Snohomish County continuance in your divorce

Yesterday I wrote about getting a continuance in King County.  I wrote about what they are and what to say when you go about requesting them.  Today, I am writing about Snohomish County continuances.  To understand the way continuances work in Snohomish County, it’s important to understand how the case scheduling works first.


In Snohomish County family law cases, the court doesn’t give you a trial date upon filing your case.  If you have a court date that you are trying to get continued, chances are it is the date of a motion, not the date for trial.  As for trial dates, Snohomish County Court leaves it up to the parties to request a trial date.  In order to request a trial date, a party must file a document called the “Note for Trial and Initial Statement of Arbitrabilty”.  The form driven note is easy to complete, if you know the one trick to actually setting the note.  The trick is that you must complete the date that you want the court to set the trial date.  In other words, you pick a date, usually two weeks or more out, that is going to be the date that the court will decide what the trial date is.  In other words, you pick the date of the deciding date.  Take going to college as an analogy, let’s assume that you need to enroll for school.  The Note for Trial and Initial Statement of Arbitrability only picks the day you will be selecting your classes.  The school would still pick what days the classes will occur.  Same situation here with the court.  The Note for Trial and Initial Statement of Arbitrability must be sent to everyone in the case and the court.  The great thing about these is that if you fill out the form right you don’t even have to show up on the date that you put on the form!


Requesting a continuance when no trial date has been determined.


Again, there is no trial date.  You are probably trying to continue a motion. Those are a whole different animal.  Instead of filing a motion for continuance, which some people do try to do, usually the best way to get a continuance of a motion is to ask the other side for one.  Most attorneys will give you one.  If they won’t, you may want to file a short response that says you need a continuance and then show up and ask for one.  99% of the time those requests for a continuance are granted.  Remember, if no trial date has been set, you shouldn’t be requesting a continuance of the trial date.  If you or the other side hasn’t requested one in your case, the only way you can get a trial date is if your case is more than 150 days old.  When a case ages past 150 days, Snohomish County Superior Court will issue a trial date in your case “on its own motion” (in other words, automatically).


Trial Confirmations in Snohomish County and Requesting a continuance when the Note for Trial and Initial Statement of Arbitrability has been filed.


The week before the trial date, either party must tell the court that they are “ready for trial” by confirming the trial date.  If no one confirms the trial date, your objective is achieved.  The trial will not be calendared and thus you will not have a trial.  Instead, the court will schedule a status conference to find out what is going on in the case a little later on in time.  Still find yourself needing that Snohomish County Continuance of your trial date?  At this point, your best bet is probably to file a motion specifically requesting a continuance and outlining your reasons why the court should grant it.  Fortunately, the reasons that will get you a new date are very similar to King County’s reasons.  Refer to yesterday’s blog post on King County continuances for more information on what reasons to use.


If you still need help with this, you can contact our office at 206-633-2015 to schedule time with an attorney to review your documents.  Please keep in mind are consults are fee based only.

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