Superior Court Statistical Reporting Manual
A proceeding is a matter held in open court with at least one of the parties present in a case which is actually heard (i.e., oral argument or testimony is given), other than an ex parte action. Ex parte hearings held in open court where oral argument or testimony is given should be recorded as proceedings (see Ex Parte Actions, page 3-8).
A trial is a contested proceeding conducted by a judge to resolve the issues of a case. A trial is distinguished from other proceedings based on the following criteria.
(1) Both parties are present or represented.
(2) Issues are contested as demonstrated by the jury being sworn or opening argument being made, waived, or reserved.
A proceeding should be recorded with the proceeding-held docket code entry on the day the proceeding commences. For a multi-day proceeding (i.e., a hearing or trial conducted on two or more days), record the proceeding-held docket code only on the first day.
A case reopened is treated like any other case when scheduling a proceeding or docketing a proceeding that has occurred. The definition for a reopened case is discussed on page 3-6.
Recording Proceeding Time - The use of sub-docket codes to record the length of proceeding times is a local option, and does not affect caseload statistics. For information on recording proceeding time, see the proceedings-held section of the Guide to Docketing in Washington State.
Multiple Proceeding Types - For a given case, a single session of the court can result in the occurrence of one or more proceedings. When multiple proceedings are held during a given court appearance, the Case Management Advisory Committee (CMAC) decided that the single proceeding category which best reflects the nature of the appearance should be recorded. The Superior Court Statistics/Codes Committee adopted rules for selecting the most appropriate category to be reported. These rules will be fully implemented when the Courts Automated Proceedings (CAPS) computer application is available. In the meantime, docket in accordance with the following rules.
(1) Docket each type of proceeding held during a single session of the court only once. For example, if multiple motions are made during a proceeding, docket only one motion hearing ("MTHRG").
(2) Do not docket a motion hearing ("MTHRG") or summary judgment hearing ("SMJHRG") through non-jury trial duration.
Cases Consolidated for a Proceeding - Multiple domestic cases may be consolidated for a single court session. For proceedings involving consolidated cases, record the appropriate proceeding-held docket code(s) for each case in order to maintain the legal docket record.
PROCEEDING CATEGORIES - Definitions for these proceeding categories are given below. For each category all applicable SCOMIS proceeding-held docket codes are given in parentheses. Only docket codes shown here (also found in the domestic proceeding-held section of the Guide to Docketing in Washington State) will be included in domestic proceeding statistical counts on the caseload report.
A hearing whereby parties or their attorneys prepare and present their issues in an effort to reach pre-trial settlement.
Summary Judgment Hearing (SMJHRG) - A summary judgment hearing is a proceeding before the court in which a judgment is granted prior to trial on the basis that the case involves no dispute as to factual matters, and that the party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
Pre-Trial Management Hearing (PTMHRG) - A hearing whereby the court considers compliance with discovery and motion deadlines, attempts to frame issues of fact and law for trial, sets a briefing schedule, and makes further rulings as necessary, including the determination of readiness for trial.
A hearing in which all remaining uncontested issues are adjudicated, and the case is resolved.
A trial in which the issues of fact and law are to be determined by the judicial officer of a court or
A trial in which the issues of fact and law are to be determined by the judicial officer of a court of competent jurisdiction. Record a non-jury trial when the first witness is sworn, the first piece of evidence is presented, or when opening argument is made, waived, or reserved, whichever comes first. Do not docket any motion hearings through non-jury trial duration.
To document the number of days and length of time per day in a multi-day trial, see Recording Proceeding Time, page 3-9.
A post-resolution hearing seeking a modification to an existing order or decree. (See Cause Code Migration, page 3-7.)
Motion Hearing (MTHRG) - A motion hearing is a proceeding before the court for an order to set forth specific relief as requested (e.g., motion for reconsideration, motion notwithstanding the verdict).
Review hearings and motion hearings held after the case resolution date are counted as "other post-resolution" hearings.
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