(1) This section applies to any civil action or proceeding in which a defendant at the time of filing an application under this section:
Terms Used In Washington Code 38.42.060
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Dependent: A person dependent for support upon another.
- Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
- member: refers to a soldier or airman of the organized militia. See Washington Code 38.04.010
- military: refers to any or all of the armed forces. See Washington Code 38.04.010
- Prosecute: To charge someone with a crime. A prosecutor tries a criminal case on behalf of the government.
(a)(i) Is in military service, or it is within one hundred eighty days after termination of or release from military service; or
(ii) Is a dependent of a service member in military service; and
(b) Has received actual notice of the action or proceeding.
(2) At any stage before final judgment in a civil action or proceeding in which a service member or his or her dependent described in subsection (1) of this section is a party, the court may on its own motion and shall, upon application by the service member or his or her dependent, stay the action until one hundred eighty days after termination of or release from military service, if the conditions in subsection (3) of this section are met.
(3) An application for a stay under subsection (2) of this section shall include the following:
(a) A letter or other communication setting forth facts stating the manner in which current military duty requirements materially affect the service member’s or dependent’s ability to appear and stating a date when the service member or dependent will be available to appear; and
(b) A letter or other communication from the service member’s commanding officer stating that the service member’s current military duty prevents either the service member’s or dependent’s appearance and that military leave is not authorized for the service member at the time of the letter.
(4) An application for a stay under this section does not constitute an appearance for jurisdictional purposes and does not constitute a waiver of any substantive or procedural defense, including a defense relating to lack of personal jurisdiction.
(5) A service member or dependent who is granted a stay of a civil action or proceeding under subsection (2) of this section may apply for an additional stay based on the continuing material affect of military duty on the service member’s or dependent’s ability to appear. Such application may be made by the service member or his or her dependent at the time of the initial application under subsection (2) of this section or when it appears that the service member or his or her dependent is unable to prosecute or defend the action. The same information required under subsection (3) of this subsection shall be included in an application under this subsection.
(6) If the court refuses to grant an additional stay of proceedings under subsection (2) of this section, the court shall appoint counsel to represent the service member or his or her dependent in the action or proceeding.
(7) A service member or dependent who applies for a stay under this section and is unsuccessful may not seek the protections afforded by RCW 38.42.050.