GR 9 - Supreme Court Rulemaking and Schedule for ReviewThe Supreme Court's rulemaking process is governed by GR 9. The complete text of the rule is on this website under court rules.
This rule sets out the timetable for submitting suggested changes to the Supreme Court, when and where proposed court rules will be published for comment and the date upon which those changes will take effect. The rule also provides for an expedited process if there is a need for a more immediate change to the rules.
The rule provides that all proposed rules must be necessary statewide. Amendments should be limited in frequency to ensure minimal disruption in court practice.
Any person may initiate rule changes by submitting the change to the Supreme Court. The Court will determine if the request is clearly stated and in the form required by GR 9. If the Court determines the request is unclear or does not comply, it may accept the request notwithstanding noncompliance, ask the proponent to resubmit the request in the proper format or reject the request, with or without notification as to the reasons for the rejection.
Submissions should be made in conformance with GR 9(e). The rule text must be accompanied by a GR 9 cover sheet. It addition to a hard copy, an electronic version must be submitted. After the Court has received the request it makes a determination as to whether it is a substantive or technical change and whether it should be considered under the normal rulemaking cycle or whether the process should be expedited. The Court will then forward those submissions, except those deemed without merit, to the Washington State Bar Association, the Superior Court Judges' Association, the District and Municipal Court Judges' Association and the Chief Presiding Judge of the Court of Appeals for consideration. Other groups who have requested will also be sent proposed changes.
A proposed rule change will be published for comment in the Washington Reports Advance Sheets, the Washington State Register and on the AOC (www.courts.wa.gov) and WSBA (www.wsba.org) websites. It addition to the text of the rule change, it shall be accompanied by a purpose statement taken from the cover sheet.
All comments to proposed court rule changes must be in writing and submitted to the Clerk of the Supreme Court. Prior to adopting a rule, the Court may decide to hold a hearing on it. If the Court orders a hearing, it shall set the time and place of the hearing and determine the manner in which the hearing will be held. The Court may also designate who will conduct the hearing.
If the Court rejects a suggested rule, it may provide the proponent with the reason for the rejection. If the Court adopts the suggested amendment without public comment, it shall publish the rule and may set out the reason for the adoption.
If the Court rejects a proposed rule, it may publish its reason or reasons for rejection and if it adopts a proposed rule, it may publish the rule with the purpose statement. If the proposed rule is adopted as amended, the Court should publish a revised purpose statement.
Adopted rules shall be published in a July edition of the Washington Reports advance sheets and in the Washington State Register. They will also be posted on the AOC and WSBA internet sites. All rule changes will become effective on September 1 unless the Court provides for a different effective date.
The following is the schedule for review and adoption of rules: In order to be published in January, a suggested rule must be received no later than October 15 of the preceding year. Proposed rules are published for comment in January of each year. Comments must be received by April 30 of the year in which the proposed rule is published. Adopted rules shall be published in July and take effect on September 1.
Questions about the rulemaking process should be directed to Nan Sullins at: Nancy.Sullins@courts.wa.gov.
Schedule for ReviewUnder its review cycle the WSBA Court Rules and Procedures Committee will be reviewing court rules as follows:
The Rules of Appellate Procedure and the Rules for Appeal from Decisions of Courts of Limited Jurisdiction in 2012 - 2013.
The Evidence Rules and Infraction Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction will be reviewed in 2014 - 2015.
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