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Coronavirus: Washington State Courts are Limiting Court Business

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded

Read about how the Washington State Supreme Court order limits court business during the COVID-19 crisis.


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On March 20, 2020, the Washington State Supreme Court made an Order. It covers all courts in Washington. It says:

  • Almost all civil jury trials are suspended (stopped) until after April 24. This does not include trials already in session and trials where social distancing measures are strictly observed.

  • All "non-emergency"' civil matters are postponed (delayed) until after April 24, 2020.  The Court does not define what an "emergency" matter is.

  • Emergency matters that must be heard before April 24, 2020 must take place by phone, video or other way that keeps you from taking part in person, "unless impossible."

  • DVPOS (Domestic Violence Protection Orders), anti-harassment orders, SAPOS (Sexual Assault Protection Orders) and criminal no contact and anti-harassment orders may enter ex parte on filing of information, citation, or complaint and finding of probable cause.  The court may extend orders beyond the initial period until there can be a hearing.  This does not seem to apply to VAPOS (Vulnerable Adult Protection Orders) or ERPOS (Extreme Risk Protection Orders).

  • All criminal jury trials are suspended until after April 24.

  • Local courts can adopt more measures to protect health and safety.

  • The Court may revisit these time frames. If it does, it will put out another Order.

Last Review and Update: Mar 24, 2020