Court Closing Days - SCA Excerpt
Desk Manual for
Superior Court Administrators
Part 1 - Overview
§1.2 Additional Introductory Information
Legal Holidays (RCW 1.16.050)
Whenever any legal holiday falls on Saturday the preceding Friday shall be the legal holiday, and all the courts of the state (including clerk's offices) shall be closed on that day. RCW 1.16.050; GR 2(a), GR 2(c).
Whenever any legal holiday falls on Sunday the following Monday shall be the legal holiday, and all the courts of the state (including clerk's offices) shall be closed. RCW 1.16.050; GR 2(a), GR 2(c).
RCW 2.28.100 states that no court shall be open, nor shall any judicial business be transacted, on a legal holiday, except:
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday (third Monday of January)
President's Day (third Monday of February)
Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
Fourth of July
Labor Day (first Monday of September)
Veteran's Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November)
Day after Thanksgiving Day
In the event the last day for filing any document, having any hearing or for doing any other thing or matter in any court shall fall upon a day when such court shall be closed according to GR 2 or GR 21, the time for the filing or other thing or matter shall be extended until the end of the next business day upon which such court shall be open for business. GR 3. Notwithstanding this rule, extensions of time for trial are governed by CrR 3.3(d)(8).
In declaring any legal holiday, the governor may provide that such holiday shall not be applicable to the courts of the state. RCW 2.28.100.
- to give instructions to a jury upon their request when deliberating on their verdict;
- to receive the verdict of a jury;
- for the exercise of the powers of a magistrate in a criminal action, or in a proceeding of a criminal nature;
- for hearing applications for and issuing writs of habeas corpus, injunction, prohibition, and attachment;
- for the issuance and service of any process or subpoena not requiring immediate judicial or court action.
Emergency Court Closure
A court may be closed if weather, technological failure or other hazardous or emergency conditions or events are or become such that the safety and welfare of the employees are threatened or the court is unable to operate or demands immediate action to protect the court, its employees or property. GR 21(a). Closure may be ordered by the chief justice, the presiding chief judge, presiding judge or other judge so designated by the affected court in his or her discretion during the pendency of such conditions or events. GR 21(a).
Whenever a court is closed in accordance with GR 21(a), the chief justice, presiding chief judge, presiding judge or other judge directing the closure of the court shall enter an administrative order closing the court which shall be filed with the clerk of the affected court. GR 21(b). It shall also be the responsibility of the directing judge or justice to notify the Office of the Administrator for the Courts (OAC) of any decision to close a court. GR 21(b). All oral notifications to the OAC shall be followed as soon as practicable with a written statement outlining the condition or event necessitating such action and the length of such closure. GR 21(b).
WA. CONST. Art. IV, §6 states that "[i]njunctions and writs of prohibition and of habeas corpus may be issued and served on legal holidays and nonjudicial days."
CR 77(d) and RCW 2.08.030 state that "superior courts . . . shall be always open, except on nonjudicial days."
However, none of these sources provide a definition of "nonjudicial day." Several old cases appear to use this term synonymously with "legal holiday." For an example see State ex rel. Walter v. Superior Court, 49 Wash. 1, 94 P. 665 (1908). Black's Law Dictionary defines non-judicial day as a "[d]ay on which process cannot ordinarily issue or be executed or returned, and on which courts do not usually sit."
CrR 8.1(a) states that time shall be computed in accordance with CR 6.
CR 6(a) states that in computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by court rules, by local rules of any superior court, by order of the court, or by an applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included.
The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, a Sunday, nor a legal holiday. CR 6(a).
When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than seven (7) days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation. CR 6(a).
Both CR 6 and CrR 8.1 describe when the court may extend (or "enlarge") the time for taking any actions required under the rules.
CR 6(e) also provides that whenever a party has the right or is required to do some act or take some proceedings within a prescribed period after the service of a notice or other paper upon him and the notice or paper is served upon him by mail, three (3) days shall be added to the prescribed period.