SPMGR 17.5 E-Mail Communication

(a) Purpose: The purpose of this rule is to provide guidelines for the use of e-mail in communicating with the judges and/or court staff. This rule does not apply to other forms of communication and does not establish a preference for e-mail communication over any other form of communication. E-mail is another tool to provide information as is telephone communication or delivery of documents, but is not intended to substitute for oral argument on any issue.

(b) Guidelines for the use of e-mail: E-mail communication with court staff is appropriate in the following typical situations:

  • (1) to obtain a date for an in-court hearing;
  • (2) to submit proposed orders (when authorized by the judge) and/or bench copies of pleadings or trial aides;
  • (3) to determine the judge's availability;
  • (4) to determine the availability of equipment needed for trial (such as a projector, video/compact disc player or speaker phone);
  • (5) to advise the Court of a settlement;
  • (6) and/or other matters of a similar nature that would be appropriate to handle by way of a phone call to court staff.

(c) Bench Copies of Briefing: The Court will accept electronic bench copies of briefs prior to a hearing provided the following guidelines are followed:

  • (1) All parties or their counsel must be provided contemporaneous copies of the e-mail.
  • (2) Attached documents to an e-mail must be in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
  • (3) The top margin of the first page must include a notation indicating the date and time set for hearing.
  • (4) A party must advise the Court and parties of any later updated or changed versions of a document previously sent via e-mail.
  • (5) No argument of the issues will be allowed within the e-mail. The purpose of the rule is solely to permit electronic transmission of copies of pleadings.

(d) Ex parte Communication Prohibited: The prohibitions regarding ex parte contact with the Court are fully applicable to e-mail communication. To avoid ex parte contact, all parties must be included in the email and clearly appear as additional recipients in the e-mail. If all parties are not included, the judge will not review the e-mail or its content. If an attorney or party is communicating substantive information to court staff, the e-mail must also be sent to - all opposing attorneys /parties and so indicate on its face. Substantive information includes information regarding the likelihood of settlement, the timing of witnesses, anticipated problems with scheduling, concerns regarding security, and other case-specific issues.

(Adopted June 29, 2018; effective Sept. 1, 2018; amended effective Sept. 1, 2019; amended effective Sept. 1, 2021)

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Contact Information

Municipal Court Clerk's Office
1100 W Mallon Ave
Spokane, WA 99260

Audio Recordings

Most of the hearings held in Spokane Municipal Court are digitally recorded. To access the audio recording for a specific hearing:

  • Click on the Search Recordings link below.
  • Click on the filter icon
  • Under "Filter By Agency:" you must search City of Spokane, WA Municipal Court
  • Clink on the docket and the recording will begin playing.

Related Links

Bench Copies

To serve bench copies to a Judicial Officer please email:
Jeanine Sword
Judicial Administrative Assistant

Please ensure compliance with SPMCrRLJ 8.2(d).