Argument Court

Attention: Changes to Washington County Local Rules will be taking place with the launch of the Public E-Filing Portal. This includes changes to the Argument Court Briefing Schedule. See the below links for the proposed rule.

What is Argument Court?

Argument Court is an already-scheduled court date for the Civil Division. Argument Court is the time and date for oral argument on dispositive pleadings/motions. If you file a dispositive pleading or motion, you do not need to present it to the Court in Motions Court. It will be automatically scheduled for Argument Court by the Court Administrator's Office.

Dispositive Motions include:

  • Preliminary Objections
  • Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings
  • Motions for Summary Judgment

The schedule for Argument Court is maintained by the Deputy Court Administrator for the Civil Division.

Submission and Scheduling of a Dispositive Motion for Argument Court.

To submit your dispositive motion for scheduling and hearing, simply file it of record. You can serve a courtesy copy of your dispositive motion upon the Court Administrator by mail, in-person drop-off, or by e-mail, but the filing of the motion itself is what triggers scheduling. When the Washington County Court Public Portal is launched, you will no longer be required by local rule to submit copies to the Court Administrator's office.

Do not submit original filings to the Court Administrator's office. Your motion must be filed of record with the Washington County Prothonotary before it will be scheduled. 


All standard Argument Court sessions are scheduled for the entire calendar year and are contained in the official court calendar. Additional sessions may be added as needed, and will be published on the courts website.

Once a dispositive motion is filed, it will be assigned to one of the existing Argument Court sessions based on the date of filing and the average turnaround time for dispositive motions. The turnaround time for scheduling most dispositive motions is approximately sixty to seventy-five (60-75) days. There are several factors that go into this turnaround time:

  • Arguments are scheduled on a "first come, first serve" basis. Dispositive motions are queued for scheduling based on the "date filed" stamp of the Washington County Prothonotary.
  • Argument on Preliminary Objections are not set until after the twenty day window to amend as of right has expired.
  • Argument on Motions for Judgment on the Pleadings and Motions for Summary Judgment are not set until after the thirty day window to file a response has expired.
  • The goal of the Court is to schedule argument approximately forty-five (45) days out from the date of scheduling so that parties have ample notice to prepare briefs.


Washington County currently does not require briefs to be filed at the same time as a dispositive motion. This may change if local rules are amended. Instead, Washington County issues a briefing schedule at the time of scheduling a case for Argument Court. 

Local Rule L-210 contains a default briefing schedule. This briefing schedule may be modified by the argument court notice. The Argument Court notice will always indicate if the default briefing schedule or an alternate briefing schedule is being utilized for that Argument Court. Ensure that you review the notice when you receive it to confirm your briefing schedule.

Local Rule L-210 states:

Unless otherwise ordered by the Court, the brief of the moving party shall be filed at least twenty (20) days prior to the proceeding on the motion. The brief of the responsive party shall be filed within ten (10) days thereafter.

The Civil Division has a current practice of slightly altering the default schedule in Rule L-210. Please review in the links above the sample argument court notice. The change is subtle. In the sample argument court notice, the responding party's brief is due ten (10) days prior to argument, and not ten (10) days after the filing of the moving party's brief.