Seattle Municipal Court suspends jury trials and some out of custody arraignments until early 2021

Due to the rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in Seattle and King County, Seattle Municipal Court (SMC) is suspending jury trials through March 3, 2021, in accordance with General Administrative Order 2020-13. Out of custody arraignment appearances set for Intake hearings in Courtroom 302 are also suspended until February 3, 2021. Out of custody arraignments for DUI and domestic violence cases will continue.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting public health and safety has been our number one priority,” said Presiding Judge Willie Gregory. “In August, we were able to resume jury trials with significant safety modifications, however, with the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, we are once again suspending jury trials. We hope this will allow more people to stay at home and slow the spread of the virus.”

SMC remains open to the public, though in-person operations are significantly limited to minimize the number of people in the courthouse. Criminal hearings are offered virtually using WebEx video/phone conferencing. Virtual courtrooms can be accessed on the court’s website.

Parking and infraction ticket hearings are being held 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 your request 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 to either submit your written statement or participate by phone.

Seattle Municipal Court is not currently charging late fees for tickets or referring tickets to collections. Tickets can be paid online or by calling (206) 233-7000. SMC has suspended the $3.60 transaction fee for telephone and online payments.

Find more information on SMC’s modified operations during COVID-19 here.