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 for juvenile dependency cases when the court decision has been rendered regarding the initial petition filed.
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 displays examples of decisions and orders involving resolution and/or completion.
RESOLUTION AND COMPLETION
Proceeding Decision Resolved Completed
Court Decision Yes No
Appointment of Guardian No Yes*
Certificate of Termination Yes No
*Note: This document does not always complete a dependency action; further review hearings or case processing may be required to complete the case.
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, however, 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 for the legal record, use the docket code "MSTRIAL."
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 7-4).
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.
Consolidated Cases - 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 juvenile dependency case may have issues resolved in different ways, which may result in different "resolutions" among litigants. In dependency cases with multiple litigants, for example, some parties' issues may be dismissed 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.
To keep track of the resolution category and date for each litigant as their 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.
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.
Consolidated Case (CONS) - Final resolution for a case being consolidated into another case (see Consolidated Cases, page 7-14). Do not use this code when cases are consolidated only for a proceeding.
Final resolution for a case which has previously been resolved (i.e., petition approved) in another jurisdiction, and has been transferred for ongoing review hearings.
Final resolution by the court dismissing the case before, during, or after a fact finding hearing has commenced.
Final resolution for a case that is not contested in superior court.
Final resolution by the court where a petition has been approved.
*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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