Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court
  Benton & Franklin Counties Superior Court

Re-Setting Trials for Domestic and Civil Cases

The Benton and Franklin Counties Case Managers are working diligently to address the back log of Domestic and Civil cases as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

 

In an effort to create an efficient workflow, the backlog of Domestic and Civil cases has been split into 4 categories as follows:


1.  Trials Scheduled Prior to March 23, 2020:   Cases completed all requirements and were on the list of trials “ready to go.”  

 

(You will know your case was in this category if, prior to March 23, 2020, you received a trial notice with a future date and designated number of trial dates).


2.  Blank Case Schedule Orders: (cases filed March 23, 2020 through May 7, 2021): Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Domestic and Civil cases that were filed in this time frame received a blank Case Schedule Order with “TBD” dates.

These blank Case Schedule Orders served as a place holder for the Court in anticipation of re-setting dates.

The Case managers are currently working through all the Domestic and Civil cases that received blank Case Schedule Orders and are issuing Amended Cases Schedule Orders. 


(You will know your case is in this category if you received a blank Case Schedule Order [no specific deadline dates] after filing your case).


Case Schedule Orders Struck due to COVID-19:  The Case Managers are issuing new Case Schedule Orders.  The orders are being issued in date order as they were previously filed.  

 

(You will know your case is in this category if you were working through your case schedule order and all dates were struck by the court, due to COVID).


3.  Newly Filed Cases: (filed after May 10, 2021): Domestic and Civil cases started receiving Case Schedule Orders with actual dates.

Civil Cases will receive a trial date scheduled 18 months out from filing, rathe than the usual 12 months. Domestic cases will receive a trial date scheduled 15 months out from filing, rather than the usual 9 months.

Trial dates were extended to allow for the re-scheduling of trials on cases that received a blank case schedule order between March 23, 2020 through May 7, 2021.

 

(You will know your case was in this category if you filed your case after May 10, 2021).


4.  Future Trial Dates:  all future trial dates will get a notice for pretrial conference hearing.  This includes cases not governed by a case schedule order.  The Joint Pre-Trial Covid Report will be reviewed at the pre-trial conference.   

​       Note:  for civil only – all cases not governed by a case schedule order will still require a certificate of readiness

 

 

 

DETAILED CASE MANAGER PROCEDURES

1.   DOMESTIC TRIALS SCHEDULED - PRIOR TO 3/23/2020 (AS DESCRIBED ABOVE)

 

  • Trials are set in date priority
  • Trials will be set for pre-trial conference 6 weeks before trial (Joint Pre-Trial Covid Report needs to be ready for the pre-trial conference for judicial review)
  • Trials will be set for the same number of dates designated on the original trial notice (any amendments can be requested at the pre-trial conference)
  • Case Managers will work with the attorneys/parties for new dates, if needed.  (the attys/parties will still be required to file a motion for continuing the trial and pre-trial)
  • Trials will be set for a readiness hearing   

1.  CIVIL TRIALS SCHEDULED - PRIOR TO 3/23/2020 (AS DESCRIBED ABOVE)

  • Trials are set in date priority
  • Trials will be set for a pre-trial management conference 3 weeks before trial (Joint Pre-Trial Covid Report needs to be ready for the pre-trial conference for judicial review)
  • Trials will be set for the same number of dates designated on the original trial notice (any amendments can be requested at the pre-trial conference)
  • Case Managers will work with the attorneys/parties for new dates, if needed.  (the attys/parties will still be required to file a motion for continuing the trial and pre-trial) 
  • Trials will be set for a readiness hearing  
  • This includes cases not governed by a case schedule order

2.  DOMESTIC BLANK SCHEDULE ORDER - Cases filed between March 23, 2020 thru May 7, 2021

 

  • Amend Case Schedule Order with a Trial date scheduled 9 months out from filing

2.  CIVIL BLANK SCHEDULE ORDER - Cases filed between March 23, 2020 thru May 7, 2021

 

  • Amend Case Schedule Order with Trial date scheduled 12 months out from filing

3.  DOMESTIC NEW CASE FILINGS - FILED AFTER MAY 10, 2021

 

  • Issue Case Schedule Order with a Trial date scheduled 15 months out from filing

3.  CIVIL NEW CASE FILINGS - FILED AFTER MAY 10, 2021 

 

  • Issue Case Schedule Order with Trial date scheduled 18 months out from filing

CIVIL AND DOMESTIC CASE MANAGERS

CIVIL CASE MANAGER:   Hannah Smedsrud   hannah.smedsrud@co.benton.wa.us

DOMESTIC CASE MANAGER:  Alejandra Villasenor   alejandra.villasenor@co.benton.wa.us

Civil & Domestic                                      Joint Pre-Trial Covid Report Form 

JOINT PRE-TRIAL COVID REPORT - FOR DOMESTIC & CIVIL
Note: This form must be completed and to the courts prior to the Pre-Trial Conference and/or Pre-Trial Management Confernece.
Joint Pre-Trial COVID Report Civil Dome[...]
Microsoft Word document [301.5 KB]
JOINT PRE-TRIAL COVID REPORT - FOR DOMESTIC & CIVIL
Note: This form must be completed and to the courts prior to the Pre-Trial Conference and/or Pre-Trial Management Confernece.
Joint Pre-Trial COVID Report Civil Dome[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [158.8 KB]

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.

Ex Parte

Important Notice

 Click HERE for a description of the Ex Parte process.

Holiday Schedule

The Courts will be closed for New Years on Friday, December 31, 2021.

 

The Courts will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17, 2022. 

 

 

Please refer to the Court Holiday Schedule to see changes to regular calendar.

 

Arbitrator Eligibility

Important Notice

Click HERE for information and attestation form.

Superior Court Administration Benton County Justice Center

7122 W Okanogan Pl

Suite A130

Kennewick, WA 99336

509-736-3071

 

         DISCLAIMER

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.

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