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Judge Monica Cary - Superior Court

How to contact a King County Superior Court judge and get ready for your trial or motion.

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Court recess

Judge Cary's court will be on leave April 5 through April 15, 2024. Any motions noted during that time will be considered after Judge Cary's return on April 16. 

Portrait of Judge Cary

  • Courtroom Number: 4D
  • Bailiff: Joanna Antrim
  • Department: 3
  • Assignment: Unified Family Court (UFC)



Judge Monica Cary was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee on February 29, 2024.  At the time of her appointment, Judge Cary had been serving as a Court Commissioner. In this role, she presided over family law motions, civil protection orders, truancy, trial by affidavit calendars, and At-Risk Youth and Children in Need of Services matters.


Prior to joining the judiciary, Judge Cary was an associate and then partner at a local law firm where she practiced for 18 years and was a key driver of growth at the firm. As an attorney, Judge Cary litigated complex family law matters, advised clients on estate planning, and provided collaborative law and mediation services. Judge Cary also represented clients from myriad backgrounds ranging from high-net-worth families to indigent refugees, victims to perpetrators, and stay-at-home parents to elite executives.


As an attorney, Judge Cary committed a significant portion of her work to pro bono direct representation and community leadership. Judge Cary previously served on the board of the South Asian Bar Association of Washington and the board of the FamilyWorks Food Bank in Wallingford. Judge Cary also served on the board of API Chaya which provides culturally specific services to victims of gender-based violence; and she was the Family Law Legal Intern Mentor at API Chaya for over a decade. Judge Cary was also a longtime volunteer and served on the board of the Washington First Responder's Will Clinic, which provides free estate planning to Washington state law enforcement, firefighters and first responders.


Judge Cary's commitment to our courts began before joining the judiciary. While in private practice, Judge Cary served as a King County Family Law Commissioner pro tem for five years. She served as a King County Superior Court Volunteer Settlement Conference mediator for thirteen years. Finally, she was a volunteer with and past Co-Chair of the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluation Committee.


Judge Cary has enjoyed the opportunity to mentor many young professionals and young attorneys. She was a 2021 KCBA YLD Nominee for Mentor of the Year. While in practice, Judge Cary received the Super Lawyers Rising Star designation in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. She was a 2014 recipient of the National Academy of Family Law Top 10 under 40.


Judge Cary began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Elizabeth Welch in the Oregon Circuit Court, 4th Judicial District before working as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in the criminal division of the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.


Judge Cary earned her bachelor's degree from Franklin and Marshall College and her law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School. Judge Cary's volunteer work brought her to Seattle when she joined the Martin Luther King VISTA Corps and worked in a local family resource center and food bank.



Appearing via Zoom

  • Court attire is required.
  • Log in at least 10 minutes before the meeting time.
  • Watch Virtual Meeting Tips.
  • Test your internet connection prior to your appearance in court.
  • Ensure your witnesses and clients have also watched Virtual Meeting Tips.
  • Practice with each witness/client prior to joining the hearing/trial.


Do not email Judge Cary directly. All correspondence must go through her bailiff.

Civil case information, forms, and documents

Rules to review before calling the court

  • Ex Parte Procedures - King County Local Rule 40.1
  • Procedures for motions without oral argument - King County Local Rule 7
  • Revision & Reconsideration - King County Local Rule 7
  • Trial Continuance - King County Local Rule 40
  • Summary Judgments - Civil Rule 56 Motion to Dismiss - Civil Rule 12
  • Motion to Set Aside Judgment - Civil Rule 60

Court transcripts

Judge Cary operates a digitally recorded courtroom. If prior to the hearing or trial you know that you want a copy of the CD, notify the Courtroom Clerk, who will be able to provide the information needed at the end of the hearing. If at some time following the hearing or trial, you determine you need a copy of the CD, it may be obtained directly from the Clerk’s Office copy center. The direct phone number is 206-296-7848.

If you need to have a transcript created, a list of court approved transcriptionists is available from the Clerk’s Office.

Requesting or setting oral argument for motions

If you are setting a dispositive motion, you must e-mail Judge Cary’s bailiff and schedule time on her calendar. If you do not have access to e-mail, please call the above number. Dispositive motions are generally set on Friday mornings (at 9 am, 10 am, or 11 am). Please call or email to schedule your hearing at least 2 months prior to the hearing date you would like to request. Other types of motions that are granted oral argument are motions for restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, revisions, and class certification hearings.

Most other motions do not require oral argument under the Civil Rules or Local Rules (see links above). If a party would like to request oral argument, the motion should be noted pursuant to the applicable court rules, simply noting in the upper right-hand corner "Oral Argument Requested." After Judge Cary has reviewed all briefing (moving papers, responses, and replies), if the Court determines oral argument is appropriate, the bailiff will contact the parties and set a mutually acceptable time for oral argument to be presented.

No deliveries directly to the courtroom

Unless arrangements have been made directly with Judge Cary’s bailiff, no deliveries are to be made directly to the courtroom. All deliveries should be made to the Judges' Mailroom. (See mailing address above.)

Pre-trial requirements

All trial memoranda, proposed jury instructions, and other trial submissions are due no later than 7 court days prior to trial. Please contact the Court Clerk by email to obtain information on pre-numbering exhibits. All submissions should be made to Judge Cary via e-working copies (i.e. KCMS). In civil cases, Judge Cary requires all parties and counsel to work together to complete the Witness Examination Time Form, and that form must be submitted together with other pre-trial memoranda 14 court days prior to trial. If the parties intend to use depositions in trial, designations and objections shall be marked according to these guidelines. Deposition designations and objections shall be provided to the Court at least 7 days prior to trial, along with other pre-trial materials.

Hearing or trial information

General trial schedule is Monday through Wednesday or Thursday between 9:00am to 4:00pm with breaks in the morning and afternoon. Judge Cary generally hears civil non-dispositive motions and sentence modification hearings at 8:30 am. and 1 pm. All 8:30 am hearings will conclude no later than 8:55 am, and all 4 pm hearings will conclude no later than 4:25 pm.

If you have a civil case which is assigned to Judge Cary, there is the possibility that your case could be assigned to another judge at the time of trial. The assignment will generally take place on Thursday afternoon prior to trial. You are still required to comply with all court rules regarding pre-trial submissions and deadlines. All papers submitted will be provided to the trial judge at the time of assignment by Judge Cary’s Bailiff. To determine what judge you have been assigned to for trial, please check the Civil Standby Calendar. It will be updated on Thursday afternoon prior to trial and is continuously updated (as needed) at other times.

Judge Cary requires all counsel and parties to be prepared at the end of each day to disclose all witnesses that party is intending to call the following day in trial.