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When a case has become inactive an the clerk files for dismissal, what does that mean?

Yakima, WA |

Does this mean any and all documents filed, signed, submitted and whatever else is no longer valid? Like a temporary visitation document for my child that states I HAVE to give my child back is no longer in effect?

I am not a bad person. I've worked nearly every day since I graduated high school, I don't drink nor do drugs (while my ex husband does both), I have a nice stable home and family support system, while he has massive disfunction and even assault charges between him and his family. He tricked me into handing my child over when the whole shebang happened cause he knew a judge would never allow my child to be removed from me. He uses her as a tool and treats her like a possession against me than his own blood. She is my whole world. I am not one to disrespect the judicial system or go against it, that is why I am asking, not cause I am shady and wish to use loopholes (like my ex and his family is and does).

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Attorney answers 3


A CR41 or clerk's dismissal means one or both parties must provide a status update to the clerk to prevent dismissal. The time frame is 30 days to update the case. So have your lawyer update the litigation status.
Good Luck

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Well it was already dismissed. They sent notification but it was RTS (return to sender) so obviously the addresses they had were not current... either way it was dismissed already.

Shawn B Alexander

Shawn B Alexander


You should make a motion to set aside the dismissal because of the notice and address.


I concur with Mr. Alexander in that the proper procedure to avoid dismissal is to file a status report with the Clerk's Office. The underlying issue of your question however, is not as straightforward. All the Orders from the Court remain in effect and can be enforced by the full power of the Court. If you have been directed by the Court to do a certain thing, you are under a continuing duty to comply, or your non-compliance can be punished (ultimately) by contempt of Court. If you have been directed to surrender custody of a child by the Court, you are required to do so regardless of the status of the underlying case.

From the tenor of your question, it seems that you have hopes to evade the command of the Court by letting the action lapse. This is not a long-term strategy, nor will it serve you well.

Good luck!



I am not trying to evade anything, I'm just tired of my (eventually) ex husband using my daughter like a tool and not thinking about how she might feel or care... and it wasn't my intention to allow the case to become inactive, I just found out about it yesterday while I was at a paralegal getting my documents professionally taken care of to start the process up/over again and hopefully get this mess completed so my daughter can begin to have a normal and stable life before she gets too old and not able to adjust properly.


In Texas we call this DWOP (dismissal for want of prosecution). It essentially means that the court is trying to clear out its docket by getting rid of stale cases. From what others are saying, you simply need to apprise the court of your status (and possibly show that you are still actively interested in the outcome of the case).

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