Superior Court Statistical Reporting Manual
Case processing time standards are published in the Washington Rules of Court. The time standards identify three major milestones in the life of a case: filing, resolution, and completion. Case "resolution" occurs when the case is "tried, settled, or otherwise concluded;" that is, resolution is defined as the adjudication or settlement of all issues in a case (e.g., trial verdict, notice of settlement, oral order).
Case "completion" occurs when all necessary dispositive documents have been filed with the clerk.
A case must be resolved before it can be completed. In certain situations, resolution and completion can occur simultaneously (e.g., jury verdict, order of dismissal). The case resolution date must be on the same day or prior to the case completion date entered on the SCOMIS basic screen.
The following table displays examples of decisions and judicial orders involving resolution and/or completion.
RESOLUTION AND COMPLETION
Proceeding Decisions Resolved Completed
Pursuant to office policy, courtroom clerks can determine case resolution if at the conclusion of a proceeding, all issues in the case have been adjudicated. Since docketing clerks deal with maintaining the legal record, they can determine both case resolution and case completion. It is important that docketing clerks be advised of the adjudication of issues for which there is no documentation (e.g., oral dismissal).
Mistrials - Do not record a resolution if a mistrial occurs in a case. Record a resolution when the case has been retried and/or a judgment is rendered. If the case is not retried it can be resolved and completed through the clerk's dismissal process.
To document the occurrence of a mistrial or hung jury for the legal record, use the docket code "MSTRIAL" or "HUNGJRY."
Cases Reopened - For a reopened case the resolution and completion codes and dates should be removed and the case should proceed as if it was never resolved or completed. (Example: When there is an order vacating judgment, change the resolution and completion codes and dates to blank to reflect that the case is no longer resolved and completed.) When all issues in the reopened case are resolved, enter the appropriate resolution code and date. When the reopened (and newly resolved) case reaches completion, enter the appropriate completion code and date (see Cases Reopened, page 2-9).
This may create a very small increase in resolutions since a few cases could have two resolutions reported in different calendar years. The reprocessing of monthly SCOMIS statistics in January for the previous year will eliminate the duplications that may have occurred during the previous calendar year.
Cases Consolidated - When consolidating two or more cases, resolve the case(s) being "closed" with "CONS" (consolidated case). Record the primary resolution for the case into the single case in which the other cases are being consolidated. The primary resolution should be the resolution requiring the greatest use of judicial resources.
Multiple Resolutions - In some instances a case has issues resolved in different ways, which may result in different "resolutions" among litigants. In civil cases with multiple litigants, for example, some claims may be dismissed for some parties while others are resolved through a trial. When this occurs, a single resolution for the case still needs to be recorded. To assist in choosing the appropriate resolution code, the following resolution categories are ordered from least-to-most judicial time, with the resolutions after trial commencement listed last.
Record as the overall resolution for the case the one that involved judicial resources to the greatest extent.
Wait to record case resolution until all litigants' issues have been decided.
If the case is resolved by a clerk's dismissal (i.e., cases dismissed/closed on motion of clerk due to litigant inactivity), use the "DSCK" code only if no other resolution exists for that case.
To keep track of the resolution category and date for each litigant as the issues are adjudicated, enter the resolution code and date under the column "Litigants" on the SCOMIS names screen. This allows for a quick review of the different "resolutions" in choosing the single case resolution that required the greatest use of judicial resources. There is no edit on this field so the computer cannot automatically record the case resolution from this column.
The appropriate resolution code must be determined by the clerk and transferred to the SCOMIS basic screen after all issues in the case are resolved.
Pending cross-claims should be reviewed before the case resolution is entered.
Typically civil case resolution and completion codes remain unchanged, except when a case is reopened (e.g., vacating a judgment or remanding a decision for retrial). To lessen the impact on clerical workload, domestic violence and civil harassment petitions are both resolved and completed following the temporary order hearing. If a permanent order hearing is held, however, the resolution and completion information should be changed to reflect the actual case outcome.
Event Resolution Code Completion Code
Temporary order denied DSM UNCL
Transfer of Judgment (TRJG) - Final resolution for a record of judgment transferred to the superior court from another jurisdiction or agency. This resolution code should be entered at the time the record of judgment is filed with the clerk. Use only for the following causes of action: tax warrants, abstracts of judgment, transcript of judgment from lower court, and foreign judgments.
Final resolution by the court where dismissal action is initiated by the clerk and approval by the court is granted as a matter of routine with no opposition by any party. Use for dismissal action initiated by the clerk only when no other type of resolution applies (see Civil Rule 41 (B)(2)).
Change of Venue/Jurisdiction (CHV) - Final resolution for an unadjudicated case transferred from the court of filing to another jurisdiction for all subsequent adjudication and/or proceedings, upon motion of a party or upon the court's own initiative.
Uncontested Resolution (UNDS) - Final resolution for a case that is not contested in superior court, and is not given a default judgment (e.g., a case in which the respondent/ defendant did not answer to the claims, and no order of default was handed down as the final resolution). Do not use for matters filed with the clerk (see 7.A.b. above).
Consolidated Case (CONS) - Final resolution for a case being consolidated into another case (see Cases Consolidated, 2-18). Do not use this code when cases are consolidated only for a hearing or trial.
Return of jurisdiction over a case from superior court to the originating district or municipal court or an administrative agency.
A RALJ appeal sent to the superior court for review is resolved by dismissal (and remand) or a decision to affirm, reverse, or modify the previous ruling. A de novo appeal is resolved under this category only when remanded; otherwise a de novo appeal is resolved under whatever other resolution category is appropriate (see RALJ 9.1).
Dismissal and Remand of Appeal/Review (DSRM) - Final resolution for a RALJ or de novo appeal that results in superior court dismissal of the judgment with the case sent back to the lower court/administrative agency for retrial and final judgment. Do not use for remand requesting further information from lower court for use later in final resolution by superior court. Do not use if the term "remand" is attached to superior court's decision without accompaniment of dismissal.
Court Decision to Affirm Appeal/Review (CDTA) - Final resolution affirming (upholding) entire decision of lower court after a review hearing has been held. The case is retained in superior court for judgment. The affirming decision might be included within the order dismissing the appeal.
Court Decision to Reverse Appeal/Review (CDTR) - Final resolution reversing entire decision of the lower court after a review hearing has been held. The case is retained in superior court for judgment while reversing the lower court's decision.
Court Decision to Modify Appeal/Review (CDTM) - Final resolution modifying the decision, OR reversing/affirming in part the decision of the lower court after a review hearing has been held. The case is retained in superior court for judgment while modifying the lower court's decision.
Final resolution by the court dismissing the case before trial commencement.
Use for a domestic violence or civil harassment case where (1) no temporary protection order has been granted and no permanent order hearing has been set, (2) neither party appeared for the permanent order hearing, or (3) the permanent order of protection is denied.
Use dismissals for all 'non-suit' cases.
Do not use under the following circumstances:
(1) If dismissal action is initiated by the clerk pursuant to Civil Rule 41 (B)(2).
(2) For summary judgments, default judgments, or agreed judgments even if the word "dismissal" is included in the final judgment.
(3) For a stipulated order of dismissal which reflects settlement by parties.
See Civil Rule 12, Civil Rule 41 (A)(B) - except B(2), and RCW 4.56.120.
Final resolution by the court upon agreement of parties including a stipulated judgment, settlement at court conference, or settlement outside of the court's involvement. The case should still be recorded as settled even if the final judgment includes an order of dismissal.
A case is known to be settled when (1) both parties agree to and have signed a settlement, or (2) there is a stipulated order of dismissal which reflects settlement by parties.
Use "STPR" if a case sent to arbitration is settled by agreement of the parties without the arbitrator's award.
"STPR" should not be used for a case settled through a trial, summary judgment, default judgment, or resolved by the parties agreeing to the arbitrator's award.
Final resolution of a case reached through the arbitration process as evidenced by the parties agreeing to the arbitrator's award. Use "ARBA" even if there is a request for a trial de novo after the arbitrator's award, but the parties agree to a settlement before the trial.
Final resolution by the court for failure of a defendant to appear and/or answer a complaint, upon motion of plaintiff (e.g., a case in which the respondent/defendant did not answer to the claims and an order of default was handed down as the final resolution). Use where the order contains "default judgment" in the title or text and it is clear that it is the final judgment (see Civil Rule 55).
Final resolution by the court upon motion for summary judgment where the court finds that there are no material facts in dispute and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Use where the order contains "summary judgment" in the title or text and it is clear that it is the final judgment. (Note: The text may indicate that the summary judgment is partial.)
Use even if an order of dismissal is included with the summary judgment (see Civil Rule 56).
Final resolution after a hearing resulting in an order that resolves the issues in the case other than a default judgment, summary judgment, or settlement (e.g., court decision on a writ of restitution).
This resolution is primarily used for domestic violence and civil harassment cases after a permanent order is granted.
Settled After Non-Jury Trial Commencement (SAT) - Final resolution by the court upon agreement of parties, including stipulated judgments and settlements, reached after the commencement of a non-jury trial.
Final resolution by the court upon entering a judgment after completion of a non-jury trial. Enter this code and the date when the decision is rendered, not when the dispositive document is filed (see Civil Rule 52).
Final resolution by the court upon entering a judgment after completion of a jury trial. Enter this code and the date when the verdict is given, not when the dispositive document is filed (see Civil Rule 49; 50(b)).
*Statistical Completion (STCL) - The statistical completion code should only be used for previously resolved and completed pre-SCOMIS cases that are added to the system to file a document or record a proceeding held. "STCL" resolutions and completions are not counted in the caseload statistics.
As an alternative to the "STCL" completion code, the appropriate resolution and completion codes can be used so that the legal record more accurately reflects the case outcome (see Historical Resolution and Completion Codes in Appendix E). If this method is used, it is important to enter the correct resolution and completion dates so that these events are not (re)counted in the caseload statistics and do not distort pending caseload reports.
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