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Thurston County, Washington

The content on the Thurston County website is currently provided in English. We are providing the “Translation” for approximately 10 languages. The goal of the translation is to provide visitors with limited English proficiency to access information on the website in other languages. The translations do not translate all types of documents, and it may not give you an exact translation all the time. The translations are made through an automated process, which may not result in accurate or precise translations, particularly of technical and legal terminology.

Superior Court

A Settlement conference is an opportunity for all parties and their attorneys to meet with a judge or court commissioner to discuss any issues of a case in dispute.

If there are any disputes, all parties are required to participate in a settlement conference before they receive a trial date.  At the settlement conference, the judicial officer does not make any decisions.  The judicial officer tries to help the parties reach an agreement and avoid a trial.  Some judicial officers make specific recommendations.

Dependency Court

Dependency and Termination settlement conferences are held with a Court Commissioner.  All parties and their attorneys are directed to appear for the settlement conference.

A settlement conference can be requested in court or directed to be scheduled by a judge at a hearing. 

Parties are required to provide a settlement conference statement to Court Administration and to the opposing sides no later than 2 Court days before the scheduled settlement conference.

Family Court

If your case has custody/visitation issues you must attend mediation or have mediation waived by the court before requesting a settlement conference per LSPR 94.05.

For more information about mediation click here.

Settlement conferences are scheduled for one hour before a judge or court commissioner.

Complete the Request to Schedule Settlement Conference & Trial Form and file the form with the Clerk’s office

The Request to Schedule Settlement Conference is an administrative hearing, you do not appear for this date.  Once the court has selected a date, all parties will receive a notice with a settlement conference and trial date.

Settlement Conference Information and Frequently Asked Questions

It is an opportunity for the parties, along with their lawyers if they are represented, to meet with a judge to try and resolve any disputed issues.  The settlement conference is not recorded and the judge will not make any decisions at the settlement conference or later hear the trial.

All parties in a contested family law case are required to attend and participate in a settlement conference.

If there is an agreement, then the settlement is put “on the record”.  Court goes into session, the parties are sworn in and the settlement is read into the record.  If parties have brought their proposed final documents to the settlement conference, then the documents may be entered and the case finalized.  If there are no final documents, then a court date will be set in the future for those to be entered.

If the case does not settle, then the case will be set for trial.  Trials are generally about three to four months later, but could be further out.

If the parties have an agreement, then they should schedule presentation of the final documents and notify Court Administration.  If an agreement occurs close in time to the settlement conference, then the parties should bring the final documents to the settlement conference for entry.

Parties are required to attend the Consider the Children class and mediation before a settlement conference is scheduled. 

Consider the Children Information

Mediation Information

Each party should complete a settlement conference statement.  A form to help complete the statement is available in Court Administration or below.  The settlement conference statement is due to the court and the other party or their lawyer if they are represented 14 days prior to the settlement conference.

Settlement Conference Statement Form

Read LSPR 94.03D(a) 

The original statement must be provided to Court Administration.  You can mail or hand deliver your statement.  

A copy of your statement must also be provided to all parties or their lawyers if represented. 

Do not file the statement with the Clerk's office.