Jump to content
legallyblinded

Enforceable Time Zone

21 posts in this topic

If parties are in different time zones and the parenting plan doesn't specify, what is the assumed time zone for times listed?

A new parenting plan has been created after a relocation. The custodial parent is in the Pacific Time Zone and the non-custodial parent is in the Mountain Time Zone. Pierce County Superior Court (WA) has jurisdiction and ordered the parenting plan and is in the Pacific Time Zone. There are times listed throughout the parenting plan, but the parenting plan does not specify which time zone is to be followed. In the absence of specific direction, is there a rule or generally accepted principle as to which time zone is the one that should be used in the event of disagreement? Is the statutory guidance or case law?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

If parties are in different time zones and the parenting plan doesn't specify, what is the assumed time zone for times listed?

 

It'll depend to some extent on context, but unless the parenting plan says otherwise, it would either be the time zone in which the court that entered the order sits or the time zone in which the event is to occur.

 

 

4 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

Is the statutory guidance or case law?

 

Unlikely since this is one of those things that would be pretty obviously to any sensible person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the second part of your answer when considered in context to the first part of your answer shows why it isn't obvious. You're saying (correct me if I am wrong), "it depends." Presumably there is a standard that exists. Certainly in contract law there is a standard and it is the time zone in which the contract was agreed to. If parties disagree about a time that something should occur (like an exchange), then it becomes important to know what time is the "right" time. That is, what time is the legally enforceable time. Hoping to hear from others also.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

29 minutes ago, LegalwriterOne said:

What time zone did you use before the order was changed? 

 

Previously there was no discrepancy because both parties lived in the same time zone and in the same time zone in which the court with jurisdiction (Pacific).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, legallyblinded said:

Certainly in contract law there is a standard and it is the time zone in which the contract was agreed to.

 

I doubt that very much and am unaware of any statute or case from any jurisdiction that says that.

 

 

15 hours ago, legallyblinded said:

If parties disagree about a time that something should occur (like an exchange), then it becomes important to know what time is the "right" time. That is, what time is the legally enforceable time.

 

If you're seeking an all-purpose answer that is applicable in every situation, you're unlikely to get one.  Is this a hypothetical concern, or is there a specific situation with which you're concerned (your response to "adjusterjack's" question suggests the latter is the case).  Context is important.

 

By the way, who created the new parenting plan?  Was/were the person(s) who created it aware that the two parents were living in different time zones?  If so, why doesn't the parenting plan contain language that covers this?  Failure to address known issues indicates negligence in drafting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

 

What about when the child is in a different time zone?

 

If it is just for a visit then it would remain Pacific.

If the child is moved to another state permanently another state is going to sooner or later have jurisdiction and it will change to that state. But nothing in your post says that is the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

 

If you're seeking an all-purpose answer that is applicable in every situation, you're unlikely to get one.  Is this a hypothetical concern, or is there a specific situation with which you're concerned (your response to "adjusterjack's" question suggests the latter is the case).  Context is important.

 

By the way, who created the new parenting plan?  Was/were the person(s) who created it aware that the two parents were living in different time zones?  If so, why doesn't the parenting plan contain language that covers this?  Failure to address known issues indicates negligence in drafting.

 

Context is that we have a temporary order and the court largely adopted the other party's proposed order. The proposed order lists times, but doesn't provide specificity. Now the other party is insisting on a standard that is  not included in the temp order and it is effecting the travel requirements because of when flights must occur. I am arguing absent a specific direction from the court in the parenting plan, then the assumed time is the time zone in which the parenting plan was ordered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, PayrollHRGuy said:

 

If it is just for a visit then it would remain Pacific.

If the child is moved to another state permanently another state is going to sooner or later have jurisdiction and it will change to that state. But nothing in your post says that is the case.

 

And that is my interpretation as well. Absent direction, then the time zone of the court is the prevailing/governing time zone, otherwise there isn't any consistency. The court assumes adherence to its time zone for all other matters related to the case schedule so why the application of a parenting plan it ordered would be any different, I can not fathom. And no, the children reside a majority of the time with the custodial who is in the same time zone as the court.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

Context is that we have a temporary order and the court largely adopted the other party's proposed order. The proposed order lists times, but doesn't provide specificity.

 

Did you/your lawyer object to the other parent's proposed order on the basis that it didn't specify time zones?  If not, why not?

 

Also, this isn't what I meant by context.  What is the factual situation that has resulted in this dispute?

 

 

11 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

Now the other party is insisting on a standard that is  not included in the temp order and it is effecting the travel requirements because of when flights must occur.

 

Please be more specific.  Flying from where and to where, and why is time zone an issue?

 

 

12 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

I am arguing absent a specific direction from the court in the parenting plan, then the assumed time is the time zone in which the parenting plan was ordered.

 

Ultimately, if the two of you can't work this out, you'll have to ask the court to decide this -- either by issuing a new temporary order or by dealing with it in the eventual permanent order.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, pg1067 said:

 

Did you/your lawyer object to the other parent's proposed order on the basis that it didn't specify time zones?  If not, why not?

 

Yes, I filed for a revision and the court declined to consider any changes, notwithstanding the fact the temporary order also includes a date that does not exist (June 31).

 

2 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

Please be more specific.  Flying from where and to where, and why is time zone an issue?

 

The flight is from Idaho to Washington. It is a one hour flight. The parenting plan states the children must be on a return flight by 5:30 PM on the last day of the visitation. Is that Pacific Time or Mountain Time? Due to the flight schedules available, if it is Pacific Time, the next closest flight before that time is at 3 PM (Pacific Time). If it is Mountain Time, there is a flight at 4:15 PM (Pacific Time).

 

6 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

Ultimately, if the two of you can't work this out, you'll have to ask the court to decide this -- either by issuing a new temporary order or by dealing with it in the eventual permanent order.

 

Agreed. This specific issue is going to arbitration. I was just trying to get more information because my research has yielded limited case law on the matter. The temporary order will be replaced with a final order in April.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, legallyblinded said:

The parenting plan states the children must be on a return flight by 5:30 PM on the last day of the visitation. Is that Pacific Time or Mountain Time?

 

I would interpret it to mean local time where the flight originates because that's how flight schedules work.  For example, the schedule for a one our flight from a MST location to a PST location will show the flight arriving at the same time as it departed (e.g., leaves Boise at 3:00 p.m. and arrives in Seattle at 3:00 p.m. (both times local)).

 

By the way, the other reason why there is limited (if any) case law on something like this is that case law is only created as the result of someone appealing, and this is not an issue that would be worth someone's time and money to appeal.  It would likely only come up if there were more substantial things being appealed and this was thrown in as a side issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, pg1067 said:

 

I would interpret it to mean local time where the flight originates because that's how flight schedules work.  For example, the schedule for a one our flight from a MST location to a PST location will show the flight arriving at the same time as it departed (e.g., leaves Boise at 3:00 p.m. and arrives in Seattle at 3:00 p.m. (both times local)).

 

The dilemma is that the previous orders all had transfer times at 6 PM (when otherwise not at school). Presumably this order is trying to mimic that time because it is familiar. If that is the case, then a flight that arrives in Washington at or before that time would be consistent with previous orders. Still, you have the perspective of PayrollHRGuy above, in which he concludes that the time zone used should be the time zone of the court. Its much complicated than it appears. I actually can see your perspective, which is also the perspective of the other party. My point is that yes, it makes sense, but its not stated anywhere and absent direction, why should it be the prevailing perspective? There are many statutes in Washington that make it clear that for Washington state business, Pacific Time is the official time. For example, Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 434-208-110 is entitled, "Reference to time" and it states, "References to times of day (i.e., 8:00 p.m.) are according to Pacific Time." This chapter is related to Elections, but is one of many that specifically reference Pacific Time. In contrast, there are only three examples in the WAC or Revised Code of Washington (RCW) that state anything different. Two of the examples are related to debt collection and are simply conforming with the Federal Debt Collection Act, which requires that the time zone used be the time zone in which the recipient of the call is located. Further, RCW 1.20.050 and 051 both state that the Pacific Time is the official time of Washington state. Title 1 more broadly implies that official things of the state (such as times) are the ones that should be used if anything done in an official capacity of the State, which I would argue includes court orders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, legallyblinded said:

The flight is from Idaho to Washington. It is a one hour flight. The parenting plan states the children must be on a return flight by 5:30 PM on the last day of the visitation. Is that Pacific Time or Mountain Time? Due to the flight schedules available, if it is Pacific Time, the next closest flight before that time is at 3 PM (Pacific Time). If it is Mountain Time, there is a flight at 4:15 PM (Pacific Time).

 

Then it would be local to the child

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, legallyblinded said:

I actually can see your perspective, which is also the perspective of the other party. My point is that yes, it makes sense, but its not stated anywhere and absent direction, why should it be the prevailing perspective?

 

I told you why:  because that's what flight schedules look like.

 

All of your references to Pacific time being the official time of Washington are great, but it makes no sense if the event under discussion (i.e., putting the kid on a plane) is not taking place in the Pacific time zone.

 

More importantly, if I've read your prior posts correctly, you're in Washington and the other parent is in Idaho.  If the other parent's interpretation is used, then the child has to be "on a return flight by 5:30 PM" mountain time, which is 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, which means the one hour flight arrives at your location by 5:30 p.m. Pacific time.  If your interpretation is used, then the kid has to be "on a return flight by 5:30 PM" Pacific time, which is 6:30 p.m. mountain time, which means the one hour flight arrives at your location by 6:30 p.m. Pacific time.  In other words, your interpretation gets you less time with your kid.  That being the case, why is this a problem?  Is it a matter of you having something else to do that makes it difficult to get to the airport?  If so, then your interpretation still doesn't help you because "by 5:30 PM" mountain time would still allow the other parent to put the kid on the earlier flight.

 

Also, I didn't notice before hand, that both of the flight times you mentioned comply with the "by 5:30 PM" requirement regardless of which time zone is used.  One hour flights departing at either 3:00 or 4:15 p.m. Pacific time obviously depart before 5:30 p.m. in both time zones (while I realize you didn't give us an exact quote, "be on a return flight by 5:30 PM" means only that the flight has to have a scheduled departure time prior to 5:30 p.m., not that it has to arrive before 5:30 p.m.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, pg1067 said:

 

I told you why:  because that's what flight schedules look like.

 

All of your references to Pacific time being the official time of Washington are great, but it makes no sense if the event under discussion (i.e., putting the kid on a plane) is not taking place in the Pacific time zone.

 

More importantly, if I've read your prior posts correctly, you're in Washington and the other parent is in Idaho.  If the other parent's interpretation is used, then the child has to be "on a return flight by 5:30 PM" mountain time, which is 4:30 p.m. Pacific time, which means the one hour flight arrives at your location by 5:30 p.m. Pacific time.  If your interpretation is used, then the kid has to be "on a return flight by 5:30 PM" Pacific time, which is 6:30 p.m. mountain time, which means the one hour flight arrives at your location by 6:30 p.m. Pacific time.  In other words, your interpretation gets you less time with your kid.  That being the case, why is this a problem?  Is it a matter of you having something else to do that makes it difficult to get to the airport?  If so, then your interpretation still doesn't help you because "by 5:30 PM" mountain time would still allow the other parent to put the kid on the earlier flight.

 

Also, I didn't notice before hand, that both of the flight times you mentioned comply with the "by 5:30 PM" requirement regardless of which time zone is used.  One hour flights departing at either 3:00 or 4:15 p.m. Pacific time obviously depart before 5:30 p.m. in both time zones (while I realize you didn't give us an exact quote, "be on a return flight by 5:30 PM" means only that the flight has to have a scheduled departure time prior to 5:30 p.m., not that it has to arrive before 5:30 p.m.).

 

Its actually the opposite. I lose an hour. Which wouldn't be that big of a deal, except I already have very limited visitation. I went from having about 40% to now only having 10%. While I hope to make sure that changes when we have a final order, it is not a certainty. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×