Update from Family Court regarding Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Activities
Family Law Motions
How to Schedule a Hearing on the Family Law Motions Calendar:
** This is not a complete notice of the family law rules. Please see the Family Law Instructions for more detailed information.
- Picking a Hearing Date and Time:
The motions calendar is limited to a certain number of hearings per day. You must go to Family Law Motions Scheduling to view availability and schedule your motion with the family law department.
Please note that you can only pick one event subtype. Each subtype must be scheduled individually. This will make one reservation for multiple motions (Example- Contempt/Temporary Orders or Temporary Orders/Motion to Enforce). Only the motions properly scheduled will be heard.
- Pick the Correct Calendar:
There are court calendars for cases where neither party is represented by an attorney, and for cases where at least one party has an attorney. There may also be calendars for TBA Motions and reconsiderations. Make sure to pick the correct calendar on the calendar tool.
You will need your case number, contact information, and information for the other party to complete the reservation.
- Filing your documents:
Once you have reserved your spot on the calendar, the reservation system will generate a Notice of Court Date to file, or you can download the form at https://kingcounty.gov/courts/clerk/forms.aspx. You must file a Notice of Court Date and your motion (even if you have a Show Cause Order) within 3 court days of your reservation. Please note that the notice of court date generated from the system is a courtesy. You are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of that document when it is filed.
If you make a reservation, but fail to file the motion and notice of court date within 3 days, your reservation may be stricken.
IMPORTANT! If the court determines that you are reserving space on the calendar in bad faith, you may be subject to sanctions. You should only reserve a hearing date when you intend to move forward with the motion.
- Cancelling or Rescheduling a Hearing:
In the event that you need to cancel or reschedule your hearing, you must immediately contact:
• FamilyLawStaffMRJC@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-2750 for motions noted in Kent, or
• FamilyLawStaffSeattle@kingcounty.gov or 206-477-1523 for motions noted in Seattle
Important! Please do not reserve more than one slot per motion. If you need to reschedule your hearing, court staff will move your reservation to the new date. If you fail to timely strike your hearing or re-note the motion without alerting family law staff, you may be subject to sanctions.
Confirming your Hearing/Submission List
All documents that will be considered must be filed in the clerk’s office (either e-filed or physically delivered) and served on the other party. Once you have filed the documents, you must file a Working Papers Submission List. The Submission List form can be found at: https://kingcounty.gov/courts/clerk/forms.aspx. The Working Papers Submission List accomplishes two purposes:
- It confirms that you want your hearing to move forward. The Working Papers Submission List is due by the reply deadline for the moving party (noon 3 court days prior), and the response deadline for the responding party (noon 5 court days prior). If you fail to file your submission list by the deadline, your hearing will not take place. It is suggested that the submission list be filed electronically to avoid processing delays.
- It lets the Commissioner know what to read to prepare for the hearing. The Working Papers Submission List should list all documents that you want the court to consider. At a minimum, it must list your motion and the Notice of Court Date. If the submission list does not list all required documents, such as the motion or Notice of Court Date, your hearing may not go forward.
If you have filed multiple motions for one case, and have reserved a spot for each motion, you may file one submission list for all properly reserved motions.
Effective for all hearings scheduled on the family law motions calendars, proposed orders must be submitted online through the Clerk's Office eFiling System via the "Proposed Orders (Family Law)" link.
If you are the moving party (the person asking for the motion), submit your proposed order at least 14 calendar days prior to the hearing. If you are the responding party (the person responding to the motion), the proposed order is due 5 court days prior to the hearing.
IMPORTANT! All afternoon family law motions will be heard via Zoom. Information about how to appear for your virtual hearing can be found in the left menu bar and here: Virtual Hearing Information.
If you do not appear for your hearing, the hearing may be conducted without you or stricken.
Oversetting the Calendar
You may ask permission to set a hearing on the Family Law Motions calendar when there are no slots available. You must certify that this motion is brought in good faith and that there are compelling (important) reasons why the motion cannot wait to be heard at the next available calendar opening. These requests will NOT be routinely granted, and should be made ONLY in compelling circumstances.
To request to over-set the calendar, you must submit this motion (Motion to Overset FL Motions Calendar), and a proposed order (Order on Motion to Overset) in Word format, to the “Orders for Review” queue in the clerk’s e-filing application. For instructions on how to use the queue, click HERE.
Notice: The court is unable to review these immediately upon submission, but in most cases will review the motion 2 business days after submission.
The Notice of Court Date, Motion, and Declarations shall be filed within 3 days of making your reservation, and must be served on the other party at least 14 days calendar days prior to the hearing date. Responses shall be filed and served by noon at least five (5) court days prior to the hearing date and Replies are due by noon three (3) court days prior.
In addition to the page limits, and other requirements in LFLR 6:
- Each exhibit must have page numbers on each page.
- Parties must quote or reference the relevant parts of an exhibit in their declarations. The reference must include the exhibit and page number.
- If there are more than 5 exhibits, then exhibits should be numbered and a “table of contents” should be filed in front of the exhibits provided.
Trial by Affidavit Calendar (TBA)
Trials on the TBA calendar will be conducted virtually.
All Working papers shall be provided in a three-ring binder with a plastic cover. The moving party must provide the binder to the court by the deadline for their reply and it must include their opening and reply information. The responding party must provide the binder by the deadline for their response. Please list your name, phone number, email address, trial date and cause number on the front of the binder cover using this document. All other deadlines on the case schedule must be followed.
If you need a binder, some may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis in front of room W-291 in Seattle and A-1222 in Kent.
IMPORTANT! Motions on the TBA calendar must be scheduled though the online scheduling system at Family Law Motions Scheduling and will be heard without oral argument.
Domestic Violence Protection Orders
For information on how to start (file) a Domestic Violence Protection order please visit: Civil Protection Orders - King County
IMPORTANT! Domestic Violence Protection Order full hearings will be conducted virtually.
There are two ways to appear virtually:
- By Zoom Online: You must visit Virtual Family Law Hearings to get the link to appear at your hearing. This method is preferred.
- By phone: If you cannot access Zoom online, you can appear by phone. Visit Virtual Family Law Hearings to get the phone number to appear by phone at your hearing, or, at least two court days before your hearing call:
- 206-477-2750 for motions noted in Kent, or
- 206-477-1523 for motions noted in Seattle
If you have to leave a voice mail, leave a message with your name, case number, date of your hearing and contact phone number and court staff will contact you to let you know how to appear.
The numbers listed above are not the phone numbers to appear at your hearing. You must call or go to the website to get the hearing phone number before the hearing actually starts, so you join on time.