In the interest of public health during the COVID-19 crisis, Seattle Municipal Court has suspended jury trials through at least April 9, 2020. The court is also postponing all contested ticket hearings in courtrooms 301 and 302 through April 9, 2020. These changes are effective as of March 11, 2020 under General Administrative Order 2020-03. Under this order, the court will also grant agreed continuance requests on out-of-custody matters for non-mandatory hearings scheduled through April 8, 2020.
Jurors summoned for jury duty during this time will be contacted to reschedule. People who have hearings to contest their parking or traffic tickets in courtrooms 301 or 302 will be notified by mail that their case has been continued.
Per General Administrative Order 2020-02, issued on March 9, 2020, all appearances for mitigation and contested hearings in courtroom 201 are being set for adjudication by mail until further notice. This process allows members of the public to dispute their ticket without coming to the courthouse.
Defendants with upcoming hearings on criminal matters can contact their attorney to request that their case be continued. The court is extending telephone reporting to as many Day Reporting and Probation clients as feasible to satisfy their reporting requirements for the next 30 days. Eligible clients will be contacted by their Probation Counselor.
In addition to modifying its operations in order to reduce the number of people who need to come to the courthouse, Seattle Municipal Court is taking precautions to maintain a safe and healthy court environment for all court participants, visitors and staff. We actively coordinate with other governmental and public health agencies to ensure that we are following up to date guidance in our response. Janitorial staff are more frequently disinfecting doors and handles, elevator buttons and surfaces in public areas of the courthouse.
For a full summary of Seattle Municipal Court operational impacts related to COVID-19 and information on how to contact the court, please read our Q&A.