SENATE BILL 5491





                        57th Legislature

                      2001 Regular Session

Passed by the Senate March 12, 2001

  YEAS 46   NAYS 0




President of the Senate


Passed by the House April 9, 2001

  YEAS 96   NAYS 0



I, Tony M. Cook, Secretary of the Senate of the State of Washington, do hereby certify that the attached is  SENATE BILL 5491 as passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on the dates hereon set forth.




Speaker of the

      House of Representatives






Speaker of the

      House of Representatives



Approved Place Style On Codes above, and Style Off Codes below. 





Governor of the State of Washington

                   Secretary of State

                  State of Washington



                         SENATE BILL 5491



             Passed Legislature - 2001 Regular Session


State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Senators Kline and Long; by request of Administrator for the Courts


Read first time 01/24/2001.  Referred to Committee on Judiciary.

Revising small claims proceedings.

    AN ACT Relating to small claims appeals; and amending RCW 12.36.050 and 12.36.055.




    Sec. 1.  RCW 12.36.050 and 1998 c 52 s 3 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) Within fourteen days after a small claims appeal has been filed in superior court by the clerk of the district court pursuant to RCW 12.36.020(3), the complete record as defined in subsection (2) of this section shall be made and certified by the clerk of the district court to be correct.  The clerk shall then immediately transmit the complete record to superior court.  The superior court shall then become possessed of the cause.  All further proceedings shall be in the superior court, including enforcement of any judgment rendered.  Any ((mandatory)) superior court procedures such as arbitration or other methods of dispute resolution ((will apply as if the cause was originally filed in)) may be utilized by the superior court in its discretion.  ((The statute governing the trial de novo shall only apply to those cases set for trial after compliance with superior court procedures.))

    (2) The complete record shall consist of a transcript of all entries made in the district court docket relating to the case, together with all the process and other papers relating to the case filed with the district court and ((any)) a contemporaneous recording made of the proceeding.


    Sec. 2.  RCW 12.36.055 and 1997 c 352 s 11 are each amended to read as follows:

    (1) The appeal from a small claims judgment or decision shall be ((a trial)) de novo ((in superior court.  A trial de novo pursuant to this chapter shall be tried as nearly as possible in the manner of the original small claims trial.  No jury may be allowed, or attorney or legal paraprofessional involved, without written order of the superior court, unless allowed in the original trial.  No new pleadings other than the notice of appeal may be allowed without written permission of the superior court.  Each party shall be allowed equal time, but no more than thirty minutes each without permission of the superior court.  No new or other evidence, nor new or other testimony may be presented other than at the trial in small claims court, without permission of the superior)) upon the record of the case, as entered by the district court.

    (2) Any cases heard in superior court pursuant to this section may be heard by a duly appointed commissioner.  As used in this chapter "judge" includes any duly appointed commissioner.


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