Declaratory judgments are used to settle legal issues. Something like factual issues is left for a jury or finder of fact. In a personal injury case, monetary damages are typically what is sought; however, a declaratory judgment may be sought to determine a jurisdictional issue.
For example, a defendant driver may dispute that the court where the lawsuit was filed has jurisdiction over the case. The court would make a determination based on what is submitted and enter a declaratory judgment as to whether or not the court has jurisdiction.
Entry of Judgments
Once a trial has concluded and the jury has rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff or defendant in a personal injury civil action, a final judgment (order) is submitted to the judge for signing. Once the judge signs the judgment, it is then to be filed with the court’s clerk’s office to be entered into the official record. The civil rules or judge may direct a different method of entry of the judgment – for examples see civils rules 54(b) and 5(e).
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Washington Superior Court Rules 57 and 58 are as follows:
Washington Civil Rule 57: Declaratory Judgments
The procedure for obtaining a declaratory judgment pursuant to the Uniform Declaratory Judgments Act, RCW 7.24, shall be in accordance with these rules, and the right to trial by jury may be demanded under the circumstances and in the manner provided in rules 38 and 39. The existence of another adequate remedy does not preclude a judgment for declaratory relief in cases where it is appropriate. The court may order a speedy hearing of an action for a declaratory judgment and may advance it on the calendar.
Washington Civil Rule 58: Entry of Judgment
(a) When. Unless the court otherwise directs and subject to the provisions of rule 54(b),
all judgments shall be entered immediately after they are signed by the judge.
(b) Effective time. Judgments shall be deemed entered for all procedural purposes
from the time of delivery to the clerk for filing, unless the judge earlier permits the
judgment to be filed directly with the judge as authorized by rule 5(e).
(c) Notice of entry. [Reserved. See rule 54(f).]
(e) Judgment by confession. [Reserved. See RCW 4.60.]
(f) Assignment of judgment. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.090.]
(g) Interest on a judgment. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.110.]
(h) Satisfaction of judgment. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.100.]
(i) Lien of judgment. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.190.]
(j) Commencement of lien on real estate. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.200.]
(k) Cessation of lien Extension
prohibited. [Reserved. See RCW 4.56.210.]
(l) Revival of judgments. [Reserved.]
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