Porter had no contract right to purchase the Pierce County property but instead had been a tenant paying rent, attaching a 1999 rental agreement signed by Mr. After hearing from the parties, the court granted the relief requested by the estate on the basis that Mr. Porter had entered into a real estate purchase and sale agreement.¶ 9 In May 2013, the estate filed a motion to dismiss Mr. Determining “the proper court” requires us to review other sources of law.¶ 26 “Subject matter jurisdiction is a tribunal's authority to adjudicate the type of controversy involved in the action.” Shoop v. It also provides[t]he subject matter jurisdiction of the superior court applies without regard to venue.
Porter failed to file a complaint in Kittitas County and, by statute, his claims were barred. Porter's complaint on collateral estoppel grounds, arguing that the issues presented had been litigated and resolved against Mr. The court granted the estate's motion and dismissed Mr. It awarded the estate attorney fees in the probate action and costs in both proceedings, for a total of ,942.¶ 10 Mr. A proceeding or action by or before a superior court is not defective or invalid because of the selected venue if the court has jurisdiction of the subject matter of the action.
Porter appeals orders and final judgments entered in both proceedings. The court affirmed the trial court's order for specific performance finding that “[a]n action for specific performance of a contract is not within the purview of the statute.” Baird, 49 Wash.2d at 310, 301 P.2d 375 (citing Southwick v. 923, 934, 640 P.2d 28 (1982), Wineberg had agreed to give O'Steen ten percent of his stock in a petroleum company in satisfaction of a debt, but title to the shares was never transferred. 524 (1928)).¶ 19 In Compton, the court held the nonclaim statute did not apply to a party's request for the return of property given as collateral where the secured obligation had been satisfied, explaining: It does not seem to us that the statute of nonclaim has any application to the facts in this case. RCW 11.96A.040(4).¶ 29 TEDRA's venue provision provides that the original venue for proceedings pertaining to the probate of wills and most other estate administration matters is “in any county of the state of Washington that the petitioner selects,” subject to a party's right to make a timely request to change venue to a county given priority by statute. “Once letters testamentary or of administration have been granted in the state of Washington,” however, “all orders, settlements, trials, and other proceedings under this title must be had or made in the county in which such letters have been granted unless venue is moved as provided in [RCW (4) ].” RCW 11.96A.050(5).¶ 30 The general provisions regarding venue and jurisdiction in Washington courts appear in chapter 4.12 RCW.
ANALYSIS¶ 11 Washington's nonclaim statute, RCW , provides that “[a] person having a claim against the decedent may not maintain an action on the claim unless ․ the claimant has presented the claim as set forth in this chapter.” Once a claim is filed, the personal representative shall allow or reject each claim, failing which the statute allows the claimant to petition the court for a hearing to determine whether the claim should be allowed or rejected. Porter assigns error to the court's judgment quieting title to the Pierce County properties in the estate, arguing that his claims asserted in the Pierce County action are not claims against a decedent subject to the nonclaim statute and, alternatively, that his commencement of the Pierce County action satisfied the requirement that he timely file suit in “the proper court.” ¶ 14 We first address whether the claims asserted by Mr. 211, 218, 275 P.3d 1218 (2012) (internal quotation marks omitted) (quoting Olsen v. Southwick, 34 Wash.2d 464, 208 P.2d 1187 (1949)).¶ 18 In O'Steen v. When Wineberg's wife died, all of the shares were inventoried as community property in her estate. The court held that his subsequent lawsuit was not barred by the nonclaim statute, because “RCW applies only where the claim is a general charge against the assets of the estate. The respondent is not seeking to recover anything from the assets of the estate. The property which was awarded to her did not belong to the estate, and no money judgment of any character was sought. Many authorities approving the rule are quoted with approval in Davis v. RCW 4.12.030 identifies grounds for changing the venue of an action, including “[t]hat the county designated in the complaint is not the proper county.” RCW 4.12.030(1). Rutter, 59 Wash.2d 781, 784, 370 P.2d 862 (1962); Schluneger v. 8, 310 P.3d 814 (2013).¶ 35 Mukilteo Retirement Apartments deals with judicial admissions that are made in a party's answer, are never deleted by amendment, and are the basis on which a case is tried. More importantly, language in the Pierce County court's order is not inconsistent with the position Mr. While it is now clear from the Supreme Court's decision in Ralph that the Pierce County court was not transferring jurisdiction, the concept of transferring jurisdiction was consistent with Mr.
Porter's own motion for change of venue, should not have been dismissed nor should the Kittitas County court have quieted title to the real property that was at issue in Charles Boisso's estate.
Porter that had been transferred to Kittitas County by the Pierce County Superior Court.
The court's finding that the estate was the prevailing party in the probate proceeding for purposes of awarding attorney fees was an abuse of discretion.¶ 38 Both parties request an award of attorney fees on appeal under RCW 11.96A.150.
The estate has suggested that use of the definite article “the” unambiguously refers to a single court, implying that it must refer to a superior court in a particular county. While Washington laws also sometimes speak of multiple “superior courts,” then, it is entirely reasonable to construe “the proper court” as referring to the single, statewide superior court recognized in the state constitution.
Bob Zimdahl is Professor Emeritus of Weed Science at Colorado State University, USA.