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., appointment of guardian, administrator, or personal representative).
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.
Proceeding Decision Resolved Completed
Court Decision Yes No
Order Closing Estate Yes Yes
Notice/Declaration of Completion Yes Yes
Pursuant to office policy, courtroom clerks can determine case resolution if at the conclusion of a proceeding all issues in a 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 or otherwise resolved. 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 4-4).
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 probate/guardianship case has issues resolved in different ways, which may result in different "resolutions" among litigants. In probate/guardianship 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 issues for all litigants' 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 information must be determined by the clerk and transferred to the SCOMIS basic screen after all issues in the case are resolved.
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 only when no other type of resolution applies.
Uncontested Resolution (UNDS) - Final resolution for a case that is not contested in superior court (e.g., will only, non-probate notice to creditors). If contested, another more appropriate resolution code should be used.
Consolidated Case (CONS) - Final resolution for a case being consolidated into another case (see Cases Consolidated, page 4-14). Do not use this code when cases are consolidated only for a hearing or trial.
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.
Final resolution by the court dismissing the case. Do not use if the dismissal action is initiated by the clerk pursuant to Civil Rule 41(B)(2).
Final resolution for a matter after a hearing resulting in an order that resolves the issues in the case.
Non-Intervention Probate (NIP) - Final resolution for a probate case where the personal representative is allowed to proceed without intervention of the court (i.e., with non-intervention powers). Do not use this code for will only cases.
Personal Representative/Guardian Appointed (PRGA) - Final resolution for a probate case that is resolved by appointment of a personal representative, administrator, executor, or executrix with or without non-intervention powers. Final resolution for a guardianship case that is resolved by appointment of a permanent guardian. (Do not use for a guardian ad-litem appointment.)
*Statistical Completion (STCL) - The statistical completion code should only be used for a previously resolved and completed pre-SCOMIS case that is 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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