Criminal Change of Plea Information

Change of Plea Docket Information

The Change of Plea dockets are on days & times as follows:
  1:30 p.m.
Change of Plea - In Custody or Out-of-Custody 
Tuesday   1:30 p.m. Change of Plea - In Custody or Out-of-Custody 
Wednesday   1:30 p.m. Change of Plea - Out-of-Custody Only
Friday      9:00 a.m.  Change of Plea - In Custody or Out-of-Custody 
    A maximum of 8 defendants are allowed on Change of Plea dockets.  Priority is given to "In Custody" defendants.  The docket clerk will notify you if the docket is full.
    No change of pleas are allowed to be cited to the Tuesday Out of Custody Criminal docket.
    No change of pleas will take place on the Thursday Readiness docket.

Instructions for faxing a citation for change of plea

Citations for any of the Change of Plea dockets may be faxed to the Clerk's Office at (360)397-6099. The faxed citation will constitute an original for all court purposes. The attorney or party sending the document via fax to the clerk shall retain the original signed document until 60 days after completion of the case per GR17. The Clerk will no longer require an original filing of the citation.

Change of Plea Citation Form

Citations filed via fax shall bear the notation: "SENT on ________________" (DATE) VIA FAX FOR FILING IN COURT. Citations for other criminal dockets must be filed at the Clerk's Office. Faxed citations are only accepted for the Change of Plea dockets.

If a case is presently calendared for the Readiness docket and a citation for the Change of Plea Docket is filed for the same date and time, the case will be moved to the out-of-custody Change of Plea docket if the defendant is out of custody. In custody defendants will remain on the Readiness per Superior Court policy shown below.

Readiness Docket - Policy adopted by Superior Court January 18, 2005

This Docket was instituted after an increase in late resolution of cases, leading to a lack of knowledge as to whether cases on the trial calendar were going to trial. Although it is always a challenge to resolve cases as early as possible, things had deteriorated to the point in which  juries were being brought in unnecessarily and ending up with wasted trial time due to last minute resolutions.

All criminal cases still set for trial the following week are to appear on the Readiness Docket on Thursday at 1:30 PM. (This schedule is modified in the event of a Thursday holiday to the preceding Wednesday at 9:00 AM.) Attorneys and defendants are required to appear.

Options on the Readiness Docket:

Ready to go to trial
Motion for continuance
Change of Plea (No change of pleas will take place on Readiness.)
Dismissal (for example, state does not have witnesses)
Defendant fails to appear

No motions other than motion to continue will be heard on this docket. All other pretrial motions, including discovery and omnibus, shall be cited with adequate time before trial, to the arraignment court, the assigned judge’s Friday afternoon criminal docket, or (with permission) by special setting before the assigned department.

If ready for trial, readiness judge will determine if the assigned Department is available. In the event of 2 or more trials in one Department, the readiness judge will attempt, with the assistance of all our JAs, to locate an available department and assign the case for trial to that department. If unable to locate another available department, the judge may have to continue the case.

If Motion to continue, the readiness judge will grant or deny.

If COP, readiness judge does in-custody, sends out-of-custody to simultaneous COP Docket.

If Dismissal, judge will sign order at time of docket.

If Defendant fails to appear, a BW will issue. The jury is stricken and the trial cancelled, eliminating the necessity for another court appearance by counsel and clerk on the trial date. The trial judge may choose to call case on the day of trial, but this will be done without needing counsel or clerk to be present.

At the end of the Readiness Docket, there should be a final determination of trial or other disposition of all criminal cases for the following week. The JA will report status to the other departments.