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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Washington State Courts are Limiting Court Business

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded
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Read about how the Washington State Supreme Court order limits court business during the COVID-19 crisis.

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On April 29, 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court made an Order. It extends and relates to an earlier Order the Court made on March 20. It covers all courts in Washington. It says:

  • Almost all civil jury trials are suspended (stopped) until after July 6. This does not include trials already in session and trials where social distancing measures are strictly observed.

  • Courts can (do not have to) postpone (delay) "non-emergency"' civil matters again until after June 1, 2020.  The new Order encourages courts to start hearing non-emergency matters by phone or videoconference. This is new. The Court does not define what an "emergency" is.

  • Emergency matters heard during this time must take place by phone or video whenever possible.

  • The Order encourages courts to make it "accessible" to file a motion for a civil protection order or restraining order. This could include letting you file such a motion electronically.

  • The Order adopts the Governor's recent Proclamation making it easier to serve someone with a protection order action. Read more at Coronavirus (COVID-19): Washington Governor has changed how you get a Protection Order during the Pandemic.

  • All criminal jury trials are suspended until after July 6.

  • Local courts can adopt more protections.

  • The Court may change these dates again later.

Last Review and Update: May 01, 2020
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