“DELAY IN REPEAL OF RCW 26.10"
Please refer to: Proclamation by the Governor Amending Proclamations 20-05 and 20-84
MINOR GUARDIANSHIPS AND
NON-PARENTAL CUSTODY CASES –
IMPENDING LAW CHANGE
The legislature did away with the Non-Parental Custody statute effective January 30, 2021. Because of the COVID-19 State of Emergency, the Governor has given parties additional time to complete pending Non-Parental Custody cases, but that could change at any time. The legislature enacted a new statute, the Minor Guardianship statute, to take the place of the Non-Parental Custody statute.
If you are a party to a Non-Parental Custody case where the final orders have not been signed by the Court. You are urged to take immediate action to either finalize/resolve your case, dismiss your Non-Parental Custody petition, or convert your case into a Minor Guardianship case.
What are my options?
1.) If all parties were properly served in your Non-Parental Custody case and failed to respond or appear in Court, you may file a motion and notice of hearing to complete your case by a Default Order and entry of final orders.
2.) If all parties in your Non-Parental Custody case were served and agree to the Non-Parental Custody, then you may file a motion to enter agreed final orders.
3.) You may choose to dismiss your Non-Parental Custody case, by filing a motion to dismiss, a declaration explaining why you wish to dismiss the case, and a Notice of Hearing.
4.) You may convert your Non-Parental Custody case into a Minor Guardianship case.
It is critical to your Non-Parental Custody case that you proceed in one of the four methods noted above. If the timeline for completing your Non-Parental Custody case expires without your taking action, which could happen at any time, your Non-Parental Custody case is no longer a method to gain custody of the child/ren in your petition. At that time, the Court will be unable to enforce any temporary orders of Non-Parental Custody and/or restraining orders issued.
Please go to www.courts.wa.gov/forms to locate the forms you need to complete your case. See the section for Minor Guardianships, which includes order number 502, which is a petition to terminate or change (modify) a minor guardianship or non-parental custody order. Also see the Non-Parental Custody section for orders needed to complete your case if you can do so prior to the termination of the State of Emergency. You may wish to have counsel assist you during this process.
The legislature recognizes that people with incapacities have unique abilities and needs, and that some people with incapacities cannot exercise their rights or provide for their basic needs without the help of a guardian. However, their liberty and autonomy should be restricted through the guardianship process only to the minimum extent necessary to adequately provide for their own health or safety, or to adequately manage their financial affairs. RCW Chapter 11.88.005.
IS A GUARDIANSHIP NEEDED?
The Washington State Courts Guardianship Portal provides Resources to help you understand the Guardianship process and the roles and duties of a Guardian. Please note that this information is not legal advice and that processes may vary by county.
The Benton and Franklin Counties Superior Court provides oversight for all guardianship cases that are within the Court's jurisdiction under the provisions of RCW Chapter 11.88 and RCW Chapter 11.92. The Guardianship Monitoring Program (GMP) has been established to assist the Courts in ensuring that incapacitated persons and their estates are protected and that appointed guardians carry out their duties. Guardians are required to provide reports to the Court regarding their activities on behalf of the Incapacitated Persons in their care.
Under RCW Chapter 11.98 and the terms of many trusts, periodic reporting is required. Accordingly, management of trusts is also monitored under GMP.
The GMP assists the Courts to provide monitoring and oversight of:
July 21, 2021
Superior Court Statement On Gradual Transition To In Person Appearances In Court
The Superior Court has indicated in its most recent masking order that in criminal proceedings there is a general presumption of personal appearance. Specifying a presumption in criminal matters is necessary to recognize the unique requirements of identity and presence for some criminal hearings. While the Court wants parties and counsel to start moving more toward in person appearances generally as we re-open, we recognize that this is a process that takes time, and that the Supreme Court’s Emergency Orders are still in effect allowing remote appearances where appropriate. Some counsel and/or their families have health concerns that make it appropriate to continue to appear remotely, as do some litigants. If Counsel, or a party has a reason to continue to appear remotely on any docket, and does not wish to state it on the record, they may contact Court Administration so that it can be communicated to the bench.
Court's Response to Coronavirus Pandemic
En respuesta a la nueva pandemia de coronavirus (o COVID-19), nuestros servicios estaran limitados
Click HERE for the latest information concerning the Court's response to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Effective September 1, 2021 - 2021 Superior Court
Local Court Rules
Click HERE for a description of the Ex Parte process.
The Courts will be closed for Independence Day on Monday, July 5, 2021.
Please refer to the Court Holiday Schedule to see changes to regular calendar.
Click HERE for information and attestation form.
Superior Court Administration Benton County Justice Center
7122 W Okanogan Pl
Kennewick, WA 99336
Due to the rapidly changing nature of the Court’s information on the internet pages, the Benton and Franklin Counties Superior Courts cannot insure 100% accuracy. The data and links are provided for informational purposes only and may not have been updated on the date you view it. The Courts assume no liability for any legal consequences arising out of any information on these pages.