conference or other later time. An interrogatory otherwise proper is not objectionable merely because the propounding party may have other access to the requested information or has the burden of proof on the subject matter of the interrogatory at trial.
(c) Option To Produce Business Records.
Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the business records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit or inspection of such business records, or from a compilation, abstract or summary based thereon, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts or summaries. A specification shall be in sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to locate and to identify, as readily as can the party served, the records from which the answer may be ascertained.
Any party may serve on any other party a request within the scope of Rule 26(b):
(1) to produce and permit the requesting party or the party's representative, to inspect, copy, test, photograph, record, measure, or sample the following items in the responding party's possession, custody, or control: any designated documents, electronically stored information, or things including writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, sound recordings, images, and other data or data compilations stored in any medium from which information can be obtained, either directly or, if necessary, after translation or conversion by the responding party into a reasonably usable form, or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of rule 26(b) and which are in the possession, custody or control of the responding party; or
(2) to permit entry onto designated land or other property possessed or controlled by the responding party, so that the requesting party may inspect, measure, survey, photograph, test, or sample the property or any designated object, process or operation on it.
(1) Service. The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after the summons and a copy of the complaint are served upon the defendant, or the complaint is filed, whichever shall first occur, and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party.
(2) Contents of the Request. The request: (A) shall set forth the items to be produced either by individual item or by category, and describe each item and category with reasonable particularity; (B) shall specify a reasonable time, place and manner of making the production and performing the related acts; (C) may specify the form or forms in which electronically stored information is to be produced.
(3) Responses and Objections. (A) Time to Respond. The responding party shall serve a written response within 30 days after the service of the request, except that a defendant may serve a response within 40 days after service of the summons and complaint upon that defendant. The parties may stipulate or the court may allow a shorter or longer time. (B) Responding to Each Item. For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state a specific objection to the request, including the reasons. (C) Objections. An objection to part of a request must specify the part and permit inspection of the rest. (D) Responding to a Request for Electronically Stored Information. The response may state an objection to a requested form for producing electronically stored information. If the responding party objects to a form or forms-or if no form was specified in the request-the responding party must state the form or forms it intends to use. (E) Failure to Make Discovery. For any failure to make discovery under this rule, the requesting party may move for an order as provided under rule 37. (F) Producing the Documents or Electronically Stored Information. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court: (i) A party who produces things, electronically stored information, or documents for inspection shall produce them as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request; (ii) If a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form or forms; and (iii) Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the court, for good cause shown, a party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.
(c) Persons Not Parties.
This rule does not preclude an independent action or a subpoena issued pursuant to rule 45 against a person not a party for production of documents and things and permission to enter upon land.
[Amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1989; September 1, 1997; September 1, 2013.]
(1) Order for Examination. When the mental or physical condition (including the blood group) of a party, or of a person in the custody or under the legal control of a party, is in controversy, the court in which the action is pending may order the party to submit to a physical examination by a physician, or mental examination by a physician or psychologist or to produce for examination the person in the party's custody or legal control. The order may be made only on motion for good cause shown and upon notice to the person to be examined and to all parties and shall specify the time, place, manner, conditions, and scope of the examination and the person or persons by whom it is to be made.
(2) Representative at Examination. The party being examined may have a representative present at the examination, who may observe but not interfere with or obstruct the examination.
(3) Recording of Examination. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, the party being examined or that party's representative may make an audiotape recording of the examination which shall be made in an unobtrusive manner. A videotape recording of the examination may be made on agreement of the parties or by order of the court.
(b) Report of Examining Physician or Psychologist.
The party causing the examination to be made shall deliver to the party or person examined a copy of a detailed written report of the examining physician or psychologist setting out the examiner's findings, including results of all tests made, diagnosis and conclusions, together with like reports of all earlier examinations of the same condition, regardless of whether the examining physician or psychologist will be called to testify at trial. The report shall be delivered within 45 days of the examination and in no event less than 30 days prior to trial. These deadlines may be altered by agreement of the parties or by order of the court. If a physician or psychologist fails or refuses to make a report in compliance herewith the court shall exclude the examiner's testimony if offered at the trial, unless good cause for noncompliance is shown.
(c) Examination by Agreement.
Subsections (a) (2) and (3) and (b) apply to examinations made by agreement of the parties, unless the agreement expressly provides otherwise.
(a) Request for Admission.
A party may serve upon any other party a written request for the admission, for purposes of the pending action only, of the truth of any matters within the scope of rule 26(b) set forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request. Copies of documents shall be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished or made available for inspection and copying. The request may, without leave of court, be served upon the plaintiff after the summons and a copy of the complaint are served upon the defendant, or the complaint is filed, whichever shall first occur, and upon any other party with or after service of the summons and complaint upon that party. Requests for admission shall not be combined in the same document with any other form of discovery. Each matter of which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth. The matter is admitted unless, within 30 days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the court may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission a written answer or objection addressed to the matter, signed by the party or by the party's attorney, but, unless the court shortens the time, a defendant shall not be required to serve answers or objections before the expiration of 40 days after service of the summons and complaint upon the defendant. If objection is made, the reasons therefore shall be stated. The answer shall specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when good faith requires that a party qualify his answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, the party shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless the answering party states that the answering party has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known or readily obtainable by the answering party is insufficient to enable the answering party to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial or a central fact in dispute may not, on that ground alone, object to the request; a party may, subject to the provisions of rule 37(c), deny the matter or set forth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny it. The party who has requested the admissions may move to determine the sufficiency of the answers or objections. Unless the court determines that an objection is justified, it shall order that an answer be served. If the court determines that an answer does not comply with the requirements of this rule, it may order either that the matter is admitted or that an amended answer be served. The court may, in lieu of these orders, determine that final disposition of the request be made at a pretrial conference or at a designated time prior to trial. The provisions of rule 37(a)(4) apply to the award of expenses incurred in relation to the motion.
(b) Effect of Admission.
Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the court on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. Subject to the provisions of rule 16 governing amendment of a pretrial order, the court may permit withdrawal or amendment when the presentation of the merits of the action will be subserved thereby and the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the court that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice the party in maintaining an action or defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party under this rule is for the purpose of the pending action only and is not an admission by the party for any other purpose nor may it be used against the party in any other proceeding.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1989; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Motion for Order Compelling Discovery.
A party, upon reasonable notice to other parties and all persons affected thereby, and upon a showing of compliance with rule 26(i), may apply to the court in the county where the deposition was taken, or in the county where the action is pending, for an order compelling discovery as follows:
(1) Appropriate Court. An application for an order to a party may be made to the court in which the action is pending, or on matters relating to a deposition, to the court in the county where the deposition is being taken. An application for an order to a deponent who is not a party shall be made to the court in the county where the deposition is being taken.
(2) Motion. If a deponent fails to answer a question propounded or submitted under rules 30 or 31, or a corporation or other entity fails to make a designation under rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a), or a party fails to answer an interrogatory submitted under rule 33, or if a party, in response to a request for inspection submitted under rule 34, fails to respond that inspection will be permitted as requested or fails to permit inspection as requested, any party may move for an order compelling an answer or a designation, or an order compelling inspection in accordance with the request. When taking a deposition on oral examination, the proponent of the question may complete or adjourn the examination before the proponent applies for an order. If the court denies the motion in whole or in part, it may make such protective order as it would have been empowered to make on a motion made pursuant to rule 26(c).
(3) Evasive or Incomplete Answer. For purposes of this section an evasive or incomplete answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.
(4) Award of Expenses of Motion. If the motion is granted, the court shall, after opportunity for hearing, require the party or deponent whose conduct necessitated the motion or the party or attorney advising such conduct or both of them to pay to the moving party the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney fees, unless the court finds that the opposition to the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust. If the motion is denied, the court shall, after opportunity for hearing, require the moving party or the attorney advising the motion or both of them to pay to the party or deponent who opposed the motion the reasonable expenses incurred in opposing the motion, including attorney fees, unless the court finds that the making of the motion was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust. If the motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court may apportion the reasonable expenses incurred in relation to the motion among the parties and persons in a just manner.
(b) Failure To Comply With Order.
(1) Sanctions by Court in County Where Deposition Is Taken. If a deponent fails to be sworn or to answer a question after being directed to do so by the court in the county in which the deposition is being taken, the failure may be considered a contempt of that court.
(2) Sanctions by Court in Which Action Is Pending. If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery, including an order made under section (a) of this rule or rule 35, or if a party fails to obey an order entered under rule 26(f), the court in which the action is pending may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others the following: (A) An order that the matters regarding which the order was made or any other designated facts shall be taken to be established for the purposes of the action in accordance with the claim of the party obtaining the order; (B) An order refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses, or prohibiting the disobedient party from introducing designated matters in evidence; (C) An order striking out pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed, or dismissing the action or proceedings or any part thereof, or rendering a judgment by default against the disobedient party; (D) In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, an order treating as a contempt of court the failure to obey any orders except an order to submit to physical or mental examination; (E) Where a party has failed to comply with an order under rule 35(a) requiring the party to produce another for examination such orders as are listed in sections (A), (B), and (C) of this subsection, unless the party failing to comply shows that the party is unable to produce such person for examination. In lieu of any of the foregoing orders or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to obey the order or the attorney advising him or her or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
(c) Expenses on Failure To Admit.
If a party fails to admit the genuineness of any document or the truth of any matter as requested under rule 36, and if the party requesting the admissions thereafter proves the genuineness of the document or the truth of the matter, the party may apply to the court for an order requiring the other party to pay the requesting party the reasonable expenses incurred in making that proof, including reasonable attorney fees. The court shall make the order unless it finds that:
(1) the request was held objectionable pursuant to rule 36(a); or
(2) the admission sought was of no substantial importance; or
(3) the party failing to admit had reasonable ground to believe the fact was not true or the document was not genuine; or
(4) there was other good reason for the failure to admit.
(d) Failure of Party To Attend at Own Deposition or Serve Answers to Interrogatories or Respond to Request for Production or Inspection.
If a party or an officer, director, or managing agent of a party or a person designated under rule 30(b)(6) or 31(a) to testify on behalf of a party fails;
(1) to appear before the officer who is to take his or her deposition, after being served with a proper notice; or
2) to serve answers or objections to interrogatories submitted under rule 33, after proper service of the interrogatories; or
(3) to serve a written response to a request for production of documents or inspection submitted under rule 34, after proper service of the request, the court in which the action is pending on motion may make such orders in regard to the failure as are just, and among others it may take any action authorized under sections (A), (B), and (C) of subsection (b)(2) of this rule. In lieu of any order or in addition thereto, the court shall require the party failing to act or the attorney advising the party or both to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure, unless the court finds that the failure was substantially justified or that other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust. The failure to act described in this subsection may not be excused on the ground that the discovery sought is objectionable unless the party failing to act has applied for a protective order as provided by rule 26(c). For purposes of this section, an evasive or misleading answer is to be treated as a failure to answer.
(e) Failure To Participate in the Framing of a Discovery Plan.
If a party or a party's attorney fails to participate in good faith in the framing of a discovery plan by agreement as is required by rule 26(f), the court may, after opportunity for hearing, require such party or such party's attorney to pay to any other party the reasonable expenses, including attorney fees, caused by the failure.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1972; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1992; September 1, 1993; April 28, 2015.]
(-) Defined. A trial is the judicial examination of the issues between the parties, whether they are issues of law or of fact.
(a) Right of Jury Trial Preserved.
The right of trial by jury as declared by article 1, section 21 of the constitution or as given by a statute shall be preserved to the parties inviolate.
(b) Demand for Jury.
At or prior to the time the case is called to be set for trial, any party may demand a trial by jury of any issue triable of right by a jury by serving upon the other parties a demand therefor in writing, by filing the demand with the clerk, and by paying the jury fee required by law. If before the case is called to be set for trial no party serves or files a demand that the case be tried by a jury of twelve, it shall be tried by a jury of six members with the concurrence of five being required to reach a verdict.
(c) Specification of Issues.
A party may specify the issues which the party wishes so tried in a demand; otherwise the party shall be deemed to have demanded trial by jury for all the issues so triable. If a party has demanded trial by jury for only some of the issues, any other party within 10 days after service of the demand or such lesser time as the court may order, may serve a demand for trial by jury of any other or all of the issues of fact in the action.
(d) Waiver of Jury.
The failure of a party to serve a demand as required by this rule, to file it as required by this rule, and to pay the jury fee required by law in accordance with this rule, constitutes a waiver by the party of trial by jury. A demand for trial by jury made as herein provided may not be withdrawn without the consent of the parties.
[Amended effective January 1, 1972; July 29, 1973; August 7, 1981; April 28, 2015.]
(a) By Jury.
(1) Rule. When trial by jury has been demanded as provided in rule 38, the action shall be designated upon the docket as a jury action. The trial of all issues so demanded shall be by jury, unless (A) the parties or their attorneys of record, by written stipulation filed with the court or by an oral stipulation made in open court and entered in the record, consent to trial by the court sitting without a jury or (B) the court upon motion or of its own initiative finds that a right of trial by jury of some or all of those issues does not exist under the constitution or statutes of the state.
(2) Questions of Fact for Jury. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.090.)
(b) By the Court.
(1) Rule. Issues not demanded for trial by jury as provided in rule 38 shall be tried by the court; but, notwithstanding the failure of a party to demand a jury in an action in which such a demand might have been made of right, the court in its discretion upon motion may order a trial by a jury of any or all issues.
(2) Questions of Law To Be Decided by Court. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.080.)
(c) Advisory Jury and Trial by Consent.
In all actions not triable of right by a jury the court, upon motion or of its own initiative, may try an issue with an advisory jury or it may, with the consent of both parties, order a trial with a jury whose verdict has the same effect as if trial by jury had been a matter of right.
(a) Notice of Trial--Note of Issue.
(1) Of Fact. At any time after the issues of fact are completed in any case by the service of complaint and answer or reply when necessary, as herein provided, either party may cause the issues of fact to be brought on for trial, by serving upon the opposite party a notice of trial at least 3 days before any day provided by rules of court for setting causes for trial, which notice shall give the title of the cause as in the pleadings, and notify the opposite party that the issues in such action will be brought on for trial at the time set by the court; and the party giving such notice of trial shall, at least 5 days before the day of setting such causes for trial, file with the clerk of the court a note of issue containing the title of the action, the names of the attorneys and the date when the last pleading was served; and the clerk shall thereupon enter the cause upon the trial docket according to the date of the issue.
(2) Of Law. In case an issue of law raised upon the pleadings is desired to be brought on for argument, either party shall, at least 5 days before the day set apart by the court under its rules for hearing issues of law, serve upon the opposite party a like notice of trial and furnish the clerk of the court with a note of issue as above provided, which note of issue shall specify that the issue to be tried is an issue of law; and the clerk of the court shall thereupon enter such action upon the motion docket of the court.
(3) Adjournments. When a cause has once been placed upon either docket of the court, if not tried or argued at the time for which notice was given, it need not be noticed for a subsequent session or day, but shall remain upon the docket from session to session or from law day to law day until final disposition or stricken off by the court.
(4) Filing Note by Opposite Party. The party upon whom notice of trial is served may file the note of issue and cause the action to be placed upon the calendar without further notice by the served party.
(5) Issue May Be Brought to Trial by Either Party. Either party, after the notice of trial, whether given by either party, may bring the issue to trial, and in the absence of the adverse party, unless the court for good cause otherwise directs, may proceed with the case, and take a dismissal of the action, or a verdict or judgment, as the case may require.
Each superior court may provide by local rule for placing of actions upon the trial calendar:
(1) without request of the parties; or
(2) upon request of a party and notice to the other parties; or
(3) in such other manner as the court deems expedient.
In setting cases for trial, unless otherwise provided by statute, preference shall be given to criminal over civil cases, and cases where the defendant or a witness is in confinement shall have preference over other cases.
When a cause is set and called for trial, it shall be tried or dismissed, unless good cause is shown for a continuance. The court may in a proper case, and upon terms, reset the same.
A motion to continue a trial on the ground of the absence of evidence shall only be made upon affidavit showing the materiality of the evidence expected to be obtained, and that due diligence has been used to procure it, and also the name and address of the witness or witnesses. The court may also require the moving party to state upon affidavit the evidence which he expects to obtain; and if the adverse party admits that such evidence would be given, and that it be considered as actually given on the trial, or offered and overruled as improper, the trial shall not be continued. The court, upon its allowance of the motion, may impose terms or conditions upon the moving party.
(f) Change of Judge.
Any right under RCW 4.12.050 to seek disqualification of a judge will be deemed waived unless, in addition to the limitations in the statute, the motion and affidavit is filed with the court no later than thirty days prior to trial before a pre-assigned judge. For purposes of this rule, "trial" includes any review or appeal from an administrative body. If a case is reassigned to a different judge less than forty days prior to trial, a party may then move for a change of judge within ten days of such reassignment, unless the moving party has previously made such a motion.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective October 19, 1999.]
(a) Voluntary Dismissal.
(1) Mandatory. Subject to the provisions of rules 23(e) and 23.1, any action shall be dismissed by the court: (A) By stipulation. When all parties who have appeared so stipulate in writing; or (B) By plaintiff before resting. Upon motion of the plaintiff at any time before plaintiff rests at the conclusion of plaintiff's opening case.
(2) Permissive. After plaintiff rests after plaintiff's opening case, plaintiff may move for a voluntary dismissal without prejudice upon good cause shown and upon such terms and conditions as the court deems proper.
(3) Counterclaim. If a counterclaim has been pleaded by a defendant prior to the service upon the defendant of plaintiff's motion for dismissal, the action shall not be dismissed against the defendant's objection unless the counterclaim can remain pending for independent adjudication by the court.
(4) Effect. Unless otherwise stated in the order of dismissal, the dismissal is without prejudice, except that an order of dismissal operates as an adjudication upon the merits when obtained by a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action based on or including the same claim in any court of the United States or of any state.
(b) Involuntary Dismissal; Effect.
For failure of the plaintiff to prosecute or to comply with these rules or any order of the court, a defendant may move for dismissal of an action or of any claim against him or her.
(1) Want of Prosecution on Motion of Party. Any civil action shall be dismissed, without prejudice, for want of prosecution whenever the plaintiff, counterclaimant, cross claimant, or third party plaintiff neglects to note the action for trial or hearing within 1 year after any issue of law or fact has been joined, unless the failure to bring the same on for trial or hearing was caused by the party who makes the motion to dismiss. Such motion to dismiss shall come on for hearing only after 10 days' notice to the adverse party. If the case is noted for trial before the hearing on the motion, the action shall not be dismissed.
(2) Dismissal on Clerk's Motion. (A) Notice. In all civil cases in which no action of record has occurred during the previous 12 months, the clerk of the superior court shall notify the attorneys of record by mail that the court will dismiss the case for want of prosecution unless, within 30 days following the mailing of such notice, a party takes action of record or files a status report with the court indicating the reason for inactivity and projecting future activity and a case completion date. If the court does not receive such a status report, it shall, on motion of the clerk, dismiss the case without prejudice and without cost to any party. (B) Mailing notice; reinstatement. The clerk shall mail notice of impending dismissal not later than 30 days after the case becomes eligible for dismissal because of inactivity. A party who does not receive the clerk's notice shall be entitled to reinstatement of the case, without cost, upon motion brought within a reasonable time after learning of the dismissal. (C) Discovery in process. The filing of a document indicating that discovery is occurring between the parties shall constitute action of record for purposes of this rule. (D) Other grounds for dismissal and reinstatement. This rule is not a limitation upon any other power that the court may have to dismiss or reinstate any action upon motion or otherwise.
(3) Defendant's Motion After Plaintiff Rests. After the plaintiff, in an action tried by the court without a jury, has completed the presentation of the evidence, the defendant, without waiving the right to offer evidence in the event the motion is not granted, may move for a dismissal on the ground that upon the facts and the law the plaintiff has shown no right to relief. The court as trier of the facts may then determine them and render judgment against the plaintiff or may decline to render any judgment until the close of all the evidence. If the court renders judgment on the merits against the plaintiff, the court shall make findings as provided in rule 52(a). Unless the court in its order for dismissal otherwise specifies, a dismissal under this subsection and any dismissal not provided for in this rule, other than a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction, for improper venue, or for failure to join a party under rule 19, operates as an adjudication upon the merits.
(c) Dismissal of Counterclaim, Cross Claim, or Third Party Claim.
The provisions of this rule apply to the dismissal of any counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim. A voluntary dismissal by the claimant alone pursuant to subsection (a)(1) of this rule shall be made before a responsive pleading is served or, if there is none, before the introduction of evidence at the trial or hearing.
(d) Costs of Previously Dismissed Action.
If a plaintiff who has once dismissed an action in any court commences an action based upon or including the same claim against the same defendant, the court may make such order for the payment of taxable costs of the action previously dismissed as it may deem proper and may stay the proceedings in the action until the plaintiff has complied with the order.
(e) Notice of Settlements.
If a case is settled after it has been assigned for trial, it shall be the duty of the attorneys or of any party appearing pro se to notify the court promptly of the settlement. If the settlement is made within 5 days before the trial date, the notice shall be made by telephone or in person. All notices of settlement shall be confirmed in writing to the clerk.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1997; April 28, 2015.]
When actions involving a common question of law or fact are pending before the court, it may order a joint hearing or trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions; it may order all the actions consolidated; and it may make such orders concerning proceedings therein as may tend to avoid unnecessary costs or delay.
(b) Separate Trials.
The court, in furtherance of convenience or to avoid prejudice, or when separate trials will be conducive to expedition and economy, may order a separate trial of any claim, cross claim, counterclaim, or third party claim, or of any separate issue or of any number of claims, cross claims, counterclaims, third party claims, or issues, always preserving inviolate the right of trial by jury.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967.]
(1) Generally. In all trials the testimony of witnesses shall be taken orally in open court, unless otherwise directed by the court or provided by rule or statute. For good cause in compelling circumstances and with appropriate safeguards, the court may permit testimony in open court by contemporaneous transmission from a different location.
(2) Multiple Examinations. When two or more attorneys are upon the same side trying a case, the attorney conducting the examination of a witness shall continue until the witness is excused from the stand; and all objections and offers of proof made during the examination of such witness shall be made or announced by the attorney who is conducting the examination or cross examination.
(d) Oaths of Witnesses.
(1) Administration. The oaths of all witnesses in the superior court (A) shall be administered by the judge; (B) shall be administered to each witness individually; and (C) the witness shall stand while the oath is administered.
(2) Applicability. This rule shall not apply to civil ex parte proceedings or default divorce cases and in such cases the manner of swearing witnesses shall be as each superior court may prescribe.
(3) Affirmation in Lieu of Oath. Whenever under these rules an oath is required to be taken, a solemn affirmation may be accepted in lieu thereof.
(e) Evidence on Motions.
(1) Generally. When a motion is based on facts not appearing of record the court may hear the matter on affidavits presented by the respective parties, but the court may direct that the matter be heard wholly or partly on oral testimony or depositions.
(2) For injunctions, etc. On application for injunction or motion to dissolve an injunction or discharge an attachment, or to appoint or discharge a receiver, the notice thereof shall designate the kind of evidence to be introduced on the hearing. If the application is to be heard on affidavits, copies thereof must be served by the moving party upon the adverse party at least 3 days before the hearing. Oral testimony shall not be taken on such hearing unless permission of the court is first obtained and notice of such permission served upon the adverse party at least 3 days before the hearing. This rule shall not be construed as pertaining to applications for restraining orders or for appointment of temporary receivers.
(f) Adverse Party as Witness.
(1) Party or Managing Agent as Adverse Witness. A party, or anyone who at the time of the notice is an officer, director, or other managing agent (herein collectively referred to as "managing agent") of a public or private corporation, partnership or association which is a party to an action or proceeding may be examined at the instance of any adverse party. Attendance of such deponent or witness may be compelled solely by notice (in lieu of a subpoena) given in the manner prescribed in rule 30(b)(1) to opposing counsel of record. Notices for the attendance of a party or of a managing agent at the trial shall be given not less than 10 days before trial (exclusive of the day of service, Saturdays, Sundays, and court holidays). For good cause shown in the manner prescribed in rule 26(c), the court may make orders for the protection of the party or managing agent to be examined.
(2) Effect of Discovery, etc. A party who has served interrogatories to be answered by the adverse party or who has taken the deposition of an adverse party or of the managing agent of an adverse party shall not be precluded for that reason from examining such adverse party or managing agent at the trial. Matters admitted by the adverse party or managing agent in interrogatory answers, deposition testimony, or trial testimony are not conclusively established and may be rebutted.
(3) Refusal To Attend and Testify; Penalties. If a party or a managing agent refuses to attend and testify before the officer designated to take the party's deposition or at the trial after notice served as prescribed in rule 30(b)(1), the complaint, answer, or reply of the party may be stricken and judgment taken against the party, and the contumacious party or managing agent may also be proceeded against as in other cases of contempt. This rule shall not be construed: (A) to compel any person to answer any question where such answer might tend to be incriminating; (B) to prevent a party from using a subpoena to compel the attendance of any party or managing agent to give testimony by deposition or at the trial; nor (C) to limit the applicability of any other sanctions or penalties provided in rule 37 or otherwise for failure to attend and give testimony.
(g) Attorney as Witness.
If any attorney offers to be a witness on behalf of the attorney's client and gives evidence on the merits, the attorney shall not argue the case to the jury, unless by permission of the court.
(h) Report or Transcript as Evidence.
Whenever the testimony of a witness at a trial or hearing which was reported is admissible in evidence at a later trial, it may be proved by the certified transcript thereof.
(i) (Reserved. See ER 804.)
(j) Report of Proceedings in Retrial of Nonjury Cases.
In the event a cause has been remanded by the court for a new trial or the taking of further testimony, and such cause shall have been tried without a jury, and the testimony in such cause shall have been taken in full and used as the report of proceedings upon review, either party upon the retrial of such cause or the taking of further testimony therein shall have the right, provided the court shall so order after an application on 10 days' notice to the opposing party or parties, to submit said report of proceedings as the testimony in said cause upon its second hearing, to the same effect as if the witnesses called by either party in the earlier hearing had been called, sworn, and testified in the further hearing; but no party shall be denied the right to submit other or further testimony upon such retrial or further hearing, and the party having the right of cross examination shall have the privilege of subpoenaing any witness whose testimony is contained in such report of proceedings for further cross examination.
(k) Juror Questions for Witnesses.
The court shall permit jurors to submit to the court written questions directed to witnesses. Counsel shall be given an opportunity to object to such questions in a manner that does not inform the jury that an objection was made. The court shall establish procedures for submitting, objecting to, and answering questions from jurors to witnesses. The court may rephrase or reword questions from jurors to witnesses. The court may refuse on its own motion to allow a particular question from a juror to a witness.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective January 1, 1977; April 2, 1979; September 1, 1988; October 1, 2002; September 1, 2006, September 1, 2010; April 28, 2015; September 1, 2015.]
(1) Domestic. An official record kept within the United States, or any state, district, or commonwealth, territory, or within a territory subject to the administrative or judicial jurisdiction of the United States, or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the legal custody of the record, or by the officer's deputy, and accompanied by a certificate that such officer has the custody. The certificate may be made by a judge of a court of record of the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of the court, or may be made by any public officer having a seal of office or official custody of the seal of the political subdivision and having official duties in the district or political subdivision in which the record is kept, authenticated by the seal of the officer's office or the seal of the political subdivision.
(2) Foreign. A foreign official record, or an entry therein, when admissible for any purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication thereof; or a copy thereof, attested by a person authorized to make the attestation, and accompanied by a final certification as to the genuineness of the signature and official position (A) of the attesting person, or (B) of any foreign official whose certificate of genuineness of signature and official position relates to the attestation or is in a chain of certificates of genuineness of signature and official position relating to the attestation. A final certification may be made by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul general, consul, vice-consul, or consular agent of the United States, or a diplomatic or consular official of the foreign country assigned or accredited to the United States. If reasonable opportunity has been given to all parties to investigate the authenticity and accuracy of the documents, the court may, for good cause shown, either admit an attested copy without final certification or permit the foreign official record to be evidenced by an attested summary with or without a final certification. The final certification is unnecessary if the record and the attestation are certified as provided in a treaty or convention to which the United States and the foreign country in which the official record is located are parties.
(b) Lack of Record.
A written statement that after diligent search no record or entry of a specified tenor is found to exist in the records, designated by the statement, authenticated as provided in subsection (a)(1) of this rule in the case of a domestic record, or complying with the requirements of subsection (a)(2) of this rule for a summary in the case of a foreign record, is admissible as evidence that the records contain no such record or entry.
(c) Other Proof.
This rule does not prevent the proof of official records or of entry or lack of entry therein by any other method authorized by law.
Formal exceptions to rulings or orders of the court are unnecessary; but for all purposes for which an exception has heretofore been necessary it is sufficient that a party, at the time the ruling or order of the court is made or sought, makes known to the court the action which the party desires the court to take or the party's objection to the action of the court and grounds therefore; and, if a party has no opportunity to object to a ruling or order at the time it is made, the absence of an objection does not thereafter prejudice the party.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
(a) Examination of Jurors.
The court may examine the prospective jurors to the extent it deems appropriate, and shall permit the parties or their attorneys to ask reasonable questions.
(b) Alternate Jurors.
The court may direct that not more than six jurors in addition to the regular jury be called and impaneled to sit as alternate jurors. Alternate jurors in the order in which they are called shall replace jurors who, prior to the time the jury retires to consider its verdict, become or are found to be unable or disqualified to perform their duties. Alternate jurors shall be drawn in the same manner, shall have the same qualifications, shall be subject to the same examination and challenges, shall take the same oath, and shall have the same functions, powers, facilities, and privileges as the regular jurors. Each side is entitled to one peremptory challenge in addition to those otherwise allowed by law if one or two alternate jurors are to be impaneled, two peremptory challenges if three or four alternate jurors are to be impaneled, and three peremptory challenges if five or six alternate jurors are to be impaneled. The additional peremptory challenges may be used against an alternate juror only, and the other peremptory challenges allowed by law shall not be used against an alternate juror. An alternate juror who does not replace a regular juror may be discharged or temporarily excused after the jury retires to consider its verdict. When an alternate juror is temporarily excused but not discharged, the trial judge shall take appropriate steps to protect such juror from influence, interference or publicity which might affect that jurors ability to remain impartial, and the trial judge may conduct brief voir dire before seating such alternate juror for any trial or deliberations. An alternate juror may be recalled at any time that a regular juror is unable to serve, including a second phase of any trial that is bifurcated. If the jury has commenced deliberations prior to the replacement of a regular juror with an alternate juror, the jury shall be instructed to disregard all previous deliberations and to begin deliberations anew.
(c) Procedure When Juror Becomes Ill. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.290.)
(d) Impaneling Jury. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.120.)
(1) Kind and Number. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.130.)
(2) Peremptory Challenges Defined. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.140.)
(3) Challenges for Cause. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.150.)
(4) General Causes of Challenge. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.160.)
(5) Particular Causes of Challenge. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.170.)
(6) Implied Bias Defined. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.180.)
(7) Challenge for Actual Bias. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.190.)
(8) Exemption Not Cause of Challenge. (Reserved.)
(9) Peremptory Challenges. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.210.)
(10) Order of Taking Challenges. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.220.)
(11) Objections to Challenges. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.230.)
(12) Trial of Challenge. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.240.)
(13) Challenge; Objection and Denial May Be Oral. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.250.)
(f) Oath of Jurors. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.260.)
(g) View of Premises by Jury. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.270.)
(h) Admonitions to Jurors. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.280.)
(i) Care of Jury While Deliberating.
(1) Generally. During trial and deliberations the jury may be allowed to separate unless good cause is shown, on the record, for sequestration of the jury.
(2) Communication Restricted. Unless the jury is allowed to separate, the jurors shall be kept together under the charge of one or more officers until they agree upon their verdict or are discharged by the court. The officer shall keep the jurors separate from other persons and shall not allow any communication which may affect the case to be made to the jurors, nor make any such communication, unless by order of the court, except to ask the jurors if they have agreed upon their verdict. The officer shall not, before the verdict is rendered, communicate to any person the state of the jurors' deliberations or their verdict.
(3) Motions. Any motions or proceedings concerning the separation or sequestration of the jury shall be made out of the presence of the jury.
(j) Note Taking by Jurors.
In all cases, jurors shall be allowed to take written notes regarding the evidence presented to them and keep these notes with them during their deliberation. The court may allow jurors to keep these notes with them in the jury room during recesses, in which case jurors may review their own notes but may not share or discuss the notes with other jurors until they begin deliberating. Such notes should be treated as confidential between the jurors making them and their fellow jurors, and shall be destroyed immediately after the verdict is rendered.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1974; September 1, 1983; September 1, 1989; April 20, 1990; October 1, 2002; April 28, 2015.]
The parties may stipulate that the jury shall consist of any number less than 12 or that a verdict or a finding of a stated majority of the jurors shall be taken as the verdict or finding of the jury.
(-) General Verdict. A general verdict is that by which the jury pronounces generally upon all or any of the issues in favor of either the plaintiff or defendant.
(a) Special Verdict.
The court may require a jury to return only a special verdict in the form of a special written finding upon each issue of fact. In that event the court may submit to the jury written questions susceptible of categorical or other brief answer or may submit written forms of the several special findings which might properly be made under the pleadings and evidence; or it may use such other method of submitting the issues and requiring the written findings thereon as it deems most appropriate. The court shall give to the jury such explanation and instruction concerning the matter thus submitted as may be necessary to enable the jury to make its findings upon each issue. If in so doing the court omits any issue of fact raised by the pleadings or by the evidence, each party waives the rights to a trial by jury of the issue so omitted unless before the jury retires the party demands its submission to the jury. As to an issue omitted without such demand the court may make a finding; or, if it fails to do so, it shall be deemed to have made a finding in accord with the judgment on the special verdict.
(b) General Verdict Accompanied by Answer to Interrogatories.
The court may submit to the jury, together with appropriate forms for a general verdict, written interrogatories upon one or more issues of fact the decision of which is necessary to a verdict. The court shall give such explanation or instruction as may be necessary to enable the jury both to make answers to the interrogatories and to render a general verdict, and the court shall direct the jury both to make written answers and to render a general verdict. When the general verdict and the answers are harmonious, the appropriate judgment upon the verdict and answers shall be entered pursuant to rule 58. When the answers are consistent with each other but one or more is inconsistent with the general verdict, judgment may be entered pursuant to rule 58 in accordance with the answers, notwithstanding the general verdict, or the court may return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or may order a new trial. When the answers are inconsistent with each other and one or more is likewise inconsistent with the general verdict, judgment shall not be entered, but the court shall return the jury for further consideration of its answers and verdict or shall order a new trial.
(c) Discharge of Jury.
(1) Without Verdict. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.330.)
(2) Effect of Discharge. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.340.)
(d) Court Recess During Deliberation. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.350.)
(e) Proceedings When Jurors Have Agreed. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.360.)
(f) Manner of Giving Verdict. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.370.)
(g) Ten Jurors in Civil Cases. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.380.)
(h) Jury May Be Polled. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.390.)
(i) Correction of Informal Verdict. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.400.)
(j) Jury To Assess Amount of Recovery. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.450.)
(k) Receiving Verdict and Discharging Jury. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.460.)
(l) Any Juror Verdict. When a jury decides a verdict, any juror may vote on any of the questions posed. It is not necessary that the same ten jurors agree on every answer, as long as each answer is agreed to by any ten or more jurors.
[Adopted July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 2001; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(1) Nature and Effect of Motion. If, during a trial by jury, a party has been fully heard with respect to an issue and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find or have found for that party with respect to that issue, the court may grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on any claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim that cannot under the controlling law be maintained without a favorable finding on that issue. Such a motion shall specify the judgment sought and the law and the facts on which the moving party is entitled to the judgment. A motion for judgment as a matter of law which is not granted is not a waiver of trial by jury even though all parties to the action have moved for judgment as a matter of law.
(2) When Made. A motion for judgment as a matter of law may be made at any time before submission of the case to the jury.
(b) Renewing Motion for Judgment After Trial; Alternative Motion for New Trial.
If, for any reason, the court does not grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law made at the close of all the evidence, the court is considered to have submitted the action to the jury subject to the court's later deciding the legal questions raised by the motion. The movant may renew its request for judgment as a matter of law by filing a motion no later than 10 days after entry of judgment - and may alternatively request a new trial or join a motion for a new trial under rule 59. In ruling on a renewed motion, the court may:
(1) if a verdict was returned: (A) allow the judgment to stand, (B) order a new trial, or (C) direct entry of judgment as a matter of law; or
(2) if no verdict was returned: (A) order a new trial, or (B) direct entry of judgment as a matter of law.
(c) Alternative Motions for Judgment as a Matter of Law or for a New Trial--Effect of Appeal.
Whenever a motion for a judgment as a matter of law and, in the alternative, for a new trial shall be filed and submitted in any superior court in any civil cause tried before a jury, and such superior court shall enter an order granting such motion for judgment as a matter of law, such court shall at the same time, in the alternative, pass upon and decide in the same order such motion for a new trial; such ruling upon said motion for a new trial not to become effective unless and until the order granting the motion for judgment as a matter of law shall thereafter be reversed, vacated, or set aside in the manner provided by law. An appeal to the Supreme Court or Court of Appeals from a judgment granted on a motion for judgment as a matter of law shall, of itself, without the necessity of cross appeal, bring up for review the ruling of the trial court on the motion for a new trial; and the appellate court shall, if it reverses the judgment entered as a matter of law, review and determine the validity of the ruling on the motion for a new trial.
(d) Same: Denial of Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law.
If the motion for judgment as a matter of law is denied, the party who prevailed on that motion may, as appellee, assert grounds entitling the party to a new trial in the event the appellate court concludes that the trial court erred in denying the motion for judgment. If the appellate court reverses the judgment, nothing in this rule precludes it from determining that the appellee is entitled to a new trial, or from directing the trial court to determine whether a new trial shall be granted.
[Amended effective January 1, 1977; July 1, 1980; September 1, 1984; September 17, 1993; September 1, 2005.]
Unless otherwise requested by the trial judge on timely notice to counsel, proposed instructions shall be submitted when the case is called for trial. Proposed instructions upon questions of law developed by the evidence, which could not reasonably be anticipated, may be submitted at any time before the court has instructed the jury.
Submission of proposed instructions shall be by delivering the original and three or more copies as required by the trial judge, by filing one copy with the clerk, identified as the party's proposed instructions, and by serving one copy upon each opposing counsel.
Each proposed instruction shall be typewritten or printed on a separate sheet of letter-size (8-1/2 by 11 inches) paper. Except for one copy of each, the instructions delivered to the trial court shall not be numbered or identified as to the proposing party. One copy delivered to the trial court, and the copy filed with the clerk, and copies served on each opposing counsel shall be numbered and identified as to proposing party, and may contain supporting annotations.
(d) Published Instructions.
(1) Request. Any instruction appearing in the Washington Pattern Instructions (WPI) may be requested by counsel who must submit the proper number of copies of the requested instruction, identified by number as in section (c) of this rule, in the form counsel wishes it read to the jury. If the instruction in WPI allows or provides for a choice of wording by the use of brackets or otherwise, the written requested instruction shall use the choice of wording which is being requested.
(2) Record on Review. Where the refusal to give a requested instruction is an asserted error on review, a copy of the requested instruction shall be placed in the record on review.
(3) Local Option. Any superior court may adopt a local rule to substitute for subsection (d)(1) and to allow instructions appearing in the Washington Pattern Instructions (WPI) to be requested by reference to the published number. If the instruction in WPI allows or provides for a choice of wording by the use of brackets or otherwise, the local rule must require that the written request which designates the number of the instruction shall also designate the choice of wording which is being requested.
(e) Disregarding Requests.
The trial court may disregard any proposed instruction not submitted in accordance with this rule.
(f) Objections to Instruction.
Before instructing the jury, the court shall supply counsel with copies of its proposed instructions which shall be numbered. Counsel shall then be afforded an opportunity in the absence of the jury to make objections to the giving of any instruction and to the refusal to give a requested instruction. The objector shall state distinctly the matter to which counsel objects and the grounds of counsel's objection, specifying the number, paragraph or particular part of the instruction to be given or refused and to which objection is made.
(g) Instructing the Jury and Argument.
After counsel have completed their objections and the court has made any modifications deemed appropriate, the court shall then provide each counsel with a copy of the instructions in their final form. The court shall then read the instructions to the jury. The plaintiff or party having the burden of proof may then address the jury upon the evidence, and the law as contained in the courts instructions; after which the adverse party may address the jury; followed by the rebuttal of the party first addressing the jury.
After argument, the jury shall retire to consider its verdict. In addition to the written instructions given, the jury shall take with it all exhibits received in evidence, except depositions. Copies may be substituted for any parts of public records or private documents as ought not, in the opinion of the court, to be taken from the person having them in possession. Pleadings shall not go to the jury room.
(i) Questions from Jury During Deliberations.
The jury shall be instructed that any question it wishes to ask the court about the instructions or evidence should be signed, dated and submitted in writing to the bailiff without any indication of the status of the jury's deliberations. The court shall notify the parties of the contents of the questions and provide them an opportunity to comment upon an appropriate response. Written questions from the jury, the court's response and any objections thereto shall be made a part of the record. The court shall respond to all questions from a deliberating jury in open court or in writing. In its discretion, the court may grant a jury's request to rehear or replay evidence, but should do so in a way that is least likely to be seen as a comment on the evidence, in a way that is not unfairly prejudicial and in a way that minimizes the possibility that jurors will give undue weight to such evidence. Any additional instruction upon any point of law shall be given in writing.
(j) Comments Upon Evidence.
Judges shall not instruct with respect to matters of fact, nor comment thereon.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective November 3, 1967; March 29, 1968; January 1, 1977; amended effective October 1, 2002; April 28, 2015.]
(1) Generally. In all actions tried upon the facts without a jury or with an advisory jury, the court shall find the facts specially and state separately its conclusions of law. Judgment shall be entered pursuant to rule 58 and may be entered at the same time as the entry of the findings of fact and the conclusions of law.
(2) Specifically Required. Without in any way limiting the requirements of subsection (1), findings and conclusions are required: (A) Temporary injunctions. In granting or refusing temporary injunctions. (B) Domestic relations. In connection with all final decisions in adoption, custody, and divorce proceedings, whether heard ex parte or not. In all cases in which the court makes specific findings of physical or sexual abuse or exploitation of a child the court shall direct the court clerk to notify the state patrol of the findings pursuant to RCW 43.43.840. (C) Other. In connection with any other decision where findings and conclusions are specifically required by statute, by another rule, or by a local rule of the superior court.
(3) Proposed. Requests for proposed findings of fact are not necessary for review.
(4) Form. If a written opinion or memorandum of decision is filed, it will be sufficient if formal findings of fact and conclusions of law are included.
(5) When Unnecessary. Findings of fact and conclusions of law are not necessary: (A) Stipulation. Where all parties stipulate in writing that there will be no appeal. (B) Decision on motions. On decisions of motions under rules 12 or 56 or any other motion, except as provided in rules 41(b)(3) and 55(b)(2). (C) Temporary restraining orders. On the issuance of temporary restraining orders issued ex parte.
(b) Amendment of Findings.
Upon motion of a party filed not later than 10 days after entry of judgment the court may amend its findings or make additional findings and may amend the judgment accordingly. The motion may be made with a motion for a new trial pursuant to rule 59. When findings of fact are made in actions tried by the court without a jury, the question of the sufficiency of evidence to support the findings may thereafter be raised whether or not the party raising the question has made in the court an objection to such findings or has made a motion to amend them or a motion for judgment.
Unless an emergency is shown to exist, or a party has failed to appear at a hearing or trial, the court shall not sign findings of fact or conclusions of law until the defeated party or parties have received 5 days' notice of the time and place of the submission, and have been served with copies of the proposed findings and conclusions. Persons who have failed to appear at a hearing or trial after notice, may, in the discretion of the trial court, be deemed to have waived their right to notice of presentation or previous review of the proposed findings and conclusions.
(d) Judgment Without Findings, etc.
A judgment entered in a case tried to the court where findings are required, without findings of fact having been made, is subject to a motion to vacate within the time for the taking of an appeal. After vacation, the judgment shall not be reentered until findings are entered pursuant to this rule.
(e) Time Limit for Decision. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.240.)
[Amended effective September 1, 1985; January 1, 1988; September 1, 2005.]
(a) Referees--Definition and Powers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.24.060.)
(b) Reference by Consent--Right to Jury Trial. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.010.)
(c) Reference Without Consent. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.020.)
(d) To Whom Reference May Be Ordered. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.030.)
(e) Qualifications of Referees. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.040.)
(f) Challenges to Referees. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.050.)
(g) Trial Procedure--Powers of Referee. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.060.)
(h) Referee's Report--Contents--Evidence, Filing of, Frivolous. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.070.)
(i) Proceedings on Filing of Report. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.080.)
(j) Judgment on Referees Report. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.090.)
(k) Fees of Referees. (Reserved. See RCW 4.48.100.)
The court in which any action is pending may appoint a special master either to preside at depositions or to adjudicate discovery disputes, or both. Such appointment may be made, for good cause shown, upon the request of any party in pending litigation or upon the court's own motion.
The master shall be a lawyer admitted to practice in the state of Washington.
The compensation of the master shall be fixed by the court. Payment of the master's compensation shall be charged to such of the parties or paid out of such other available funds as the court shall direct, but in determining payment of compensation the court shall take into account the relative financial resources of the parties and such other factors as the court deems appropriate.
The order of reference to the master may specify the duties of the master. It may direct that the master preside at depositions and make rulings on issues arising at the depositions. It may direct the master to hear and report to the court on unresolved discovery disputes and to make recommendations as to the resolution of such disputes, as to the imposition of terms or sanctions to be assessed against any party, and as to which party or parties shall bear the costs of the master. If directed by the court, the master shall prepare a report upon the matters submitted to the master by the order of reference. A party may request that the report be sealed pursuant to rule 26(c). The report with the rulings and recommendations of the master shall be reviewed by the court and may be adopted or revised as the court deems just.
(a) Scope of Rule.
(b) Voluntary Mediation.
The parties may establish a procedure for mediation that differs from this rule provided the procedure and the selection of the mediator are agreed to in writing and signed by all parties.
Except as otherwise ordered by the court for good cause shown, mediation under RCW 7.70.100 shall be commenced no later than 30 days before the trial date. Mediation under RCW 7.70.110 shall be commenced no later than 90 days after the selection of the mediator.
(d) Waiver of Mediation.
Upon petition of any party that mediation is not appropriate, the court shall order or the mediator may determine that the claim is not appropriate for mediation.
(e) Appointment of Mediator.
Subject to the conditions in this section, the court shall designate a mediator from the register described in section
(g) upon the request of any party. Except upon stipulation in writing signed by all parties, the court shall not make this designation if the parties have agreed in writing to the selection of a mediator as contemplated by section (b) or have obtained a waiver of mediation under section (d). Except upon stipulation in writing signed by all parties, the court shall designate a mediator no sooner than 180 days before trial, or for mediation requested under RCW 7.70.100, no sooner than 180 days after the good faith request for mediation. (f) Mediation Procedure. Promptly upon the designation of a mediator, the plaintiff shall arrange a conference call among the mediator and counsel for each party to discuss the procedural aspects of the mediation. Except to the extent the mediator directs otherwise, the following procedures shall apply:
(1) Copy of Pleadings. Upon selection of a mediator, the parties shall provide the mediator with copies of the relevant Pleadings.
(2) Notice of Time and Place. The mediator shall fix a time and place for the mediation conference, and all subsequent sessions, that is reasonably convenient for the parties and shall give them at least 14 days' written notice of the initial conference. In giving notice the mediator may use a form provided by the court.
(3) Memoranda. Each party shall provide the mediator with a confidential memorandum presenting in concise form its contentions relative to both liability and damages. This memorandum shall not exceed 10 pages in length. A copy of the memorandum shall be delivered to the mediator at least seven days before the mediation conference. Any party may deliver a copy of his or her memorandum to any other party. In addition, each party shall deliver to the mediator a confidential statement of its current offer or demand. Any party may deliver a copy of his or her statement to any other party.
(4) Attendance and Preparation Required. The attorney who is primarily responsible for each party's case shall personally attend the mediation conference and any subsequent sessions of that conference. The attorney for each party shall come prepared to discuss the following matters in detail and in good faith: (A) All liability issues. (B) All damage issues. (C) The position, of his or her client relative to settlement.
(5) Attendance of Parties and Insurers. For purposes of this section, "insurer" shall include "self insurer." In addition to counsel, all parties and insurers shall attend the mediation in person. In the event a party defendant has provided his or her insurer with full authority to settle, such party's attendance is optional. The mediator may also, at his or her discretion, but only in exceptional cases, excuse a party or insurer from personally attending the mediation conference. Those excused from personal attendance by the mediator shall be on call by telephone during the conference.
(6) Failure to Attend. Willful or negligent failure to attend the mediation conference, or to comply with this rule or with the directions of the mediator, shall be reported to the court by the mediator in writing and may result in the imposition of such sanctions as the court may find appropriate.
(7) Proceedings Privileged. All proceedings of the mediation conference, including any statement made by any party, attorney or other participant, shall, in all respects, be privileged and not reported, recorded, placed in evidence, used for impeachment, made known to the trial court or jury, or construed for any purpose as an admission. No party shall be bound by anything done or said at the conference unless a settlement is reached, in which event the agreement upon a settlement shall be reduced to writing and shall be binding upon all parties to that agreement.
(8) Mediator's Suggestions. The mediator shall have no obligation to make any written comments or recommendations, but may in his or her discretion provide the parties or their counsel with a confidential written settlement recommendation memorandum, but only if all parties agree. No copy of any such memorandum shall be filed with the clerk or made available, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, either to the court or to the jury.
(9) Certification of Mediation. Not more than 10 days after the mediation concludes or the mediator determines that the claim is not appropriate for mediation, the parties shall certify in writing to the court the manner of mediation, if any, and compliance with the provisions of this rule.
(g) Register of Volunteer Mediators.
(1) Court to Maintain Register. The court shall establish and maintain a register of qualified attorneys who have volunteered to serve as mediators. The attorneys so registered shall be selected by the court from lists of qualified attorneys at law who are current members in good standing of the Washington State Bar Association.
(2) Qualifications. In order to qualify as a mediator, an attorney shall: (A) Have been a member of the Washington State Bar Association for at least five years; and (B) Have experience or expertise related to litigating actions arising from injury occurring as a result of health care; and (C) Have 6 hours of CLE mediator training and acted as a mediator in at least 10 cases, three of which were medical malpractice; or (D) Be a retired judge having experience or expertise related to actions arising from injury occurring as a result of health care and satisfy the requirements of (2)(C) herein.
[Effective March 11, 1997; amended September 1, 2007.]
(1) Judgment. A judgment is the final determination of the rights of the parties in the action and includes any decree and order from which an appeal lies. A judgment shall be in writing and signed by the judge and filed forthwith as provided in rule 58.
(2) Order. Every direction of a court or judge, made or entered in writing, not included in a judgment, is denominated an order.
(b) Judgment Upon Multiple Claims or Involving Multiple Parties.
When more than one claim for relief is presented in an action, whether as a claim, counterclaim, cross claim, or third party claim, or when multiple parties are involved, the court may direct the entry of a final judgment as to one or more but fewer than all of the claims or parties only upon an express determination in the judgment, supported by written findings, that there is no just reason for delay and upon an express direction for the entry of judgment. The findings may be made at the time of entry of judgment or thereafter on the courts own motion or on motion of any party. In the absence of such findings, determination and direction, any order or other form of decision, however designated, which adjudicates fewer than all the claims or the rights and liabilities of fewer than all the parties shall not terminate the action as to any of the claims or parties, and the order or other form of decision is subject to revision at any time before the entry of judgment adjudicating all the claims and the rights and liabilities of all the parties.
(c) Demand for Judgment.
A judgment by default shall not be different in kind from or exceed in amount that prayed for in the demand for judgment. Except as to a party against whom a judgment is entered by default, every final judgment shall grant the relief to which the party in whose favor it is rendered is entitled, even if the party has not demanded such relief in his pleadings.
(d) Costs, Disbursements, Attorney's Fees, and Expenses.
(1) Costs and Disbursements. Costs and disbursements shall be fixed and allowed as provided in RCW 4.84 or by any other applicable statute. If the party to whom costs are awarded does not file a cost bill or an affidavit detailing disbursements within 10 days after the entry of the judgment, the clerk shall tax costs and disbursements pursuant to CR 78(e).
(2) Attorney's Fees and Expenses. Claims for attorney's fees and expenses, other than costs and disbursements, shall be made by motion unless the substantive law governing the action provides for the recovery of such fees and expenses as an element of damages to be proved at trial. Unless otherwise provided by statute or order of the court, the motion must be filed no later than 10 days after entry of judgment.
(e) Preparation of Order or Judgment.
The attorney of record for the prevailing party shall prepare and present a proposed form of order or judgment not later than 15 days after the entry of the verdict or decision, or at any other time as the court may direct. Where the prevailing party is represented by an attorney of record, no order or judgment may be entered for the prevailing party unless presented or approved by the attorney of record. If both the prevailing party and the prevailing party's attorney of record fail to prepare and present the form of order or judgment within the prescribed time, any other party may do so, without the approval of the attorney of record of the prevailing party upon notice of presentation as provided in subsection (f)(2).
(1) Time. Judgments may be presented at the same time as the findings of fact and conclusions of law under rule 52.
(2) Notice of Presentation. No order or judgment shall be signed or entered until opposing counsel have been given 5 days' notice of presentation and served with a copy of the proposed order or judgment unless: (A) Emergency. An emergency is shown to exist. (B) Approval. Opposing counsel has approved in writing the entry of the proposed order or judgment or waived notice of presentation. (C) After verdict, etc. If presentation is made after entry of verdict or findings and while opposing counsel is in open court.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1989; September 1, 2007; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Entry of Default.
(1) Motion. When a party against whom a judgment for affirmative relief is sought has failed to appear, plead, or otherwise defend as provided by these rules and that fact is made to appear by motion and affidavit, a motion for default may be made.
(2) Pleading After Default. Any party may respond to any pleading or otherwise defend at any time before a motion for default and supporting affidavit is filed, whether the party previously has appeared or not. If the party has appeared before the motion is filed, the party may respond to the pleading or otherwise defend at any time before the hearing on the motion. If the party has not appeared before the motion is filed he may not respond to the pleading nor otherwise defend without leave of court. Any appearances for any purpose in the action shall be for all purposes under this rule 55.
(3) Notice. Any party who has appeared in the action for any purpose shall be served with a written notice of motion for default and the supporting affidavit at least 5 days before the hearing on the motion. Any party who has not appeared before the motion for default and supporting affidavit are filed is not entitled to a notice of the motion, except as provided in rule 55(f)(2)(A).
(4) Venue. A motion for default shall include a statement of the basis for venue in the action. A default shall not be entered if it clearly appears to the court from the papers on file that the action was brought in an improper county.
(b) Entry of Default Judgment.
As limited in rule 54(c), judgment after default may be entered as follows, if proof of service is on file as required by subsection (b)(4):
(1) When Amount Certain. When the claim against a party, whose default has been entered under section (a), is for a sum certain or for a sum which can by computation be made certain, the court upon motion and affidavit of the amount due shall enter judgment for that amount and costs against the party in default, if the party is not an infant or incompetent person. No judgment by default shall be entered against an infant or incompetent person unless represented by a general guardian or guardian ad litem. Findings of fact and conclusions of law are not necessary under this subsection even though reasonable attorney fees are requested and allowed.
(2) When Amount Uncertain. If, in order to enable the court to enter judgment or to carry it into effect, it is necessary to take an account or to determine the amount of damages or to establish the truth of any averment by evidence or to make an investigation of any other matter, the court may conduct such hearings as are deemed necessary or, when required by statute, shall have such matters resolved by a jury. Findings of fact and conclusions of law are required under this subsection.
(3) When Service by Publication or Mail. In an action where the service of the summons was by publication, or by mail under rule 4 (d)(4), the plaintiff, upon the expiration of the time for answering, may, upon proof of service, apply for judgment. The court must thereupon require proof of the demand mentioned in the complaint, and must require the plaintiff or the plaintiff's agent to be examined on oath respecting any payments that have been made to the plaintiff, or to anyone for the plaintiff's use on account of such demand, and may render judgment for the amount which the plaintiff is entitled to recover, or for such other relief as the plaintiff may be entitled to.
(4) Costs and Proof of Service. Costs shall not be awarded and default judgment shall not be rendered unless proof of service is on file with the court.
(c) Setting Aside Default.
(1) Generally. For good cause shown and upon such terms as the court deems just, the court may set aside an entry of default and, if a judgment by default has been entered, may likewise set it aside in accordance with rule 60(b).
(2) When Venue Is Improper. A default judgment entered in a county of improper venue is valid but will on motion be vacated for irregularity pursuant to rule 60(b)(1). A party who procures the entry of the judgment, shall in the vacation proceedings, be required to pay to the party seeking vacation the costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the party in seeking vacation if the party procuring the judgment could have determined the county of proper venue with reasonable diligence. This subsection does not apply if either: (a) the parties stipulate in writing to venue after commencement of the action; or (b) the defendant has appeared, has been given written notice of the motion for an order of default, and does not object to venue before the entry of the default order.
(d) Plaintiffs, Counterclaimants, Cross Claimants.
The provisions of this rule apply whether the party entitled to the judgment by default is a plaintiff, a third party plaintiff, or a party who has pleaded a cross claim or counterclaim. In all cases a judgment by default is subject to the limitations of rule 54(c).
(e) Judgment Against State. (Reserved.)
(f) How Made After Elapse of Year.
(1) Notice. When more than 1 year has elapsed after service of summons with no appearance being made, the court shall not sign an order of default or enter a judgment until a notice of the time and place of the application for the order or judgment is served on the party in default, not less than 10 days prior to the entry. Proof by affidavit of the service of the notice shall be filed before entry of the judgment.
(2) Service. Service of notice of the time and place on the application for the order of default or default judgment shall be made as follows: (A) by service upon the attorney of record; (B) if there is no attorney of record, then by service upon the defendant by certified mail with return receipt of said service to be attached to the affidavit in support of the application; or (C) by a personal service upon the defendant in the same manner provided for service of process. (D) If service of notice cannot be made under subsections (A) and (C), the notice may be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the action is pending for one publication, and by mailing a copy to the last known address of each defendant. Both the publication and mailing shall be done 10 days prior to the hearing.
[Amended effective July 1, 1977; September 1, 1978; January 1, 1981; April 28, 2015.]
(a) For Claimant.
A party seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross claim, or to obtain a declaratory judgment may, after the expiration of the period within which the defendant is required to appear, or after service of a motion for summary judgment by the adverse party, move with or without supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in the party's favor upon all or any part thereof.
(b) For Defending Party.
A party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross claim is asserted or a declaratory judgment is sought may move with or without supporting affidavits for a summary judgment in such party's favor as to all or any part thereof.
(c) Motion and Proceedings.
The motion and any supporting affidavits, memoranda of law, or other documentation shall be filed and served not later than 28 calendar days before the hearing. The adverse party may file and serve opposing affidavits, memoranda of law or other documentation not later than 11 calendar days before the hearing. The moving party may file and serve any rebuttal documents not later than 5 calendar days prior to the hearing. If the date for filing either the response or rebuttal falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, then it shall be filed and served not later than the next day nearer the hearing which is neither a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. Summary judgment motions shall be heard more than 14 calendar days before the date set for trial unless leave of court is granted to allow otherwise. Confirmation of the hearing may be required by local rules. The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment, interlocutory in character, may be rendered on the issue of liability alone although there is a genuine issue as to the amount of damages.
(d) Case Not Fully Adjudicated on Motion.
If on motion under the rule judgment is not rendered upon the whole case or for all the relief asked and a trial is necessary, the court at the hearing of the motion, by examining the pleadings and the evidence before it and by interrogating counsel, shall if practicable ascertain what material facts exist without substantial controversy and what material facts are actually and in good faith controverted. It shall thereupon make an order specifying the facts that appear without substantial controversy, including the extent to which the amount of damages or other relief is not in controversy, and directing such further proceedings in the action as are just. Upon the trial of the action, the facts so specified shall be deemed established, and the trial shall be conducted accordingly.
(e) Form of Affidavits; Further Testimony; Defense Required.
Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, shall set forth such facts as would be admissible in evidence, and shall show affirmatively that the affiant is competent to testify to the matters stated therein. Sworn or certified copies of all papers or parts thereof referred to in an affidavit shall be attached thereto or served therewith. The court may permit affidavits to be supplemented or opposed by depositions, answers to interrogatories, or further affidavits. When a motion for summary judgment is made and supported as provided in this rule, an adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of a pleading, but a response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. If the adverse party does not so respond, summary judgment, if appropriate, shall be entered against the adverse party.
(f) When Affidavits Are Unavailable.
Should it appear from the affidavits of a party opposing the motion that for reasons stated, the party cannot present by affidavit facts essential to justify the party's opposition, the court may refuse the application for judgment or may order a continuance to permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions to be taken or discovery to be had or may make such other order as is just.
(g) Affidavits Made in Bad Faith.
Should it appear to the satisfaction of the court at any time that any of the affidavits presented pursuant to this rule are presented in bad faith or solely for the purpose of delay, the court shall forthwith order the party employing them to pay to the other party the amount of the reasonable expenses which the filing of the affidavits caused the other party to incur, including reasonable attorney fees, and any offending party or attorney may be adjudged guilty of contempt.
(h) Form of Order.
The order granting or denying the motion for summary judgment shall designate the documents and other evidence called to the attention of the trial court before the order on summary judgment was entered.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1978; September 1, 1985; September 1, 1988; September 1, 1990; September 1, 1993; April 28, 2015.]
The procedure for obtaining a declaratory judgment pursuant to the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act, RCW 7.24, shall be in accordance with these rules, and the right to trial by jury may be demanded under the circumstances and in the manner provided in rules 38 and 39. The existence of another adequate remedy does not preclude a judgment for declaratory relief in cases where it is appropriate. The court may order a speedy hearing of an action for a declaratory judgment and may advance it on the calendar.
Unless the court otherwise directs and subject to the provisions of rule 54(b), all judgments shall be entered immediately after they are signed by the judge.
(b) Effective Time.
Judgments shall be deemed entered for all procedural purposes from the time of delivery to the clerk for filing, unless the judge earlier permits the judgment to be filed directly with the judge as authorized by rule 5(e).
(c) Notice of Entry. (Reserved. See rule 54(f).)
(e) Judgment by Confession. (Reserved. See RCW 4.60.)
(f) Assignment of Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.090.)
(g) Interest on Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.110.)
(h) Satisfaction of Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.100.)
(i) Lien of Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.190.)
(j) Commencement of Lien on Real Estate. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.200.)
(k) Cessation of Lien--Extension Prohibited. (Reserved. See RCW 4.56.210.)
(l) Revival of Judgments. (Reserved.)
(a) Grounds for New Trial or Reconsideration.
On the motion of the party aggrieved, a verdict may be vacated and a new trial granted to all or any of the parties, and on all issues, or on some of the issues when such issues are clearly and fairly separable and distinct, or any other decision or order may be vacated and reconsideration granted. Such motion may be granted for any one of the following causes materially affecting the substantial rights of such parties:
(1) Irregularity in the proceedings of the court, jury or adverse party, or any order of the court, or abuse of discretion, by which such party was prevented from having a fair trial.
(2) Misconduct of prevailing party or jury; and whenever any one or more of the jurors shall have been induced to assent to any general or special verdict or to a finding on any question or questions submitted to the jury by the court, other and different from the juror's own conclusions, and arrived at by a resort to the determination of chance or lot, such misconduct may be proved by the affidavits of one or more of the jurors;
(3) Accident or surprise which ordinary prudence could not have guarded against;
(4) Newly discovered evidence, material for the party making the application, which the party could not with reasonable diligence have discovered and produced at the trial;
(5) Damages so excessive or inadequate as unmistakably to indicate that the verdict must have been the result of passion or prejudice;
(6) Error in the assessment of the amount of recovery whether too large or too small, when the action is upon a contract, or for the injury or detention of property;
(7) That there is no evidence or reasonable inference from the evidence to justify the verdict or the decision, or that it is contrary to law;
(8) Error in law occurring at the trial and objected to at the time by the party making the application; or
(9) That substantial justice has not been done.
(b) Time for Motion; Contents of Motion.
A motion for a new trial or for reconsideration shall be filed not later than 10 days after the entry of the judgment, order, or other decision. The motion shall be noted at the time it is filed, to be heard or otherwise considered within 30 days after the entry of the judgment, order, or other decision, unless the court directs otherwise. A motion for a new trial or for reconsideration shall identify the specific reasons in fact and law as to each ground on which the motion is based.
(c) Time for Serving Affidavits.
When a motion for new trial is based on affidavits, they shall be filed with the motion. The opposing party has 10 days after service to file opposing affidavits, but that period may be extended for up to 20 days, either by the court for good cause or by the parties' written stipulation. The court may permit reply affidavits.
(d) On Initiative of Court.
Not later than 10 days after entry of judgment, the court on its own initiative may order a hearing on its proposed order for a new trial for any reason for which it might have granted a new trial on motion of a party. After giving the parties notice and opportunity to be heard, the court may grant a timely motion for a new trial for a reason not stated in the motion. When granting a new trial on its own initiative or for a reason not stated in a motion, the court shall specify the grounds in its order.
(e) Hearing on Motion.
When a motion for reconsideration or for a new trial is filed, the judge by whom it is to be heard may on the judge's own motion or on application determine:
(1) Time of Hearing. Whether the motion shall be heard before the entry of judgment;
(2) Consolidation of Hearings. Whether the motion shall be heard before or at the same time as the presentation of the findings and conclusions and/or judgment, and the hearing on any other pending motion; and/or
(3) Nature of Hearing. Whether the motion or motions and presentation shall be heard on oral argument or submitted on briefs, and if on briefs, shall fix the time within which the briefs shall be served and filed.
(f) Statement of Reasons.
In all cases where the trial court grants a motion for a new trial, it shall, in the order granting the motion, state whether the order is based upon the record or upon facts and circumstances outside the record that cannot be made a part thereof. If the order is based upon the record, the court shall give definite reasons of law and facts for its order. If the order is based upon matters outside the record, the court shall state the facts and circumstances upon which it relied.
(g) Reopening Judgment.
On a motion for a new trial in an action tried without a jury, the court may open the judgment if one has been entered, take additional testimony, amend findings of fact and conclusions of law or make new findings and conclusions, and direct the entry of a new judgment.
(h) Motion To Alter or Amend Judgment.
A motion to alter or amend the judgment shall be filed not later than 10 days after entry of the judgment.
(i) Alternative Motions, etc.
Alternative motions for judgment as a matter of law and for a new trial may be made in accordance with rule 50(c).
(j) Limit on Motions.
If a motion for reconsideration, or for a new trial, or for judgment as a matter of law, is made and heard before the entry of the judgment, no further motion may be made without leave of the court first obtained for good cause shown: (1) for a new trial, (2) pursuant to sections (g), (h), and (i) of this rule, or (3) under rule 52(b).
[Amended effective July 1, 1980; September 1, 1984; September 1, 1989; September 1, 2005; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Clerical Mistakes.
Clerical mistakes in judgments, orders or other parts of the record and errors therein arising from oversight or omission may be corrected by the court at any time of its own initiative or on the motion of any party and after such notice, if any, as the court orders. Such mistakes may be so corrected before review is accepted by an appellate court, and thereafter may be corrected pursuant to RAP 7.2(e).
(b) Mistakes; Inadvertence; Excusable Neglect; Newly Discovered Evidence; Fraud; etc. On motion and upon such terms as are just, the court may relieve a party or the party's legal representative from a final judgment, order, or proceeding for the following reasons:
(1) Mistakes, inadvertence, surprise, excusable neglect or irregularity in obtaining a judgment or order;
(2) For erroneous proceedings against a minor or person of unsound mind, when the condition of such defendant does not appear in the record, nor the error in the proceedings;
(3) Newly discovered evidence which by due diligence could not have been discovered in time to move for a new trial under rule 59(b);
(4) Fraud (whether heretofore denominated intrinsic or extrinsic), misrepresentation, or other misconduct of an adverse party;
(5) The judgment is void;
(6) The judgment has been satisfied, released, or discharged, or a prior judgment upon which it is based has been reversed or otherwise vacated, or it is no longer equitable that the judgment should have prospective application;
(7) If the defendant was served by publication, relief may be granted as prescribed in RCW 4.28.200;
(8) Death of one of the parties before the judgment in the action;
(9) Unavoidable casualty or misfortune preventing the party from prosecuting or defending;
(10) Error in judgment shown by a minor, within 12 months after arriving at full age; or
(11) Any other reason justifying relief from the operation of the judgment. The motion shall be made within a reasonable time and for reasons (1), (2) or (3) not more than 1 year after the judgment, order, or proceeding was entered or taken. If the party entitled to relief is a minor or a person of unsound mind, the motion shall be made within 1 year after the disability ceases. A motion under this section (b) does not affect the finality of the judgment or suspend its operation.
(c) Other Remedies.
This rule does not limit the power of a court to entertain an independent action to relieve a party from a judgment, order, or proceeding.
(d) Writs Abolished--Procedure.
Writs of coram nobis, coram vobis, audita querela, and bills of review and bills in the nature of a bill of review are abolished. The procedure for obtaining any relief from a judgment shall be by motion as prescribed in these rules or by an independent action. (e) Procedure on Vacation of Judgment.
(1) Motion. Application shall be made by motion filed in the cause stating the grounds upon which relief is asked, and supported by the affidavit of the applicant or the applicant's attorney setting forth a concise statement of the facts or errors upon which the motion is based, and if the moving party be a defendant, the facts constituting a defense to the action or proceeding.
(2) Notice. Upon the filing of the motion and affidavit, the court shall enter an order fixing the time and place of the hearing thereof and directing all parties to the action or proceeding who may be affected thereby to appear and show cause why the relief asked for should not be granted.
(3) Service. The motion, affidavit, and the order to show cause shall be served upon all parties affected in the same manner as in the case of summons in a civil action at such time before the date fixed for the hearing as the order shall provide; but in case such service cannot be made, the order shall be published in the manner and for such time as may be ordered by the court, and in such case a copy of the motion, affidavit, and order shall be mailed to such parties at their last known post office address and a copy thereof served upon the attorneys of record of such parties in such action or proceeding such time prior to the hearing as the court may direct.
(4) Statutes. Except as modified by this rule, RCW 4.72.010-.090 shall remain in full force and effect.
[Amended effective September 26, 1972; January 1, 1977; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Automatic Stays.
Except as to a judgment of a district court filed with the superior court pursuant to RCW 4.56.200, no execution shall issue upon a judgment nor shall proceedings be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of 10 days after its entry. Upon the filing of a notice of appeal, enforcement of judgment is stayed until the expiration of 14 days after entry of judgment. Unless otherwise ordered by the trial court or appellate court, an interlocutory or final judgment in an action for an injunction or in a receivership action, shall not be stayed during the period after its entry and until appellate review is accepted or during the pendency of appellate review.
(b) Stay on Motion for New Trial or for Judgment.
In its discretion and on such conditions for the security of the adverse party as are proper, the court may stay the execution of or any proceedings to enforce a judgment pending the disposition of a motion for a new trial or to alter or amend a judgment made pursuant to rule 59, or of a motion for relief from a judgment or order made pursuant to rule 60, or of a motion for judgment as a matter of law made pursuant to rule 50, or of a motion for amendment to the findings or for additional findings made pursuant to rule 52(b).
(c) Injunction Pending appeal. [Rescinded.]
(d) Stay Upon Appeal. [Rescinded.]
(e) Stay in Favor of State. [Rescinded.)
(f) Other Stays.
This rule does not limit the right of a party to a stay otherwise provided by statute or rule.
(g) Power of Supreme Court Not Limited. [Rescinded.]
(h) Multiple Claims or Multiple Parties.
When a court has ordered a final judgment under the conditions stated in rule 54(b), the court may stay enforcement of that judgment until the entering of a subsequent judgment or judgments and may prescribe such conditions as are necessary to secure the benefit thereof to the party in whose favor the judgment is entered.
[Amended effective July 1, 1976; January 1, 1977; September 1, 1990; September 1, 2005; January 8, 2013.]
(a) Powers. See rule 77.
(b) Disability of a Judge.
If by reason of death, sickness, or other disability, a judge before whom an action has been tried is unable to perform the duties to be performed by the court under these rules after a verdict is returned or findings of fact and conclusions of law are filed, then any other judge regularly sitting in or assigned to the court in which the action was tried may perform those duties; but if a new judge cannot perform those duties, the new judge has the discretion to grant a new trial.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; April 28, 2015.]
At the commencement of and during the course of an action, all remedies providing for seizure of person or property for the purpose of securing satisfaction of the judgment ultimately to be entered in the action are available under the circumstances and in the manner provided by the law existing at the time the remedy is sought. The remedies thus available include arrest, attachment, garnishment, replevin, sequestration, and other corresponding or equivalent remedies, however designated and regardless of whether the remedy is ancillary to an action or must be obtained by an independent action.
(a) Preliminary Injunction.
(1) Notice. No preliminary injunction shall be issued without notice to the adverse party.
(2) Consolidation of Hearing With Trial on Merits. Before or after the commencement of the hearing of an application for a preliminary injunction, the court may order the trial of the action on the merits to be advanced and consolidated with the hearing of the application. Even when this consolidation is not ordered, any evidence received upon an application for a preliminary injunction which would be admissible upon the trial on the merits becomes part of the record on the trial and need not be repeated upon the trial. This subsection shall be so construed and applied as to save to the parties any rights they may have to trial by jury.
(b) Temporary Restraining Order; Notice; Hearing; Duration.
A temporary restraining order may be granted without written or oral notice to the adverse party or the adverse party's attorney only if (1) it clearly appears from specific facts shown by affidavit or by the verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant before the adverse party or his attorney can be heard in opposition, and (2) the applicants attorney certifies to the court in writing the efforts, if any, which have been made to give the notice and the reasons supporting the applicant's claim that notice should not be required. Every temporary restraining order granted without notice shall be endorsed with the date and hour of issuance; shall be filed forthwith in the clerk's office and entered of record; shall define the injury and state why it is irreparable and why the order was granted without notice; and shall expire by its terms within such time after entry, not to exceed 14 days, as the court fixes, unless within the time so fixed the order, for good cause shown, is extended for a like period or unless the party against whom the order is directed consents that it may be extended for a longer period. The reasons for the extension shall be entered of record. In case a temporary restraining order is granted without notice, the motion for a preliminary injunction shall be set down for hearing at the earliest possible time and takes precedence over all matters except older matters of the same character; and when the motion comes on for hearing the party who obtained the temporary restraining order shall proceed with the application for a preliminary injunction and, if the party does not do so, the court shall dissolve the temporary restraining order. On 2 days' notice to the party who obtained the temporary restraining order without notice or on such shorter notice to that party as the court may prescribe, the adverse party may appear and move its dissolution or modification and in that event the court shall proceed to hear and determine such motion as expeditiously as the ends of justice require.
Except as otherwise provided by statute, no restraining order or preliminary injunction shall issue except upon the giving of security by the applicant, in such sum as the court deems proper, for the payment of such costs and damages as may be incurred or suffered by any party who is found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained. No such security shall be required of the United States or of an officer or agency thereof. Pursuant to RCW 4.92.080 no security shall be required of the State of Washington, municipal corporations or political subdivisions of the State of Washington. The provisions of rule 65.1 apply to a surety upon a bond or undertaking under this rule.
(d) Form and Scope.
Every order granting an injunction and every restraining order shall set forth the reasons for its issuance; shall be specific in terms; shall describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and is binding only upon the parties to the action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and upon those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise.
These rules are intended to supplement and not to modify any statute prescribing the basis for obtaining injunctive relief. These rules shall prevail over statutes if there are procedural conflicts.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective July 1, 1974; January 1, 1981; September 1, 1989; April 28, 2015.]
Whenever these rules require or permit the giving of security by a party, and security is given in the form of a bond or stipulation or other undertaking with one or more sureties, each surety submits to the jurisdiction of the court and irrevocably appoints the clerk of the court as the surety's agent upon whom any papers affecting the surety's liability on the bond or undertaking may be served. The surety's liability may be enforced on motion without the necessity of an independent action. The motion and such notice of the motion as the court prescribes may be served on the clerk of the court, who shall forthwith mail copies to the sureties if their addresses are known.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
In an action in which any part of the relief sought is a judgment for a sum of money or the disposition of a sum of money or the disposition of any other thing capable of delivery, a party, upon notice to every other party, and by leave of court, may deposit with the court all or any part of such sum or thing, whether or not that party claims all or any part of the sum or thing. The party making the deposit shall serve the order permitting deposit on the clerk of the court. Money paid into court under this rule shall be deposited and withdrawn in accordance with the provisions of RCW 4.44.480 through 4.44.500 or any like statute or rule.
At any time more than 10 days before the trial begins, a party defending against a claim may serve upon the adverse party an offer to allow judgment to be taken against the defending party for the money or property or to the effect specified in the defending party's offer, with costs then accrued. If within 10 days after the service of the offer the adverse party serves written notice that the offer is accepted, either party may then file the offer and notice of acceptance together with proof of service thereof and thereupon the court shall enter judgment. An offer not accepted shall be deemed withdrawn and evidence thereof is not admissible except in a proceeding to determine costs. If the judgment finally obtained by the offeree is not more favorable than the offer, the offeree must pay the costs incurred after the making of the offer. The fact that an offer is made but not accepted does not preclude a subsequent offer. When the liability of one party to another has been determined by verdict or order or judgment, but the amount or extent of the liability remains to be determined by further proceedings, the party adjudged liable may make an offer of judgment, which shall have the same effect as an offer made before trial if it is served within a reasonable time not less than 10 days prior to the commencement of hearings to determine the amount or extent of liability.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective April 28, 2015.]
The procedure on execution, in proceedings supplementary to and in aid of a judgment, and in proceedings on and in aid of execution shall be in accordance with the practice and procedure of the State as authorized in RCW 6.13, 6.15, 6.17, 6.19, 6.21, 6.23, 6.32, 6.36, and any other applicable statutes.
(b) Supplemental Proceedings.
In aid of the judgment or execution, the judgment creditor or successor in interest when that interest appears of record, may examine any person, including the judgment debtor, in the manner provided in these rules for taking depositions or in the manner provided by RCW 6.32.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1993; April 28, 2015.]
If a judgment directs a party to execute a conveyance of land or to deliver deeds or other documents or to perform any other specific act and the party fails to comply within the time specified, the court may direct the act to be done at the cost of the disobedient party by some other person appointed by the court and the act when so done has like effect as if done by the party. On application of the party entitled to performance, the clerk shall issue a writ of attachment or sequestration against the property of the disobedient party to compel obedience to the judgment. The court may also in proper cases adjudge the party in contempt. If real or personal property is within the state, the court in lieu of directing a conveyance thereof may enter a judgment divesting the title of any party and vesting it in others and such judgment has the effect of a conveyance executed in due form of law. When any order or judgment is for the delivery of possession, the party in whose favor it is entered is entitled to a writ of execution or assistance upon application to the clerk.
(a) Notice of Appearance.
An attorney admitted to practice in this state may appear for a party by serving a notice of appearance.
(b) Notice of Limited Appearance.
If specifically so stated in a notice of limited appearance filed and served prior to or simultaneous with the proceeding, an attorney’s role may be limited to one or more individual proceedings in the action. Service on an attorney who has made a limited appearance for a party shall be valid (to the extent permitted by statute and rule 5(b)) only in connection with the specific proceedings for which the attorney has appeared, including any hearing or trial at which the attorney appeared and any subsequent motions for presentation of orders. At the conclusion of such proceedings the attorney’s role terminates without the necessity of leave of court, upon the attorney filing notice of completion of limited appearance which notice shall include the client information required by rule 71(c)(1).
[Effective October 29, 2002.]
(a) Withdrawal by Attorney.
Service on an attorney who has appeared for a party in a civil proceeding shall be valid to the extent permitted by statute and rule 5(b) only until the attorney has withdrawn in the manner provided in sections (b), (c), and (d). Nothing in this rule defines the circumstances under which a withdrawal might be denied by the court.
(b) Withdrawal by Order.
A court appointed attorney may not withdraw without an order of the court. The client of the withdrawing attorney must be given notice of the motion to withdraw and the date and place the motion will be heard.
(c) Withdrawal by Notice.
Except as provided in sections (b) and (d), an attorney may withdraw by notice in the manner provided in this section.
(1) Notice of Intent To Withdraw. The attorney shall file and serve a Notice of Intent To Withdraw on all other parties in the proceeding. The notice shall specify a date when the attorney intends to withdraw, which date shall be at least 10 days after the service of the Notice of Intent To Withdraw. The notice shall include a statement that the withdrawal shall be effective without order of court unless an objection to the withdrawal is served upon the withdrawing attorney prior to the date set forth in the notice. If notice is given before trial, the notice shall include the date set for trial. The notice shall include the names and last known addresses of the persons represented by the withdrawing attorney, unless disclosure of the address would violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, in which case the address may be omitted. If the address is omitted, the notice must contain a statement that after the attorney withdraws, and so long as the address of the withdrawing attorney's client remains undisclosed and no new attorney is substituted, the client may be served by leaving papers with the clerk of the court pursuant to rule 5(b)(1).
(2) Service on Client. Prior to service on other parties, the Notice of Intent To Withdraw shall be served on the persons represented by the withdrawing attorney or sent to them by certified mail, postage prepaid, to their last known mailing addresses. Proof of service or mailing shall be filed, except that the address of the withdrawing attorney's client may be omitted under circumstances defined by subsection (c)(1) of this rule.
(3) Withdrawal Without Objection. The withdrawal shall be effective, without order of court and without the service and filing of any additional papers, on the date designated in the Notice of Intent To Withdraw, unless a written objection to the withdrawal is served by a party on the withdrawing attorney prior to the date specified as the day of withdrawal in the Notice of Intent To Withdraw.
(4) Effect of Objection. If a timely written objection is served, withdrawal may be obtained only by order of the court.
(d) Withdrawal and Substitution.
Except as provided in section (b), an attorney may withdraw if a new attorney is substituted by filing and serving a Notice of Withdrawal and Substitution. The notice shall include a statement of the date on which the withdrawal and substitution are effective and shall include the name, address, Washington State Bar Association membership number, and signature of the withdrawing attorney and the substituted attorney. If an attorney changes firms or offices, but another attorney in the previous firm or office will become counsel of record, a Notice of Withdrawal and Substitution shall nevertheless be filed.
(a) Original Jurisdiction. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.010.)
(b) Powers of Superior Courts.
(1) Powers of Court in Conduct of Judicial Proceedings. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.010.)
(2) Punishment for Contempt. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.020.)
(3) Implied Powers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.150.)
(c) Powers of Judicial Officers.
(1) Judges Distinguished From Court. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.050.)
(2) Judicial Officers Defined--When Disqualified. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.030.)
(3) Powers of Judicial Officers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.060.)
(4) Judicial Officer May Punish for Contempt. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.070.)
(5) Powers of Judges of Supreme and Superior Courts. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.080.)
(6) Powers of Inferior Judicial Officers. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.090.)
(7) Powers of Judge in Counties of Judge's District. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.190.)
(8) Visiting Judges. (A) Assignments. (i) Visiting judges at direction of Governor. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.140.) (ii) Visiting judges at request of judge or judges. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.140 and 2.08.150.) (iii) Court administrator--make recommendations. (Reserved. See RCW 2.56.030(3).) (iv) Duty of judges to comply with Chief Justices direction. (Reserved. See RCW 2.56.040.) (B) Powers. Whenever a visiting judge has heard or tried any case or matter and has departed from the county, the visiting judge may require the argument on any posttrial motion to be submitted to the visiting judge on briefs at such place within the state as the visiting judge may designate and the visiting judge may sign findings of fact, conclusions of law, judgments and posttrial orders anywhere within the state. See also RCW 2.08.140 and 2.08.150.
(9) Judges Pro Tempore. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.180.)
(11) Court May Fix Amount of Bond in Civil Actions. (Reserved. See RCW 4.44.470.)
(d) Superior Courts Always Open.
The superior courts are courts of record, and shall be always open, except on nonjudicial days.
(e) No Court on Legal Holidays--Exceptions. (Reserved. See RCW 2.28.100.)
The superior court shall hold regular and special sessions at the county seats of the several counties at such times as the judges may determine and at such other places within the county as are designated by the judge or judges thereof with the approval of the chief justice of the supreme court of this state and of the governing body of the county. Special sessions, i.e., mental illness hearings, juvenile hearings, and proceedings which are authorized to be held before a court commissioner may be held at such times and places as the judges may authorize.
(i) Sessions Where More Than One Judge Sits--Effect of Decrees, Orders, etc. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.160.)
(j) Trials and Hearings; Orders in Chambers.
Except as otherwise authorized by these rules or by statute, all trials upon the merits shall be conducted in open court and so far as convenient in a regular courtroom. All other acts or proceedings may be done or conducted by a judge in chambers, without the attendance of the clerk or other court officials and at any place either within or without the county; but no hearing, other than one ex parte, shall be conducted outside the county in which the cause or proceedings are pending without the consent of all parties affected thereby.
(k) Motion Day--Local Rules.
Unless local conditions make it impracticable, the superior court in each county shall establish regular times and places, at intervals sufficiently frequent for the prompt dispatch of business, at which motions requiring notice and hearing may be heard and disposed of; but the judge at any time or place and on such notice, if any, as the judge considers reasonable may make orders for the advancement, conduct, and hearing of actions.
(l) Submission on Briefs.
To expedite its business, the court may make provision by rule or order for the submission and determination of motions without oral hearing upon brief written statements of reasons in support and opposition.
(m) Stipulations. See rule 16.
(n) Seal of Court. (Reserved. See RCW 2.08.050.)
[Originally adopted July 1, 1967; amended effective May 24, 1978; September 1, 1992; September 1, 2003.]
(a) Powers and Duties of Clerks. (Reserved. See RCW 2.32.050.)
(b) Office Hours.
The clerk's office with the clerk or a deputy in attendance shall be open during business hours on all days except Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.
(c) Orders by Clerk.
All motions and applications in the clerk's office for issuing mesne process, for issuing final process to enforce and execute judgments, and for other proceedings which do not require allowance or order of the court are grantable of course by the clerk; but the clerk's action may be suspended or altered or rescinded by the court upon cause shown.
(d) Filing of Depositions.
Upon the filing of a deposition transcript in any case pursuant to rule 5(i), the clerk shall forthwith endorse the date of the filing upon the envelope, and shall enter the same upon the case history docket.
(e) Entry of Judgments and Costs.
The clerk shall enter judgment or decree pursuant to the provisions of rule 58 and the same shall then be entered for the sum found due or the relief awarded, with costs and disbursements, if any, to be taxed. Entry of judgment shall not be delayed for the taxing of costs. If no cost bill is filed by the party to whom costs are awarded within 10 days after the entry of the judgment or decree, the clerk shall proceed to tax the following costs and disbursements, namely: (1) The statutory attorney fee; (2) The clerk's fee; and (3) The sheriff's fee. If a cost bill is filed, the clerk shall enter as the amount to be recovered the amount claimed in such cost bill, and no motion to retax costs shall be considered unless the same be filed within 6 days after the filing of the cost bill. For purposes of this subsection (e), "cost bill" also includes affidavit detailing disbursements.
The clerk shall at once upon the filing of a bond (except bond for costs) enter the same at large upon the journal. The clerk shall endorse upon every affidavit or undertaking filed to procure a writ of attachment, the day, hour, and minute of filing thereof.
[Originally effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1988; September 1, 2007; April 28, 2015.]
(a) Civil Docket. (Reserved.)
(b) Civil Judgments and Orders.
(1) Generally. (Reserved.)
(2) Entry of Judgment in Journal. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.030.)
(3) Judgment Roll. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.040.)
(4) Identification of Judgment Roll. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.050.)
(5) Execution Docket. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.060.)
(6) Entry of Verdict in Execution Docket. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.020.)
(7) Entries in Execution Docket. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.080.)
(8) Transcript of Justice Docket. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.110.)
(9) Entry of Abstract or Transcript of Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.120.)
(10) Abstract of Judgment. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.090.)
(11) Abstract of Verdict--Cessation of Lien. (Reserved. See RCW 4.64.100.)
(c) Indices; Calendars. (Reserved.)
(d) Other Books and Records of Clerk. (Reserved.)
(e) Destruction of Records. (Reserved. See RCW 36.23.065 and GR 15.)
(f) List of Pending Decisions.
The clerk of each county shall maintain a permanent, public record showing each case submitted to a judge and not yet decided. Said list shall clearly show what, if any, further action is to be taken by any party or counsel and when said action should be taken. Said list shall be called to the attention of every judge in said county on the first Monday of each calendar month. Any case which shall have been submitted to any visiting judge and not yet decided shall be called to the attention of such visiting judge by mail on said dates.
(b) Electronic Recording.
Except as provided in SPRC 3 regarding capital cases, any civil or criminal proceedings may be recorded electronically in lieu of or supplementary to causing shorthand or stenographic notes thereof to be taken. The use of such devices shall rest within the sole discretion of the court. If the proceedings are recorded electronically, the judicial officer shall assure that all case participants identify themselves for the record.
(c) The judicial officer shall assure that all case participants identify themselves for the record.
[Adopted effective July 1, 1967; amended effective September 1, 1984; May 8, 1987; December 10, 1993; September 1, 2015.]
When the proceedings are electronically recorded, the court shall ensure that a written log of the proceedings is created that indicates the time of relevant events. The judicial officer shall call the case name and cause number of each proceeding and shall assure that all case participants identify themselves for the record.
[Adopted effective September 1, 2015.]
(a) To What Proceedings Applicable.
Except where inconsistent with rules or statutes applicable to special proceedings, these rules shall govern all civil proceedings. Where statutes relating to special proceedings provide for procedure under former statutes applicable generally to civil actions, the procedure shall be governed by these rules.
(b) Conflicting Statutes and Rules.
Subject to the provisions of section (a) of this rule, these rules supersede all procedural statutes and other rules that may be in conflict.
An action against a nonresident of this state may be brought:
(1) In any county in which service of process may be had; or
(3) In the county in which the plaintiffs, or any of them, reside.
If an action is brought in the wrong county, the action may nevertheless be tried therein unless the defendant, pursuant to the provisions of rule 12, requests that the trial be held in the proper county and files an affidavit of merits.
(c) Default. See rule 55(c).
No order of default shall be entered if it clearly appears to the court from the papers on file that the action was brought in an improper county, except as provided in rule 55(c)(2)(a) or (b).
(d) Change of Venue--Fees.
Any fees or costs required to be paid by a party pursuant to RCW 4.12.090 shall be to the clerk of the county from which the case is being transferred by check or money order made payable to the clerk of the county to which the case is being transferred.
(a) Indian Tribal Court; Exclusive Jurisdiction.
Where an action is brought in the superior court of any county of this state, and where, under the Laws of the United States, exclusive jurisdiction over the matter in controversy has been granted or reserved to an Indian tribal court of a federally recognized Indian tribe, the superior court shall, upon motion of a party or upon its own motion, dismiss such action pursuant to CR 12(b)(1), unless transfer is required under federal law.
(b) Indian Tribal Court; Concurrent Jurisdiction.
Where an action is brought in the superior court of any county of this state, and where, under the Laws of the United States, concurrent jurisdiction over the matter in controversy has been granted or reserved to an Indian tribal court of a federally recognized Indian tribe, the superior court may, if the interests of justice require, cause such action to be transferred to the appropriate Indian tribal court. In making such determination, the superior court shall consider, among other things, the nature of the action, the interests and identities of the parties, the convenience of the parties and witnesses, whether state or tribal law will apply to the matter in controversy, and the remedy available in such Indian tribal court.
(c) Enforcement of Indian Tribal Court Orders, Judgments or Decrees.
The superior courts of the State of Washington shall recognize, implement and enforce the orders, judgments and decrees of Indian tribal courts in matters in which either the exclusive or concurrent jurisdiction has been granted or reserved to an Indian tribal court of a federally recognized tribe under the Laws of the United States, unless the superior court finds the tribal court that rendered the order, judgment or decree (1) lacked jurisdiction over a party or the subject matter, (2) denied due process as provided by the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968, or (3) does not reciprocally provide for recognition and implementation of orders, judgments and decrees of the superior courts of the State of Washington.
Each court by action of a majority of the judges may from time to time make and amend local rules governing its practice not inconsistent with these rules. Local rules shall be numbered and indexed in a manner consistent with the numbering and index system for the Civil Rules.
(b) Filing with the Administrator for the Courts.
Local rules and amendments become effective only after they are filed with the state Administrator for the Courts in accordance with GR 7.
These rules shall be known and cited as the Superior Court Civil Rules. CR is the official abbreviation.
Generally--Pending Actions. These rules and amendments promulgated pursuant to authority granted to the Supreme Court shall govern all proceedings in actions after they take effect, and also all further proceedings in actions pending on their effective dates, except to the extent that in the opinion of the superior court, expressed by its order, the application of rules in a particular action pending when the rules take effect would not be feasible or would work injustice, in which event the procedure existing at the time the action was brought applies.
The Angus Lee Law Firm, PLLC, provides these rules compilations to assist trial lawyers and judges. This should not be confused with legal advice. While we seek to have each collection at this site be accurate, up to date, and complete, the Angus Lee Law Firm, PLLC, does not warrant that the information is complete, up to date, or accurate. The Angus Lee Law Firm, PLLC, disclaims all liability to any person for any loss caused by errors or omissions in this collection of information.