District Court

SKAGIT COUNTY DISTRICT COURT LOCAL RULES

SKAGIT COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE RULES
FOR COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION

PREFACE

1.      PROMULGATION. These rules shall be known as the Local Rules for the District Court of the State of Washington for Skagit County. Copies of these rules will be filed with the Office of the Administrator of the Courts, and the Clerk of the District Court for Skagit County. Copies of these rules will be distributed to all law offices in Skagit County and to the County Law Library for public reference. Copies will be available from the District Court Clerk for Skagit County. These rules will be effective on September 1, 1999.

2.      NUMBERING. Consistent with GR 7(b) Washington Court Rules, these rules, to the extent possible,

conform in numbering system and in format to those rules adopted by the Supreme Court of the State of Washington for courts of limited jurisdiction and facilitate the use of the same. The number of each rule is preceded by the abbreviation "SL"; designating the rule as a Skagit County Local Court Rule and as being supplemental to the corresponding Washington Court Rule for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction.

3. Revisions and Additions (reserved).

SLARLJ 1. SCOPE OF LOCAL RULES

These rules govern the procedure in the District Court of the State of Washington for Skagit County. These rules are supplemental to the rules enacted by the Washington State Supreme Court for courts of limited jurisdiction as specifically authorized by GR 7, CRLJ 83, CrRLJ 1.7, and IRLJ 1.3 of the Washington Court Rules. The court may modify or suspend any of these local rules in any given case upon good cause being shown or upon the court's own motion.

SLARLJ 2. LOCATION OF PRIMARY OFFICE AND MUNICIPAL DEPARTMENTS

The primary office of the District Court of the State of Washington for Skagit County shall be located in Mount Vernon, Washington. The municipal courts of the Cities of Anacortes, Burlington and Mount Vernon and of the town of Concrete are duly organized Municipal Departments of the Skagit County District Court sitting in its respective municipality. These rules are binding upon the Municipal Departments of the Skagit County District Court.

SLARLJ 3. SCHEDULING

(a) Calendar. The Court Administrator shall develop and maintain a calendar for all hearings and trials.

(b) Priority. Whenever the caseload of the court requires, trials and other matters will be subject to multiple settings on the same date. The order in which said matters proceed will be determined by the judge based on speedy trial rule in criminal cases, the age of the civil cases, and the availability of jurors.

(c) Transfer of Cases. If the caseload or other circumstances require, the court may appoint a Court

Commissioner or Judge Pro Tempore to hear that trial or calendar of cases and may arrange for it to be heard in a location other than the usual courtroom.

SLARLJ 9(g) DISCLOSURE OF PUBLIC RECORDS

The following records and files are deemed confidential and are not available to the public for inspection or copying absent a court order: 

  1. Affidavits for Search Warrants before a return of service and inventory has been filed with the court.
  2. Affidavits of probable cause for arrest warrants before the warrant has been served and returned.
  3. Pre-sentence and post-sentence reports.
  4. Mental health, psychiatric and medical reports.
  5. Alcohol and drug evaluations, and compliance reports or progress reports from treatment agencies.
  6. Deferred prosecution petitions, statements of defendant on petition, evaluations and police reports. If the deferred prosecution has been dismissed the citation and order of dismissal are the only record available for inspection.
  7. Certified copies of driving records, abstracts of driving records and compiled reports of arrests and convictions unless they were admitted as an exhibit at the trial.
  8. Judge’s notes and worksheets.
  9. Witness statements and police reports.
  10. Addresses of jurors, case participants or witnesses.
  11. Addresses and birthdates of persons protected by No Contact or Anti-Harassment Protection orders.

Dissemination of data by the court shall be done according to the Skagit County District Court's Data Dissemination Policy Adopted by the court on January 15, 1998 subject to revisions or amendments duly enacted by the court. A copy of said policy is available upon demand made to the Skagit District Court Clerk's Office. 

SKAGIT COUNTY LOCAL CIVIL RULES FOR
COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION

SLRCRLJ 40 (b). NOTE FOR TRIAL ASSIGNMENT

Any party may file a notice asking that the case be set for trial. Said notice shall set a hearing date for trial setting. In lieu of appearance at said hearing, the parties may submit their trial conflicts in writing in advance of the date for trial setting. By noting the matter for trial, the moving party certifies that discovery is complete and the case is ready for trial. By not objecting to trial setting, the non-moving party joins in the moving party's certification. A note for trial assignment must be served on the non-moving party at least ten days in advance of the date set for hearing.

SLRCRLJ 40(g). MANDATORY MEDIATION FOR SMALL CLAIMS COURT

Mediation is mandatory before a trial is allowed in Small Claims Court. Mediation is held at the first scheduled appearance date unless continued by the court for good cause. Both parties must attend the mediation. If the plaintiff fails to appear, a dismissal may be entered. If the defendant fails to appear, their answer, if one was filed, may be stricken and default judgment entered. Parties may bring their evidence to the mediation, however, no witnesses are allowed. The purpose of mediation is to settle the case if possible; if no settlement is made at mediation, the case will be set for trial. Attorneys and paralegals may not represent parties at mediation.

SLRCRLJ 56 (h) SUMMARY JUDGMENT MOTIONS AGAINST PRO SE LITIGANTS

In all cases where a motion for summary judgment is brought against a litigant who is not represented by an attorney, the moving party must attach a copy of CRLJ 56 to the motion for summary judgment. Said copy shall be attached to the motion filed with the court and the copy of the motion served on the non-moving party. In the event a copy of said rule is not so attached, the motion shall be stricken subject to being re-noted without terms.

SKAGIT COUNTY LOCAL CRIMINAL RULES FOR
COURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION

SLCrRLJ 2.5 ISSUANCE OF BENCH WARRANTS

The Court Administrator or Lead Clerk is authorized to sign and issue warrants in the following cases:

(a)    FAILURE TO APPEAR AFTER SIGNED PROMISE TO APPEAR: When a defendant has failed to appear either in person or by a lawyer in answer to a citation and notice, or an order of the court, upon which the defendant has signed a notice to appear. In the event defendant's appearance is mandated by statute, defendant must appear personally.

(b)    FAILURE TO APPEAR IN RESPONSE TO A SUMMONS: When a summons has been issued after authorization of a Judge, and determination by a Judge has been made that probable cause exists that the defendant has committed the crime alleged, and the defendant fails to appear in person or by a lawyer. In the event defendant's appearance is mandated by statute, defendant must appear personally.

(c)    FAILURE TO APPEAR IN RESPONSE TO A NOTICE: In any case where a defendant fails to appear in person or by a lawyer after notice directing the defendant to appear has been sent to the defendant at the defendant's last address which appears in the court file.

(d)    FAILURE TO APPEAR AFTER RELEASE ON RECOGNIZANCE OR ON BAIL: When a defendant fails to appear after posting bail, or release on recognizance in any case designated as a "MANDATORY APPEARANCE" case by local rule.

(e)    FAILURE TO APPEAR AFTER PROBATION VIOLATION HEARING: When, after a probation violation hearing, an order has been signed by a Judge directing the defendant to perform certain terms or meet specified conditions or appear, and when there is no evidence in the file that the directed terms and conditions have been satisfied, and the defendant, after signing the order, fails to appear at the time directed in the order.

SLCrRLJ 3.1(e) WITHDRAWAL OF LAWYER

No withdrawal after a case has been set for trial will be recognized by the court, except for cause deemed sufficient by the court, Approval of withdrawal may, if necessary to prevent a continuance, be denied, and such attorney be required to proceed with the trial.

SLCrRLJ 3.4 (d). PRESENCE OF THE DEFENDANT

Defendant must be present at all stages of the proceedings from arraignment through imposition of sentence. Defendant may waive his/her right to be present unless such waiver conflicts with statute or court rule. The Court retains the right to require Defendant's presence at any given stage of the proceedings. Both Defendant and Defendant's attorney shall be present at trial confirmation. If Defendant does not appear for trial confirmation, all of Defendant's pending trial dates shall be stricken and a warrant issued for Defendant's arrest.

SLCrRLJ 3.1(g) WAIVER OF RIGHT TO COUNSEL

Unless a written waiver of the defendant's right to counsel is signed by the defendant and filed with the Court, an attorney shall be appointed to represent the defendant at all stages of the proceedings. No matter may be set for trial for a self represented defendant, unless such signed waiver is in the Court's file.

SLCrRLJ 3.3 TIME FOR TRIAL

(h) Continuances. All contested motions for continuances shall be heard by notice and citation on the

appropriate motion docket. Only in cases of extreme emergency and unforeseeable circumstances shall the presiding judge or the trial judge consider a motion for continuance without the proper notice and citation.

SLCrRLJ 3.6 SUPPRESSION HEARINGS

A party moving to suppress evidence must file a written motion that sets forth in detail the specific factual and legal grounds for the motion. The motion should be filed with the court at least seven (7) days prior to the pretrial hearing. Said motion shall be supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury of a person with testimonial knowledge, setting forth the facts to be elicited at an evidentiary hearing. The matter will be set for evidentiary hearing only if the presiding judge at a pretrial hearing finds that there are facts in dispute. If the parties agree to the facts a written stipulation shall be signed by the parties setting forth the facts on which the court will render its decision. A copy of the motion and supporting documents must be served on the opposing party at least five court days prior to the date set for hearing.

SLCrRLJ 4.1(d). CRIMES REQUIRING DEFENDANT'S

APPEARANCE AT ARRAIGNMENT

A lawyer may not enter a written plea of not guilty on behalf of a client, if the charging document states that one or more of the charges involves domestic violence, harassment, violation of an anti‑harassment or protection order, stalking, or driving while under the influence of intoxicants, driving while under the age of 21 after having consumed alcohol, or physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. For such charges, the defendant must appear in person for arraignment; and the court shall determine the necessity of imposing conditions of pre‑trial release. Where legislation mandates the defendant's appearance on the next judicial day following arrest, the term "next judicial day" as applied to municipal departments of the Skagit County District Court shall mean the next scheduled court day for the appropriate municipal department into which the charge was written. In District Court, arraignments that are required to be held on the "next judicial day" shall be held at 4:00 p.m. on the next court day following issuance of the citation.

SLCrRLJ 4.12 DUTY TO NOTIFY COURT AND WITNESSES

When a case docketed for trial or other hearing is settled, or for any reason will not proceed to hearing at the set time, the parties shall give notice of that fact immediately to the Court. Notice to the court should be in written form, however, telephonic notice is acceptable where appropriate due to time constraints provided that said notice is confirmed in writing. It shall be the duty of each party to notify it's own witnesses, not only of the date and time of the trial, but also of continuances, pre‑trial hearings, motions, and other proceedings. The Court will not pay witness fees to witnesses who appear for a case which has been continued or settled without trial or hearing. Such costs shall be borne by the party or attorney who called or subpoenaed the witness.

SLCrRLJ 6.13(b). EVIDENCE‑BLOOD DRAW CERTIFICATION

(1) Certification of Qualification to Draw Blood and of Blood Draw Procedure.

(A) Admission of Blood Draw Certificate. In the absence of a request to produce the person who drew blood from the defendant made at least 7 days prior to trial, certificates substantially in the following form are admissible in lieu of a witness in any court proceeding held pursuant to RCW 46.61.502 through RCW 46.61.506 for the purposes of determining whether a person was operating or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquors and/or drugs:

BLOOD DRAW CERTIFICATION:

I do certify under penalty of perjury of the laws of the State of Washington the following: I am a (physician) (registered nurse) (qualified technician) and I am qualified by medical training and experience to draw blood from the human body.

On ‑ (date) at ‑ (time) I drew (number of samples) blood samples from (name of person) at the direction and in the presence of (name of officer).

I further certify that with each sample the blood draw site was sterilized with a non‑alcoholic preparation (betadine) (other ), and that each blood sample was drawn into a chemically

clean dry container (hereinafter referred to as blood draw containers) consistent with the size of the sample

and sealed with an inert leak‑proof stopper. The blood draw containers are known by me to contain a

suitable anti‑coagulant and enzyme poison sufficient in amount to prevent clotting and stabilize the alcohol

concentration. The anti‑coagulant and enzyme poison utilized in this blood draw were (sodium fluoride and

potassium oxalate) (other: ).To the best of my knowledge, no foreign substances or chemicals, including alcohol, were involved in the blood draw process other than those listed above.

Date and Place Signature of person making certification

SLCrRLJ 7.2(g) ALTERNATIVE TO SENTENCING-DEFERRED PROSECUTION

A petition for deferred prosecution pursuant to RCW 10.05 must be filed with the Court no later than seven (7) days prior to the Trial Confirmation Hearing unless good cause exists for delay. Said petition and the accompanying declarations shall be in a form acceptable to the Court and in conformity with the statute. A complete copy of the police report of defendant's conduct giving rise to the charge shall be attached to the petition. Said order shall provide for supervision for 60 months, completion of treatment plan, payment of costs, abstinence from consumption of alcohol and non‑prescription mood altering drugs, attendance at a victims impact panel, no major traffic offenses, a requirement that all vehicles driven by defendant be equipped with an ignition interlock device for at least the first year of the deferred prosecution and no driving without being properly licensed and insured.

SLCrRLJ 8.2 MOTIONS

Unless a motion is made during a hearing or trial, it shall be made in writing, shall state with particularity the grounds therefor, and set forth the relief or order sought. Notice of the motion and a note for calendar together with the motion itself shall be filed with the Court and served on the opposing party at least five days before the date set for hearing unless the time is shortened by the Court or by agreement of the parties.

SKAGIT COUNTY LOCAL INFRACTION RULES FORCOURTS OF LIMITED JURISDICTION

SLIRLJ 3.2(b) MOTION FOR VACATION OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT FOR FTA

A defendant against whom a judgment for a traffic infraction has been entered by default for failure to appear, may file a motion in writing, on forms provided by the court, requesting that said judgment be set aside. The motion will then be presented to the court ex parte for determination. If, upon review, the court feels that a hearing upon the motion is necessary, the matter shall be set for hearing. Defendant must be present in the event the matter is set for hearing. The motion will be evaluated in conformity with CRLJ 60(b). If the Court grants said motion, the matter will be set for a hearing of the kind requested by the defendant. Mitigation hearings may be heard at the time of the motion if the calendar allows.

SLIRLJ 3.5 DECISIONS ON WRITTEN STATEMENTS

Hearings on alleged traffic infractions may be held upon written statements pursuant to IRLJ 2.4 (b) (4), 2.6 (c), and 3.5 for alleged infractions which are contested or where the Defendant requests a mitigation hearing.