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AGO 1967 No. 29 - August 09, 1967
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John J. O'Connell | 1957-1968 | Attorney General of Washington


COURTS - SUPERIOR - AUTOMATIC STAY OF JUDGMENTS UNDER SUPERIOR COURT RULE 62 (A).

(1) In computing the five day period during which, pursuant to Rule 62 (A) of the rules of civil procedure for superior courts, no execution shall issue upon a judgment nor shall proceedings be taken for its enforcement, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are not to be included.

(2) The automatic stay provision of Rule 62 (A) is applicable to judgments of a justice of the peace with respect to which a transcript has been filed in superior court pursuant to RCW 4.56.200 (3).

(3) The automatic stay provision of Rule 62 (A) precludes the initiation of garnishment proceedings during the prescribed five day period.

                                                              - - - - - - - - - - - - -

                                                                  August 9, 1967

Honorable E. R. Whitmore, Jr.
Chelan County Prosecuting Attorney
P.O. Box 596
Wenatchee, Washington 98801

                                                                                                                 Cite as:  AGO 1967 No. 29

Dear Sir:

            This is written in response to your letter dated July 27, 1967, requesting our opinion on several questions pertaining to the provisions of Rule 62 (A) of the new rules of civil procedure for superior courts which became effective on July 1, 1967.  We paraphrase your questions as follows:

            (1) In computing the five day period during which, pursuant to Rule 62 (A) "no execution shall issue upon a judgment nor shall proceedings be taken for its enforcement," are Saturdays, Sundays and holidays to be included?

            (2) Does the automatic stay provision of Rule 62 (A) apply to judgments of a justice of the peace with respect to which a transcript has been filed in superior court pursuant to RCW 4.56.200 (3)?

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

            (3) Does the automatic stay provision of Rule 62 (A) preclude the initiation of garnishment proceedings during the prescribed five day period?

            We answer question (1) in the negative, and questions (2) and (3) in the affirmative, for the reasons set forth in our analysis.

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            The pertinent portion of Rule 62 (A) of the new civil rules for superior courts reads as follows:

            "No execution shall issue upon a judgment nor shall proceedings be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of 5 days after its entry. . . ."

            Your first question, relative to the procedure to be followed in computing the five day period, is specifically answered by the provisions of Rule 6 (A) of the new civil rules.  This provision reads as follows:

            "In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these rules, by the local rules of any superior court, by order of court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act, event, or default from which the designated period of time begins to run shall not be included.  The last day of the period so computed shall be included, unless it is a Saturday, a Sunday or a legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next day which is neither a Saturday, a Sunday nor a legal holiday.  Legal holidays are prescribed in RCW 1.16.050.  When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays shall be excluded in the computation.  Hearings may be held on the first day after the last included day."  (Emphasis supplied.)

            Thus, your first question is clearly answerable in the negative.

            With respect to your second question, it seems clear that the term "judgment" as used in Rule 62 (A), refers to a judgment of a superior court.  See Rule 1, which describes the scope of the civil rules as follows:

             [[Orig. Op. Page 3]]

            "These rules govern the procedure in the superior court in all suits of a civil nature whether cognizable as cases at law or in equity with the exceptions stated in Rule 81.  They shall be construed to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action."

            However, it is to be noted that the legislature, in RCW 4.56.200 (3), has declared that:

            "Judgments of a justice of peace rendered in the county in which the real estate of the judgment debtor is situated, from the time of the filing of a duly certified transcript of the docket of the justice of the peace with the county clerk of the county in which such judgment was rendered, . . . shall become to all intents and purposes a judgment of the superior court for said county; . . ."

            See, also,Grant v. Cole, 23 Wash. 542, 63 Pac. 263 (1900).

            Accordingly it follows, in our opinion, that the provisions of Rule 62 (A),supra, do have application to justice court judgments which are filed in superior court under the provisions of RCW 4.56.200, and, accordingly, are automatically stayed under the provisions of the new rule for a period of five days following the filing of the transcript with the superior court clerk.

            Finally, you have asked whether the automatic stay provision of Rule 62 (A) precludes the initiation of garnishment proceedings to enforce a superior court judgment.  Again, we quote the pertinent language of the rule:

            "No execution shall issue upon a judgment nor shall proceedings be taken for its enforcement until the expiration of 5 days after its entry. . . ."

            Seemingly, the clear and explicit language of this rule bars any proceedings for enforcement of a superior court judgment for five days after its entry.  We see no basis for excluding  [[Orig. Op. Page 4]] garnishment proceedings from this provision.

            We trust that the foregoing will be of assistance to you.

Very truly yours,

JOHN J. O'CONNELL
Attorney General

PHILIP H. AUSTIN
Assistant Attorney General

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