Seattle Municipal Court FAQ on limited operations in response to COVID-19

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Seattle Municipal Court is open to the public, though operations are limited in accordance with several General Administrative Orders. Visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times and check their temperature at the courthouse entrance. If you are feeling sick or have been around someone who has COVID-19, please stay home and call (206) 684-5600 to reschedule your hearing or court business.

What if I want to dispute my ticket?

Parking and infraction ticket hearings are being held primarily through written statement and by telephone at this time. If you would like to request a hearing to contest or mitigate your ticket, please follow the instructions on the back of your ticket and submit it by mail, or call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

A notice of hearing will be mailed to you and will include instructions for how to either submit your written statement or participate by phone.

If you agree that you committed a violation but want to ask for your ticket to be reduced, then you can request a mitigation hearing. Mitigation hearings are being held only through written statement at this time. You can submit your statement online or by mail.

If you disagree that you committed a violation, then you can request a contested hearing. If you request a contested hearing, the court will schedule you for a pre-hearing settlement conference, which is an opportunity to resolve the case without the formality of a hearing. You can participate in a pre-settlement conference by written statement or by telephone. 

You may skip the pre-settlement conference and proceed directly to trial by completing the waiver form sent to you with your pre-hearing conference notice. These contested hearings (trials) are held in person at the Seattle Municipal Court.

Seattle Municipal Court is not charging late fees for tickets at this time.

What if I have a hearing for a criminal case?

You will receive a notice in the mail informing you of your next court date. If your mailing address has changed, please notify the court of your changed address by calling (206) 684-5600 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Check court dates online here.

Seattle Municipal Court offers virtual hearings and remote appearances using WebEx video/telephone conferencing. All criminal hearings are available virtually on WebEx. If you do not have technology to appear by video or by phone for your hearing, please contact your attorney as soon as possible. For more information, please visit our Virtual Hearings page.

If you need to attend a hearing in person, wear a face covering, maintain 6 feet of distance from others, and check your temperature at the court entrance. If you are not feeling well or have a fever, stay home and contact the court by phone (206-684-5600, Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) to reschedule your hearing, or attend your hearing virtually if you are able.

If you are a defendant and have questions about your case, contact your attorney. The Department of Public Defense has a handout in English and in Spanish for those who don’t know how to contact their attorney directly.

Attorneys: Please check the Case Information Portal for information on your client’s case.

What if I need to pay a ticket or fine?

You can pay tickets online, by phone at (206) 233-7000, or by mail. The transaction fee for online and phone payments is being waived during this time.

If you cannot pay a ticket or fine, call (206) 684-5600 for customer service. You may apply for a payment plan online. Please note that Seattle Municipal Court is not charging late fees for tickets, and tickets are not being referred to collections during this time.

Call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. if you have questions or need assistance.

What if I have day reporting requirements?

Day reporting clients do not need to report to the courthouse at this time, unless they are individually contacted and asked to report. If you haven’t spoken to your point of contact with the court since the closure on March 16, 2020, please call them and leave a clear message with your name and contact information. Call (206) 684-7840 if you do not have your counselor’s contact information.

What if I am on probation?

Probation clients do not need to report to the courthouse at this time, unless they are individually contacted and asked to report. If you haven’t spoken to your counselor since the court closure on March 16, 2020, please call them and leave a clear message with your name and contact information. Call (206) 684-7840 if you do not have your counselor’s contact information. You can also email jason.grant@seattle.gov.

What if I want to visit the Community Resource Center?

The Community Resource Center is currently open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 am-4:00 pm. Check seattle.gov/courts/crc  for information on resources. 

Can I request a marriage ceremony?

Judges are available after 4:30 p.m. every weekday to perform limited marriage ceremonies. The rooftop deck on top of the courthouse is not available for marriage ceremonies at this time, due to the court’s COVID-19 restrictions. Wedding parties are limited to a total of eight people, including the couple and six witnesses. All members of the wedding party are required to wear face coverings and practice social distancing. More information here.

What if I received a jury service summons?

In the interest of health and safety during the worsening COVID-19 pandemic, jury trials will be suspended through no earlier than March 3, 2021. If you have received a jury summons for service in November or December 2020, please disregard it. 

What if I need to access court records?

The Records Department is open during regular business hours and can be contacted at 206-684-5636. Many case records are available on the online portal.

Visit our website for more information on requesting court records.

What is the court doing to keep visitors safe?

Our highest priority is the health and safety of all who enter the courthouse. Visitors and staff are required to wear a face covering and check their temperature at the courthouse entrance. To maintain social distancing, elevator occupancy is limited to two people, and bathroom occupancy is limited to one person at a time. 

We have reduced the number of courtrooms operating at once to minimize the number of people in the courthouse. Plexiglass barriers have been installed at service counters and other locations throughout the courthouse.  

The court’s air filtration system has been adjusted to bring in more fresh outside air, in alignment with CDC guidance. Staff are disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as doorknobs on a daily basis. 

What if I have other questions?

Call (206) 684-5600 Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.