Judges are necessary to help ensure that justice is found during a lawsuit. A Judge has specific powers granted to them, including the ability to make determinations for permissible evidence for use in a trial, grant motions to compel evidence or depositions, grant subpoenas for testimony, enter judgments and other powers necessary to conduct and preside over a lawsuit. (see RCW 2.28.010).
Judges determine the applicable law for a case – for example, if a plaintiff is a bit by a dog, then the judge would determine whether or not the dog bite statutes apply. If a case is conducted as a bench trial, then the judge also determines the facts of the case. (when there is a jury trial, the jury determines the facts).
If a judge is unable to perform their duties due to death, sickness, or another disability, then another judge may be allowed to perform the duties of the judge or grant a new trial.
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If you have been injured due to the negligence of another then you need experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorneys on your side. The attorneys at Parke Gordon Law Firm offer a free consultation to discuss you case. Call to speak with one of our personal injury attorneys today to get started on your claim at 509-582-7274.
Washington Civil Rules 63 and 77 regarding Judges and Judicial officers are as follows:
Washington Civil Rule 63: Judges
(a) Powers. See rule 77.
(b) Disability of a judge. If by reason of death, sickness, or other disability, a judge before whom an action has been tried is unable to perform the duties to be performed by the court under these rules after a verdict is returned or findings of fact and conclusions of law are filed, then any other judge regularly sitting in or assigned to the court in which the action was tried may perform those duties; but if a new judge cannot perform those duties, the new judge has the discretion to grant a new trial.
Washington Civil Rule 77: Superior Courts and Judicial Officers
(a) Original jurisdiction. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.010.]
(b) Powers of superior courts.
(1) Powers of court in conduct of judicial proceedings. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.010.]
(2) Punishment for contempt. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.020.]
(3) Implied powers. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.150.]
(c) Powers of judicial officers.
(1) Judges distinguished from court. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.050.]
(2) Judicial officers defined — When disqualified. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.030.]
(3) Powers of judicial officers. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.060.]
(4) Judicial officer may punish for contempt. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.070.]
(5) Powers of judges of supreme and superior courts. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.080.]
(6) Powers of inferior judicial officers. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.090.]
(7) Powers of judge in counties of judge’s district. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.190.]
(8) Visiting judges.
(i) Visiting judges at direction of Governor. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.140.]
(ii) Visiting judges at request of judge or judges. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.140 and 2.08.150.]
(iii) Court administrator — Make recommendations. [Reserved. See RCW 2.56.030(3).]
(iv) Duty of judges to comply with Chief Justice’s direction. [Reserved. See RCW 2.56.040.]
(B) Powers. Whenever a visiting judge has heard or tried any case or matter and has departed from the county, the visiting judge may require the argument or any posttrial motion to be submitted to the visiting judge on briefs at such place within the state as the visiting judge may designate and the visiting judge may sign findings of fact, conclusions of law, judgments and posttrial orders anywhere within the state. See also RCW 2.08.140 and 2.08.150.
(9) Judges pro tempore. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.180.]
(10) Change of judge. [Reserved. See RCW 4.12.040 and 4.12.050.]
(11) Court may fix amount of bond in civil actions. [Reserved. See RCW 4.44.470.]
(d) Superior courts always open. The superior courts are courts of record, and shall be always open, except on nonjudicial days.
(e) No court on legal holidays — Exceptions. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.100.]
(f) Sessions. The superior court shall hold regular and special sessions at the county seats of the several counties at such times as the judges may determine and at such other places within the county as are designated by the judge or judges thereof with the approval of the chief justice of the supreme court of this state and of the governing body of the county. Special sessions, i.e., mental illness hearings, juvenile hearings, and proceedings which are authorized to be held before a court commissioner may be held at such times and places as the judges may authorize.
(1) Power. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.120.]
(2) Automatic. [Reserved. See RCW 2.28.110.]
(3) Effect. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.040.]
(i) Sessions where more than one judge sits — Effect of decrees, orders, etc. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.160.]
(j) Trials and hearings; orders in chambers. Except as otherwise authorized by these rules or by statute, all trials upon the merits shall be conducted in open court and so far as convenient in a regular courtroom. All other acts or proceedings may be done or conducted by a judge in chambers, without the attendance of the clerk or other court officials and at any place either within or without the county; but no hearing, other than one ex parte, shall be conducted outside the county in which the cause or proceedings are pending without the consent of all parties affected thereby.
(k) Motion day — Local rules. Unless local conditions make it impracticable, the superior court in each county shall establish regular times and places, at intervals sufficiently frequent for the prompt dispatch of business, at which motions requiring notice and hearing may be heard and disposed of; but the judge at any time or place and on such notice, if any, as the judge considers reasonable may make orders for the advancement, conduct, and hearing of actions.
(l) Submission on briefs. To expedite its business, the court may make provision by rule or order for the submission and determination of motions without oral hearing upon brief written statements of reasons in support and opposition.
(m) Stipulations. See rule 16.
(n) Seal of court. [Reserved. See RCW 2.08.050.]
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