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LSPR 94.03G
FAMILY COURT CASE SCHEDULES

​(a) It is the intent of this rule that all cases at Family & Juvenile Court be heard in a timely fashion and guided by the policy of a Unified Family & Juvenile Court. It is with those policies in mind that the following rules shall apply.

(b) Cases Governed by Case Schedules. Unless otherwise provided in these rules or ordered by the Court, all actions commenced in Family & Juvenile Court shall be issued a Case Schedule Notice by the Clerk at the time of filing.

(c) Cases Not Governed by Case Schedules. Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the following cases shall not be issued a Case Schedule Notice under this rule upon filing of an initial pleading:
(1) Domestic violence protection (RCW chapter 26.50);
(2) Anti-harassment protection (RCW chapter 10.14);
(3) Child support modification/adjustment;
(4) Sexual Assault Protection;
(5) Vulnerable Adult Protection;
(6) Guardianship & Probate
(7) Juvenile (civil and offender)
(8) Dependency

(d) Case Schedule Notice. Except as otherwise provided in these rules or ordered by the Court, when an initial pleading is filed and a new family law case file is opened, the Clerk shall prepare and file a Case Schedule Notice and deliver the Case Schedule Notice to the party who filed the initial pleading.
(1) Initial Pleading Electronically Filed. When an initial pleading is electronically filed the Clerk shall provide an electronic copy of the Case Schedule Notice by email to the party filing the initial pleading at the time a case number is assigned.
(2) Initial Pleading Filed in Paper Form. When an initial pleading is filed in paper form, the Clerk shall provide at no charge two hard copies of the Case Schedule Notice to the party filing the initial pleading.

(e) Service of Case Schedule Notice.
(1)The party filing the initial pleading shall serve a copy of the Case Schedule Notice to all other parties, along with the summons and petition and other documents required by these rules; provided if the party filing the initial pleading serves another party with the summons and petition before filing the initial pleading with the Court, the party filing the initial pleading shall serve the other party with the Case Schedule Notice no later than five (5) days after the Case Schedule Notice is prepared and filed by the Clerk. If the initial pleading is served by publication, the plaintiff/petitioner shall serve this Order within five (5) days of service of the other party’s first appearance.
(2) A party who joins an additional party in an action shall serve the additional party with the current Case Schedule together with the first pleading served on the additional party.

(f) Contents of Case Schedule Notice. The actions and mandatory completion dates set forth in the Case Schedule Notice shall be determined based on whether the case involves a child.
(1) Case Involving a Child. When an initial pleading in a case involving a child is filed, the Case Schedule Notice shall set forth actions and mandatory completion dates based on the following schedule:
(i) No later than 30 days after filing of the initial pleading, each party shall attend Orientation unless waived by Court order as otherwise provided by these rules;
(ii) No later than 45 days after filing of the initial pleading, each party shall attend the parenting class, “Consider the Children;”
(iii) No later than 20 days after service of the initial pleading on the other party (60 days after service if served outside of Washington State; 90 days if served by mail pursuant to Court order), the other party shall file with the Clerk and serve on the initiating party a Response to Petition;
(iv) No later than 90 days after filing of the initial pleading, the parties shall have a confirmed date scheduled for mandatory mediation as otherwise required by these rules;
(v) No later than 120 days after filing of the initial pleading, the parties, or one of them, must file a motion to appoint a Guardian ad Litem, if one is requested, and note it to be heard within 14 days of the date the motion is filed; and
(vi) No later than 120 days after filing of the initial pleading and provided a Response to Petition has been filed, the party who filed the initial pleading shall file a Request to Schedule Settlement Conference & Trial on the required form.
(vii) No later than 7 days before the Settlement Conference & Trial Setting administrative calendar, the other party shall file and serve on the initiating party a Response to Request to Schedule Settlement Conference and Trial.
(2) Case not Involving a Child. When an initial pleading in a case not involving a child is filed, the Case Schedule Notice shall set forth actions and mandatory completion dates based on the following schedule:
(i) No later than 20 days after service of the initial pleading on the other party (60 days after service if served outside of Washington State; 90 days if served by mail pursuant to Court order), the other party shall file with the Clerk and serve on the initiating party a Response to Petition;
(ii) No later than 120 days after filing of the initial pleading and provided a Response to Petition has been filed, the party who filed the initial pleading shall file and serve on the other party a Request to Schedule Settlement Conference & Trial on the required form.

(g) Case Schedule Order. Except as otherwise provided in these rules or ordered by the Court, upon receipt of the Request to Schedule Settlement Conference and Trial and Response thereto, Court Administration shall prepare and file a Case Schedule Order and provide a copy to each of the parties.

(h) Contents of Case Schedule Order.
(1) The Case Schedule Order shall set forth the times and dates for the settlement conference, trial confirmation hearing and trial. Settlement conference shall be scheduled to occur approximately eight (8) weeks prior to trial. Trial confirmation shall take place approximately 11 days before trial.
(2) The Case Schedule Order shall set forth actions and mandatory completion dates based on the following schedule:
(i) Except as otherwise provided in these rules, the parties shall exchange Settlement Conference Statements no less than 14 days before settlement conference;
(ii) Provided issues remain at the end of settlement conference, the parties shall fill out and file a Family Law Trial Selection Form immediately upon the conclusion of settlement conference;
(iii) No later than noon (12:00 p.m.) the day after settlement conference, each party shall provide to the other party and file with the Clerk all of his/her expected witnesses on the required Witness List form. As to each witness, each party shall state the name, address, phone number and email contact information for each witness, the length and topic of the witness’s expected testimony, and whether the witness is a fact or expert witness. The only exception is for witnesses whose testimony cannot reasonably be anticipated before receipt of the other party’s witness list; each witness who cannot be listed ahead of time shall be disclosed promptly upon anticipating the need for the witness to testify.
(iv) No less than six (6) weeks prior to the first day of the week trial is scheduled to commence, all discovery shall be completed except as otherwise ordered by the Court;
(v) For family law cases, no less than 30 days prior to the first day of the week trial is scheduled to commence, each party shall file, serve on the other party and provide to Court Administration a Pre-trial Statement on the prescribed form. For dependency cases, a Pre-Trial Statement should be submitted no less than 14 days prior to the first day of the week trial is scheduled to commence; and
(vi) No less than by noon two Court days prior to the week of trial, the parties shall exchange trial briefs, proposed exhibits, and proposed final orders as required elsewhere in these rules.

(i) Amendment of Case Schedules. The Court, either on its own initiative or on motion of a party for good cause shown, may issue an amended Case Schedule Notice or Case Schedule Order. If a party by motion requests an amendment of a Case Schedule, the motion shall include a proposed Amended Case Schedule and that party shall prepare and present to the Court for signature an Amended Case Schedule, which upon approval of the Court shall be promptly filed and served on all other parties. The hearing for motion to amend Case Schedule Notice or Case Schedule Order shall be scheduled on the Judge’s Motion Calendar. If a Case Schedule is modified on the Court's own motion, the Court will prepare and file the Amended Case Schedule and promptly issue it to all parties. Parties may not amend a Case Schedule by stipulation except with approval of the assigned Judge, except as provided below:
(1) The deadline for disclosure of possible primary witnesses may be extended by written stipulation of all parties without the necessity of a Court order for an additional period not to exceed 14 days without first applying for approval of the Court, provided that the stipulation contains the following provision: “No party may assert this delay in the disclosure of witnesses as a basis for a continuance of the established trial date.”
(2) The discovery deadline may be extended by written stipulation of all parties without the necessity of a Court order for an additional period not to exceed 14 days without first applying for approval of the Court, provided that the stipulation contains the following provision: “No party may assert this extension of the Discovery Cutoff as a basis for a continuance of the established trial date.”

(j) Enforcement; Sanctions; Dismissal; Terms.
(1) Failure to comply with the Case Schedules may be grounds for imposition of sanctions, and terms, including but not limited to dismissal or exclusion of evidence or witnesses at trial.
(2) The Court, on its own initiative or on motion of a party, may order an attorney or party to show cause why sanctions or terms should not be imposed for failure to comply with the Case Schedules established by these rules.
(3) If the Court finds that an attorney or party has failed to comply with the Case Schedules and has no reasonable excuse, the Court may order the attorney or party to pay monetary sanctions to the Court, or terms to any other party who has incurred expense as a result of the failure to comply, or both. In addition, the Court may impose such other sanctions as justice requires.
(4) As used with respect to the Case Schedules, “terms” means costs, attorney fees, and other expenses incurred or to be incurred as a result of the failure to comply; the term “monetary sanctions” means a financial penalty payable to the Court; the term “other sanctions” includes but is not limited to the exclusion of evidence.


[Adopted effective January 13, 2020.]