Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Employment Rights | Which Court?

"See you in court" is the tag line for any decent movie depicting lawyers.

Yet, unsurprisingly, the real world is not as colorful as the silver screen. "See you in court," realistically, may translate to "See you court, but which court remains to be known, since we're still undecided as to whether or not it would be more advantageous to file in District Court or Superior Court."

District Court in Washington State has jurisdiction over civil cases that are $75,000 or less. If more than $75,000, then the cases go to Superior Court.

District courts have lower filing fees, have trial dates much earlier, and have more limited discovery rules. In short, if you take a case to district court then it is cheaper and faster, but you have less opportunity to gather evidence to back up your claims.

Juries only consist of 6 people in District courts, but Superior Courts have 12. The courts also has different rules about how to write forms and when to file them.

The Washington State Small Claims Court, the fastest of the three options discussed, only hears cases worth $5,000 and below. There is an opportunity to settle before the trial with mediators, there is no jury, and appeals are from the record to Superior Court.

See you in court!

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