In Washington, Superior Court handles all "general civil" cases. A general civil case begins when an individual or organization initiates or files a lawsuit against another individual or organization. Breach of contract, personal injury, and medical malpractice disputes are examples of this type of case. In Thurston County our general civil cases are heard at the Superior Court Main Campus, five Judges are assigned civil cases. Civil motions are heard by each civil judge on Fridays. Calendar information is below under helpful links.
Superior Court handles other types of civil matters as well. For example, family law cases, and most probate and guardianship cases are handled by Family and Juvenile Court, as well. Petitions for court-ordered mental health treatment are handled by ITA Court
Civil motions are heard by the trial judges on Friday mornings at 9:00 a.m.. To schedule a hearing:
- Schedule the hearing on the calendar of your assigned judge.
- Check that the day you want to hear the motion is available. You can check on Odyssey or ask the Clerk.
- Schedule the hearing far enough in advance (6 business days for most motions, 28 business days for "dispositive motions").
- File and serve to the other notice parties with a "notice of hearing" form, your motion, and any other paperwork you want the court to review.
to learn more about civil motion practice in Thurston County Superior Court.
Dispositive motions are scheduled differently. To review the process for Dispostive motions please click here.
The moving party must timely strike or continue any hearing that will not go forward on the scheduled date. This rule applies to all Superior Court matters, including civil, criminal, juvenile, and family court cases.
Strikes and continuances must be communicated to the clerk's office through the "notice of hearing continued or stricken/cancelled" form available on the clerk's web page. Bench copies of the notice to strikes or continuance must promptly be provided to the court.
For dispositive motions, the notice to strike or continue must be filed at least five court days before the hearing. For other motions, the notice must be filed at least two court days before the hearing. The court understands that sometimes there are last minute emergencies and settlements, but follow these deadlines whenever possible.
"Judge's copies" are copies of all the paperwork you are filing for your motion or trial, that the judge can review and write in. Judges copies are required for all documents at or before the time you file them.
All judge's copies should be submitted on white paper. Parties may not submit electronic judge's copies directly to Judicial Assistant or Court Administration unless the Court asks the parties to do so. Judge's copies must be delivered to Court Administration timely. If electronically filing documents, parties may utilize the service of the Clerk's Office for a fee. However delivered, it is a party's responsibility to have judge's copies delivered on time. Each judge's copy of a brief shall be identified as the judge's copy and shall identify the date, time, and the judge before whom the matter is scheduled to be heard in substantially the following format in the top left hand corner of the first page.
Judge's copies with multiple attachments and exhibits that cannot be secured with a staple must be tabbed and in a binder.
An order reflecting a judge's oral ruling must be presented to that same judge. If all of the parties sign the proposed order and agree to the form of the order, you can present it (1) ex parte at the beginning of the judge's civil motion calendar; or (2) through the civil ex parte calendar or through the mail-in process, where it will be referred to the judge who made the ruling. If all the parties do not sign the proposed order, schedule a presentation hearing on the judge's civil motion calendar. Court Administration does not track mail in ex parte motions.
To learn about the Ex Parte process:
Telephonic hearings are disfavored. Telephonic appearances are sometimes appropriate as a disability accommodation or under other extenuating circumstances.
A party who seeks to request a telephonic appearance must file a timely motion. Such a motion may be brought by any party to assist a person with limited communications, such as an inmate.
In civil cases and trials, motions for telephonic appearance in civil cases must be presented on the assigned judge's civil motion calendar. The motion to appear telephonically must be scheduled for hearing at least one week before the matter for which a telephonic appearance is sought. The assigned judge will rule on the motion to appear telephonically without oral argument.
A party who was granted a telephonic hearing may contact the assigned judge's judicial assistant for instructions at least two court days before the telephonic hearing. A party who is granted a telephonic hearing has the same duties as parties who appear in person.
When a civil case is filed, the Clerk's Office will provide the plaintiff/petitioner with a Notice of Assignment/Notice of Trial Scheduling Date. For most cases, the Trial Scheduling Date is approximately 120 days after the date of filing and noted on the Assignment for Trial Setting session on the assigned Judge's calendar.
This is an administrative docket that is conducted by the assigned judge's judicial assistant. Do not call or email the court. Do not appear on the trial scheduling date. Instead, file a completed Scheduling Questionnaire by the deadline designated on the Notice of Assignment/Trial Scheduling Date.
If the case is ready to be set for trial, the Case Scheduling Order (CSO) is prepared by the judicial assistant after the trial scheduling date. The Case Schedule Order will be prepared as soon as reasonably possible after the Trial Scheduling Date. The judicial assistant will obtain the judge's signature, file the original and provide a copy to each party of record.