WA Legal Roundup - Div I: Superior Court ALWAYS has SMJ for Unlawful Detainer, Housing Authority Hearing Officer ALWAYS has authority to reschedule
So Bin had some issues with housing, something about not providing enough information. She went to a hearing that was rescheduled to a date where her attorney couldn't appear. She speaks limited English. The hearing officer, when asked to reschedule, went and talked to the scheduling coordinator outside the presence of counsel and Bin (there by her lonesome). She had asked for it to be continued to a date where her attorney could be there. The hearing officer said he didn't have the authority.
Four major issues with this one:
They didn't provide her with a translator or translate important documents. Since they were forcing her to proceed pro se, they needed to.
Second, the hearing examiner always has authority to reschedule. He's not bound by the scheduling officer telling him he shouldn't reschedule. Like He-Man, he has the power.
Third, error for the H.E. to go and talk with the scheduling officer to make his decision. No opportunity to respond=no due process.
Finally, there was some confusion about when jurisdiction vests with the Superior Court in an unlawful detainer with this kind of administrative remedy. The Court held that the Superior Court always has subject matter jurisdiction.