Forcible entry or detainer or unlawful detainer actions — Payment of rent into court registry — Writ of restitution — Notice.
(1) The procedures and remedies provided by this section are optional and in addition to other procedures and remedies provided by this chapter. IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE
(2) In an action of forcible entry, detainer, or unlawful detainer, commenced under this chapter which is based upon nonpayment of rent as provided in RCW 59.12.030(3), the defendant shall pay into the court registry the amount alleged due in the notice described in this section and continue to pay into the court registry the monthly rent as it becomes due under the terms of the rental agreement while the action is pending. Such payment is not required if the defendant submits to the court a written statement signed and sworn under penalty of perjury that sets forth the reasons why the rent alleged due in the notice is not owed. In the written statement, the defendant may provide as a reason that the rent alleged due in the notice is not owed based upon a legal or equitable defense or set-off arising out of the tenancy.
(3) A defendant must comply with subsection (2) of this section on or before the deadline date specified in the notice, which must not precede the deadline for responding to the eviction summons and complaint for unlawful detainer. If the notice is served with the eviction summons and complaint, then the deadline for complying with the notice and the deadline for responding to the eviction summons and complaint must be the same date.
(4) Failure of the defendant to comply with this section shall be grounds for the immediate issuance of a writ of restitution without further notice to the defendant and without bond directing the sheriff to deliver possession of the premises to the plaintiff. Issuance of a writ of restitution under this section shall not affect the defendant's right to schedule a hearing on the merits. If the defendant fails to comply with this section and a writ of restitution is issued, the defendant may seek a hearing on the merits and an immediate stay of the writ of restitution. To obtain a stay of the writ of restitution, the defendant must make an offer of proof to the court that the plaintiff is not entitled to possession of the property based on a legal or equitable defense arising out of the tenancy. The court shall only grant the stay upon such prior notice as the court deems appropriate to the plaintiff's attorney, or to the plaintiff if there is no attorney. The court may grant the stay on such conditions as the court deems appropriate. The court may set a show cause hearing as soon as possible, but no later than seven days from the date the stay is sought or the date the defendant moves the court for a show cause hearing. If the court concludes at the show cause hearing that the writ of restitution should not have been issued because of any legal or equitable defense to the eviction, then the writ of restitution must be quashed and the defendant must be restored to possession.
(5) The defendant shall deliver written notice that the rent has been paid into the court registry or deliver a copy of the sworn statement referred to in subsection (2) of this section to the plaintiff by any of the following methods:
(a) By delivering a copy of the payment notice or sworn statement to the person who signed the notice to the street address listed on the notice;
(b) By mailing a copy of the payment notice or sworn statement addressed to the person who signed the notice to the street address listed on the notice;
(c) By facsimile to the facsimile number listed on the notice. Service by facsimile is complete upon successful transmission to the facsimile number listed upon the notice; or
(d) As otherwise authorized by the superior court civil rules.
(6) Before applying to the court for a writ of restitution under this section, the plaintiff must check with the clerk of the court to determine if the defendant has complied with subsection (2) of this section.
(7) If the plaintiff intends to use the procedures in this section, the plaintiff must first file the summons and complaint with the superior court of the appropriate county and deliver notice to the defendant of the payment requirements or sworn statement requirements of this section. The notice must:
(a) State that the defendant is required to comply with this section by a deadline date that is not less than seven days after the notice has been served on the defendant;
(b) Be separate from the eviction summons and complaint;
(c) Contain the names of the parties to the proceeding, the attorney or attorneys, if any, and the court in which the proceeding is being brought;
(d) Be signed and dated by the plaintiff's attorney, or by the plaintiff if there is no attorney;
(e) Contain a street address for service of the payment statement or sworn statement and, if available, a facsimile number for the landlord; and
(f) Be no less than twelve-point font type, in boldface type or capital letters where indicated below, and be substantially in the following form:
OF WASHINGTON IN AND FOR . . . . . .
TO:. . . . . . . . (Name)
. . . . . . . . . (Address) IMPORTANT NOTICE
READ THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY
YOU MUST DO THE FOLLOWING BY THE DEADLINE DATE:
THE DEADLINE DATE IS. . . . . . . .
1. PAY RENT INTO THE COURT REGISTRY; OR
2. FILE A SWORN STATEMENT THAT YOU DO NOT OWE THE RENT CLAIMED DUE.
IF YOU FAIL TO DO ONE OF THE ABOVE ON OR BEFORE THE DEADLINE DATE, THE SHERIFF COULD EVICT YOU WITHOUT A HEARING EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALSO RECEIVED A NOTICE THAT A HEARING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED. YOUR LANDLORD CLAIMS YOU OWE RENT
This eviction lawsuit is based upon nonpayment of rent. Your landlord claims you owe the following amount: $. . . . . . The landlord is entitled to an order from the court directing the sheriff to evict you without a hearing unless you do the following by the deadline date: . . . . . . . . YOU MUST DO THE FOLLOWING BY THE DEADLINE DATE:
1. Pay into the court registry the amount your landlord claims you owe set forth above and continue paying into the court registry the monthly rent as it becomes due while this lawsuit is pending; OR
2. If you deny that you owe the amount set forth above and you do not want to be evicted immediately without a hearing, you must file with the clerk of the court a written statement signed and sworn under penalty of perjury that sets forth why you do not owe that amount.
3. You must deliver written notice that the rent has been paid into the court registry OR
deliver a copy of your sworn statement to the person named below by personal delivery, mail, or facsimile.
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4. The sworn statement must be filed IN ADDITION TO
delivering your written response to the complaint and YOU MUST ALSO
appear for any hearing that has been scheduled.
Dated:. . . . . . . . . .
Signed:. . . . . . . . . .
(8) The notice authorized in this section may be served pursuant to applicable civil rules either with a filed eviction summons and complaint or at any time after an eviction summons and complaint have been filed with the court. If the defendant has served a response to the eviction summons and complaint, then the notice may be served before or with an order to show cause as described in RCW 59.18.370
(9) This section does not affect the defendant's right to restore the tenancy under RCW 59.18.410
[2008 c 75 § 2; 2006 c 51 § 2; 1983 c 264 § 13.]