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Old 01-12-2018, 11:12 PM
edascal edascal is offline
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Default WA: How to appeal a motion to vacate

Hello. A defendant filed a motion to vacate a case, but the motion was denied in November. After various, often improper, back-and-forth with paperwork, Defendant was able to file, and have approved, a notice of appeal to the state Court of Appeals. However, CoA is threatening to dismiss the appeal because they do not have a written order denying the vacate. The main problem is that Defendant never received such a written order, nor is there one at the county courthouse.

How can Defendant get the order to be sent to CoA? Is this question moot per CR54 (e)?

CR54(e): "Preparation of Order or Judgment. The attorney of record for the prevailing party shall prepare and present a proposed form of order or judgment not later than 15 days after the entry of the verdict or decision, or at any other time as the court may direct. Where the prevailing party is represented by an attorney of record, no order or judgment may be entered for the prevailing party unless presented or approved by the attorney of record. If both the prevailing party and the prevailing party's attorney of record fail to prepare and present the form of order or judgment within the prescribed time, any other party may do so, without the approval of the attorney of record of the prevailing party upon notice of presentation as provided in subsection (f)(2)."

It should be noted that Defendant served the order form to the County Clerk's Office at the same time as the motion form.

Generally speaking, what should Defendant do now? Is there still any hope in the county court, such as collateral attack due to misrepresentations, et al.? Is the order valid? Can Defendant refile the motion to vacate on grounds that couldn't be presented the first time?

Thank you.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:53 AM
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nimuay nimuay is offline
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You need to hire an appeals attorney. Given the complexities and the 'back-and-forthing' you note, I assume the appellant was filing pro se. They are often granted more leeway than a licensed attorney. Regardless, it's something no-one here has the local knowledge to answer.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:55 PM
edascal edascal is offline
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I agree that an attorney would be a good solution. Unfortunately, defendant discovered that an attorney would charge $2,000 just to see if the appeal was submitted properly. Neither defendant nor we can afford that. We were hoping somebody has gone through the process and could explain what they did. This is why, as you inferred, defendant is attempting to do the work pro se.

I admit I thought posting here was a bit of a longshot, but I thought I'd try. Thank you.
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:07 PM
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Look, telling you what to do would be practicing law, and since I'm not a WA attorney, it would be the unauthorized practice of law/practicing law without a license.

I'm assuming he's done the following:
1. Gotten the written order
2. Gotten a transcript of the proceeding
3. Gotten a hold of the local rules
4. Talked with the attorney in charge of that particular segment of his case

From there, he should have access to a legal library and he should be able to look up the interpretation of defective orders.

Beyond that, and doing the whole learning how to practice law the hard way, he can and should talk with the prospective appellate attorneys and see if he can negotiate a payment schedule. Further, he should look to see if he qualifies for a law clinic or belongs to a class of citizen that is of particular interest to some attorneys (LGBTQ, Native American, mentally ill, developmentally disabled, PoC, etc, etc, etc).

Note, there is usually a short period of time to do what you are suggesting. He can lose the ability to do what you're suggesting if he takes too much time.
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