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Seattle Municipal Court implements virtual hearings for more out-of-custody arraignments, suspends jury trials through May 21, 2021

Seattle Municipal Court’s (SMC’s) Intake calendar, where many out-of-custody arraignments are held, will resume on March 3, 2021, with all hearings conducted virtually in accordance with General Administrative Order 2021-01. The court has been holding virtual out-of-custody arraignment hearings for mental health court, domestic violence, and driving under the influence (DUI) cases since December 2020. Starting on March 3, out-of-custody arraignments will resume for non-domestic violence, non-DUI cases in a virtual format.

Jury trials will remain suspended through at least May 21, 2021. People with criminal or contested infraction hearings will continue to attend their hearing by video or by phone, and non-contested infraction hearings will continue to be held through written statement.

Virtual courtrooms for criminal cases and contested infraction hearings can be accessed on the court’s website. People who come to the courthouse in-person who do not have technology to participate in their hearing by phone or video are given access to a computer lab in the courthouse.

SMC 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.

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

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