Motions for Revision in Spokane County

Motions for revision in Spokane County are more common than I personally thought, especially in family cases. A motion to revise a Commissioner’s ruling is often viewed as an appeal of a temporary orders hearing or as an objection to the Commissioner’s reasoning to reach the conclusion that he/she reached. However, most revisions are denied as the parties (or their attorneys) fail to follow both, a legal approach (abide by required court rules), and a practical approach to what is going to be presented to the court.

It is, of course, crucial for a practitioner or a party representing themselves to carefully review Spokane County court rules before making the motion to revise the ruling. However; a party may also want to consider a more practical approach to the revision, both in terms of cost, evidence presented, and the overall objection of the revision. If a party makes a motion to revise, but he or she does not prevail (it is denied), the court may grant attorney’s fees to the other side for having to defend the motion (if they are represented by a lawyer).

So what should a party consider then?

If you want to be successful making a motion for revision in Spokane County, you want to first put all your emotions aside. Then, you want to consider the following:

The Golden Opportunity or Is It? You will have a chance, and so will the other side, to talk to the judge (not just any judge, but YOUR TRIAL JUDGE), for 30 minutes. You will have about ten minutes, the other side will have the same amount of time, and the judge will also have about ten minutes to deliver his or her opinion.

The judge will very likely read the entire file, read your and the other side’s declarations, review all exhibits, and read the written and oral decision of the Commissioner (the party for the revision must provide the court and the other side a certified transcription of the Commissioner’s oral ruling at their own expense, please check the court rule).

If the dispute is about domestic violence, hiding assets, and/or violations parenting plans, contempt, etc., you may not want to place more attention on certain facts that will only make your stance weaker at trial. The trial judge will likely remember at trial that you were before him or her asking to revise facts that may not be so flattering to you. Even though you may be legally correct, the Judge may rule your way, but remember these facts at trial (when they will matter even more).

On the other hand, you will have a golden opportunity to prepare the judge about what this case is about. Don’t lose focus of the revision (what you are actually asking for), but remember that this is an open window for you and the other side. Also, pay close attention to the revision decision: win or lose, the Judge will likely explain the law and their view and interpretation of those laws to YOUR CASE. You will have a guideline as to what the judge actually thinks, which will be very likely the same at trial. The Judge may even state what it would take for HIM/HER to change their mind or be persuaded otherwise. This should be taken into account as you will want to show exactly that at trial.

The Standard Applied to Motions for Revision in Spokane County

De Novo Review. That’s the legal standard. What is that mean? Simply put, the Judge has the ability to review all the record without placing any deference (the Judge can completely ignore the ruling and the reasoning of the Commissioner).

Does this actually happen? No, not really. Judges will review the Commissioner’s oral and written ruling. Do you believe that a judicial officer will not at least consider the point of view of another judicial officer when re-reading the decision? I will let you answer that question yourself, but I believe there is always a level of deference left to the Commissioner’s decision.

Does this mean that the court will not grant a motion for revision in Spokane County by default?

Yes and no. The party making the motion has the burden to persuade the Judge, thus, the Judge starts with an inclination to see what the moving party is presenting to achieve that objective. A well drafted motion, supported by law and fact, will very likely reverse an arbitrary ruling by a Commissioner.

Being unrepresented on a motion of this caliber would be a huge mistake. If you have questions, or would like to bring a motion for revision in Spokane County, please contact the Quiroga Law Office, PLLC at (509) 927-3840 or click here.

Other helpful resources:

Document: Motions for Revision in Spokane County by Northwest Justice Project.
Websites: Spokane County Superior Court’s Family Law Court Forms

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