Mandatory Forms are Required!

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The Washington State Legislature has required the use of state forms in all cases filed in the areas of Family Law (RCW 26.18.220) and Dependency (RCW 13.34.035).

The Pattern Forms Committee has promulgated specific Style and Format Rules for the use of the forms in these two areas which can be found at:

http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/?fa=forms.static&staticID=4

It is of note that the boilerplate language in many parts of the form are not allowed to be altered.

In a recent case before the Court a few words were added to a paragraph, purporting to create jurisdiction in a matter where none existed without those words. This causes cases properly before the court to be bumped and, if done intentionally, could be the basis of a court sanction.

Just a reminder to practitioners and the public to be aware of, and to follow, the Rules linked above.

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