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ALL INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2021.
Guardianship is a legal arrangement created when a court appoints someone to make decisions and take actions for someone else. Under RCW 11.130, a court can appoint a guardian for a minor who does not have a guardian under the following circumstances.
- Appointing a guardian is in the best interests of a minor, and
- One of the following is true:
- Each parent of the minor agrees after being informed about what a guardianship means; or
- All parental rights have been terminated; or
- There is clear and convincing evidence that no parent of the minor is willing or able to exercise parenting functions as defined in RCW 26.09.004.
For more information regarding minor guardianships, refer to the RCWs linked above. For answers to frequently asked questions, refer to the FAQs developed by Washington Courts Administrative Office of the Courts.
Local Court Rules
Read the entirety of Snohomish County’s local court rules regarding minor guardianships here Version Options Minor Guardianships Headline.
Part V. Special Proceedings Rules SCLSPR 98.16(e)
Conversion of Non-Parental Custody (RCW 26.10) to Minor Guardianship (RCW 11.130)
The process for conversion of a Non-Parental Custody matter to a Minor Guardianship matter is found in the Local Court Rules. Please read the rules in their entirety to ensure you have followed all the steps.
Pending cases under RCW 26.10 must be converted to an action under RCW 11.130 before modifying a temporary order, making a motion for a new order, or finalizing. Any pending Non-Parent Custody action not finalized or converted to a Minor Guardianship Action by the effective date of the repeal, or June 30, 2021, whichever is later, shall be dismissed.
Forms for converting a pending RCW 26.10 case are below, Word document versions of the forms are available on Superior Court’s Forms page under Guardianship-Minor Forms:
Notice of Hearing and Motion to Convert, Consolidate and Amend
Order on Motion to Convert, Consolidate and Amend
Orders in finalized actions under RCW 26.10 will remain in full effect. However, finalized cases must be converted before any action to modify these orders may be granted.
Forms for converting a final or completed RCW 26.10 case are below, Word document versions of the forms are available on Superior Court’s Forms page under Guardianship-Minor Forms:
Case Schedule for Minor & Standby Guardianship Cases
Each Minor Guardianship and Standby Guardianship case will receive an order setting case schedule at filing. All parties must comply with the case schedule and deadlines as set forth in the order, penalties may be imposed for non-compliance. If there are any discrepancies between the information contained on this webpage and that in the order setting case schedule, the order shall prevail.
The Petitioner must serve a copy of this Order Setting Minor Guardianship Case Schedule on each person entitled to notice pursuant to RCW 11.130.195(1)(a)(i)-(iv), along with the summons and petition. If service of the summons and petition has already occurred, service must be made within 5 court days of filing the case. If any respondent is served by publication, the Petitioner must have this Order Setting Minor Guardianship Case Schedule mailed or served upon the respondent within 5 days of the respondent filing a response or notice of appearance.
The following timelines apply to Minor Guardianship and Standby Guardianship cases:
|Judicial Information Background Check Coversheet (SCLSPR 98.16(e)(2))||Must be filed with the Petition|
|Order for Child Abuse and Neglect Check (SCLSPR 98.16(e)(3))||Must be obtained within 14 days after filing|
|File and Serve Washington State Patrol background check (SCLSPR 98.16(e)(4))||Must be completed within 14 days after filing|
|File Proof of Service of Summons, Petition, Supplemental Declaration and Case Schedule (SCLSPR 98.16(e)(7))||Must be completed within 90 days after filing. If this is not completed, the case will be administratively dismissed. |
In addition to the above deadlines, the following court-confirmed hearings will be set at filing:
| Hearing|| Date of Hearing|| Nature of Hearing|
|60 day UGA Review Hearing ||This court-confirmed hearing will be scheduled 60 days or more after filing on the first available Minor Guardianship Calendar. ||The court will review the status of the case, and consider any motions, including default, and the appointment of a court visitor or guardian ad litem as well as the application of ICWA. |
|UGA Non-Jury Trial ||This court-confirmed trial will be scheduled 180 days or more after filing on the first available Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday Guardianship Trial Calendar. ||The court will commence trial to resolve the Minor Guardianship or Standby Guardianship case. This trial will be stricken by the court if final orders are entered prior to this date. |