In an effort to meet industry best practices and to better ensure trial date certainty, the Cowlitz County Superior Court Judges are announcing significant changes to the Local Court Rules. Review of the rules linked below should be done before attempting to process a case through the court.
The Northwest Justice Project has kindly prepared a Walk Through of the scheduling process:
Local Civil Court Rules 16 and 40 are effective as of January 1, 2015.
The Court has provided the following blank forms available to assist in compliance with Local Rule 16:
The Court has provided the following blank forms available to assist in compliance with Local Rule 40:
Over the past two and a half years, the Court has met with three stakeholder groups to overhaul how cases move through the judicial system. The biggest change is that parties will now certify that they have completed all discovery prior to requesting a trial or settlement conference. The assigned trial date is anticipated to be set significantly quicker than in the past. Every effort will be made that the trial date set will be a “date certain.” (Previously, a trial would be set 12 to 18 months out and there weren’t any assurances that civil cases wouldn’t be bumped by criminal trials.)
Due to the transition from the old to the new case processing system, please be advised of the following:
The clerks will not be accepting any docket notices for trial assignments during the months of November and December because Court Administration will not be setting any trials during the months ofNovember or December, 2014 for the future. You can schedule a Mandatory Settlement Conference or a Support Modification hearing during this time frame. Starting January, 2015 you must use the new “Civil or Domestic Trial Setting Notice and Certificate of Readiness” to get your matter noted on a trial assignment calendar.
Please do not hesitate to contact Court Administration, at 577-3085, if you have any questions concerning this matter.