Satisfying Local Rules
In theory, all the state Courts are interpreting and applying all the same laws, usually created by that state’s legislature. In practice, however, each Court is doing so under its own local rules, and many rules vary from Court to Court. For example, as spelled out in their respective local rule, counties often differ in their respective procedures for a party’s setting a hearing (the pertinent document traditionally being called a Notice of Hearing) and verifying to the Court that proper Notice was given to all the necessary parties (the pertinent document traditionally being called a Declaration of Mailing):
- Manner of setting a hearing: Some counties will have a Clerk set each hearing at a party’s request. Other counties, such as King County, simply specify when Judges will be available to hold hearings and allow each party to set his/her own hearing within those permissive periods.
- Name of document for setting a hearing: This website calls the name of the document used to set a hearing a Notice of Hearing, which should suffice, although, for example:
- The exemplary (but not mandatory) King County form for it calls it a Note for Motion Docket,
- The Pierce County form calls it a Note for Commissioner’s Calendar.
- The Snohomish County form calls it a Calendar Note: Civil Motions,
- Other counties call this same document a:
- Note for Motion Calendar,
- Notation of Hearing Date, or
- Note of Issue.
For simplicity and convenience, this website also usually combines into one document a Notice of Hearing with a Declaration of Mailing.
Furthermore, some counties, King County in particular, require that if you file a Notice of Hearing in which you have set your own hearing date and you want the Clerk’s Office to note that date on its Court calendar, you must add the words “Clerk’s Action Required” immediately under the Title of your pleading — otherwise the Clerk’s Office will simply file your pleading, and when you appear in Court, your matter won’t be shown on the calendar and may be required to be continued to a later date.
- Actual Notice periods: Local Rules may impose more stringent requirements than those described in the state statutes. For example, the King County Local Rules require 14 day Notice for matters that require only 10 day Notice under state statute.
- Working Copies: Many counties’ local rules require any party filing a request to be heard to deliver copies of all such requests (called “working copies,” “working papers,” “bench copies,” or “courtesy copies”) to an assigned Judge or to its Probate Department a certain minimum number of days before the hearing.
- Proposed Orders: Many counties’ local rules also require any party filing a request to be heard to delivery along with Working Copies a copy of the proposed Order that the party plans to present to the Judge at the hearing, even though such an Order neither would nor could have been filed with the Court’s Clerk upon the initial filing of the original papers. In King County, Working Copies, including a proposed Order, must be delivered to the Probate Department no later than 7 days preceding the hearing on the matter. King County LR 98.04(b)(6)
The instructions and forms on this website were created with the Local Rules of the King County Superior Court in mind. If you are required to set a hearing in another county and give Notice of it, WASHINGTON PROBATE suggests that you obtain and review that county’s Local Rules.