Seattle Municipal Court FAQ on court business during COVID-19

Seattle Municipal Court offers virtual hearings. Please handle your court business online or by phone to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Disputing a ticket

To request a hearing to contest or mitigate your ticket, 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 hearing notice will be mailed to you and will include instructions for how to either submit your written statement or participate in a virtual hearing.

If you agree that you committed a violation but want to ask for your ticket to be reduced, you can request a mitigation hearing. Mitigation hearings are being held through written statement only. 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 by video or by phone.

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

Criminal cases

We offer virtual hearings using WebEx video/telephone conferencing. If you do not have technology to appear by video or by phone for your hearing, contact your attorney as soon as possible. For more information, visit our Virtual Hearings page.

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.

You can check court dates online here. Search for your name in the Defendant Search, click on your court case, then click the Hearings tab.

If you have questions about your criminal 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.

Paying tickets or fines

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 at this time.

If you cannot pay a ticket or fine, call (206) 684-5600 to learn about your options. 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.

Public defense screening

To find out if you qualify for a public defender, call 206-386-1543, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Pre-trial services and probation

Probation clients do not need to report in-person to the courthouse at this time, unless you are individually contacted and asked to report. Call (206) 684-7840 or visit our website if you do not have your counselor’s contact information.

Impound hearings

Impound hearings are being held by video or by phone. If you do not have technology to appear by phone or video, the court will provide access to a limited-occupancy computer lab. Please call (206) 684-5600 for information.

Community Resource Center

The Community Resource Center is currently closed, but you can find information on resources at seattle.gov/courts/crc

Marriage ceremonies

Marriage ceremonies are not being held at the Seattle Municipal Court at this time, due to the court’s COVID-19 safety restrictions. You may request to arrange an off-site marriage ceremony with a Seattle Municipal Court judge. Judges are available after 5:00 p.m. every weekday and on weekends to perform limited marriage ceremonies. More information.

Jury service

Jury trials are suspended through no earlier than May 21, 2021.

Court records

Many case records are available on the online portal. You may contact the Records Department at 206-684-5636. Visit our website for more information on requesting court records.

Other questions?

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