Which laws passed during the 2021 Washington State Legislative session impact the Superior Courts and Juvenile Department, and what are those impacts? 


A number of bills passed during the 2021 legislative session impact the Superior Courts and Juvenile Departments.


This answer contains:

  • The Bill number and a link to the complete text of the bill from the Washington State Legislature's Web site.
  • A brief summary of the changes or additions created by the bill.
  • Court Awareness/Court Impact/Court Action section addresses the specific system, code, law table, or form changes due to the bill. Also provided are the related links to updated documentation in the online manuals and links to eService Answers with additional information or instructions related to the bill, if applicable.
  • Effective date of the law.
  • Updated items will be documented with *** and the update item will be highlighted.
  • Select the bill name in the table of contents below to advance directly to the details for the bill. 


ESHB 1078 - Restoring Voter Eligibility for a Felony Offense

  • Bill # 1078
  • Summary - This bill restores voter eligibility for persons who are not in total confinement under Department of Corrections (DOC) jurisdiction.
     As a result, entry of an Order Revoking Provisional Voting Rights (ORRPVR) or an Order Restoring Provisional Voting Rights (ORREPVR) in a criminal case no longer needs to be reported to the Washington Secretary of State (SOS) via a scheduled data report sent by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - January 1, 2022.

ESHB 1097 - Worker Protections

  • Bill # 1097
  • Summary - This bill allows an employer to contest an order restraining a condition of employment issued under RCW 49.17.130(1) within 10 working days of the effective date of the order, by applying to the superior court. It gives employees the right to appeal a Washington Labor & Industries (L&I) director’s decision.    
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - July 25, 2021; except section 3 effective July 1, 2022. 

ESHB 1113 - School Attendance/Truancy

  • Bill # 1113
  • Bill Summary - This bill amends school attendance requirements, and allows use of tiered support system to prevent absences and support students and families. Community Truancy Board name changed to “Community Engagement Board”.  Requires school districts to file truancy petition after 7th unexcused absence in one month and by the 15th unexcused absence in one year.
  • Court Impact - Pattern form changes.  Potential Event/Docket code change to reflect "Community Engagement Board."  
  • Effective - Sections 1-6 effective immediately; sections 5-6 expire August 1, 2021; sections 7-15 effective August 1, 2021. 

ESHB 1140 - Juvenile Access to Attorneys

  • Bill # 1140
  • Bill Summary -    This bill requires juveniles have access to an attorney (by phone, in-person or via video) when contacted by law enforcement, before the youth waives any constitutional rights. Unless subject to an exception, this applies to questioning during custodial interrogation, detainment on probable cause related to commission of a crime, and requests to submit to an evidentiary search. Consultation with an attorney may not be waived. Statements made prior to consulting with an attorney in such circumstances are inadmissible in juvenile or adult court with certain exceptions.
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - January 1, 2022.

SHB 1171 - Child Support Income Withholding Provisions

  • Bill # 1171
  • Bill Summary - This bill amends child support income withholding provisions to comply with federal child support program requirements. The writ of garnishment form language eliminates the ability to seek prejudgment garnishment under RCW 6.26, and requires the Division of Child Support (DCS) to use income withholding forms created by the federal Department of Health and Human Services to initiate withholding action. The bill replaces language referencing notice of payroll deduction with “income withholding order.”
  • Court Impact - Mandatory Child Support Order form updated February 1, 2021.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021, except section 14, effective February 1, 2021.

E2SHB 1194 - Strengthening Parent-Child Visitation during Child Welfare Proceedings

  • Bill # 1194
  • Bill Summary - This bill makes changes to visitation requirements between a child and the child's parent, guardian, or legal custodian, and siblings. It clarifies that the first visit must take place within 72 hours of the child being delivered into the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) custody (vs. removal of the child).
  • Court Impact -Pattern form updates are pending.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

2SHB 1219 - Appointment of Counsel for Youth in Dependency Cases

  • Bill # 1219
  • Bill Summary - This bill provides for mandatory appointment of counsel for children 8 years of age and older who are involved in dependency proceedings. Appointment will be phased in beginning July 2022 with implementation in at least three counties. Statewide implementation of the child representation program starts January 2027. The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is responsible for child representation program.
  • Court Impact -Changes to the Dependency Order or Shelter Care Order to indicate who has access to records and also potentially the appointment of an attorney are pending.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

SHB 1221 - Standardizing Homelessness Definitions 

  • Bill # 1221
  • Bill Summary - This bill makes changes to the term "homeless" and the definition of "homelessness." For child welfare and dependency proceedings, "experiencing homelessness" is defined as lacking a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including circumstances such as sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, fleeing domestic violence, or a similar reason as described in the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act as it existed on January 1, 2021. The term "homelessness" is replaced with the term "experiencing homelessness" in the child welfare statutes.
  • Court Impact -Updates to Shelter Care Forms and/or Order After Hearing: First Dependency Review/Dependency Review/Permanency Planning are pending.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

ESHB 1236 - Eviction Cause/Notice Requirements

  • Bill # 1236
  • Bill Summary - This bill creates several “cause” requirements for when a landlord may evict a tenant, refuse to continue a tenancy, or end a periodic tenancy. A landlord can be penalized the greater of three times the monthly rent or damages suffered by the tenant in a wrongful eviction. The bill also changes the standard from “deliberately” to “knowingly” for a tenant to recover damages for a prohibited provision in the rental agreement. Maximum damages increase to two times the monthly rent.
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - May 5, 2021. 

E2SHB 1320 - Civil Protection Orders

  • Bill # 1320
  • Bill Summary - This bill consolidates all six civil protection order case types under a single chapter (domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, anti-harassment, vulnerable adult and extreme risk protection orders). It provides general uniformity in rules and procedures across protection order types and modernizes processes. A single petition will be used to file for any of the six types of protection orders. Hearings may be conducted in person or by telephone, video or other electronic or remote means. Provisions governing electronic submission of petitions and case tracking by parties are included in this bill, and it allows for service by electronic means in certain circumstances. Existing firearm surrender, possession and revocation requirements and domestic violence no-contact order provisions will be revised. It adds provisions governing electronic submission of petitions and case tracking by parties. Allows service by electronic means in certain circumstances.  
  • Court Impact -The AOC is currently working on full impacts and system changes required by this bill.  Identified impacts include:
    • New Civil Cause of Action
    • New Event/Docket Codes
    • Changes to Odyssey, JIS, SCOMIS, Enterprise Data Repository, (EDR), Judicial Access Browser (JABS)
    • Expanding existing case types that can accept protection orders  
    • Change to multiple pattern forms 
  • Court Knowledge - This bill impacts superior court and courts of limited jurisdiction.  This answer will be updated when additional implementation details have been identified.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021 for sections 12, 16, 18, 25, and 36; July 1, 2022, for application-related changes.   

HB 1525 - Enforcement of Judgments (Garnishment)

  • Bill # 1525
  • Bill Summary - This bill makes changes in the garnishment process, including amounts automatically protected from garnishment. The writ of garnishment must contain instructions to financial institutions regarding automatic protections and release of protected funds to the debtor.  
  • Court Impact -Changes to the writ of garnishment are pending.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021.  This act expires on July 1, 2025.  

SHB 1532 - Court Filing Fees (Judicial Stabilization Trust Account)

  • Bill # 1532
  • Bill Summary - This bill removes the Judicial Stabilization Trust Account (JST) sunset date and makes permanent the JST portion of specific filing fees collected by the County Clerk.  
  • Court Impact - Fee amounts do not change.  Online fee documentation is updated to reflect this change.
  • Effective - July 1, 2021. 

SSB 5009 -  Uniform Public Expressions Protection Act

  • Bill # 5009
  • Bill Summary - This bill creates a defense to civil claims arising out of a person’s communication in various instances related to public expression. A special motion for expedited relief is allowed under this bill that requires the court to hold a hearing within 60 days unless further discovery is required or other good cause. It also includes a provision to stay proceedings if the public expression qualifies under this act.
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective -  July 25, 2021.

   E2SSB 5022 - Recycling/Waste and Litter Reduction

  • Bill # 5022
  • Bill Summary - This bill allows the attorney general, at the request of the department of ecology, to bring a civil action in superior court of Thurston County or any county the violator does business to recover penalties assessed pursuant to this act. Allows the local air authority to bring an action to recover the penalty, if the penalty is not paid within thirty days, in the superior court of the county of the authorities’ main office or any county the violator does business. This enforcement process is preexisting, but this bill adds two new types of penalties that can ultimately be enforced in superior court specifically sections 16 (expanded polystyrene materials) and 17 (optional service wear).
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

E2SSB 5071 - Transition Teams Assisting Persons under Civil Commitment

  • Bill # 5071
  • Bill Summary - This bill requires the appointment of a multidisciplinary transition team for a person who has been involuntarily committed under criminal insanity laws or after the dismissal of a violent felony charge under certain circumstances. It updates minimum requirements for an order of conditional release to less restrictive alternative treatment for a person who has been involuntary committed under criminal insanity laws. Updates are made to a less restrictive alternative treatment after a dismissal of a violent felony charge based on incompetency to stand trial. This bill allows a court to delay a bail hearing for a defendant at first appearance or arraignment if it is determined that a competency to stand trial evaluation will be requested or ordered if charges are pursued.
  • The bill requires the County Clerk to share hearing outcomes in all hearings under chapter 71.05 RCW with the local behavioral health administrative services organization that serves the region where the superior court is located and to share the name of the facility where the person has been committed.  
  • Court Impact -Court form changes to MP 410, MP 420, MP 430, MP 441, MP 445, MP 450, MP 460, MP 470, MP 1.0700.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021, except section 12 is effective July 1, 2022, and section 3 is effective July 1, 2026.

SSB 5073 - Involuntary Treatment - Less Restrictive Alternative

  • Bill # 5073
  • Bill Summary - This bill modifies less restrictive alternative (LRA) services to include assignment of a care coordinator, information regarding mental health advance care directive, and periodic court reviews. Updates terminology and changes the definition for “less restrictive alternative” or “less restrictive setting” to include residential treatment under 71.34 RCW.
  • Court Impact -Court form changes to MP 410 and MP 420.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021, except sections 25 and 31 are effective on May 12, 2021; sections 21 and 26 are effective on July 1, 2022, and sections 2, 4, 7, 9, 11, 15, 32, and 34, are effective on July 1, 2026. 

SB 5118 - Juvenile Rehabilitation/Reentry

  • Bill # 5118
  • Bill Summary - This bill creates a procedure for a defendant (including an individual serving a term in a juvenile rehabilitation facility) to apply to the superintendent to be present at court proceedings for a charge unrelated to their current incarceration in courts of limited jurisdiction and juvenile courts. It provides individuals with the right to trial in pending cases in every court level within 120 days, when in custody on unrelated charges. And, it creates excluded periods for the time for trial calculation.
  • Court Awareness -This bill is applicable to courts of limited jurisdiction and superior court/juvenile departments. Time periods excluded from the 120-day period calculation:
    • Arraignment, pretrial proceedings, trial, and sentencing on an unrelated charge in a different county than the court where the charge is pending;
    • Proceedings related to competency to stand trial on the pending charge; and
    • Time during which the individual is detained in a federal jail or prison and subject to conditions of release not imposed by Washington State. 
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

SB 5131 - Duties Related to Recall Petitions

  • Bill # 5131
  • Bill Summary - This bill changes the responsibilities associated to recall petitions filed in the superior court. The superior court, instead of the court clerk, notifies the recall petitioner and official subject to recall of the hearing date. The court clerk, instead of the superior court, certifies and transmits the recall ballot synopsis.
  • Court Awareness 
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

SB 5132 - Uniform Electronic Wills Act

  • Bill # 5132
  • Bill Summary - The act permits testators to execute an electronic will and allows probate courts to give electronic wills legal effect. The act retains core formalities of writing, signature, and attestation, but makes them executable electronically. An electronic will must be: a record that is readable as text at the time of signing; signed by the testator or another individual in the testator's name, in the testator's physical presence, and by the testator's direction; and, signed by at least two competent witnesses at the testator's direction or request and in the physical or electronic presence of the testator.
  • Court Awareness - No changes made to existing causes of action related to wills.  Sealed Will Repository cause of action remains available, which is a confidential case type used for filing executed wills prior to probate.
  • Effective - July 25, 2021, except sections 1001 through 1006, 2101 through 2806, 3101 through 3416, and 4021 are effective January 1, 2022.  

ESB 5135 - Unlawfully Summoning a Police Officer

  • Bill # 5135
  • Bill Summary - This bill allows for filing of a civil action against a person who unlawfully summons a police officer with the intention to infringe on the other person’s rights; unlawfully discriminate against the other person; cause the other person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed; cause the other person to be expelled from a place in which the other person is lawfully located; or damage the person’s reputation, financial or economic interests.
  • Court Awareness - No new cause of action implemented. Civil Misc. or Tort Other are suggested causes of action for these filings.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

E2SSB 5160 - Landlord/Tenant Relations

  • Bill # 5160
  • Bill Summary - This bill includes provisions for appointed counsel for indigent tenants in eviction cases.  The Office of Civil Legal Aid (OCLA) is responsible for attorney assignments.  Local jurisdictions may establish rules and procedures to review requests for appointment of counsel prior to case filing.
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - April 22, 2021.

SB 5164 - Resentencing of Individuals Sentenced as a Persistent Offender due to a Conviction for Robbery 2

  • Bill # 5164
  • Bill Summary - This bill clarifies that the offense of robbery in the 2nd degree committed prior to the adoption of SB 5288 (2019) may not be considered a most serious offense when sentencing or resentencing a person as a persistent offender and the person is entitled to a resentencing hearing.
  • Court Awareness   
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

ESSB 5180 - Vacating Certain Convictions

  • Bill # 5180
  • Summary - Allows victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking, and sexual assault to apply to have their convictions vacated. Gives either the victim or prosecutor the ability to apply to have the conviction vacated. Allows the court discretion to vacate the conviction.
  • Court Awareness - This bill requires updates to pattern form and legal publications.
    • The Guide to Sealing and Destroying Court Records, Vacating Convictions, and Deleting Criminal History Records brochure will be updated and available on the Resources, Publications, and Reports page on the Washington Courts website.  
    • Pattern forms will be updated and published by the effective date.
    • See the Summary of Changes to Forms page on the Washington Courts website for all changes to forms.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021.  

SB 5225 - Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and Land Use Petition Act (LUPA) Filings are Direct Appeals to the Court of Appeals

  • Bill # 5225
  • Summary - This bill allows for judicial review of land use decisions under RCW chapter 36.70C may be transferred from the Superior Court to the Court of Appeals if all parties consent to the transfer and that the review can occur based on the existing record. This process expires June 30, 2026. RCW 34.05.518 is also amended to allow judicial review of an administrative agency’s final decision in an adjudicative proceeding to be transferred to the Court of Appeals upon certification of the Superior Court that all parties have consented to the transfer and that the review can occur based upon the agency record. If one or more of the parties do not consent to the transfer, the Superior Court can still certify the case for transfer if it does not cause substantial prejudice to a party, the review can occur based on the agency record, and the Superior Court has completed any supplementation of the record such that only issues of law remain for determination. This process expires July 1, 2026.
  • Court Awareness-
    • No fee may be charged for a case transferred from the Superior Court to the Court of Appeals under this Act.
    • New Event/Docket Code:  STPCT-Stipulation and Consent to Transfer
    • This answer will be updated with additional suggested business process information and documents. 
  • Effective - June 13, 2021. 

2SSB 5293 - Mental Health Sentencing Alternative

  • Bill # 5293
  • Summary - This bill allows defendants to request a sentencing alternative if the defendant is charged with a qualifying felony, the defendant is diagnosed with a serious mental illness, the defendant and the community would benefit from supervision and treatment and the defendant is willing to participate in treatment. It allows either party or the court to motion for the new sentencing alternative. The bill provides minimum standards for the proposed treatment and monitoring plans. The court is required to consider a victim’s opinion when deciding whether to sentence the defendant to this alternative. The bill allows the court to schedule progress and review hearings for the defendant to evaluate the defendant's progress in treatment and compliance with conditions of supervision, and sets out required community custody conditions. The court is allowed to revoke the sentencing alternative and impose a term of total or partial confinement within the standard sentence range or impose an exceptional sentence below the standard sentencing range if compelling reasons are found by the court or the parties agree. The defendant must receive credit for time served while supervised in the community against any term of total confinement. The court is required to issue written findings indicating a substantial and compelling reason to revoke this sentencing alternative.  
  • Court Awareness- Pattern forms will be updated and published by the effective date.  
  • Effective - July 25, 2021. 

SSB 5361 - Drug Offenses Resentencing Criteria

  • Bill # 5361
  • Summary - This bill extends the deadline for defendants who are sentenced for certain drug offenses committed prior to July 1, 2004, and in Department of Corrections (DOC) custody to petition for resentencing. The expiration date for resentencing is extended to July 1, 2022.  
  • Court Awareness
  • Effective - May 12, 2021. 

ESB 5476 Addressing the State v. Blake Decision

  • Bill # 5476
  • Summary - This bill requires the health care authority and a newly established substance use recovery services advisory committee to create a substance use recovery services plan. Each behavioral health administrative services organization is required to establish a recovery navigator program. A grant program shall be established to provide various services related to substance use disorder to low income individuals, an expanded recovery support services program, and a homeless outreach stabilization transition program. It provides for various alternatives to arrest for individuals with substance use disorder. Law enforcement personnel are required to receive training on law enforcement interaction with persons experiencing substance use disorders.
    The bill adds mens rea element “knowingly” to various adult and juvenile drug possession statutes. It reduces drug possession penalties from a felony to a misdemeanor, and encourages prosecutors to divert cases for assessment, treatment, or other services. The bill also allows law enforcement to divert cases for assessment, treatment, or other services instead of arrest and referral to the prosecutor.
    Criminal case court commissioners are given the authority to conduct resentencing hearings and to vacate convictions related to State v. Blake, No. 96873-0 (Feb. 25, 2021). Allows the release of offenders entitled to vacation of a conviction or an offender score recalculation pursuant to State v. Blake, No. 96873-0 (Feb. 25, 2021) to be released from confinement, with a court order, if the offender has already served a period of confinement that exceeds the new standard range. Exempts amended judgment and sentences issued pursuant to State v. Blake, No. 96873-0 (Feb. 25, 2021) from fingerprinting requirements. 


  • Court Awareness - Many controlled substance and marijuana laws were updated due State v. Blake.  
    • The list of law table changes can be found at the bottom of this answer.  
    • No pattern forms changes due to the passing of this bill. 
  • Effective - May 12, 2021. 


File Attachments: 2021 Legislative Law Impacts Superior Codified.pdf (43.26 KB), 2021_Legislative_Law_Impacts_Juvenile.pdf (50.03 KB)


Published 06/01/2021 09:42 AM   |    Updated 11/24/2021 11:23 AM