Civil Case Forms and Information

Are You Represented By An Attorney? District Court strongly encourages an unrepresented person to seek legal advice from an attorney as soon as possible. This is important because understanding and making your way through the court process is not easy and can be quite frustrating, especially for those handling their own legal representation.

Although a judge can sympathize with a self-represented litigant failing to understand all the complex legal terminology and concepts, an unrepresented litigant is "bound by the same rules of procedure and substantive law as everyone else." Bly v. Henry, 28 Wn.App. 469, 471 (1980).

Litigants who choose to represent themselves "must accept the consequences and cannot complain on appeal about the quality of [their litigation efforts]." State v. Fritz, 21 Wn.App. 354, 360 (1978), review denied, 92 Wn.2d 1002 (1979).

Nor is it the court's role to conduct legal research on behalf of a litigant, to do a litigant's thinking and briefing, or to apply such research to hypothetical facts. Orwick v. Seattle, 103 Wn.2d 249, 256 (1984).

This is because under the American system of adversarial adjudication, courts are assigned the role of a neutral arbiter of matters that the parties choose to present to the court for a decision. United States v. Sineneng-Smith, ___ U.S. ___, 140 S.Ct. 1575, 1579, 206 L.Ed.2d 866 (2020) (discussing the principle of party presentation).

Important Notice – District Court personnel are not permitted to fill out any forms. District Court personnel are also not authorized to give legal advice. The information contained here is not comprehensive and should not be construed as legal advice.

Important Notice Regarding Litigant Confidential Information – District Court needs information about every person involved in a case so the court can accurately identify the parties and be able to contact them.

If you have not already done so, please complete a Litigant Confidential Information Form and provide it to the court. You should also use the form to update information previously provided to the court.

​Civil Case Forms

Civil Case Cover Sheet

Motion (Civil Case)

Notice Of Trial Confirmation-Civil

Notice Of Trial Unconfirmation-Civil

The Washington Constitution
– Washington district courts were created on November 11, 1889 when the People ratified the Washington Constitution. Const. art. IV, §1.

Const. art. IV, §1 titles these courts "justices of the peace" courts. Justice of the peace courts were retitled as "district courts" by the Legislature in the Court Improvement Act of 1984 (codified in RCW 3.30.015). State v. Eng, 113 Wn.2d 178, 185-86 (1989).

"[D]istrict courts are justice of the peace courts, simply renamed. RCW 3.30.015." Banowsky v. Guy Backstrom, DC, 193 Wn.2d 724, ¶19 n.3 (2019).

All judicial power vests only in Washington Article IV courts, In re Barbee, 19 Wash. 306, 310 (1898); and Taylor v. Huntington, 34 Wash. 455, 461 (1904).

Const. art. IV, §10, however, delegates limited judicial power to the Legislature to "prescribe by law the powers, duties and jurisdiction" of district courts by legislatively transferring judicial power from superior courts to district courts. In re Cloherty, 2 Wash. 137, 139 (1891).

Court Jurisdiction – A court's jurisdiction is comprised of two components –

(1) jurisdiction over the subject matter (called subject matter jurisdiction); and

(2) jurisdiction over the person (called personal jurisdiction). Buecking v. Buecking, 179 Wn.2d 438, ¶23 (2013).

A court has jurisdiction to determine whether it has jurisdiction over a particular case. In the Matter of the Estate of Reugh, 10 Wn.App.2d 20, ¶28 (2019).

Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Subject matter jurisdiction refers to a court's authority to hear and determine the law involved in a case (type of controversy). Banowsky, 193 Wn.2d at ¶18.

A court lacks subject matter jurisdiction when it attempts to decide a type of case over which it has no authority to adjudicate. A court order is void where a court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to issue the order. Buecking, 179 Wn.2d at ¶20.

District Court Subject Matter Jurisdiction – A district court's subject matter jurisdiction is divided into two parts – (1) amount-in-controversy; and (2) type of controversy. Banowsky, 193 Wn.2d at ¶19.

Subject Matter Jurisdiction – $100,000 Amount-In-Controversy Ceiling. District courts have a $100,000 amount-in-controversy ceiling. RCW 3.66.020 reads –

If, for each claimant, the value of the claim or the amount at issue does not exceed one hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys' fees, the district court shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of the following civil actions and proceedings: …

When a party in good faith asserts a claim in excess of the amount-in-controversy ceiling or seeks a remedy beyond the district court jurisdiction, the district court has the authority and shall remove the case to superior court. CRLJ 14A(b); Banowsky, 193 Wn.2d at ¶61 (district court obligated to transfer case to superior court under rule).

District Courts Have Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Type Of Controversy. District courts have general subject matter jurisdiction over a wide variety of actions. RCW 3.66.020 reads –

If, for each claimant, the value of the claim or the amount at issue does not exceed one hundred thousand dollars, exclusive of interest, costs, and attorneys' fees, the district court shall have jurisdiction and cognizance of the following civil actions and proceedings:

(1) Actions arising on contract for the recovery of money;

(2) Actions for damages for injuries to the person, or for taking or detaining personal property, or for injuring personal property, or for an injury to real property when no issue raised by the answer involves the plaintiff's title to or possession of the same and actions to recover the possession of personal property;

(3) Actions for a penalty;

(4) Actions upon a bond conditioned for the payment of money, when the amount claimed does not exceed fifty thousand dollars, though the penalty of the bond exceeds that sum, the judgment to be given for the sum actually due, not exceeding the amount claimed in the complaint;

(5) Actions on an undertaking or surety bond taken by the court;

(6) Actions for damages for fraud in the sale, purchase, or exchange of personal property;

(7) Proceedings to take and enter judgment on confession of a defendant;

(8) Proceedings to issue writs of attachment, garnishment and replevin upon goods, chattels, moneys, and effects;

(9) Actions arising under the provisions of chapter 19.190 RCW;

(10) Proceedings to civilly enforce any money judgment entered in any municipal court or municipal department of a district court organized under the laws of this state; and

(11) All other actions and proceedings of which jurisdiction is specially conferred by statute, when the title to, or right of possession of, real property is not involved.

District Courts Do Not Have Subject Matter Jurisdiction – Type Of Controversy. District Courts, however, do not have subject matter jurisdiction over several types of actions.

Constitution. Const. art. IV, §6 provides that only superior courts shall have subject matter jurisdiction over the following –

  • Title or possession of real property, and forcible entry and detainer
  • Probate
  • Divorce and annulment of marriage
  • Nuisance abatement
  • Insolvency
  • Naturalization and to issue papers
  • Legality of any tax
  • Writs of mandamus, quo warranto, review, certiorari, prohibition, and habeas corpus
  • Appellate review of courts of limited jurisdiction cases
  • For such special cases and proceedings [such as injunctions, declaratory judgments and other matters in Title 7 RCW]

Statute. In addition, RCW 3.66.030 also limits district court subject matter jurisdiction –
The jurisdiction covered by RCW 3.66.020 shall not extend to the following civil actions:

(1) Actions involving title to real property;

(2) Actions for the foreclosure of a mortgage or enforcement of a lien on real estate;

(3) Actions for false imprisonment, libel, slander, malicious prosecution, criminal conversation, or seduction; and

(4) Actions against an executor or administrator as such.

Personal Jurisdiction – Personal jurisdiction refers to a court's power over a particular person. District courts have jurisdiction over a plaintiff when they commence an action under Civil Rules for Courts of Limited Jurisdiction (CRLJ) 3. District courts obtain jurisdiction over a defendant when the defendant is properly served with a summons and complaint under CRLJ 4.
Unlike subject matter jurisdiction which cannot be waived, lack of personal jurisdiction is an affirmative defense which must be timely asserted or is waived. CRLJ 12(b)(2); CRLJ 12(h)(1); and Lybbert v. Grant County, 141 Wn.2d 29, 38-40 (2000).

District Court Pattern Forms – Mandatory Usage. Pattern forms on the District Court website shall be used when a document is filed electronically with the court.
Kitsap County District Court Local Rule (LGR) 30.1(k) (effective September 1, 2023) reads –

(k) Mandatory Usage Of District Court Website Pattern Forms. The Court has uploaded many online pattern forms to its website to assist the public and attorneys, these may be found on the Forms page.

(1) A Court website pattern form shall be used when that document is filed electronically. Failure of an eFiler to comply will result in the document being rejected for eFiling. The Court may also consider LGR 30.1(d).

(2) If no Court website pattern form exists, eFilers are strongly encouraged to use pattern forms located at the Washington Courts website