The attorneys have worked really hard to make this event a success. The day begins with a mock trial beginning at 10 AM in Room 100 and ends with lunch in Jury Administration at 1:00 PM. Thanks to all Superior Court Staff who have helped on this events.
For more information contact: Sabrina Ahrens or Alex Kirigin
Link to PCMBA website:
Changes to Jury Duty
Jury duty has been shortened to one week or until dismissed by the court.
Your term of jury service is generally one week. This time may be extended if you are selected for a trial which may take longer than your original service requirement.
What does “or until dismissed by the court” mean?
Once you are assigned to a jury panel, you will stay on that case until the court releases you from your commitment.
Superior Court Administrator Andra Motyka, will retire Friday, Nov. 20, after serving the Court for 20 plus years.
Andra has been a valued employee leading the court through the technology revolution and through major court facility redesign. In 2007 Andra was nominated by the Pierce County Superior Court Judges for the NACM 2007 Award of Merit. Andra received the 2007 Award of Merit, the highest award presented to a court administrator by the National Association for Court Management. The entire Superior Court family wishes Andra well as she embarks on new endeavors.
A national search for her replacement are underway and we expect it will take several months. In the interim, John Ladenburg, former Pierce County Executive and former Pierce County Prosecuting Attorney, has agreed to serve as the Administrator of Superior Court. John is an excellent administrator who understands the courts and Pierce County government. He has successfully assisted the Court previously as Interim Administrator of Pierce County Juvenile Court. John will assume the Interim Court Administrator position on Monday, Nov. 23.
Please join me in wishing Andra well and thanking her for her service. And also please join me in welcoming John Ladenburg as our interim Superior Court Administrator.
- Frank E. Cuthbertson, Presiding Judge of Superior Court
2015 Pierce County Local Rules (PCLR)
2015 PCLR effective September 1st, 2015. CLICK HERE to view and download the Adobe PDF version.
Please note the following change:
PCLMAR - 2. TRANSFER TO ARBITRATION AND ASSIGNMENT OF ARBITRATOR 2.1 Transfer to Arbitration
(a) Statement of Arbitrability. In every civil case, the party filing the note for trial provided by CR 40(a)(1) and PCLR 40 shall, upon the form prescribed by the court, complete a statement of arbitrability; except that a party may file a statement of arbitrability requesting arbitration at any time after filing of the complaint, but no sooner than the date the confirmation of joinder is filed and no later than the discovery cutoff date. [emphasis added] After the deadline has passed, the statement of arbitrability may be filed only by leave of the court for good cause shown.
This local rule change requires that the Statement of Arbitrability be filed only on or after the deadline for filing the confirmation of joinder and before the discovery cutoff date, absent leave of court for good cause shown.
Governor Appoints Michael Schwartz to Pierce County Superior Court Department 3
Governor Inslee announced last night that he has appointed Michael Schwartz to the Pierce County Superior Court replacing Judge Tom Larkin who retires at the end of July. Michael Schwartz has over twenty two years experience as a defense trial attorney. He among a select group of attorneys who have been qualified to handle death penalty cases in Washington. He has also served in the military and, prior to becoming an attorney, he was a commissioned police officer in Hawaii. Michael Schwartz is active in the community coaching youth sports and he has served as President of the Robert Bryan Inns of Court. He also currently co-chairs the Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association’s Criminal Law Section. Michael will be a great addition to the Superior Court. He brings a unique perspective to the bench and is well respected by the lawyers and judges in Pierce County. Please join Superior Court in welcoming our new Judge, Michael Schwartz.
Additional information is available in Governor Inslee’s press release on the governor’s web site.
On June 6th several judges, commissioners and their spouses helped with the construction of two homes at a Habitat build site. They will have another opportunity in September to make this meaningful impact in our community.
Judge Whitener will visit Trinidad to promote human rights and tolerance.
Judge Helen Whitener will visit Trinidad from June 14-17 as part of the U.S. Embassy’s celebration of June as National Caribbean-American Heritage and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride (LGBT) months.
Judge Whitener was born in St. Augustine and migrated to the U.S.A. at age 16. She now sits on the Pierce County Superior Court, (the highest trial court in the State of Washington). She is the youngest woman of color to serve in such a position and is openly gay. Her visit is meant to promote human rights and tolerance. She will hold meetings with government officials, women’s groups and members of the LGBT community. Judge Whitener will also give a talk at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine on June 16 at 2:00 p.m.
Judge Whitener gives much of her time to speaking on various access to justice matters and is a member of the Washington State Bar Association, Washington State Superior Court Judges Association, Equality and Fairness Committee, National Association of Women Judges and the International Association of Women Judges.
She was featured in the local Express Women’s magazine in April.
Judge warns of phony payment demands for missed jury duty.
View the full article here
Clark County is reporting a jury scam via telephone that requires the resident to pay a fine and then show up to court on a specific date for a refund. We will never request money over the phone.
View the full article
Kitsap County Jury Scam Advisory
For more details about Snohomish County
Juror Scams around the country
JURY APPRECIATION WEEK
On May 5, 2015, the Pierce County Council, Executive and Courts jointly adopted Resolution No. R2015-45, which proclaims the week of May 18-22, 2015 to be “Juror Appreciation Week” in Pierce County. The Jury Administration Office, which serves Pierce County Superior, Pierce County District and Tacoma Municipal Court, will be providing snacks to the jurors to recognize the service of Pierce County residents who serve on jury duty. Judges from all three courts, the County Executive and members of the County Council will appear during the week to praise and honor the importance of their service. In 2014, 80,310 county citizens were summoned for jury duty and 11,584 served as jurors in the courts.
Pierce County Superior Court to host national jury management seminar
Jury administrators from around the nation are coming to Pierce County this month for a three-day advanced training seminar.
The Virginia-based National Center for State Courts selected Pierce County’s Jury Administration Office as the host after working together on a technical assistance study. The study was complimentary of Pierce County Jury Administration operations, and also identified areas for improvement and efficiency.
“This is the first time the National Center for State Courts has held this training in Washington State and we are pleased to have been chosen to host it,” said Pierce County Superior Court Presiding Judge Frank Cuthbertson. “This will be an outstanding opportunity for the staff of our Jury Administration Office to join their counterparts from across the nation, take our jury operations to the next level and become even better at what they do.”
The seminar, to be held March 25-27, is entitled “Fair and Effective Practices in Jury Management.” It will be conducted by Paula Hannaford-Agor, director of the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts.
The training is limited to 40 participants and the registration list includes jury managers from all over the United States, including the U.S. Territorial Court in Guam. The Pierce County Jury Administration Office has 4 participants registered for the training.
Jury operations will be temporarily relocated to Courtroom 100 on the first floor of the County-City Building to accommodate the training seminar.
Congratulations to Judge Frank Cuthbertson and
Judge Stephanie Arend
The Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association honored Judge Cuthbertson with its 2014 Service To Diversity Award which Recognizes all aspects of diversity; optical, background, perspective, and racial. Scott Candoo concluded in his Pierce County Lawyer magazine article: “His demeanor and humanity as well as diversity of background and perspectives provides the legal system and community of Pierce County a tremendous windfall”.
The Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association honored Judge Arend with its 2014 Outstanding Jurist Award Recipient for Her work with the YMCA Mock Trial program, Paint Tacoma Beautiful program, Judicial College, and the Pierce County Superior Court History Project. In the Pierce County Lawyer magazine article, Paula Olson summed it up with these words: “Judge Arend is very worthy of this Distinguished Service Award and we should all take an opportunity to congratulate and thank her for her hard work and commitment to improve our community”
Juror e-mail Scam
Residents of Pierce County have been contacted by e-mail about Notice to appear in court. The e-mail states the person is due in court March 12. There is a zip file attached to the e-mail.
Do not open it. It could be harmful to your device.
These are fake, if you are solicited in this way, don't give these contacts any information.
On May 6th 2014 Pierce County Drug Court was visited by 20 Korean Delegates. Our Drug Court will be serving as a model for the Korean government to learn more about how our court system helps non-violent offenders with drug addictions by offering a therapeutic drug treatment program. For the full story.
By Judge Garold E. Johnson, Chair
Pierce County Superior Court Local Rules Committee
Following the 45-day comment period, the Local Rules Committee will evaluate all comments, make final rule changes and submit proposed local rules amendments to the full Bench for approval in June. Final authority for all rules changes is by vote of the Pierce County Superior Court judges. Approved local rule changes will then be submitted for publication by the Administrative Office of the Courts to take effect September 1, 2014.
ADDITIONAL PROPOSED AMENDED LOCAL RULES AVAILABLE FOR REVIEW AND COMMENT
By Judge Garold E. Johnson, Chair
Pierce County Superior Court Local Rules Committee
The Pierce County Superior Court Local Rules Committee is publishing the following three additional rule changes for comment.
These additional proposed changes are to PCLR 0.3 to add transfer of structured settlement payment rights to commissioners’ subject matter; to PCLR 3(a)(14)(A) deleting the language “Type 2 (civil)” after Miscellaneous which will allow all miscellaneous cases to be given a mandatory review hearing four months after filing; and to PCLR 40(e)(1) which is an administrative change to the court rules that is intended only to make the rule consistent with the actual in court practices. To a great extent these additional rule amendments are self explanatory and are more ministerial than the proposed substantive changes that were recently published for comment.
Philip K. Sorensen was sworn in as Pierce County Superior Court Judge for Department 19 on April 4, 2014. Judge Sorensen was appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to fill a post left open by the appointment of Judge Linda CJ Lee to the Appeals Court. Judge Sorensen has worked for the Pierce County Prosecuting Attorneys Office since 1989. Judge Sorensen's bio...
At their November meeting, the Superior Court Judges approved a change in policy and eventual rule change exempting Non-Parental Custody cases from the mandatory settlement conference requirement of PCLR 16 (b). This change will take effect January 1, 2013, although the actual language of the rule will not be changed until September 1, 2013.
If you already have a judicial settlement conference set in a Non-Parental Custody matter, that settlement conference remains as scheduled. For all new matters filed after January 1, 2013, the Case Scheduling Order will reflect the elimination of the settlement conference requirement. For pending Non-Parental Custody cases, as of January 1, 2013, the trial judge will no longer schedule a non-compliance hearing for failing to set a settlement conference.
Although settlement conferences/ADR will no longer be mandatory in Non-Parental Custody cases, any party still desiring some form of ADR, whether it be judicial settlement conference or mediation, may request such by motion to the assigned trial judge or if agreed, by stipulation.
Family Court Presiding Judges Bar News Announcement
Superior Court Home Page
On Friday March 13, Pierce County Superior Court lost an esteemed judge and good friend, the Honorable Frederick W. Fleming. Judge Fleming retired two years ago after serving 21 years on the Superior Court . His tenure began in 1992 when he was elected to the position vacated by Judge E. Albert Morrison. Prior to assuming the bench Judge Fleming served as a Pierce County Prosecutor and subsequently was in private practice.