July 2016 Bar Bulletin
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July 2016 Bar Bulletin

Haven’t You Heard? KCSC Has Mandatory E-Service

By Judge Beth Andrus

 

Mandatory E-Service came to King County Superior Court in September 2015, but the rate of compliance has been quite low. Here is what you need to know about E-Service.

It’s MANDATORY!

Local General Rule 30 makes it mandatory for all attorneys to electronically file and serve opposing parties with all documents filed with the King County Superior Court Clerk’s Office, unless a waiver is granted. Attorneys also must register with the Clerk’s Office to accept e-service in each and every case they have pending in the court. Unrepresented parties who e-file documents are also required to register to accept e-service.

The Clerk’s Office has detailed instructions for how to register and how to electronically file pleadings at

http://www.kingcounty.gov/~/media/courts/Clerk/docs/eServiceGuide.ashx?la.

It’s Beneficial

Remember the days of having to rush to make multiple copies of your motion, supporting declarations and proposed orders to get them into the hands of the messenger to deliver to the court before the Clerk’s Office closed? Or perhaps you literally ran with pleadings to the Clerk’s Office yourself? Do you remember sweating until you knew that the pleadings had arrived on time?

How many times have you heard your opposing counsel complain that he or she did not receive your pleadings by the close of business? Or why does the copy machine always break down at 4 p.m. when you are trying to meet a filing deadline?

Well, the Court’s e-filing and e-
service system should eliminate the tears, frustrations and stress of your filing deadlines. The system can also reduce expense since it eliminates the need for copies and special messenger costs. More importantly, it reduces uncertainty and disputes as to whether your motion was delivered on time to opposing counsel, and whether you were timely served. Every e-served document results in a date- and time-stamped proof of service. That proof of service is available immediately. No waiting days for the messenger to return it.

Another benefit is that judges who electronically file orders in your cases can send courtesy copies of these orders to you immediately. No more waiting for the order to come via snail mail. The order will be delivered to your email inbox in .pdf format within minutes of it being digitally signed and filed with the clerk.

When a judge e-files an order and then attempts to e-serve all counsel of record, you don’t want to be the only lawyer who is out of compliance — this only creates extra work for the judge and bailiff. Also, since registering to accept e-service is mandatory, you run the risk that a judge e-serves the order and you don’t receive it at all, or you receive it several days after other parties or counsel who have registered.

It’s Easy

Registering for e-service is pretty simple. If you can manage a Starbucks card or Amazon Prime account, you can register for e-service with King County Superior Court. In order to complete the process, you will receive an e-mail from the Clerk’s Office requiring you to “confirm” your registration. If you need help figuring out how to do it, contact the Clerk’s Office.

Clerks are standing by waiting for your call and can walk you through the process, step-by-step. It’s painless. It’s easy. And we know you have the computer skills to do it.

Don’t be left out in the cold. Please register in each and every case you have pending in King County Superior Court.


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